You can already arouse curiosity at Advance Paris, the French sales brand of Quadral: If you follow our news section regularly, you will find that this company offers components with a conspicuous number of features at an almost suspiciously low price. Of course, one asks oneself: Can this be done with the right things? At least that was my first thought when the integrated amplifier Advance Paris A10 Classic rolled into my home and I was studying the enclosed fact sheet. Let’s take a look together at what is on offer for the moderate price of 1,490 euros.
Advance Paris A10 Classic: interfaces and technology
My brother-in-law who happened to be present entered the room, saw the amp and immediately said “Wow, it looks cool”. If you wanted to complain: The dot matrix display from the “modern times” placed in the lower right half counteracts the successful vintage atmosphere that is created by the level meters and tubes for my taste. But that’s petty mischief – one could just as easily argue that tradition and modernity are pragmatically combined here. Anything you like is allowed. And now: off to the listening room – the A10 is first loaded with my CEC CD 5 via XLR and my HiFiAkademie Stream6 mini via cinch.
In contrast to a pure transistor or tube device, with a hybrid you know even less what to expect in terms of sound. In any case, after the first tracks I had to think of a famous cheese spread, because I immediately had the phrase “The fresh French!” As a mental catchy tune in my head. So what’s so fresh about Advance Paris?
Well, first of all the lively, unconcealed, open and transparent treble is important – a sound quality that one would not necessarily associate with a concept in which tubes are involved. No, the distribution is really good and clean here. The famously produced song “You don’t fool me” from the late or posthuman work of Queen (album: Made in Heaven) For example, there is a lot going on in this position: Shakers are diligently shaken both sharp left and right in the panorama, just as diligently the drummer stirs his apparently rich cymbal set – and then there are the overtone-rich, bell-like FM piano sounds . The Advance Paris A10 Classic dissolves all these different instruments or sound bodies with wonderful precision and makes their subtle differences in the overtone textures very audible.
There is always more …
In terms of tone, the Advance Paris A10 Classic actually offers a successful profile for my taste: nimble, stable, potent fundamental and bass range, but with reduced deep and sub-bass, clean mids and fresh, clear highs with a tiny tendency to glitter. I would definitely pair the amplifier with speakers that don’t emphasize the latter: The A10 gave my Harbeth 30.1, which played rather cautiously at the top, a soothing rejuvenation, it also harmonized excellently with the ProAc Response DT8, the high-frequency Bowers with a rather subtle bass & Wilkins 606 S2 , however, wasn’t the perfect match.
And of course, there is always more if you open your wallet wider: A Bryston 3B³ , which as a pure power amplifier already costs more than four times as much, can peel even more details from a recording and at the same time more elegantly, less “in your face” “Play without getting bored. But considering the price range, this is really fun.
Construction work: the space
My initial conclusion “Fresh French” is also reflected in the way in which the Advance Paris “builds” the listening room. There are amps that come across as more organic and euphonic and where the topic of “space” does not immediately stand out – this applies to the Tsakiridis Aeolos + , for example. The Advance Paris, on the other hand, takes a different approach: It places the sound sources and actors extremely precisely and with millimeter precision in the sound image – although millimeter precision may not be quite right because the stage it has set up is, for my taste, a tad wider than the pure teaching; let’s say better: He understands himself more in clearly differentiating and nailing down the sound sources from one another than integrating them. That’s not a value judgment: I think both can be fun if it’s done well.
In any case, the Advance Paris gives me great pleasure here, especially when I hear a dense and varied orchestrated production, in which there is a lot to discover in this regard. For example, you can enjoy the Andromeda Heights album by Prefab Sprout away. The wonderful pop ballad “The Mystery of Love” has a lot to offer: flute, glockenspiel, strings (bowed and pizzicato), iridescent acoustic guitars, triangle, bell tambourine, Hammond organ, varied drums and and and – mastermind Paddy McAloon promises a brightly colored musical surprise bag is also beguilingly well produced. With the Advance Paris A10 Classic this masterpiece unfolds and enchants like a kaleidoscope, there is so much to discover. An amp that seems more integrative in terms of stage design will focus more on the melody line, the musical flow (which is also nice), with the “fresh French”, on the other hand, you feel more like Alice in Wonderland, you think the individual instruments are almost touching to be able to. Great thing.
