AVM Ovation A 6.2 ME integrated amplifier

During my 100 years on earth, I've owned mostly separate amps and preamps, but only because that is where I started—or I should say, that is where my audio-savvy friends directed me when I began asking for guidance. Nevertheless, the audio system I've used the longest (unchanged for almost 10 years) consisted of 1984 Rogers LS3/5a loudspeakers (15 ohms, with factory wall mounts) powered by a proletarian-looking Creek 4330 integrated amp sourced by an Oppo CD player.

If I weren't an audio reviewer, I'd revert to my regular self and use the newest Gold Badge) Falcon LS3/5a with the best integrated amp I could afford. Why? Because I find the Zen-hut simplicity of integrated amplifiers appealing, and I like how integrated amps just sit there, all self-contained and one-box confident.

Lucky for me, in 2021, upmarket integrated amplifiers are the hot audiophile product. Which means I've been scouring the globe for interesting integrateds to audition. While I am excited by the prospects of new integrateds for review, I am disappointed by how similar most of them look. With few exceptions, they are big, heavy, shiny, and luxuriously finished, with, frequently, two disproportionately large knobs flanking a central blue-light display. These 2021 integrateds seem designed not for perfectionist audio racks or deep bookcase shelves but for the tops of French-polished living room or office bureaus.

The AVM Ovation A 6.2 ME integrated looks like it would fit in anywhere. It does have two big knobs and a blue-lit display, but it is not glitzy, bulky, or shiny. It looks expensive, and, at $8295, it is expensive, but it is also serious and intelligent-looking. It measures a modest 17" wide, 13.8" deep, and 5.1" high and weighs a modest 42lb. It comes in a relatively understated black or silver satin-anodized aluminum case (with no screws showing on the front, top, or sides). Its display is unobtrusive and easy-to-read and illuminates an easy-to-navigate menu.


I was directed to this German-made amplifier by my old friend Bill Leebens, who is now working with Bluebird Music. Leebens said, "Herb, this AVM integrated has your name on it: It is simple, all-analog, and outputs a chunk of its power in class-A." Bill knows I like integrated amplifiers to be real amplifiers—not feature-laden lifestyle products that try to be everything to everybody and become boat anchor irrelevancies in just a few years.

I asked Leebens to tell me about AVM, the company. "Audio Video Manufaktur GmbH was founded in 1986 and was purchased in 2010 by Udo Besser, who had been a co-owner and managing director at Burmester for 15 years and had arranged that company's high-profile partnerships with Porsche and Mercedes." Then Besser joined the conversation, adding, "The original founders are still working here, and I'm happy being able to gather for AVM the most top-notch engineers in Germany." Plus, "[O]ur main suppliers are all here in the same village (Malsch) or less than a 15-minute drive away."

AVM is not only old and well-established; it is a full-service audio manufacturer that makes phono stages, streamers, CD players, amplifiers, and preamplifiers.


The Ovation A 6.2 ME
A word about the product name (or number) is in order. If you look at the AVM website, you'll see that the company has already released an Ovation A 6.3. It would be natural to assume that the A 6.2 ME is an older product, perhaps approaching the end of its lifespan. But you'd be wrong. The A 6.2 ME, a stripped-down, souped-up version of the A 6.2, was released in Europe in the fall of 2020 and only recently made its way to the US market.

According to the AVM website, the Ovation A 6.2 ME (Master Edition) features a DC-coupled input and a "class-A/AB"—apparently the AVM designation for class-AB—high-current MOSFET amplifier that is specified to output 180Wpc into 8 ohms and 300Wpc into 4 ohms. The class-A range has been extended: According to Besser, the A 6.2 ME "operates in class-A up to 5Wpc at 8 ohms and 10Wpc at 4 ohms." With reasonably sensitive speakers, that's plenty of watts for most music at normal listening levels. There's a new 2kVA power-supply transformer for the main power supply; there are four power supplies total including separate supplies for the left- and right-channel input stages and for the processor circuitry. The ME sports a new headphone amplifier drawn from the 6.3 line.


The A 6.2 ME includes seven line-level inputs, five single-ended (RCA) and two balanced (XLR). The sensitivity of each line input may be adjusted between –9.5dB and +10dB via relays programed in the front-panel menu. There are two line-level outputs, one RCA and one XLR, which may be configured as fixed or variable. The 6.2's menu offers a host of options that some audiophiles will find attractive including one called Set Tone Control, which, according to the owner's manual, enables users to "individually adjust the bass or treble level of a certain sound source or lets you choose from a range of available loudness curves." Preset tone-control choices may be retained then later bypassed or activated as the listener desires. Favored tone-control presets may be selected globally (for all inputs combined) or individually (for each separate input).

