December 28, 2017

Magnat’s hybrid amplifier – bassy, clean sound




The round container houses the transformer whilethe square container houses the capacitors.
The round can houses the transformer while the squarish can houses the capacitors.


The amplifier has a quaint yet stylish look.
The amplifier has a quaint yet stylish look.


By Lam Seng Fatt


The Magnat RV3 integrated  amplifier is one of those components that you can spend many hours  looking at just to admire the design elements. It has two sets of heat-sinks with the fins ‘opening up’ like a Chinese fan with the middle section missing to make space for two large cans – the round one to house the transformer and the squarish one to house the buffer capacitors.


The RV3 looks quaint yet stylish. The fins of the heatsink give it an aggressive ‘rev-me-up’ look which reminded me of the EAR V12 integrated amplifier.


Magnat uses a tube preamp stage utilising a pair of ECC82 Russian-made tubes which are housed in protective towers at the front part of the amplifier. The output stage is solid-state and delivers 2X200 watts into 4 Ohms, 2X150 watts into 8 Ohms and a short-term peak of more than 700 watts of total power. It has a pre-out, speaker outputs for bi-wiring and a built-in phono stage for MM and MC. It also has a headphone jack. Looks like the RV3 is the only thing you need in your system other than the music source and speakers.


The front panel is very neat and has only three knobs for balance, volume (the larger one in the middle) and source. At the left is the power on switch and at the right is a port-hole display for the source.  At the extreme right is the headphone jack. Everything is functional and tidy, which is what you would expect from a German product.


Surprising, the sound of the Magnat RV3, which was released in conjunction with Magnat’s 40th anniversary, is not tubey despite the fact that the preamp uses tubes.


In my system with the ATC SCM50 speakers being driven by the Magnat RV3, the first sonic attribute that you will notice is the strong bass. It is the punchy and full type of bass which creates a solid foundation for the music. It is the kind of bass that draws you into the pace and rhythm, but thankfully it does not overpower the music you hear.


The next thing you will notice is the clean sound – it is very clean with not a spot of ‘dirt’ or ‘dust’ lurking around. This is a very German-sounding amplifier.


Some may say it’s clinical, but others may be attracted by its clean-sounding and punchy nature. For those who love the richness, warmth and ‘sugary’ thickness of pure valve amps, the Magnat RV3 should be admired for its looks and not its sound.


However, if you need a clean, fast and tight-sounding amp to give your sluggish speakers a little bit of kick, then the Magnat RV3 should be your choice. The RV3 could control the large woofers of the ATC floorstanders very well and this is due to the high damping factor of the solid-state power output stage of this integrated amplifier.


Even though the ATC speakers are not sensitive, the Magnat RV3 had no problem driving them to very loud levels.


This is the type of amplifier whereby its looks will play a significant part in the decision-making process as to whether to buy it or not.


Magnat products are distributed in Malaysia by Audio Art in Ipoh. Call 05-2432339 for pricing details.