Acurus DIA 100 integrated amplifier Systems
As has been the case with other budget gear under review, the DIA 100 spent most of its time in my Real World system, an audio assemblage painstakingly designed to exactly replicate the kind of affordable home hi-fi system an actual taxpaying citizen of these here United States would set up in his or her living room. No expense was spared trying to duplicate the exact living and listening conditions which affordable hi-fi gear might encounter in the typical non-dedicated listening room that people lucky enough not to be hi-fi critics usually listen to music in. And, truth be told, several lives were lost during the course of the project. They were good, brave men, all of them (except for Shorty), and they'd've wanted me to continue my reviewing.
The Real World system: JVC XL-Z1050TN CD player, Rotel RCD-955AX CD player, NAD 502 CD player, Spica Angelus loudspeakers, NHT SuperZero loudspeakers with and without NHT's SW2 subwoofer, Kimber PBJ interconnects, and 10' pairs of either Kimber 4TC or AudioQuest Type 4 speaker cable. The DIA 100 was also compared with the sounds of similarly priced pre/power combos featuring the $350 Adcom GFA-535 II and $350 Rotel RB-960BX amplifiers and Rotel's $550 RC-980BX preamp.
I also spent some time getting a handle on the DIA 100's sound when surrounded by reference-level gear by plopping it into my He-Man rig: Well-Tempered Record Player fitted with a Sumiko Blue Point Special cartridge, Exposure XVII preamp used as a phono stage, Theta Gen.III digital processor and Data II transport linked via Theta's S&M single-mode laser interface, Curtis Mathes 8-track deck courtesy of Angela Instruments' Steve Melkisethian, Melos SHA-1 headphone amp/line-stage, Aunt Corey's Buffered Passive Preamp, NHT 3.3 loudspeakers, Kimber KCAG interconnect, and a 4' bi-wire pair of Kimber 4AG speaker cables. Everything was plugged into API Power Wedges, including the DIA 100.Corey Greenberg