Hovland Radia power amplifier Manufacturer's Comment
Editor: Paul Bolin's review of the Radia was welcomed by us not just for his proclamation that the amplifier is "much more than its pretty face" and "was a delight to listen to," but because it expressed clearly what all Hovland components are about—enjoying music.
It was gratifying that he found the Radia "consistently excellent at letting each bit of a musical event happen in its own time and in its own space while remaining solidly knit into a whole presentation." One of our main goals is designing components that do not have a "sound" of their own at all. If we accomplish that, then we feel the listener's attention is focused where it should be—on the recorded performance. This is perhaps most specifically noted by Paul when he said, "The Radia let each cable and line stage exhibit the characteristics I was familiar with, but to a somewhat higher degree than usual," and "the Radia reflected the recording and the equipment that it was paired with." While this may seem a rather modest observation, for us it is very satisfying to have a seasoned listener such as Paul make note of a quality that is really quite difficult to achieve.
With regard to your suggestion that readers should be sure to audition a new-production Radia with the intrachannel power-supply grounding scheme: We can assure readers that this is easy to do, since this change was implemented very early in production and all of our US dealers' demonstration units are fully current.
We are pleased to note that the Radia has been exceptionally successful for us overseas this past year, and we have now been able to increase production for the US. We hope the greater availability of the Radia will allow more music lovers here to audition the Radia when assembling their own ultimate systems.
We wish to thank Paul Bolin and John Atkinson for the considerable time they spent evaluating Hovland Company's Radia. While we respect the notable preamps Paul had available to use while enjoying our amplifier, we also know that pairing it with its natural mate, our new HP-200 remote-controlled preamplifier, would be quite enlightening.—Alex J. Crespi, VP, Jeff Tonkin, CEO, Hovland Company