This page exists to help those interested in gathering further comments and information from around the world regarding Audio Analogue "OLD" products (e.g. Vivaldi, Puccini NON-REMOTE, Puccini SE NON-REMOTE, Bellini NON-REMOTE, Donizetti STEREO, Paganini with Sony mechanics). All information found on this page originates from a diverse group of respected people involved with the international audio and music community, whether in print or internet based publications. Full information can usually be had by ordering the back issue of the magazine containing the article that is of interest to you. 
What They Say about the OLDAudio Analogue- Because Music is for Lifeproducts
 

Magazine: Stereophile

Issue:    Dec 1998
Writers: Sam Tellig

Product: Puccini SE integrated amp

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Santo and Fred:
Audio Analogue was established in 1995 by its two designers, Santo Prattico and Federico Paoletti.

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Italy in a box: Some people find the fact that Audio Analogue names its products after famous Italian composers-the Bellini preamp, Donizetti power amp, and the Paganini CD player-a little hokey. I don't. (I bet they're saving Boccherini for something really special maybe their flagship power amp!).
It would be hokey if the gear sounded like ordinary, run-of-the-mill solid-state. But it- doesn't.
Puccini, Bellini, Donizetti, etc, have inspired the Puccini SE integrated amp. When you turn it on, it's like having Italy in your listening room-it sings. I swear!

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When I think of Italian music, I think first of opera. And when I think of opera, I think purity of tone, the sheer beauty of the human voice.
Not detail. Not resolution. Not soundstaging and all the other stuff that so consumes the lives of audiophiles, but the sheer miracle of the human voice.
The Puccini gets it right. Some other amps get it right, too, but they're not solid-state integrated amps you can buy for -ah, um, a song. (Had to say that. Sorry.) They're the Jadis SE 845. Or the new Cary SE300B Signatures. Or the Conrad/Johnson MV55 integrated tube amp or Jadis Orchestra.
No other solid-state integrated amp that I have heard to date sounds as convincing on the human voice as the Audio Analogue Puccini SE.
None.

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The Audio Analogue Puccini SE is an amp for those with real-world budgets who are in it more for the music than the sound . . . or the blood sport of audiophile competition.
As for resolution, I can hardly wait to hear the Audio Analogue separates - Bellini and Donizetti. At the moment, I don't have a solid-state reference: these may be it! If you listen mostly to classical music and/or jazz, and particularly to vocals of any kind then the Audio Analogue Puccini SE is a must-hear.
Strong Class B . . . at a price more in keeping with Class C.
If there's anything else like the Puccini SE on the market, I haven't heard it.

Bravo, Puccini! Bravissimo, Santo e Fred!
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Magazine: SoundStage

http://www.soundstage.com/revequip/todd22.htm

Issue: August 1998
Writers: Todd Warnke

Product: Puccini SE integrated amp

While Audio Analogue is a new entry in the US market, they have been around for a bit.
Founded in 1995, they are headquartered in the Tuscany region of Italy. Still, it wasn't until CES í98 that I first heard of them.
There, besides meeting North American distributor Richard Kohlruss, I also had the fortune of meeting one of the designers, Federico Paoletti.

There are many ways to tell if you are talking to "real people" at audio shows, and Federico showed me one of the best. Even though we discussed at length his products and design philosophies, we spent almost as much time talking about his newborn son.
Now thatís what real people talk about. (Not that you should buy your audio equipment from real people, but then maybe you should. It would make for a nicer world).

What sonically struck me when I entered the Audio Analogue room at CES was how cohesive and vibrant the sound was. Full of tonal shading, it was also of a single fabric top to bottom. And dynamic! The swings were superb given show conditions. And the look matched the sound.
As I listened, I put a price on the gear -- $2000-$3000 per component. Was I shocked to hear that the preamp was $895 and the power amp only $1095! So, being the sly reviewer scum that I am, rather than deciding which of the two to ask for, I asked to try the integrated amp, figuring that by doing so I could listen to a combination of the preamp and power amp.
 


Magazine: Audiofile
Country: Malaysia
Issue: May 1998
Writers: Anthony Lim & N. Rama Lohan

Product: Puccini SE integrated amp

Conclusion:

Mr. Lim says: "Think of the Audio Analogue Puccini SE as a heady mix, part sophistication, part vamp. Yes, she does have her limitations, but don't we all? Heck, if this one was a lady, you wouldn't just want to bring her home to meet mom, you'd be bagging a real catch if you made her yours, period. And that, simply put, is my call on this one. I don't think an extra thousand bucks ever got more results than what it got here with this gem."

