Sound-Lab A-1 electrostatic loudspeaker Review System

Sidebar 5: Review System

The Sound-Labs require a high-powered amplifier. Not to worry: the A-1s can soak up several hundred watts of music program without any concern for their physical safety. Because of the requirement for large voltage swings, a tube amplifier makes much more sense than a solid-state design's fairly low voltage rails. Despite JGH's current love affair with the Boulder 500, I would think that a 200Wpc tube amp would make a more optimal partner. I've experimented with a variety of amps over the past six months. The rising impedance characteristic of the A-1 in the bass makes a Futterman-type OTL a very attractive proposition. A circuit like Futterman's H-3a (or its derivative, New York Audio Laboratories' OTL-3) actually increases in output into a climbing load impedance. The Fourier Components Sans Pareil, a souped-up copy of the NYAL OTL-3 which I reviewed last June, could really satisfy the A-1's appetite. The imaging of this combination was simply astounding, to the point of actually redefining what the illusion of live music in the home is all about.—Dick Olsher

Sound-Lab Corporation
153 N 400 W Street
Gunnison, UT 84634
(453) 528-7218
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