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David Belles, of upstate Pittsford, NY has been designing and hand building wonderful products for decades. I was turned on to his Soloist series separates by an audiophile friend of mine and used them in one of my two systems for several years. Belles has received great praise from the British audio press for his higher end products. It was with anticipation that accepted the assignment to review the Soloist 1 “entry level” integrated amplifier. I soon found out there was nothing entry level about this product. The Soloist 1, in my opinion could be a top end product for most other manufacturers. At $2995, I believe the Soloist is a steal. It offers a clarity, coherence, and neutrality. that one would expect from amps costing double.
The build quality, feature set, and sound left me wanting for nothing, except as noted above in relation to the volume steps when using the supplied remote control. I cannot imagine that someone looking for a great sounding amplifier, that is built to last, and looks great could pass up the Belles Soloist 1. The unit comes with a five year warranty. It is available in silver or black.
I highly recommend an audition.
Belles Soloist 1 Integrated Amplifier:
‚óŹ Inputs 5 pairs of rca's plus 1 monitor pair rca
‚óŹ Outputs 1 pair of rac pre-ampilifier
‚óŹ Power rating 125W (Rms) per channel @ 8 ohms
‚óŹ Power rating 250W (Rms) per channel @ 4 ohms
‚óŹ Input Impedance 100K omhs
‚óŹ Shipping Weight 30 lbs.
‚óŹ Size 17 “ x 4” x 12”
‚óŹ Retail Price $2995.00
Power Modules Inc.
479 East St.
Pittsford, NY 14534
Cd Player: Naim CD5 XS with Flatcap 2X,
DAC: Bryston BDA-1
Server: Squeezebox 3
Preamp: Audio Research SP16
Amplifier: Audio Research VS55
Speaker: Thiel CS2.4
Cables: DH Labs Revelation (IC), Kimber KCTG (IC), Transparent MM2 Super (IC), Transparent Plus (Speaker) Acoustic Zen Tsunami II (AC),Transparent (AC).Element Cable Element Cord, (AC) Shunyata Venom (AC) Pangea AC-9 (AC) Audience powerChord e.(AC)
Accessories: Symposium Rollerblocks, Shakti Stone, Sound Anchors stands, Audience Adept Response aR6 power conditioner, Cable Pro Noisetrapper, Salamander rack
Cd Player: Marantz 5003
Music Server: Squeezebox Touch
DAC: CIA VDA-2 with VAC-1 Power Supply
Tape Deck: Revox A77
Preamp: Belles Soloist 3
Amplifier: Belles Soloist 5, Revox A722
Speaker: Harbeth Compact 7ES3
Cables: Kimber/QED/Transparant/Shunyata(AC)/PS Audio, Pangea Audio (AC), RS Cables, Element Cable
Accessories: Sound Anchor stands, Ayre Myrtle Blocks, Standesign rack