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This review first appeared in the April 2014 issue of hi-end hifi magazine of Germany. You can also read this review of Jawil Audio
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 Jawil Audio - Ed.

Reviewer: Jochen Reinecke
Sources: 160GB iPod Classic 5 w. Pure i-20 dock; Pro-Ject Xpression III w. Ortofon OM 30 Super; Audiolab 8200CDQ, Samsung Hybrid notebook w. Foobar
DACs: Audiolab 8200CDQ, B.M.C. PureDAC, Cambridge Audio Azur 851
Preamp: Dynavox TPR-2
Integrated amps: Trends Audio TA-10.2 SE, Yarland FV-34C III
Power amp: Abacus Ampollo
Loudspeakers: Neat Momentum 4i, Nubert nuBox 101 w. AW 441 subwoofer, DIY F120A widebander transmission line
Cables: Goldkabel Profi NF interconnects, Ortofon SPK 500 and Real Cable OFC 400 speaker cables
Review component retail: €1’800

Clear from the start was that Jawil Audio were different. That wasn’t merely about their tidy and thought-out though curiously distributed portfolio. It was clear from my first glance at their Asgard. But let’s rein in curiosity and first consider the company. Jörn Jansen and Paul-Gerhard Willershausen aka Ja+wil are really a machine shop named Chiptec which does classic contract work for the industry. Why not utilize their existing CNC routers, sanders and assorted hardware for more artisanal products like amplifier chassis?

Since Jörn Jansen wasn’t merely infected by the hifi virus but as engineer knew metal work and electronics, 2007 meant going hifi under the Jawil Audio banner. Today their lineup is six products deep: the Asgard integrated, four wideband speakers and a sixth product that’s more of a mod. Because Jawil Audio fancy rim-drive turntable, owners of such decks—particularly of the legendary Lenco L75—can have theirs pimped out with massive granite or slate plinths and artful modifications to their tone arms. Sounds tasty? Just so for the Asgard amp. Take a look.

As Jörn Jansen wrote me, the idea behind it was a "flexible powerful amp with unique looks, feel and finishing". This meant firing up their domestic CNC artillery to machine the aluminium enclosure from solid stock with a tightly bored-out chamber for the toroidal power transformer and routing channels for the wiring. The massive front-panel controls and footers are milled in-house too. The lid is transparent acrylic and gets ‘sucked’ to the structure with magnets hidden inside. That I’d not come across with hifi amps before. Upfront sit a rotary power mains, a source selector (four high-level sources are standard but there’s room for an optional phono board), the volume control and a nowadays rarely seen balance control.

Jansen explained: "Continuous pots no matter their cost suffer inter-channel errors. A stepped pot can sidestep these but for us such steps were too coarse. IC-based attenuation was out of the question. Hence we added a special Alps pot for balance and to fine-tune the action of the master volume. And not every music lover can place his speakers perfectly symmetrical relative to the hot seat."