Brinkmann Mono amplifiers 150w-8ohm / 250w-4ohm w granite bases

BR 06 AM MONO
NZ$ 27,995.00 pr (incl. GST)
Brinkmann

Considered some of the world’s finest turntables out of Germany

New

NOTE - these monoblocks were recently sent back to the factory for full refresh and upgrade so like new.

Today's speakers are capable of reproducing the full frequency range of music at realistic levels, including the deepest growling lows, the most subtle midrange shadings and the finest shimmering highs. Prerequisite are amplifiers that master the art of letting the music flow freely, yet keep the speakers under tight control at every moment. The »Mono« and »Stereo« power amplifiers live up to these requirements in the best Brinkmann tradition and style with a musically compact yet sonically open music reproduction regardless of frequency range and volume level.  

Mono and Stereo are amplifiers that come very, very close to the ideal amplifier as straight wire with gain.  

There are many reasons for their musicality. One of them is an extremely stable power supply consisting of a transformer that can deliver up to 1500 watts peak power and four capacitors with a capacitance of no less than 132millifarad. Another one is the fully balanced driver stage. And let's not forget the output stage in “Diamond” topology that retains its low impedance at all frequencies and phase angles without feedback. The four Sanken high-performance transistors are attached directly to the speaker terminals – exemplary for the shortest possible signal path which results in an extremely compact build.  

These little amps will stun you with their immediacy and purity. Listening to them for the first time, you will be amazed at how other amps sound slow, veiled and undynamic. The Brinkmann mono amps sound fast, effortless and detailed in a natural, unforced way.

OWNERS COMMENT: One of the best amps we've ever had the pleasure to listen to! Designed and built by fanatics for those that want the best.

Quote from Brinkmann website:
"Perfect reproduction simply does not happen by accident. Instead, it is the result of careful optimizations. Which, for instance, is why Brinkmann defines the optimal capacitance values not only by computer but also by ear. But capacitors of different manufacturers also sound different. Therefore, Brinkmann spends a lot of time not only defining the optimal values by ear, but also the make and type of each capacitor. (The same goes for all other parts, resistors, printed circuit boards or solder. Remember: everything has an influence on the sound, hence everything has to be optimized by ear.) Listening to the sound of components led Brinkmann to the insight that industrial ceramics are detrimental to good sound. When the metal oxides are sintered, they develop a tendency to resonate that leads to distortions of themid and high frequencies. Too bad we can not dispose of industrial ceramics entirely, because they are ubiquitous and found in all resistors, switches, potentiometers, tube sockets, and of course capacitors. So we pay great attention to using as little ceramics as possible in our devices..."

Features

Specifications

Reviews

Features

  • An extremely stable power supply consisting of a transformer that can deliver up to 1500 watts peak power.
  • A fully balanced driver stage.
  • An output stage in Brinkmann’s “Diamond” topology that retains its low impedance at all frequencies and phase angles without feedback.
  • Four high-performance transistors attached directly to the speaker terminals for the shortest possible signal path, which results in an extremely compact build.

Maximum performance in relatively compact packages.

Specifications

Output power:  250/150 W (4/8 Ohm)
Minimum loudspeaker impedance:  3 Ohm
Damping factor:  80 into 8 Ohm load
THD:  0,1% at 50% power
Inputs:  XLR (symmetrical) and RCA
Input sensitivity /impedance:  1,55 V/1 kOhm (RCA),± 775 mV/600 Ohm (XLR)
Power consumption (per channel): 90 W/8 Ohm (idle),:  380 W/8 Ohm (full power)
Dimensions (WxHxD):  190 x 220 x 315 mm (with granite base)
Weight (»Mono« per channel):  18 kg; granite base 5 kg
Included in delivery:  power amplifiers, granite bases, power cords, terminating connector for unbalanced use

Reviews

Personally I consider them a wholly acceptable alternative to my favorite Nagra tubed line stage and giant DHTs. For high power transistor amps, that‘s saying a lot.
Michele Surdi

REVIEW SUMMARY: As validated by the Compact 7, my final impression is that the Brinkmanns are truly distinctive amplification devices characterized by world-class build, a total absence of grain, exemplary composure, excellent low and high volume capabilities and the kind of overall tonal integration and luminosity which can only be obtained by a competent and dedicated designer. Personally I consider them a wholly acceptable alternative to my favorite Nagra tubed line stage and giant DHTs. For high power transistor amps, that‘s saying a lot.

