• 06-05-2010, 08:40 PM
    Class T: Bantom Amplifier from Temple Audio
    As a seasoned hifi enthusiast (strictly 2 channel) and having owned a wide range of high end and esoteric products over the years, I consider myself quite knowledgable with regard to buying quality equipment.

    However recently, I broke my two 'golden rules' when purchasing new gear: 1) never buy a product for less than a ton of you are expecting half decent sound quality and 2) never buy into technology which is unproven....

    ....so it was with great trepidation that I set up my new amplifier, a 89.99 class T design called the 'bantom' from a company with whom I was unfamiliar called Temple Audio.

    Straight from the box, and first impressions were good - high quality binding posts, gold plated RCA's and a solid build quality. Even the volume pot had a very pleasing weighty resistance to its operation. All good so far, but as any music lover knows, the proof is in the sound, and this is where I genuinely started to sit up and take notice....

    The first thing I should mention is that the unit itself is tiny (it fits in the palm of the hand) and is obviously just a single input. The driving force behind my purchase in the first place was that I am living outside the UK and wanted something that would hopefully still provide me a little enjoyment, but was also small enough to be carried around should the need arise. This amp is incredible for what it is. I'm using it to drive a pair of Tannoy Revolution R1's (entry level bookshelfs, with an excellent build and sound quality at the price) in a second system. I use an old sony cd player as my main source which is perfectly adequate for my purposes.

    The sound quality is both detailed and dynamic, possessing a very pleasing airy feel to instruments and offering scale which I simply wasn't expecting for a unit this size. I now find myself listening to this system with disc after disc and discovering new elements to my music each time. It even sounded respectable with a very old sony minidisc portable plugged into it, which is an achievement in itself.

    In short, if you are looking a for an amp on the cheap to fulfill similar requirements as myself, but don't want to compromise sound quality, check out this little wonderbox. You'll find hundreds of class T designs on ebay, but this is the one that stands out from the crowd. I have spoken by email with the designer on several occasions and he informed me of the long wait to get this model into production, citing high quality components from around the world to bring it together.

    See for yourself: http://www.templeaudio.net/