Verity Audio Monsalvat Amp-60 power amplifier

I first encountered Verity Audio's Monsalvat Amp-60 stereo power amplifier ($58,000) in October 2017, in one of the largest single-system rooms at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. After hearing the Amp-60 and Verity's Monsalvat Pre-2 preamplifier drive Verity's Lohengrin IIS loudspeakers ($133,000/pair), I enthused about the "most impressive range of colors and supreme sense of spaciousness" that contributed to the system's "absolutely beguiling" sound. A year later, after John Atkinson and I had visited the same exhibit space and been deeply impressed by the sound of a much larger system—in which one Amp-60 drove the two bass towers of Verity's $675,000 Monsalvat speaker system, and two more Amp-60s biamplified that system's main tower speakers—I requested a review sample of the Monsalvat Amp-60.

Amp-60 Whys and Wherefores
After it arrived, I conversed via Skype with the Monsalvat Amp-60's designer, Maxime Julien, and with Julien Pelchat, who, with Bruno Bouchard, cofounded Verity Audio in 1995. "Throughout the years, we rarely heard what we wanted to hear from amps that we paired with our initial products, which were speakers," Pelchat said. "We loved some things about the sound of tubes, but wanted the precision of solid-state and its control of the lower end.

"We decided to go with an amp of our own with much less power, but a power-delivery system that is outstanding. When you design for 500W, you make compromises that hinder the quality of the sound. Being under 100W allows us to go all out on components, with an extremely powerful power supply that can deliver a lot of energy quickly and recharge very quickly. It is less powerful in terms of numbers, but when you listen to it, there is no lack of power behind it."

After Maxime Julien joined Verity, in 2013, his first order of business was to design the Pro-6 preamplifier-DAC-crossover, which comes bundled with the Monsalvat speaker system. From there he moved on to the two-channel Pre-2 DAC-preamp, then to the Amp-60. In naming the new models, Verity looked to composer Richard Wagner, whose final opera had provided the name for the company's first loudspeaker.

"The speaker is fairly small but high performance, so we named it after Parsifal, the Knight who found the Holy Grail by his quality of simplicity," said Pelchat. "At the end of [Wagner's opera] Lohengrin, when the lead character must disclose his identity, he says he was sent by his father [Parsifal] from Monsalvat, the castle of the guardians of the Holy Grail. I love the name Monsalvat. Because it's the castle where the Grail is, you have to reserve it for a very unique product that is not entry-level."

The Monsalvat Amp-60's oversize, "ultra-low-noise" 1.5kV transformer weighs more than 75 lb. High-current reservoir capacitors of low serial resistance and ultrafast rectifiers are integral to a three-stage design whose fully mirrored topology includes components selected and matched by hand.

Within the first watt produced the amp switches from class-A to class-B operation. "Watts are not everything—it's how you deliver the watts that makes the difference," Maxime Julien insisted. "The Monsalvat Amp-60 can drive less efficient speakers with ease.

"The motto of the Monsalvat program was 'Make it happen—Make something that is truly exceptional.' The output section is MOSFET because somehow, when you use them in electronic design, they behave a lot like tubes and require less complicated technology to perform very, very well. You see few wires inside the amp, because I hate wires. Instead, I use a six-layer printed circuit board that weighs over 2.5 lb before things are added to it."

According to Verity, components are precisely spaced and soldered to the board to ensure that signals are always treated the same and that signal paths are kept the same distance from each other to avoid unwanted interference. In addition, layers of "special" insulation limit interference and noise from the Amp-60's AC section. All AC travels under the amp's double floor, and reaches the transformer section isolated from the DC that powers the amplifier itself. The enclosure's heavy, ¾"-thick aluminum panels serve as heatsinks.

The Monsalvat Amp-60's isolation platform, which includes a "special elastomer" that damps floor vibrations, derives from Verity's speaker technology, which eschews spikes for vibration control.

"We found that, depending upon what surface the speaker sat on, its sound changed," Pelchat explained. "It was as though I was hearing energy bouncing up from the floor and coming back through the spikes into the cabinet. To make the speaker as free as possible from vibration, we developed a very special floor-isolation platform using carbon foam, all sorts of esoteric material, and elastomer on each side. Our special carbon-based material works much better than aluminum-based material.

