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REDGUM BLACK RGi35ENR Integrated Amplifier Review Print E-mail
Tuesday, 15 December 2015
Article Index
REDGUM BLACK RGi35ENR Integrated Amplifier Review
Why Fins on the Bottom
Set Up and Listening

For the last 10 years, the SignWave heat sink has been the visual hallmark of our larger ENR models in what is now called the Amplifolia range. As the Black Signature Series are clones of the Amplifolia designs, then having the same heat sink seemed to fit the visual logic. As the Black Series were focussing on providing the grunt for those more difficult loads, it made even more sense for the technical logic."

The RGi35NR comes with a remote control, which is full function, and is the only way to switch inputs. But not to worry, REDGUM supplies two remote units!! A few more technical points: The amp uses a passive input stage, and can be used as a power amp controlled by an external preamp if desired.

Out of the box I was very impressed with the build quality and casework. The large REDGUM logo across the top panel is a nice touch. Connectors and binding posts are of excellent quality. The amp is clearly designed to last, and REDGUM offers a seven year warranty, so they have  absolutely no reservations about reliability.

Set Up & Listening

I used the RGi35NR in two systems. In the main system, it drove both Magnepan .7 panels (on loan), and Bryston Mini Ts. Both are rated at 4 Ohm nominal and are not the easiest to drive, with the Magnepan being the more difficult load. Sources were a Bryston BDP-2 file player via USB into the iFI Micro iDSD DAC, and a Revox A77 reel to reel deck. Cabling was at first Acoustics Zen, Stager, and Transparent, then all ZenWave Audio (review in progress). The second system consisted of a SOtM server, iFi DAC, ZenWave cabling, and Magnepan MMG speakers. The MMGs are also difficult to drive.

The first thing you see when powering on the REDGUM is the entertaining “show” it puts on when the LED lights flash, and it makes an RD2 type sound. You will also notice the woofers on your speakers will gently pump, which according to REDGUM, is totally normal (they offer a technical explanation on their website). After that, simply select the input you want on the remote, set the volume, and sit back.

I played a huge variety of music of every genre throughout the two and a half months I had the REDGUM. Not once was I disappointed in the presentation. In fact, there was a purity to the sound that I have heard in very, very few integrated amps. The passive input stage makes a big difference in my opinion. The other factor is the absolutely dead quiet operation mechanically and sonically. Not a trace of noise can be heard through the speakers with no music playing and the volume maxed out.

I wanted to see what the REDGUM could put out, as this is one of the selling points. I cued up the Stone Temple Pilots classic No.4, in memory of the recent sad passing of lead singer Scott Weiland. Wholly smokes, these tracks came billowing out of the speakers with a rock solid foundation, gut thumping bass, and tremendously satisfying guitar crunch. Tracks like “Pruno”, and “Down” simply rocked, and the more layered tracks like “Sour Girl”, “I Got You”, and “Atlanta” had wonderful dimension.


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