The Set Loudness menu option compensates for our ear's relative insensitivity to bass and treble frequencies at low volumes. The 6.3 includes a "parametric loudness function" that increases bass and treble levels as the volume is lowered and decreases them as the volume is raised. Switching in the parametric loudness function further modifies any preselected Set Tone curves.

I tried all of these "Tone On" Vergnügungen, but all of the below-described listening was done with Tone and Loudness set to Linear and Bypassed. In the menu, there is also a Balance control that got left off of the slender "RC3" aluminum remote.


The big knob on the left selects one or another of the seven line-level inputs. The big volume knob on the right directs a volume control based on the Cirrus Logic CS3310 IC that raises or lowers volume in 256 steps. Cirrus calls it a "digital volume control," presumably because it's digitally controlled, but it works in the analog domain with an adjustable range of 127dB in 0.5dB steps, "achieved through 95.5dB of attenuation and 31.5dB of gain."

To the left of the left knob is a small button that toggles power between On and Standby. (The main power switch is on the back.) To the right of the right knob is a ¼" headphone output jack. The Ovation A 6.2 ME arrived packed in a flight case that weighed almost half as much as the amp itself.

The first and last parts of my evaluative listening were done with the A 6.2 ME driving my Falcon Gold Badge LS3/5a loudspeakers full range and enhanced by KEF's KC62 subwoofer connected from the A 6.2's preamp output. My auditioning goal was to see how this made-in-Germany machine affected not only the sound of my system, but also my daily listening proclivities.

AVM Audio Video Manufaktur GmbH
US Distributor: Bluebird Music Ltd.
1100 Military Rd.
Kenmore, New York 14217
(416) 638-8207

tonykaz's picture

I don't need the Phono although Re-Sale residuals will kinda demand Phono MC/MM.


Power Switch on the Rear?, at this price?? Noooooooooo way. ( sure Schiit still gets away with giving everyone the finger on this issue and yet still sells 10X more Gear than they can build )

These AVM folks started-up around the time ( 1986 ) Vinyl died it's painful death so they are solidly digital, they even make a CD player, god bless em. My kind of people and Germany is my kind of Manufacturing Paradise that discourages the importing of Chinesium Land filler for the local retail outlet bargain shelves.

Well, AVM seems to at least compromise with a little shinny on-off button on the front that is actually stand-by or some other 'silencing' device.

Robust beauty seems hard and purposeful, I wonder if women can live with this type of simplicity: turn it on & adjust the Vol. ? ( even Car Radios are more complex nowadays )

Tony in Venice

MZKM's picture

Why does that matter? You put it into Standby using the front controls. So unless you really want to save like $5/yr on electricity, it’s fine.

tonykaz's picture

Hello Mr.MZKM,

Well, they have to put the Switch somewhere, don't they?

Why choose quirkiness ?

Why on the rear where you can't see it, where fearful people won't reach around the Wires & etc...?

Way back in the past decades we needed to preserve Tube life and we needed convenience so the Power Switch was on the Front and clearly labelled.

Nowadays, SS devices have a near infinite useful life ( we are told by authorities like Nelson Pass who puts all his power switches on the customary front panel )

Designers allege that noise is the justification for power switch location on the back panel, why not have no power switch. ( just get rid of the Power Switch )

Overall, I suppose that you are right, it doesn't matter all that much. Certainly the integrity of the AVM Company is far more important that an unimportant design feature.

You're Right!

Tony in Venice Florida

Charles E Flynn's picture

Years ago, a magazine titled "ID: Industrial Design" (later "ID: International Design") had a rare feature about especially egregious examples of design that were not just incompetent, but downright malignant. The title of the feature: "From the Devil's Workshop". The only example that I can recall today is the CD jewel box.

If the magazine were still in business, it might consider the case of a series of stacking components, each of them a good design, and good value for money, all from the same manufacturer, having rear panel power switches that are not in a single vertical line. The manual makes no reference to the possible installation of a mirror behind the components to aid in turning on the components.

tonykaz's picture

Quite some time ago ( mid 1980s ), I represented JVC ( Japanese Victor Company ) who designed their Audio Gear to have the switches do multiple functions. A person could turn the wrong switch and disable the device. Dealer Call-backs were a nightmare for Sales Staff because they too couldn't recall all the functions. JVC gear did work well and had plenty of gizmo appeal.

Today, Car Radios can be over-the-top as can navigating the unlimited functionality of iPhones.

We can't go back to simpler times, even the Amish in Florida are driving Cars and have given up farming 40 Acres using work Horses.

Tony in Venice Florida

ps. White House has discontinued Trump 2017 Chinese plywood tariffs , expect wood building product supplies to start dropping in price. ( fingers crossed ) phew!!

Anton's picture

I guess there were no clouds for you to yell at today?

For a guy who has such disdain for vinyl, you sure can't stop talking about it.

