Due to an excellent AMT tweeter, we could fully appreciate the resolution and purity of the amplifier across this range. The combination of refinement and richness with a sort of subtle glow and lack of any aggressiveness and roughness resulted in a beautiful performance. The DM-250's ability to differentiate recording qualities was even more obvious now. As a result, the Struss/Pirol combo was less forgiving. There was no smoothing out any roughness, no rounding over any hard edges. When it came to a few tracks with sharp or grainy treble, that was exactly how the system delivered it. Whenever the midrange was a bit muddy or the bass overblown in the recording, we would hear it very accurately. This came in handy when the upper registers of a sharp-sounding trumpet had to be conveyed. The sound was a bit piercing but no more than to portray the naturally vibrant sound of this instrument. So the session with Pirol confirmed again that the Struss did not add anything but rather did its best to convey whatever we threw at it. That meant that high-quality recordings sounded remarkably good while we never suffered to the ends of really poor ones.

We didn't find any reason to doubt the quality of the DM-250's midrange either. It was smooth, rich and well-differentiated, full of color, texture and low-level detail. I also appreciated the coherence of this central band so important for any music. The comparison with my Art Audio 300B SET showed that on richness, palpability and openness of the mids and highs, the DM-250 did not quite reach its level but let's not forget that we are talking about a reasonably priced transistor integrated. I definitely liked its energy, dynamics and the high fidelity that didn't get sterile. All of these qualities combined in a coherent way so that what's most important—the music itself and the emotions it engenders—were always at the fore. That's exactly what I expect or even demand from any audio component. Because if there's no emotion to the sound, what's the point of bothering to listen?

I can rarely say that I really enjoyed spending time with a pure solid-state amplifier but the Struss Audio DM-250 turned out to be an exception. Almost all other silicon-based amplifiers which I liked earlier cost several times as much if not a magnitude more. The Polish amplifier combined naturalness with neutrality, explosive dynamics and high energy with smoothness and elegance, high resolution and purity with coherence, richness and musicality. And it didn't really care about musical genres. It made me want to keep listening to more and more music – and that from a diehard tube aficionado who loves valves for their extraordinarily organic presentation. As if classy performance weren't enough, many will also appreciate the relatively small size, interesting front panel and remote and the practical sides of high power, a pre-out, amp-in and MM phono. It makes the DM-250 one of the most interesting items in its price range and beyond since it will boldly compete with many more expensive amplifiers.

Impressive performance, great looks and made in Poland!