The weather in the NY metroish area hardly cooperated with rain and high winds today, but the good folks at Spearit Sound got my new amplifier to me in record time. If you'll recall, I ordered it last Thursday, no shipping charge. Total cost: $379 (!) And when I got home from work (late of course) it was on the doorstep, box just slightly damp. And what a box (actually there were 2) it was:
This is the inside box. There was one nearly twice this size on the outside. Interestingly, the box is stamped factory refurbished. Imagine my surprise when i opened it and found that the foam packing was literally encasing the amp and its accessories:
It must be something they do at the factory. I hope to get some info from the folks at Spearit about the refurb process. The packing certainly makes the delivery rather bullet proof. Not too useful for re-using though. We'll have to see about that. The amp is spartan in that NAD way:
. . . and overall I like the look. Not thrilled with the plastic knobs and front plate but what do I want for the money? It is much prettier on the inside, and that is what counts. Remember, no phono preamp and only one set of speaker binding posts. It does have an MP3 input on the front (although I would probably want to run that through a decent DAC first) and a nice tape loop. It also has preamp outs which is very useful. So, I pulled the Sony STR-GX90ES out of its spot, and here is a terrible picture (I promise better over the weekend):
I had an extra Pangea power cord out so i used that, although I think I have an Audio Quest around to try as well. very little listening was done tonight, just a couple of soundtracks through the Dynaudio Excite 14s. I will also try the NAD with the Focus 220s, but I believe that will be pushing things a bit. My initial impressions are good, more to come. Bottom line, take a look at Spearit, they have some very interesting stuff and some seriously good prices.