REVIEW: To me, all high-power transistor amps sound alike by and large. As the flawed product of a noxious marketing strategy based on current-hungry speakers, their pros and cons tend to cancel each other out. This leaves the listener to the melancholy pastime of comparing output stage reaction to 1-ohm impedance and phase condemnations. Still, Nelson Pass has taught me that topology tops dogma any day. Besides, I’m a sucker for looks. Which meant that when my Roman dealer displayed Brinkmann of turntable fame electronics on his shelves by way of the Marconi linestage and mono amps, I availed myself of my very dearly bought client privileges to hear 'em.

Overall build and design of this three-piece combo are on a par with darTZeel (my European benchmark for fit and finish), with the Germans appropriately playing Dieter Rams to Marc Newson of the Swiss. What really surprised me was that the manufacturer—somewhat perfunctorily claiming 150 watts into 8 ohms and 250 watts into 4 ohms, no big deal these days—also clearly states that the amps are not to be coupled to speakers with impedances falling below 3 ohms. This was a startingly far cry from the usual will-drive-a–radiator boast. 

Also, on closer inspection both preamp and monoblocks turned out to be fully balanced, effectively doubling the component count to partly explain their impressively high prices. Even more intriguing, the programmable-gain six input  line stage, though a tube and tranny affair, was not a bona fide hybrid. The tubes on view through the cooling fins are not euphonic glass end stages or buffers. They act as solely phase splitters with presumably no overt sonic signature of their own. This testifies to a deliberately unconventional approach and one not subservient to the customary best-of-both-worlds come hithers of hifi commercials.

Preamp volume regulation finally is a sophisticated combination of digital control and discrete resistors which results in 0.5dB steps, not a universally popular solution at this price but equally the result of a deliberate choice. The challenge now was coupling the combo to a speaker capable of putting it through its paces without straining the suggested performance envelope. This by the way is the essence of system matching - as opposed to the sell ’em alland let the schmucks sort ‘em out spiel touted by most professional reviewers.

As luck would have it, my dealer had just finished burning in a pair of new Magneplanar MG 1.7 three-way quasi ribbons. Like dipoles of all kinds, planars have more than their share of placement problems. Compared to electrostats however, they maintain the signature absence of box colorations without incurring amp-killing impedance and phase-angle cyclone rides. Magneplanars in particular are obstinately inefficient (the 1.7 claims 86dB but it’s likely less) and never rise much above 4 ohms. Yet they work as a purely resistive load. As such they are if not easy to drive then at least free from freakish electrical requirements. Maggies are also exceptionally resolving, making them an excellent analytical tool.

Guts and grain would be the defining issues here. To check them out, I hooked the Marconi in all-balanced mode to the serene Nagra CDP by means of  Nordost Tyr interconnect, linked the linestage to the monos with the discontinued Nordost 4Fil (one of the best of its kind) and connected the Maggies to the monoblocks’ very creditable binding posts with 2+2m of the unostentatious but reassuringly solid and shielded Van den Hul Integration cables Power cords were Nordost Shiva throughout, current being drawn directly from the wall through an Isotek Sirius 6 distributor. The room was professionally damped with  Echo Busters and all inactive speakers shorted. I also washed behind the ears, religiously.

