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Reader Chris Mercurio: "I've got an old Job Stereo 50wpc integrated amp the size of a paperback book. It's not warm and friendly like a favorite pentode push/pull but extremely transparent. It has embarrassed many expensive separates over the years in both the tube and solid-state camps. I keep it as a backup or second system amp should the main system go down. I hope the new one is as nice or nicer than the old stuff."

Chatting with April Music's Simon Lee at the Munich HighEnd 2013 about what reviews were coming up, I mentioned being curious about the Job. "Goldmund sells very well in Korea but nobody buys Job." Simon chuckled mischievously. "Too cheap!" was the clincher. The ugly duckling with the heart of swan syndrome?

A total of eight Exicon Mosfets as also used by the astonishing Bakoon AMP-11R since superceded by the AMP-12R.

Querying Anne why the present US-only restriction was in place, "we started with the US since Job is an American company. We shall see how we expand our market after this" - this referring to my review perhaps?

The address label on their sturdy double-boxed carton read "Goldmund, Digital Audio SA, Chemin du Pre Fleuri 3, 1228 Plan les Quates, Suisse". This laid to rest any lingering doubts diehard cynics might harbor about the utilitarian Job 225 really stemming from that bespoke stable. Included were a USB and Schuko power cord and a spiral-bound owner's manual with translucent covers and detailed specifications. One of those calls dynamic range 112dB for a 22kHz flat measured bandwidth, true RMS unloaded.

Before I unfairly overplay the Soviet chic card, the company logo is deeply engraved into rather than silk-screened onto the silver/grey fascia and the small power LED a very attractive yellow rather than piercing blue. There's in fact nothing wrong with the cosmetics whatsoever. Nor with the weight-to-size ratio that's unexpectedly high. It's simply the case that a Platinum card Goldmund shopper wouldn't ever notice the Job. Their loss.

Here are two closeups of various voltage regulators.

There's a total of sixteen of this second kind neatly lined up like a ruler.

Atop my usual FirstWatt SIT1 monos of merely standard width and overall size, the small 225 did look a bit lightweight but once I'd cued up the first track of a new-to-me Niño Josele guitar album acquired at Beck's during this year's Munich hifi show, there was no doubt. This Job was more than up to the job.

First impressions indicated in fact that it'd have to skip ahead in my resident amp line and butt heads directly with my €4.995 two-box Bakoon to compare sonic apples to apples. With the price and power discrepancy so disproportionately in favor of the Swiss, the apple thing would only go so far of course. That was unexpectedly ambitious but in line with the mystique surrounding this amp. I felt like a prospector staring at a big hunk. Could it be gold?