"Once we became very aware of how external vibration was affecting the sound of our speakers, we started to experiment with amplifiers and how different amp stands affect their sound. That led us to develop our amp-isolation platform."

Try as I did via multiple follow-up e-mails, I could get no more specifics from Julien and Pelchat. It was up to my ears to fill in the blanks.

When Paul Manos, of Verity Audio's US distributor, High Fidelity Services, drove to my home to set up a previously broken-in review sample, he delivered it in a sizable red flight case whose two handles per side made it relatively easy for us to carry its 176 pounds. Far more challenging was finding a way to safely grab the amp itself and position it perfectly atop its companion isolation platform (the amp proper has no feet of its own). After lifting platform and amp onto one of my Grand Prix Audio amp stands, it took not much time at all to connect the Monsalvat to my system with Nordost Odin 2 interconnects (XLR), speaker cables, and 15-amp power cord.


Setup was simple. On the amp's rear panel are two pairs of speaker-cable binding posts, one pair per channel; pairs of unbalanced (RCA) and balanced (XLR) inputs, and a tiny toggle switch to choose between them; and the obligatory IEC power inlet and master power On/Off rocker. On the amp's front panel is a slightly concave, barely visible Standby/On button. When a little white LED stops blinking and glows solid blue, you're ready to roll. I always let amps warm up for an hour before doing any serious listening, and prepare them by running Nordost break-in and demagnetizing tones on repeat.

Other than a very slight buzz through the left-channel Wilson Alexia 2 that was inaudible at my listening position, the Monsalvat Amp-60 performed flawlessly throughout the listening period. "Flawlessly," however, doesn't do full justice to a component that began weaving a web of seduction from the first track I played.

As has become customary since I began reviewing classical recordings for the print and web editions of Stereophile, the first albums I listened to were unfamiliar. As I gave a first listen to our "Recording of the Month" for March 2019, Ibn Battuta: The Traveler of Islam 1304–1377, from Jordi Savall, Hespèrion XXI, and the superb group of instrumental and vocal masters from around the world that Savall enlisted for this project (24-bit/88.2kHz, Alia Vox AVSA9930), I marveled at the natural feel of timbres and the highly detailed, spacious sound conveyed by the Amp-60. Equally impressive was the amp's ability to convey major differences between the acoustics of the two venues in which Savall's forces performed live, and how much more successful the engineers were in capturing bass in the ultraresonant Philharmonie de Paris than in the Emirates Palace-Auditorium in Abu Dhabi. I was so haunted by the final lament at the end of this album that all I wanted to do was turn off the lights, close my eyes, and bathe in the sound.

Verity Audio
US distributor: High Fidelity Services
2 Keith Way, Suite 4
Hingham, MA 02043
(781) 987-3434

MZKM's picture

So, for >100x more than the AkitikA GT-102, you are getting similar to worse performance?

tonykaz's picture

I'm asking this because I've read the nearly same Summary about Conrad-Johnson Premier Amps ( that I represented and sold ),

I hear it about nearly every Amplifier being Reviewed.

I found it to be True with the Amplifiers recommended by Quincy Jones : Electrocompaniet.

It kinda leaves me with the conclusion that the Reviewer would arrange to Buy the Reviewed Amp if it was worth owning. Why return it if its a "keeper". I wouldn't . I'd sell the Amp that I have and keep the review sample. Period !

Audiophiles strive to continue building high achiever Music Systems. It certainly is part of the reason for reading this Journal.

The 100 watt Canadian Verity Amp reminds me that the NEW little piece of Schiit Class A Amp is 100 watts. in Mono, $1,600 for two Mono Amps. Is it worthy of a comparable evaluation ? Can it hold it's own ?

Tony in Michigan

ps. Dear Jason,
Please try to keep in mind that American Audiophiles haven't had a pay increase since 1980 and that Schiit is an High Integrety Company that started out the same way Wilson got it's start : Building High Quality Audio Products stuffed full of realizable Values.