Digital & Phono
What has been said so far also applies to a large extent when the Advance Paris A10 Classic is digitally recorded (I tried coaxial and USB) – with one small exception: when switching from the internal converter of my CEC CD5 to the AKM converter installed in the Advance Paris the sound becomes slightly warmer, more “analog” in the midrange and upper bass.
And the phono branch? This is much more than an alibi function so that product marketing can tick the box: With a Pro-Ject Phonobox DS + (249 euros), the A10 Classic can definitely keep up in terms of quality, even if it has a slightly different sound profile brings: The highs are much milder here, so that the Pro-Ject Phonobox ultimately picks out more details, but the Advance Paris definitely has the lead when it comes to coarse dynamics, it plays pleasantly jagged and nimble – and is currently doing rock or old punk -Discs right mood.
Conclusion- Advance Paris A10 Classic
This amplifier is not only armed to the teeth with features, it has above all a clear sonic profile: comfort and dull euphony are not his thing, he goes about it with passion and verve. This can be seen on the one hand in the dynamics and acceleration, in the open and detailed high-frequency range as well as the very precise location of the sound sources including a beautifully wide stage that moves a step closer to the listener. Dense and richly orchestrated music is the profession of the Advance Paris A10 Classic, but it also enables emotional lessons with piano and singing. In addition, this amp comes up with a grown-up digital section and a phono preamplifier (even if only MM), which is surprisingly good considering the price. However, when matching with sources and speakers, one should make sure that that analytical tendencies or stresses, especially in the high frequency range, tend to be strengthened rather than contained with the A10. In return, the Advance Paris A10 can give players who are more cautious “upstairs” a pleasant pinch of freshness and a pick-up factor.
Advance Paris A10 Classic profile
- No consistently straight-line frequency record, this primarily affects the outer ends:
– Real sub-bass is not offered, the bass and fundamental range, on the other hand, are full-bodied, powerful, stable and, moreover, nimble.
– Well-resolved, clear and lively high-frequency range with a lot of detailed information, tending to be more fresh and bright than warm-golden.
- The mids are clear and precise, the fine resolution and richness of color are well suited to the price range.
- Fine and coarse dynamics (apart from the deep bass) at their best, this also applies to the power reserves. This amp is definitely a fun machine that can nonetheless behave itself and, if necessary, can also wear a tailor-made suit.
- The stage opens slightly forwards, is slightly wider than the pure teaching, and the exact, if somewhat static, location of the sound sources is exceptionally good.
- In pure digital mode, the overall tone becomes a little warmer, but without “softening” or losing any of the details.
- Product: Advance Paris A10 Classic
- Category: Hybrid integrated amplifier with DAC
- Price: 1,490 euros
- Inputs: USB-B, 3 x S / PDIF optical, 1 x S / PDIF coaxial, HDMI audio, HDMI ARC, 5 x analog high-level RCA unbalanced, 1x analog high-level XLR balanced, Phono-MM-RCA, amp in, Additional slot for optionally available Bluetooth receiver module
- Outputs: loudspeakers A and B, 2x Sub out, Pre Out, Rec Out
- Output power: 2 x 190 watts at 4 ohms (Class AB)
- Data rates: 32 bit / 384 kHz, DSD256 (USB) 24 bit / 192 kHz PCM (S / PDIF coaxial), 24 bit / 96 kHz (S / PDIF optical)
- Dimensions (WxDxH): 43 x 38.5 x 17.5 cm
- Weight: 14.5 kg
- Color: Black
- Guarantee: 3 years