Positive Feedback Online's Writers' Choice Award

Brinkmann Marconi

Known stateside mostly for their exquisite and superb turntables, Brinkmann returns with a knock-out punch to the world of electronics. Not that there's anything wrong with focusing on only their 'tables. Alas, there's so much more to the Brinkmann line. Marconi is perhaps the most quintessential preamplifier to have graced my system yet—and I don't quite foresee that changing anytime soon. A marvel of electrical engineering, Marconi has it all; balanced and single-ended inputs, a tube stage handling phase inversion, individually adjustable input gain for all six inputs, remote control and Brinkmann typical design, that is, a resonance optimized chassis with see through glass top.

Immediately upon setup and connection to my trusted Threshold T400 super-amp, driving a pair of Zu Definition MK2s, I noticed gobs of detail, truly three dimensional soundstage and layering that was at least several orders of magnitude better than my existing setup. Playing cuts like Yello's latest Touch, the soundstage size and layering improvements immediately become evident. Speed, dynamics and overall image presence is the best I have ever heard my system sound and that's saying sumthu'n. There's a certain sense of clarity and calmness to the music that other preamps in my system perhapshinted at, the NAT linestage comes to mind, but never quite capitalized on in a way as Marconi does. The perfect mate for the Threshold T400, this combo knocks bass lines and dynamics out of the ballpark when the music calls for it. Total splendidness and most definitely a product to consider if you are in the market for your last preamp. It sort of reminds me of what I said about the Brinkmann LaGrange, when I reviewed it years ago... a definite must have. Review forthcoming.

............David W. Robinson, Editor-in-Chief