Mr. Lohan says: "The Puccini is a smooth operator. It delivers almost every form of music with utmost precision and authenticity, and the price... few other integrated amps would come close. If you had to tag a single intrinsic quality to this amp, it has to be its ability to give music a sense of realism."


Magazine: Hi-Fi World
Country: Great Britain
Issue: April 1998
Writers: Ketan Bharadia (Assistant Editor) and Jon Marks (Editor)

Product: Bellini preamp and Donizetti power amp

Conclusion:

"...If you seek a pre power duo that invariably make music big, bold and exciting, look elsewhere. If you prefer electronics that replay music as the engineer heard it, have a listen here. For the Bellini and Donizetti don't 'improve' music, they only reproduce it". On the phono stage: "Another string to the pre-amp's bow is a very fine phono stage to suit Moving Magnet and Moving Coil cartridges.... Variations in musical style didn't matter- I played everything from Chopin to Lou Reed and wasn't disppointed by anything I heard." 

Group conclusion in comparison to 4 other pre/power combinations:

"...The Audio Analogue Bellini and Donizetti are as smart as an Armani suit. Their construction inside and out shows the almost obsessive lengths Audio Analogue will go to to get good sound and good looks- witness the three separate power supplies in both the Donizetti and Bellini. It's hard to find any cut corners in the two.... The midrange and treble are both free from transistor hardness and there's a spaciousness and transparency to the sound stage that many more expensive pre/powers struggle to come up with."


Magazine: Hi-Fi Choice
Country: Great Britain
Issue: February 1998
Writers: Alvin Gold (listening tests) and Paul Miller (technical tests)

Product: Puccini integrated amp

Conclusion:

"...It is always a pleasant surprise when a newcomer with no known pedigree swoops to the front of the field on its first outing. The Puccini is everything a low-cost amplifier should be, and unusually well presented. The real secret of its success, however, is its bold, engaging and crystal-clear sound quality. Best Buy."

Group conclusion in comparison to 13 other integrated amps:

"Only one model, the 450 pound (UK cost) Audio Analogue Puccini, met all the requirements for Best Buy. This is a first-rate budget amplifier that looks and sounds like an altogether more costly model. Check it out."


Magazine: Québec Audio
Country: Canada
Issue: January/February 1998
Writer: Dominique Poupart

Product: Puccini SE integrated amp

Conclusion:

"Audio Analogue has been able to create a captivating amp by its musical nature. Its warmth immediately charms its listeners. We rarely find such subjective audio qualities allowing the Puccini to move ahead in the group of under two thousand dollar integrateds. It perhaps does not offer all the flexibility of use that some would want, but does show integrity towards its purist approach. It conveys the essence of music, and this was the objective set forth by Audio analogue. This company merits our attention, as doing something so well so soon is impressive! In two years, Audio Analogue has been able to create- with their Puccini SE, a seductive product that we rapidly encourage you to listen to!"


Magazine: Hi-Fi News & Record Review 
Country: Great Britain
Issue: January 1998
Writer: Ken Kessler (Contributing Editor)

Product: Bellini preamp and Donizetti power amp

Conclusion:

"...Solid, palpable, room-filling mono performances which proved as rewarding as the strereo, lush without being flabby, precise without being autocratic- just what 'natural sound' should be... and is, if you think about it. What it lacked was something which I abhor, that hi-fi artifice which enables loe-end mass-market brands to fool the ill-equipped into thinking that 'sizzle' and 'thump' mean 'treble' and 'bass'. Best of all, I could listen to it for hours on end. It was like a 1997 equivalent of the Quad 33/303. And that's the highest praise I can give to a budget pre/power combination." Mr. Kessler on the Bellini phono stage: "Which reminds me: the phono stage is a delight, ultra-quiet and exceptionally dynamic."


Magazine: Hi-Fi World
Country: Great Britain
Issue: December 1997
Writers: Ketan Bharadia (Assistant Editor) Jon Marks (Editor)

Product: Puccini SE integrated amp

Conclusion:

Mr. Bharadia says: "...The Puccini SE's balance is basically neutral, smooth and full sounding and it has tranparency which belongs to amplifiers that normally command four-figure price tags." 