Anatta's picture

US$58K for a low power class B SS amp with crossover distortion lol

foxhall's picture

Remarkable industrial design.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

May I nominate this amp for the 'worst value for the money' product of the year award? :-) .........

Ortofan's picture

... the $9K McIntosh MC462 - plus a Lexus RX350 with which to haul it home.

Anton's picture

My wife and I align with you.

Our new motto: buy the Mac and get a free Lexus!

Glotz's picture

Have any of you HEARD the amp?


How can you talk of relative value?

Ortofan's picture

... which would you rather buy - a $9K amplifier that is "extraordinarily well-engineered and exceptionally powerful" or the one for $58 that is only "generally respectable"?

Glotz's picture

and assume without listening or comparing directly. 'Generally respectable' is precisely relative to the system that JVS is using, and you assume you already know what it sounds like or that the qualifer above applies to your system or experience. It probably doesn't- JVS has a nigh-cutting edge system that ours probably doesn't approach.

I know that JA uses that term to describe measurements on amps for many years, but again does that mean the amp sounds worse than your target of a $9k Mac amp? You use it for pure measurement comparisions when the amp could sound so outclassed to 100 people in 100 systems that again, using terms like that to describe either it's measurements or it's SQ is silliness. There are so many other parameters of amp design and execution that can't be measured, or those measurements have litte bearing on how the amp sounds in the real world in front of us. Just ask JA or JVS what they think... or derp... read their review. I don't wonder or question the value of this amp to JVS... I read the review and understand exactly how he values the sound this amp produces (in his system!).

Many would find YOUR assumption that a $9,000 amp from Mac is reasonable, is lunacy. Others would say it is not up to their caliber of what is 'generally respectable'.

It's really not even a question of subjective preference. Their respective performance benchmarks might be so different from yours or mine that any comparision is moot. No, I am not going to waste time comparing the two like a teenager arguing at high school. There are way too many parameters in any stereo system to argue what is best in any hypothetical situation.

The cutting edge of technology in this industry serves the entire industry over time; some succeed, some fail, but all produce movement forward. All are valid, even when you or I don't see a particular outcome serving our ends, or price-point.

If one designer or engineer found a particular, ground-breaking approach to amp design, yet the amp wasn't fully realized on all levels, does not mean that amp was a failure (nor the greatest extant either).

Again, it's all relative, and all really pretty damn valid.

Thomas Collins's picture

Relative value is EASY. It costs almost $60K and measures pretty poorly for that amount. Therefore it would be relatively easy to find a cheaper amp that sounds and measures better.

What is your job description/title at Verity, if I may ask? Should I re-post in French?

Glotz's picture

You clearly miss the meaning of 'relative'.

No, it doesn't measure poorly, though lie about it all you want.

Oh, but what amp did you have in mind? Did you actually listen to it or even measure it? (No.)

My title is 'Lying Bitch Crusher' and you don't know French either way...

Thomas Collins's picture

Show us where the audiofool skeptic touched you here on this doll, ok dear?

I saw the measurements page you dolt....for the price it DOES INDEED measure poorly.

But don't take my word for it, taintface, let's go to the summary of the measurements page:

The Verity Monsalvat Amp-60's measured performance is generally respectable. However, I was bothered by the difference in S/N ratios between the balanced and single-ended inputs, and by the shortfall in measured power into 2 ohms.

I agree with him. Those issues are bothersome at any price point above a few hundred bucks.

Your title is "Lying Bitch" and you got the guys in the badge office to add "Crusher" until your boss made you take it off, tough guy. LMAO

Glotz's picture

It had a protection circuit in place, jackass/lying bitch/dolt. You are completely wrong. You're bothersome at any price... doll.

Thomas Collins's picture

You're not very good at this, are you? One trick pony lying little bitch. Fuq u, loser. All you got are lame insults and projection of your own damn jealousy and stupidity whenever you're allowed to use the computer. LMAO your whole family tree lgbtq.

Glotz's picture

You mad.


Do you subscribe to the magazine or do you just troll?

georgehifi's picture

Monsalvat Amp-60's specifies
60Wpc into 8 ohms
120Wpc into 4 ohms
180Wpc into 2

Your measurements were
95Wpc into 8 ohms
145Wpc into 4 ohms
50Wpc into 2ohms (with only one channel driven)!!!!!!

