“Inside and out, there is no doubting the quality of construction of the Puccini Anniversary,” writes reviewer Chris Frankland in the latest issue of Hi-Fi Critic. Launched in 2016 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Italian brand Audio Analogue, the Puccini Anniversary is named not after the great composer Giacomo Puccini, but after the product’s designer, Andrea Puccini. But will this zero feedback integrated amplifier be music to Frankland’s ears?
The advantages and disadvantages of feedback-based designs were contemplated by Andrea Puccini and his team in some detail before opting for the zero feedback approach. The elimination of global feedback to obtain optimum performance is not an easy thing to achieve, and so certain technical aspects of the Puccini Anniversary are unique to its design to deliver optimum performance within the zero feedback topology.
The Puccini Anniversary is a fully dual-mono design. The oversized 700VA transformer, together with three pairs of power transistors for each channel, enables it to effortlessly deliver 80W into 8 ohms, rising to 300W into 2 ohms, thus allowing the amp to drive even the most difficult of loads.
First up for listening was Jonathan Butler’s Deliverance on CD. “Instantly, the Puccini Anniversary impressed with its great detail, delicacy and syncopation on drums and percussion, while Butler’s guitar was eloquently and persuasively portrayed.”
Moving on to Ben Sidran’s Easy Street on vinyl, “Piano and vocals were beautifully conveyed, with great emotion… bass lines were rhythmic and had a good ‘walk’ to them.”
“Saxophone is always a brutal test for any hi-fi component,” says Frankland, cueing up Gerald Albright’s cover of Luther Vandross’ So Amazing. “However, I needn’t have worried, as Albright’s sax was conveyed with all the power, delicacy, note shape and subtlety required.”
Several more tests later and Frankland seems convinced. “This is an amplifier with subtly persuasive charms that just gets better the more time one spends listening to it. It will impress with a wonderfully eloquent sound, great inner detail, expansive soundstage, tunefulness, pace and sheer musicality.”
His advice? “Don’t leave it off a shortlist of amplifiers to audition at this price.”
Read Chris Frankland’s full review in the July – September 2017 issue of Hi-Fi Critic.
Discover more about Audio Analogue’s Puccini Anniversary amplifier.
Track down your nearest Audio Analogue dealer via UK distributor Decent Audio.