The Octave Leap
The new Octave V110 push-pull pentode integrated amplifier ($8300) from Germany, distributed by Dynaudio, is a KT120-based product whose protection circuit is described as “bullet proof.” To demonstrate what that means, speaker wire terminations on one of the channels were intentionally crossed; not only did nothing blow, but the left channel, which was properly connected to a loudspeaker, continued to play. The Octave V110 is thus the perfect amp for folks who use battery cables to jump-start their cars, and then celebrate by clapping both clamps together.
This is Octave’s second KT120-based design; the first, the RE 290, was recently reviewed in Stereophile by Erich Lichte. The V110 has five single-ended inputs and one balanced input, and an option for an internal phono board. Bias is fixed and easily monitored and fixed via the front panel. An Ecomode reduces heat and power consumption when the unit is on but not in use for over 9 minutes. Restart time is 35 seconds.
Michael Manousselis of Dynaudio says the amp excels in control of bass frequencies. Options include the Octave Black Box ($1200) and Super Black Box ($3500) capacitance modules, which increase power supply capacitance to stabilize current delivery, reduce impedance interaction, and optimize the relationship between amplifier and speaker.