January
2020

Country of Origin

NewZealand

155ix

Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
Sources: Retina 5K 27" iMac (4GHz quad-core with Turbo boost, 32GB RAM, 3TB FusionDrive, OSX Yosemite. iTunes 14.4), PureMusic 3.02, Audirvana 3, Qobuz Hifi, Tidal Hifi, COS Engineering D1, Denafrips Terminator, Soundaware D300Ref,  AURALiC Vega, Jay's Audio CDT 2 MkII & DAC-2 SE
Preamplifier: Vinnie Rossi L2 Signature with WE 300B/VT52 or Elrog ER300B/50; Nagra Classic, Wyred4Sound STP-SE Stage II, Vinnie Rossi LIO (AVT module); April Music Stello HP100 MkII
Power & integrated amplifiers: Pass Labs XA30.8; LinnenberG Audio Liszt monos; FirstWatt SIT1 monos, SIT-3, F5, F6, F7; Goldmund/Job 225; Aura Note Premier; Wyred4Sound mINT; Nord Acoustics NC500 monos; April Music Stello S100 MkII;  Crayon Audio CFA-1.2; SAG AIO; Bakoon AMP-13R
Loudspeakers: Audio Physic Codex; Acelec Model One; Cube Audio Nenuphar; Kroma Audio Mimí; Albedo Audio Aptica; EnigmAcoustics Mythology 1; Boenicke Audio W5se; Zu Audio Druid V & VI & Submission; German Physiks HRS-120; Eversound Essence; Fram Midi 150 & 120; sound|kaos Vox 3f [on review]
Cables: Complete loom of Allnic Audio ZL3000/5000 and Zu Event; KingRex uArt, Zu and LightHarmonic LightSpeed double-header USB cables; Tombo Trøn S/PDIF; van den Hul AES/EBU; AudioQuest Diamond glass-fibre Toslink; Black Cat Cable redlevel Lupo; Ocellia OCC Silver
Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all source components, Vibex One 11R on amps/sub, Puritan Audio Labs PSM156 & PS106-DC
Equipment rack: Artesania Audio Exoteryc double-wide 3-tier with optional glass shelves, Exoteryc Krion and glass amp stands 
Sundry accessories: Acoustic System resonators
Room: 4 x 6m with high gabled beam ceiling opening into 4 x 8m kitchen and 5 x 8m living room, hence no wall behind the listening chairs
Review component retail: TBA

Previous generation

Named after Peter Perreaux who founded this New Zealand company in 1974, Perreaux today are owned by Edwin Nieman. Edwin is an electronics engineer who also helms Kamahi Electronics of Dunedin. That has him think well outside the hifi box. Speaking English, Dutch, German and Spanish gives him a polyglot background, overseeing 20 engineers at just his other firm a deep tool box. At Perreaux he took over from Dutchman Martin van Rooyen whom Witchdoctor.co.nz interviewed a few years ago. This slide show presents a time line for the company's various achievements up to 2014. Their present catalogue spans three integrated amplifiers. Those recently updated to 'x' status. We'll look at the middle model. For a quickie, here's Mark Cargill of Scottish hifi import house Elite Audio. He presents the main talking points of top-spec ESS Sabre 9038 Pro DAC, reference phono stage, Bluetooth, dedicated headphone amplifier and order-what-you-like finishes. His store demonstrator was ordered in copper and black. Presumably that's what would head to us in Ireland?

Read Ken Kessler's review of the 250wpc Perreaux 250i. You'll find Paul Miller measurements of 435/680wpc into 8/4Ω. You'll see dynamic low-impedance power of 1'438wpc into 2Ω, 610wpc into 1Ω. From a class A/B not D integrated! Like Pass Labs, Perreaux appear arch conservative in how they rate their power. At heart, it suggests an engineering-focused company culture. The wicked new finish options of course must have originated with their marketing department.

That's always a critical balance to tweak. "Only the sound matters" goes to war with "features and looks do the real selling". In an ideal world, there'd be no conflict. You'd have it all. Would Perreaux's 155ix be that kind of kit? Would it manifest Gordon Gecko's immortal mantra that greed is good? Tick off the most loaded of wish lists which in 2020 a keen punter could bring to shop for a universal integrated amplifier. That would reward maximum want it all without anybody getting hurt. That'd be a win/win all around. Let's see then.

Previous generation

… to be continued…