Mr. Marks says: "...'Minimalist' sums up the Puccini SE's features (no Pre-amp Out/Power Amp In sockets limit upgradability) and its sound- it imposes very little of itself on whatever you're listening to. For that it gets my stamp of approval." 

Group conclusion in comparison to 4 other integrated amps:

"The integrated which gets closest to stratospheric performance without its price tag inducing high blood pressure in your bank manager is Audio Analogue's 600 pound (UK cost) Puccini SE. All the main technical ingredients like rhythm (which is vital if you're not to doze off to music), dynamics, tonal colour, detail, etc. are present and correct. What really puts the Puccini SE ahead of its peers is the kind of natural, neutral smoothness and true 3-D tranparency to its presentation that you'd normally expect to have to pay a lot more money for..."


Magazine: Hi-Fi World
Country: Great Britain
Issue: September 1997
Writer: Jon Marks (Editor)

Product: Puccini SE integrated amp

Conclusion:

"...As Nakamichi are to cassette decks, so Audio Analogue's Puccini SE is to integrated amps- it makes most amplifier alternatives sound hard and flat." 

On the phono stage: "..., the Puccini SE's phono section is capable of the same tranparency as the line-level inputs."


Magazine: La Nouvelle Revue du Son
Country: France
Issue: April 1997
Writers: Jean Hiraga (Chief Editor) and Robert Lacrampe (Assistant)

Product: Puccini integrated amp

Conclusion:

Mr. Hiraga says: "An astonishing seductiveness eminates from the Puccini integrated. Audio Analogue responds perfectly to a philosophy showing that it is possible to attain- even with an entry-level product, a finesse in reproduction, an 'emotion' usually reserved for products at inaccessible prices.... A tube sound, but in the good sense of the term. A superb success."

Mr. Lacrampe says: "... Small affordable integrateds are seen often in our market and it is without reserve that we place the Puccini at the summit of the hierarchy, even more so because its price is much more competitive than some products from across the Channel (products at times not built as well...)..."


Magazine: Haute Fidélité
Country: France
Issue: February/March 1997
Writer: unavailable

Product: Puccini integrated amp

Conclusion:

"... After a few minutes of warming up, the Puccini gives the quintessence of its possibilities. Never does it try to do too much. Nevertheless it shows great precision, notably in the midrange.... Lows and highs remain discrete, in place, without any colorations. As for dynamics and imaging, it is the notion of balance that shows through, giving this amp universal usage. Therefore, here is an intelligently and seriously constructed integrated amp, original in its presentation. Very neutral, it will adapt to all types of music and will be quickly forgotten. Exactly what an amplifier should do, no?"


Magazine: Prestige Audio Video
Country: France
Issue: February 1997
Writers: Patrick Vercher (Director) and Jacques Vallienne (technical tests)

Product: Puccini integrated amp

Conclusion:

"...With the Puccini, all goes towards a great understanding, a maximum of definition, to a high dynamic capacity without any irritating distortion peaks. A new electronic to be discovered, that we recommend without hesitation."

On the phono stage: "...The excellent phono section supports both MM and MC sensitivities (by moving a pin on the circuit board). It is very rare to find such a performing and precise phono stage in an integrated amp of this price".


Magazine: SUONO
Country: Italy
Issue: January 1997
Writer: Sergio Stanzione, (Director: Bebo Moroni)

Product: Puccini SE integrated amp

Conclusion:

"... In conclusion, the Puccini SE is the amp that every good audiophile should listen to before deciding which amplification to buy. It is, and I hope it will remain for a long time, my reference for all amps well over its price range, thanks to an absolutely exceptional price/quality ratio. ... Coup de foudre! How could it be anything different? This time the editorial office will have to confirm it; I'll defend it to the end! Long live the Puccini SE and Audio Analogue's work."


Magazine: AUDIO Review
Country: Italy
Issue: September 1996
Writer: Alessandro Casalini, (Director: Paolo Nuti)

Product: Puccini integrated amp

Conclusion:

"However great your feelings are for opera music, on which this Audio Analogue's birthname could definitely have an influence, and however chronically suffocated your bank account may be, from now on you've got another opportunity of climbing on the authentic hi-fi train. Happily for us, it's an occasion that speaks Italian, and that, most importantly of all, plays well and doesn't hurt the family budget; dulcisin fundo, it won't even let your adored vinyl collection rot on your shelves. It's definitely worth a chat with a expert hi-fi "pusher"."


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