Redbook used was Hèléne Schmitt’s Piéces pour violon et basse continue by Bach, serious music and serious sound engineering for serious hifi equipment; Neville Brothers’ Yellow Moon signally embodying the Daniel Lanois production credo (the nearest approach to a nonexisting original event); and, from an undead analog master, the decadent banshee romance Pampered Menial by Pavlov’s Dog.

Starting with Bach, strings were tonally perfect—raspy, angelic or somber as required—but possibly enhanced by the instruments ballooning like something out of Alice in Wonderland. The harpsichord was both precise and rhythmically supple if slightly untethered. Not to worry, these were standard planar quirks which could be tamed by turning down the volume. Thumbing the ergonomically laudable remote had the effect of cutting things down to size while revealing totally unexpected low-level delicacy and transparency (various output readouts were neatly and conveniently logged on the sky-blue display). This in my book is a hallmark of true quality and suggestive of very high-grade electronics particularly since planars are not generally known for late-night capabilities.

Pavlov’s "Dance Song" is a hellish concoction of sophisticated songwriting, Seventies compression extravaganzas and a frightening lust for power. At barely sub-concert levels, the end result was simply exhilarating: bungee grin, flapping hands, jivin’ knees - the works. It was a full tribute to the Brinkmann grunt and the speakers’ power-handling capabilities. It’s not easy to combine jackhammer drive, electric bass articulation and perfectly pitched shrieks. On the debit side the dated recording technique did away with any pretense of dimensionality.

So far so good. Having proven the Brinkmanns’ technical prowess, it was time to test their musicality by hitching them to The Best All Round Speaker in The World, the Harbeth Compact 7. Full disclosure: though a Tannoy man, I am  a ranting raving Harbeth fanatic. The only reason I don’t own the Compact 7 is that being spatially challenged by my outsize  Yorkminsters, I bought the Harbeth HLP3-SR shoe boxes as my alternates instead.

So, plunking the latest model ES-3 on massive if nameless 40cm speaker stands with no particular care—you could plunk the Compacts on kitchen chairs—I gave the test discs another spin. I will not bore readers needlessly by listing the ways in which I loved the Harbeths more (they even gave Pavlov a soundstage). Suffice to say that I used these speakers to evaluate electronics and that I did not consider this in any way a mismatch except by commercial standards, which, since I don’t buy hifi for a living, concerned me not at all.

As validated by the Compact 7, my final impression is that the Brinkmanns are truly distinctive amplification devices characterized by world-class build, a total absence of grain, exemplary composure, excellent low and high volume capabilities and the kind of overall tonal integration and luminosity which can only be obtained by a competent and dedicated designer. Personally I consider them a wholly acceptable alternative to my favorite Nagra tubed line stage and giant DHTs. For high power transistor amps, that‘s saying a lot.

BRINKMANN was One of the Five Best-Sounding Systems at High End 2012 in Munich

Munich 5This year, Germany’s annual High End show was held May 3-6 at the Munich Order Center, a beautiful, modern event facility that’s well suited to the display of high-end audio gear. Jeff Fritz and I were there for all four days -- our report, on SoundStage, covers most of the highlights, but missing from it are my five picks for the best-sounding systems at the show. I spotlight them here.

German electronics manufacturer Brinkmann Audio shared a spacious, brightly lit room with the US’s Vandersteen Audio, Harmonic Resolution Systems, and Shunyata Research, who respectively make loudspeakers, stands, and cables. The last link in the playback chain was Vandersteen’s Model Seven speakers, which I’ve heard sound good at other shows -- but never so good as in Munich.

Although the bass frequencies were strong and deep, and the highs well extended and very clean, what floored me was a combination of smoothness and detail in the midrange that was nothing short of spectacular. Then there was the imaging -- the best I heard at High End 2012. When Helmut Brinkmann played an LP of Ry Cooder’s Buena Vista Social Club, I sat there slack-jawed for several minutes, listening to how wide and deep the stage was, and how tangibly present the musicians and their instruments were in that space. Companies often complain about not being able to create great sound under show conditions -- this room proved that it’s possible.

Vandersteen room