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Review: Advance Paris A10 Classic Integrated amplifier

Review: Advance Paris A10 Classic - This amplifier is not only armed to the teeth with features, it has above all a clear sonic profile

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

First of all, there is the impressive connectivity: Here you can connect almost anything except a recorder. The analog section has six high-level inputs (even an XLR socket ) and a phono MM input with an input capacity that can be adjusted in three steps (!). If necessary, the A10 Classic can be used as a pure power amplifier via the amp-in input. Various digital sources can also be connected – via the USB inputs (USB-A, USB-B ), the coaxial S / PDIF input and the three Toslink fiber optic connections as well as the two HDMI connections. In addition, there is also a slot for an optionally available wireless / bluetooth-Module (129 euros surcharge). It goes even further: In addition to two subwoofer outputs, a volume-controlled pre-out and a fixed-level rec-out, Advance Paris has given the amp a double speaker terminal, so two pairs of speakers can be operated.

Well, the sheer variety of connections doesn’t mean that you have to invest heavily in sound quality. But at least state-of-the-art converters from AKM (AK4490 / 32 bit / 384 kHz) are at work in the digital section, the amp itself comes as a hybrid amplifier with a push-pull tube input stage and a discrete, transistorized class AB output stage .

Advance Paris A10 Classic

The Advance Paris A10 Classic is controlled on the one hand via the supplied system remote control, with which the most important functions (including volume, tone control, balance, source selection, three-stage dimming of the VU meter lighting) can be called up. If you want to completely immerse yourself in all functions, you can also use the “combi pen” on the front of the device. Press in and wait a few seconds – you end up in the menu structure, which allows, for example, to select / switch the playing speakers or to set the time after which the device goes into standby mode when not in use. Apparently the wish of my colleague Michael Bruss was also heard in his review of the Advance Paris X-i1100 family member complained that the white “light ring” that surrounds the standby button cannot be switched off. This is possible here in the depths of the configuration menu.

Advance Paris A10 Classic

The Advance Paris A10 Classic and the design that enchants the brother-in-law

So much for the technical details, let’s look up instead of under the hood: I would consider the processing quality to be solid and absolutely worthy of the price range. Of course, at the price you can’t expect top-notch connections on the back, the front is clad with plexiglass instead of glass, but at least the company logo is decoratively milled into the lid and the amp looks neatly processed overall. That’s OK.

In terms of design, the Advance Paris A10 Classic is definitely a statement, the dark mirrored Plexiglas front exudes an authentic retro charm, at least at first glance, and is inspired by the iconic 1970s cars from the Marantz, Technics, Yamaha and McIntosh brands : Two generously dimensioned and beautifully blue-violet illuminated analog VU level displays take a viewing glass in the middle, behind which the two “strictly selected” (self-promotion) ECC81 double triodes are displayed with a soft orange glow – well, a red LED helps a little with the coloring . It looks really cool, especially in a slightly darkened room.

Advance Paris A10 Classic

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.

Advance Paris A10 Classic: Sound Test & Comparisons

Advance Paris A10 Classic. Netzschalter

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?

Lively

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.

Advance Paris A10 Classic

The other end

At the other end of the scale, the A10 behaves a little differently: it plays fairly precisely down to the acoustic bass level, neutral and powerful, and then quickly recommends itself in the deep and subbass.

If we stay with Queen for once : The massive bass drum with almost rumbling room reverberation (listen carefully!) And the super-fat stringed instruments (bass and lead guitar with properly turned up bass EQ) on the super hit “Bohemian Rhapsody” are completely natural, massive, “Thick” presented. Nothing is missing! If, on the other hand, we go down one more flight of stairs, for example with the piece “Schellen” ( Audio 88 & Yassin , album: Halleluja), where spectacular sub-bass meets ecstatically shimmering trap drum programming, the Advance Paris A10 Classic indicates that there is still something below the acoustic bass range, but it is not felt in the form of an intestinal massage like my Hegel H90 or mine Can hand out Valvet power amplifier. I don’t find that annoying, because the Advance Paris, on the other hand, is exceptionally nimble and wiry, downright sporty – and because its bass range can hold long tones clean and fat without running out of breath. Here the priority was apparently set to “stability” and not to “maximum draft”.

Unqualified, beautiful lot

In the middle band, on the other hand, the Advance Paris shows itself to be “without properties” in the best sense of the word. Here there is neither exaggeratedly pleasing tube melt nor insubordinate hardness, but a price class-appropriate resolution and a perceived dent-free frequency recording. That may sound a bit uneuphoric now, but it is not meant that way. Let’s take Franz Schuberts for a moment“Winterreise”, the ninth piece “Irrlicht” (Helmut Deutsch / piano and Jonas Kaufmann / vocals, Sony Classical 2014). Whether Jonas Kaufmann sings softly or energetically, whether Helmut Deutsch gently strokes the keys or really digs into the keyboard: We not only feel pure volume differences, but are emotionally taken with us, because it is not just the pure sound energy that changes during the The listener arrives, the timbres also change. Fine details become audible, for example when the last note of the piano fades away at the very end. The pianist lets the key snap back, first we hear a final room reverberation of the note being played, then a gentle key “jerking” and a fraction of a second later the room response of the key snap back: Yes, we’re really there!

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.

Advance Paris A10 Classic

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

Advance Paris A10 Classic

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.

Advance Paris A10 Classic

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.

Facts:

  • 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

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