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Idle power draw is a very moderate 30 watts. Ampollo basically generates no heat during use even though 8Ω output power is a respectable 105wpc in stereo and 420w in mono. The back sports premium gold-plated deeply recessed Neutrik RCAs. Above those sit Neutrik 6.3mm/XLR combo sockets as previously seen on the A-Box. Because these inputs are paralleled, you wouldn’t run them simultaneously. Between these nicely spaced sockets lives a three-pole rotary switch to determine classic stereo, bi-amp or mono mode (the latter obviously requires a second Ampollo for stereo). Bridged mode quadruples power. WBT-type output terminals double up per channel for convenient biwiring.

This amp makes an altogether solid impression, is extremely well put together and caresses both eye and hand. Enter der Klang. I started connecting my Marantz SACD7002 directly via RCA to eliminate a preamp and sample Ampollo uncut.

The instrumental "Intro" by The XX was first with its lone delay guitar pickings, low-bass synth pedals, a suddenly very dominant room-loading bass drum followed by acoustic and electronic drums in due course. To be honest, my jaw dropped. So clean and structurally ordered as though on grid paper I’d rarely heard this number. This related primarily to soundstage and micro/macro dynamics. Tonally it’s a walk in the park any €300 amp should manage. To get specific, the guitar appeared as though nailed to a beam half-left yet not as a narrow trophy but with realistic expansiveness. The bass drum arrived brutally potent, low and quick – and unbelievably locked in location as though half a meter behind the base line of my Neat Momentum 4i speaker and (don’t laugh) with a certain vertical position even.

When the synthesized hand claps entered the stereo panorama in its outer quadrants, the virtual acoustic lit up impressively wide. With deliberate reverb on all instruments, each single decay remained intelligently associated with a specific performer. Even so the totality—and that’s at least as relevant—retained breath and pulse rather than die a sad vivisectionist’s death. This was hot.

I next cued up Ben Harper’s "Jah Work" from The Will To Live for its mastering chops. Microphones, mixing and arranging are all to notch and particularly the live vibe of the acoustic percussion belongs to the best I know on CD. The offbeat "Jah Work" came across less as lazy stoner Reggae but very fleet-footed. This made for  a lovely contrast with Ben Harper’s plagued voice. This number lives primarily off two rhythm guitars which frame things left and right with filigree flourishes to constantly switch between solo and background mode. Other noteworthy ingredients are the precise hi-hat work and the massive snare decays.

The jaw remained unhinged. After 800 times with this song, it finally had undergone a human growth hormone rejuvenation treatment. The whipping rim shots were direct enough to suggest wood splinters flying off. The slash and crash cymbals were keenly differentiated. Perhaps even better was the tradeoff between guitars taut and fresh in the groove. I had the rare sensation of tuning into each guitar’s soloing whilst simultaneously remaining cognizant of the rhythm weave that built up between them. It felt like time for some hot shoes on the dance floor. I queried Herr Sonder what he felt was responsible for the well above average reflexes of their amp. His reply started with the words "we’re surprised ourselves that the Ampollo won’t manage the minute waltz in 45 seconds" before getting more scientific by invoking load invariability and maximal damping factor which best controls diaphragms. As much marketing drivel as it may sound, it certainly behaved exactly like it.