Struggle to see any contradiction, but anyway…
The amp is beautiful industrial design in terms of shape. The quality of finish, when achieved, is exemplary. The attraction is increased because it’s petite albeit rather heavy.
The gain control and its associated clicks are addictive.
The remote control is simple and again brilliant industrial design.
Sat in your living room it is both discreet and a little attention seeker. It attracts comment.
The noise floor is superb. Absolute silence.
In terms of timbre and PRaT it’s all there.
Headphones and speakers use the same circuit.
First demo copy came with superficial damage to the amp and very clear damage to the isolation feet.
Second demo copy was a sealed box and yet came with dreadful gauges on the remote and even more damage to the isolation feet. Raises serious issues about quality control.
The V shaped nature of the sound signature meant the sound was detailed but unengaging. Most reviews described a superb wide deep soundstage. Whilst my speaker setup is sub-optimal, the soundstage felt narrow. Moving the amp to a friends system demonstrated this perception was not a fluke. Same issue on headphones.
The gain control is not consistent. A single click on the renote sometimes moved things up or down by a single click and sometimes more or less. Even using the gain on the amp itself could not produce consistency. It absolutely wasn’t a deal breaker but in the context of other issues it was an additional irritant.
The description of how to mute; change inputs and move between high or low gain make it sound far more complex than it actually was. When you get used to it it was very straightforward. However, it was also unnecessary. There are simpler ways to achieve such simple tasks.
The amp is unstable and can tip if cables are too heavy and slide without using the adhesive pads which can be placed under the isolation feet. You simply shouldn’t have to do this. Enleum should ensure that Takt provide isolation feet with the pads already attached.
The amp runs warm. No issue with that but I don’t expect to feel warm speaker cables at the back nor warm DAC inputs. I don’t know if there is any potential harm there but why hang around to find out given the other issues.
It was a mesmerising device to look at and operate. Musically everything was there you’d want but it lacked any midrange warmth and consequently lacked a little body and a lot of engagement. Didn’t tap my feet once in a fortnight’s worth of listening.