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This review first appeared in the January 2014 issue of hi-end hifi magazine of Germany. You can also read this review of Magnat
in its original German version. We publish its English translation in a mutual syndication arrangement with the publishers. As is customary for our own reviews, the writer's signature at review's end shows an e-mail address should you have questions or wish to send feedback. All images contained in this review are the property of fairaudio or Magnat - Ed.

Reviewer: Tobias Zoporowski
Sources: Analog - Transrotor Insigne w Rega RB 300 arm and Goldring 1042 GX cart, Lehmann Audio Black Cube Statement phono stage, modified Sansui T-80 tuner; digital - Lua Appassionato und Yamaha CD-S 1000 Cd players, modified Advance Acoustic MiP-Station iPod dock, Musical Fidelity vDAC, Naim DAC
Amplification: Symphonic Line RG 9 Mk4, Musical Fidelity m3i
Loudspeakers: Magnat Quantum 905, Klipsch RF-82 II
Cables: Complete in-akustik loom with Eagle Cable and WireWorld alternates
Review component retail: €2'700

Mr. Cool Ribs. Visionary curiosity. I imagine Magnat boss Shandro Fischer hunkering down facing the open bonnet of a Yankee V8 muscle car thinking "now that's how it's gotta look; exactly like so." Presumably the ignition for the hybrid RV-3 integrated concept also extended to casually potent sonics as something I'd get to.

And my theory likely isn't all out to lunch. Fischer is a known fan of American automobiles. He enjoys butch optics also for his own products. That's apparent with Magnat's more recent electronics if not quite to the extent of today's tester. But this doesn't surprise either given how it celebrates the firm's 40th anniversary next to two exclusive speaker models, the compact Quantum Edelstein [precious stone in English] and the floorstanding Quantum Signature. For the occasion the design motto was clearly all hands on deck and deeply into the till. This includes form factor and material choices for enclosure and circuit parts.

Reminiscent of an engine block also is the grouping of the amp's prime ingredients. The flashy heat sinks which conceal dual-mono Toshiba transistor output stages flank two beefy cans, one for the power trafo, the other as the potted home for a small array of filter caps. Chunky 'crash bars' protect the two ECC twin triodes from misbehavin' fingers but not sight. Which is good. The glow bulbs complete the muscular profile from the Rhine land with the dotted 'i'.

The Russian bottles provide voltage gain and are said to have undergone 60 hours of burn-in, subsequent measurement, then tight pair matching. Magnat engineering opted for an SRPP shunt-regulated push/pull circuit with very low distortion (further falling with frequency), high linearity, boffo gain and benign overdrive behaviour. The chosen tube type adds very low output impedance. Between the two watch towers rests an aluminium plaque with engraved company and model name.

All of it makes a decidedly hi-zoot impression that's been styled and polished with obvious consideration. It's no wonder then that the Magnat looks far pricier than it really is. Nobody in my personal hifi mob got it right. Every single guess was over, most significantly so. Even the controls—few in number they may be but totally sufficient in use—don't get any more solid with much dearer kit. The huge volume knob placed centrally and machined from solid stock turns smoothly but with tactile resistance on the shaft of a quality Japanese Alp pot. At left is a balance control, at right an input switcher. The full-metal jacket wand makes do with just four buttons for source, mute and volume up/down. There's no standby. Either you listen or you don't. End of discussion. I liked that.