Those suitably well-heeled to consider the CH Precision I1 without the price tag being an issue are also well equipped to assess its performance in a more level-headed manner, and they will come away extremely taken by the I1. It’s an amplifier of rare grace and musical elegance, yet with a drive, dynamism, and force not normally associated with terms like ‘grace’. That makes for a beguiling combination of performance parameters, and ones that don’t get forgotten quickly.
The CH Precision I1 has a tough job to do. It needs to be awesome enough to justify its price and position both in the CH Precision line-up and against the rarified air of some of the best ever integrated amplifiers in the price-no-object class. But it also has to be good enough to showcase what the bigger fish in the CH Precision pond are capable of, but not so good as to outshine those bigger fish. Of these tasks, only the last is a realistic goal, because the separates CH Precision components are an order of magnitude better than both the I1 and any of its rivals. But the I1 does all the other tasks, too. This is one of the best integrated amplifiers (and I still hate that term for this design) you can buy.
Type: modular integrated amplifier
Inputs (as standard): 1×AES/EBU, 1×BNC S/PDIF, 1× Toslink, 1×CH link
Inputs (optional): XLR balanced and RCA single-ended inputs, MC phono input (analogue) RJ45 Ethernet, USB Audio Class 1.0 and 2.0 (digital)
Power output: 2×100W RMS (8Ω), 2×175 W RMS (4Ω), Adjustable feedback levels
Amplifier Class: Pure Class A driver with Class AB follower
Volume control: 118dB range in 0.5dB steps
Digital audio precision: up to 34-bit, 768kHz and native DSD to 5.6448MHz/1=bit
Display: 480 ×272pixel, 24bit RGB AMOLED
Dimensions (W×H×D): 44 ×13.3 ×44cm
Price: £29,500 (as tested)
Manufactured by: CH Precision
Distributed in the UK by: Wilson Benesch
Tel: +44(0)114 285 2656