The vinyl segment of the hobby is living rent free in your head, Tony.

tonykaz's picture

It's just sooooo overpriced now. A nice AcousticSounds costs $100! A proper Vinyl front end is well over $20,000!

Vinyl was everything for 35 years of my early life, 3-1/2 Decades.

I don't have disdain, I'm disappointed in vinyl promotion, it was never all that good.

Someone has to call-out all the Gaslighting going on here!

Thanks for writing,

Tony in Venice

ps. the Audiophiliac just presented a 3 Part Series with a Recording Studio Owner, it is well worth watching

liguorid42's picture

" A nice AcousticSounds costs $100! A proper Vinyl front end is well over $20,000!"

Depends on your definitions of "nice" and "proper", I guess.

hb72's picture

Consumption of <0.5W in standby says the manual. So, why not?

tonykaz's picture


less than .5w Standby ! Sure!

I'm complaining about putting the Power Switch on the Rear, that's all! Seems the worst place to put an important function , it shows Bad Design from folks trying to say that they are Superb Designers.

Since Print Reviewers won't say anything about it, I will !

Tony in Venice

liguorid42's picture

...the main power switch is *not* an important function, because you simply put it in "standby" when you're not using it. But you're right about reviewers often missing egregious ergonomic designs. For example I'm using a well reviewed universal disc player with an otherwise useful disc resume feature, but in order to use it and be able to cancel the resume in order to play part of a CD then put it away you have to go through a well-timed sequence, available on the remote only. Much more significant than having to reach in back in order to save half a watt, in my opinion (I give off far more than half a watt of CO2 by virtue of being alive).

By your logic, you would want all the inputs and outputs in front too, to save the trouble of disconnecting and reconnecting things in the back. Connectivity is, after all, a pretty important function.

tonykaz's picture

Ergonometric Complaints are legitimatte especially coming from customers.

Some Outfits intentionally snub their Customers, so figure!

Tony in Venice

liguorid42's picture

I agree with your first statement. Regarding your second, they may disregard some customers' complaints about ergonomics, but I doubt it's just to piss them off. Complaints many users agree are legitimate are often addressed by good companies.

tonykaz's picture

I suppose that I agree with you.

Still, Audio Gear Outfits will present Black Gear that has printing that can't be read easily as well as a range of other things that make the item difficult to use and/or understand.

Tony in Venice Florida

ps. my most serious gripe is sourcing from impossible to locate 'unknown' little manufacturing contractors in Asia instead of using Local Loyal Employees who build quality for a fair price.

liguorid42's picture

One of my pet peeves too. Blue print on black boxes. Not so much on mid to high end audio components in my experience. Yes, the little Asian companies are the worst offenders. Along with little instruction sheets that lose nearly everything in translation--and with pictures that, however many words they were originally worth, look like fourth generation photocopies. Good luck with writing to any of them and asking them to mend their ways.

hb72's picture

..the option to delete duplicate posts of mine...

AaronGarrett's picture

Jimmy Martin in an audio review! Art Dudley would be very happy.

johnnythunder1's picture

I wish I could actually audition it. Luxmans are too large for my space. The Sugden doesn't have enough muscle for my speakers. Herb's review is very enticing. It checks every box that is important to me. And he likes it more than the Pass (also too large.) And German engineering? I'm going to start saving.

Long-time listener's picture

But can anyone explain the logic behind the weird curve on the bass tone control? It used to be that the bass mirrored the treble response curve; now we get this weird stuff, here and on Marantz's Model 30 too.

What the heck is going on? How does that give you good bass?

DougM's picture

There's one thing that Herb said in this review that made him my new hero, because I believe there are two types of audio equipment, which I find even more obvious among speakers than among other components. There's the kind that is all bright and shiny, and is trying too hard to call attention to itself and is screaming at you "listen to me, I'm SO hi-fi", and then there's the kind which is very smooth, relaxed, natural, and realistic sounding, which just disappears, as if to say "I'm not even here, listen to the music". In my experience, far too many audio lovers fall into the former category, and too few fall into the latter category. Too many are listening to the "the sound" instead of the music. And, I confess that I fall prey to this too many times myself, but, as of late, I find the more natural sound, while maybe less impressive on first listen, is ultimately the most satisfying. Perhaps the best gear is that which successfully straddles the fence between the two, and if it errs in any way, hopefully errs on the side of the natural over the bright and shiny hyper detailed kind of sound.

liguorid42's picture

Well, I think there are a lot of shades of grey in between the poles you describe. I happen to be a detail freak. I like to hear every note in a musical performance, and listen very intently. Too bright is one thing, but I don't consider revealing of detail to be "too hi fi". Of course if it creates its own detail ("etched") that's another thing.

One of my favorite tee shirts that's getting too ragged to wear says "There are 10 types of people: those who understand binary and those who don't".

liguorid42's picture

Either Herb is a very young looking 100 or he is once again demonstrating his penchant for hyperbole.