I was surprised by the CS2 and what it did so well is aped by the CS3, and it still highlights the state of the rivals at the price. There are a lot of amps at this price point, but few seem to hold that goal of ‘high fidelity’ in as such high esteem. Some place emphasis on aspects of musical performance or on shaping the tonal balance in manners euphonic, quixotic, exotic, or neurotic. And some will be drawn to one of these outcomes. But is it right? The B.M.C. Audio CS3 asks this question of its rivals, and many will shy from the answer.
What held for the CS2, and still holds for the CD and DAC, holds just as much with the B.M.C. Audio CS3. This is the intelligent choice in high‑end audio right now. Aside from the CI monoblock option, you have to spend more – vastly more, an order of magnitude more in fact – to achieve any significant uptick in performance in every aspect apart from possibly its portrayal of musical timing, and even that’s questionable. There are many who say there’s no such thing as a law of diminishing returns in high-end audio, but I’d disagree. For me, it starts where B.M.C. Audio stops.
Type: Integrated amplifier:
Inputs: 2× balanced XLR and 2× unbalanced RCA
Input Impedance: 50kΩ to ground, 100kΩ differential at XLR
Input Sensitivity: max 750mV (RCA), 1.5V (XLR)
Output: 2× 200W/8Ω, 2× 360W/4Ω
Frequency response: 20Hz–20kHz +0dB/-0.08dB @ 1W
THD+N under 0.1%: from 0.3mW to 150W
Signal/Noise ratio at DIGM 40 (relative to 1W): 103dB
Damping factor: 250
Dimensions (W×H×D): 43.5 × 45 × 15cm
Manufacturer: B.M.C. Audio GmbH
Tel: +49 30 692 006 061