In ultimate terms, the Audion Black Shadow 2’s effortless and openness means recordings that are not sympathetic to those musical goals sound thin and flat. The downside with living in 2015 is there are a lot of recordings from the last 20+ years that have heavy signal compression. While the classical and jazz idioms are mostly free from this blight, rock and pop recordings suffer greatly, and the Audion amps do not take kindly to this form of compression. Where less open-sounding amplifiers mask the horrors of this kind of peak loudness recording style, the Audion leaves nowhere to hide, and that will make a lot of new recordings hard to hear.
SET amps aren’t for everyone, but the Audion Black Shadow 2’s show just how seductive they can be. This is a beguiling amplifier, with the sort of effortless sound that wins people over. Correctly partnered and used with music not plagued by peak loudness, this hot running amp will inflame the passions.
Type: Zero feedback, single-ended triode mono power amplifier
Tubes: 1× 845, 1× 6922/6H23N, 1× E182CC per channel
Power output: 25W Class A into 8Ω
Loading: four and eight ohm nominal
Frequency Response: 13Hz–34kHz ±3dB
Distortion: < 0.1%
Noise: < (CCIR) –90dB
Sensitivity: Variable > 150mV full output
Dimensions (W×H×D): 26×25×46cm (per channel, excl. tubes)
Weight: 12kg per channel
Price: From £7,000 per pair
Manufactured by: Audion International
Distributed in the UK by: Deco Audio
Tel: +44 (0)1296 422224