Typical today, understating the 8ohm to make the 4ohm look better by the manufacturer, but a massive difference into the 2ohm load??
Has the manufacturer said anything on this??

Cheers George

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

The Manufacturer's Comment addresses this issue.

georgehifi's picture

Where are they, there is no post review "Manufactures Comments" tab????

Cheers George

Jim Austin's picture
It has not been our policy to routinely post Manufacturer Comments online. According to the manufacturer, JA's 2ohm measurement is correct but is a result of a glitch in their protection circuit, which has now been addressed. According to the company, the adjusted amp now delivers the expected 180W into 2 ohms. Jim Austin, Editor Stereophile
Ortofan's picture

... the (lack of) quality control procedures in place at Verity Audio.
Is there any plan to (re)test an "adjusted" sample to confirm that it can meet the manufacturer's published claims?

Jim Austin's picture
That's a fair point, although in general I have a high opinion of Verity, especially their speakers; they're still pretty new to electronics it seems to me. At AXPONA, their Amadis sounded great in a room with CAD source electronics and Trilogy amplification. We probably will not request another sample because these are big amps--hard to handle, expensive to ship. We'll see though. Jim Austin, Editor Stereophile
Thomas Collins's picture

When's the re-test so we can see it was just a glitch and not poor engineering?

Thomas Collins's picture

Sounds like they're padding the profit margin at the expense of a quality control program. Par for the course with Western capitalism ca. 2019, I guess. Only thing that matters is this quarter's profits, not long term viability or a stable/just socio-economic system. Sigh...I mean really....sending off an amp for a high-profile test in the highest profile audio magazine on the planet, and it having a "glitch"? LOL!!!

Glotz's picture

They put a protection circuit place... Read first. Then act like a know it all.. LOL!!

Thomas Collins's picture ever been laid? You do know you can pay somebody right? No judgment here....but you clearly have major issues.

Glotz's picture

You are one psyhco troll dude.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

This amp is a very good example why, measurements are very important when making buying decisions :-) ..........

Glotz's picture

Some amps aren't designed to double their ratings into 2 ohms.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

True ..... The distortion levels are also high ....... 2nd and 3rd harmonic distortions ....... Look at the figures 9 and 10 in the measurements section ........ Compare this with the figures 12 and 13 of McIntosh 462 amp measurements :-) ........

Bogolu Haranath's picture

In other words ........ JA1 was very polite, in a true British gentleman's way, when he said, "respectable measured performance" :-) ...........

Glotz's picture

Twice the manufacturer mentioned that the amp was designed with much higher impedance specs in mind... your statement implies that JA1 is lying or covering for the mfg. He, rather, respects the measured performance.

I find it disingenuous that all of the 'measurements-only' posters all feel the amp is a failure, when JVS found the amp to be 1 of the top amps he has ever had in his listening room.

Hilarious that none has talked about how the amp sounds, other than the 'bass-lightness' comments one poster mentioned.

Do any of the other posters actually listen to music, or rather just test equipment for their enjoyment and validation?

Bogolu Haranath's picture

I'm not talking about the sound quality ........ I'm talking about price/performance ratio ........

Here are some examples of the amplifiers which cost less than this amplifier, which are Class-A rated by Stereophile ......... You may search for their Stereophile reviews :-) .........

Pass Labs .......
Mark Levinson ........
Dan D'Agostino ........
Audio Research .........
Bryston .........
PS Audio BHK signature .........
PS Audio Stellar ..........
Benchmark .........
McIntosh Labs ........
Ayre Acoustics ........
Bel Canto ..........

I did not mention all of them ......... You can look at all the names in the Stereophile Class-A amplifier listing :-) ..........

Glotz's picture

I will guarantee you this amp will make this Class A list too...

Huh. Sound quality is a DIRECT concern to value.. How can it NOT be? One listens to music through this... oh that's right- you don't.

You wouldn't know price-performance ratio here anyways.. you haven't heard the amp. You are again making assumptions about measurements to performance... as everyone else does (wrongly).

Thomas Collins's picture

You're claiming you don't have any relationship to this product or any emotional attachment, but you say shit like this?

