I would imagine Messrs. Fremer and Atkinson as well as our web master are somewhat surprised regarding the dearth of posts regarding the "High-Power Towers", Musical Fidelity's Supercharger Amps in the September Issue. You all must have it by now, my copy has stains and curling pages! I too believed this review would split open the proverbial can o' worms on this forum regarding at least some of the conclusions drawn by Messr. Fremer, although I personally do not find them to be out of character for the author. Not that they have been Fremer'd (pardon me, Mr. F.), but that his finding match well with his opinions that I have read in the past, while those opinions and corresponding findings may not sit well with some audiophiles.
Regardless, what is of far more significance and controversial, is that it seems these amps may provide us with the ability to have the best of two worlds. That is, to take a low powered, anemic and finicky but otherwise glorious sounding tube amplifier, and connect to it a solid state power booster that will preserve its sound quality superimposed onto the otherwise transparent amplitude of a 1/2 kilowatt output waveform. The number of worms in this can are many and intertwined indeed, among them that tube amplifiers do have a characteristics sound that while is preferred by many audiophiles, vary one from another and may not be the absolute truth; that a new variation of solid state amp can pass that character through it virtually unaltered except in amplitude; that this signal may have even been "improved" beyond a large power gain, in that the final source impedance is now much lower, that it will now drive low impedances better, not to mention the 'D' word, distortion.
These are only a few that come immediately to my mind, I'm sure there are many others including variations and extensions of the few obvious ones I mentioned. I am not claiming that any of these things are true or false, possible or not, or that my interpretation of this review is the only one possible. For example, this review might be seen as a YAF (Yet Another Fremer) (again, pardon me Mr. F.), that a new magical component has been created that can combine a 1/2 Watt SET with a solid state behemoth, the result greater than the sum of its parts.
So fellow forum members, please accept my offering of this post as the start of a nice clean but vigorous discussion of this review, this product, and its implications, both practical and philosophical. I must warn you all that I am blissfully ignorant of any of the audiophile postings in newsgroups, etc, where this may already be a volcano of controversy, I do not have the time to spend visiting them. One forum is more than enough for me at this time.
Personally, I will say I wonder if anyone else would of had the cajones to put into print what Messr. Fremer did. Some may see it caused by the lack of a different organ. I do believe the ultimate test was not done, that of a "flea powered" SET amplifier connected to these amps, with the result something never heard before. . . Oh wait, doesn't someone else claim that?
And don't forget, don't shoot the messenger (to much). (I meant me actually)