I will guarantee you this amp will make this Class A list too...

Yeah right. DCV LOL

Thomas Collins's picture

You're claiming you don't have any relationship to this product or any emotional attachment, but you say sh*t like this?

I will guarantee you this amp will make this Class A list too...

Yeah right. DCV LOL

Glotz's picture

Emotional relationship to your complete and utter misanthropic bullshit.

I read the review... (AND the mfg. comments) hence my claim. Youd didn't- Hence your bullshit. What a child.

And you will be WRONG once again, come October... CLASS A.

We BOTH know that...


Bogolu Haranath's picture

This Verity amp was most likely designed to sound like a tube amp, with suboptimal SNR and 2nd and 3rd harmonic distortions :-) .........

Ortofan's picture

... relatively higher levels of distortion overlaid on top of their music.
What's hilarious is that the reviewer uses hi-res (let alone Redbook 16-bit) digital recordings for equipment evaluation purposes when the amp in question struggles to reach even the level of 14-bit resolution.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Dear editor ....... Please delete the above comment :-) ........

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Take a look at Stereophile D'Agostino Momentum and Progression amps measurements :-) ..........

Bogolu Haranath's picture

You may also want to take a look at Stereophile darTZeel amps measurements :-) ...........

Bogolu Haranath's picture

If you want to know how the 3rd harmonic looks like, look at the Stereophile PS Audio Stellar mono-block measurements :-) ...........

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Well, look at the bright side ....... all the above are better than Border Patrol measurements :-) ........

Jack L's picture

.... of 14-bit resolution." quoted Ortofan.

How come "the amp in question STRUGGLES to reach even 14-bit resolution'?????????

Whatever bits the music is mastered, what comes out of the CD player into the amp is only at audio frequency spectrum. So what "struggles"???

Jack L.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

BTW ...... That noise provides 'continuousness' to the music :-) ..........

Thomas Collins's picture

Do you work for Verity, Francois Glotz, is it?

Why are you such a whiny high-maintenance crybaby for this one particular manufacturer?

Glotz's picture

The only one...

Whiny little hater.

I coulon't care less about the amp or the company. I care about douchebags that spread FAKE NEWS. READ- YOU.

Did you have ANYTHING of SUBSTANCE regarding AUDIO that you want to say? OTHER THAN...NOTHING?!?

Your racist comments about the French tell more about you... than about me.

Jack L's picture

...... The distortion levels are also high ....... 2nd harmonic distortion .." quoted Bogolu Haranath.

What does harmonic distortion figures high or low to do with how it SOUNDS???

A SET tube power amplifier measured 5% total harmonic distortion can sound much better than a sold state power amp measured 0.00005% total harmonic distortion !

Listening, not measurement, is believing

Jack L

Ortofan's picture

... is comparable to a digital recording with a resolution of only 12 bits. Would you be willing to buy such "lo-res" recordings?
If not, then why use an amplifier whose distortion obscures any information below/beyond the level of 12 bits?

georgehifi's picture

Then why does the manufacturer state that it can do 180w@2ohms in their specs?? When it clearly can't in the JA tests it only got to 50w?

Cheers George

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

is this far away:
Verity Audio
1005, Ave Saint-Jean-Baptiste, bureau 150
Québec (Québec)
G2E 5L1
Téléphone: 418-682-9940
Fax: 418-682-8644

Jim Austin's picture
Actually it's much closer than that.
Thomas Collins's picture

In fat it was designed to TRIPLE its rating into 2 ohms. All you need to do is download their brochure, moron:

Power output: 60 watts per channel @ 8 ohms
120 watts per channel @ 4 ohms
180watts per channel @ 2 ohms

Again, I can start posting in French if you need me to....just say the word, Lyin'bitch.

Glotz's picture

Hee hee...

Keep it up...

Maybe one day you'll get the NEW MEASUREMENTS for a Christmas Gift???

Another Bitch Crushed... THOMAS!


Jack L's picture


Sorry, what makes me to like purchasing any audio equipment is always its SOUND quality. Measurement serves me only as a reference, e.g. output powers.

Let me take an example out of a master degree thesis on correlation between sound quality vs its measurement of an audio amplifier some years back:-
" A SET tube power amplifier measured 5% total harmonic distortion sounded so much better than a solid state power amplifier which measured 0.00005% total harmonic distortion."

So which of the above said amplifier would you like to purchase given price being out of the equation.

Listening, not measurement, is believing.

Jack L.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Easy answer ....... I would buy PS Audio Stellar mono-blocks, $3,000/pair ....... Measure well and sound good ....... Stereophile Class-A :-) ..........

Robin Landseadel's picture

The SET Tube Power Amp also sounded 50% better than reality in a quintuple bypass test.

georgehifi's picture

"Jim Austin: According to the manufacturer, JA's 2ohm measurement is correct but is a result of a glitch in their protection circuit, which has now been addressed."

I must address this type of post review comment, that we see all too often when thing don't go to (manufacturers) plan.

I ask??? wouldn't any manufacturer, submitting a product for review by Stereophile to be read worldwide!! make sure that product is 100% fit, (or even better) for the review/bench test? As it is almost a do or die for them to be able to launch this product.
I couldn't imagine anyone sending an old workhorse they didn't know was 100% fit??

Cheers George

Jim Austin's picture

If you read through Stereophile's archives, you'll find a surprising number of components sent in for review that were in some way broken including a few that caught on fire, etc.

This, to me, is a pretty mild case. There are many details to be sorted. They overlooked one. I'm not saying it's OK--people can judge it however they wish--but I think it's more likely to find such errors in expensive products because they're produced at lower volumes. Less opportunity for "beta" testing (as it were) and a more "boutique" approach to production (as opposed to a 'banish-the-bugs' assembly line). But whatever the reason, it's not uncommon.

Jim Austin, Editor

John Atkinson's picture
Jim Austin wrote:
If you read through Stereophile's archives, you'll find a surprising number of components sent in for review that were in some way broken including a few that caught on fire, etc.

From 1989:

John Atkinson
Technical Editor, Stereophile

Jim Austin's picture
"A speaker manufacturer who recalled a review pair of loudspeakers before we had a chance to listen to them on the grounds that he had updated the design. The replacement pair were likewise immediately recalled and replaced with a third pair. Of this pair, one speaker was dead out of the box and the drive-unit phasing appeared to be different in each speaker." Read more at
Charles E Flynn's picture

Stereophile, June 13, 2010:

Jim Austin's picture
I can think of only two other English-language publications that would have had a chance of revealing this issue, and one of those two would have published the measurement without comment. Jim Austin, Editor Stereophile
Bogolu Haranath's picture

They just report ...... They don't decide ........ The readers have to decide :-) .........

georgehifi's picture

"I'm inclined to believe that my experience of its lighter-than-ideal bass accurately reflects the amp's character."

Common, I'm sure the reviewer knows better, this is more than the "character" description of the amp, it's the amps inability to drive current into the Wilsons Alexia's 2ohm bass load, even lower if the EPDR is taken into account.
PS: I'm sure that "lighter bass character" would disappear with speaker that had a bass load much easier than the Alexia's have.

Cheers George

volvic's picture

As Verity Audio is from my neck of the woods and my old stomping ground. Their speakers are some of the finest I have ever heard, coupled with Acoustic Research electronics and their CD9, I was floored as to how good they sounded when I heard them. So, I am hoping this is a great amp. I will add one caveat, this is their 1.0 version and as such I do expect there will be upgrades as it moves along. As in software and all IT related things you are taught to never buy 1.0 but wait for 1.2 if not more. Will this be a winner? The market will answer that question, but if this amp matches the high quality their speakers are then it sure will be a winner. Will listen when I head back up to Quebec for a visit. Till then any negative critiques are premature.

Anton's picture

If there were no glitch and the amp actually performed as claimed, it would have to be an 80,000 dollar product.

Verity is just being sensible with your hard earned money.

I’m glad we had this talk.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Is free (hand) delivery included in that $80,000 price tag? :-) ..........

It may be too heavy for Santa to carry it down the chimney :-) ...........

Bogolu Haranath's picture

5 stages of grief .......... Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance :-) .........