OK, I am truly impressed with these little amps so I am going to attempt a more in depth review to hopefully help you understand why I like them so much.
First off, for context sake here is the rest of the set up.
Front End: Mission on a Lenco, Jelco 12" arm, Zu Denon retipped by Expert with ruby cantilver and paratrace diamond with maybe 100 hours on it.
Pre amp, Meridian 201 using built in mc phono stage.
Speakers used, Jordan VTL full range drivers and Quad ESL63. Approximately 8ft apart and various distances from wall.
Room, 14X20ft approx sitting 3ft from back wall. Triple aspect windows so plenty of glass, hardwood floor, with big rug and a couple of settees. Room is fairly lively.
The Temple Audio monoblocks were tried both with long speaker cables, short phono leads and the other way round, 10metre phono, 6 inch speaker leads.
First off, for any company to be worth a recommendation they have to provide good service. In both pre and post sales communication and support John Clayton of Temple Audio has been first class, simple.
Next up is value. These monoblocks cost £320 for the pair delivered which I think represents excellent value for what I am about to describe. For specifications see http://www.templeaudio.net/monoblock.html
So why do I think these amps offer exceptional value? I started off on the pursuit of excellence with the mighty Lenco because, having tried some quite high priced vinyl spinners, I was still dissatisfied with the sound I was getting and was horrified at the cost of manufacturer's upgrades to further "improve" the deck that I'd already spent well over £1500 on. I am sure this is a familiar story to many of you. The Home Despot thread got me interested and then I found Lenco Lovers with its community of friendly and supportive enthusiasts more than willing to provide advice and encouragement. From initially being gob-smacked at what the Lenco could do given its peanuts price, after a while I stopped judging it in relative to price terms and began realising that here was greatness in absolute terms. If you think that statement is nuts then you can bale out of this review now
. The Lenco is a giant killer and in my opinion, so too are these little power amps. When Mike first posted about the Temple Audio phono stage I was drawn to their website as I was in the market for a pair of monoblocks to drive the Jordans. In all honesty my expectations weren't high but John had answered my enquiry about using these at the end of 10metre phono leads promptly and his promise of sale or return if I didn't like them meant it was a no risk purchase. Below along with a couple of PSUs and a single A4 sheet of instructions is what arrived. (Images below are from Temple Audio website, mine are too busy playing music to attend a photo call)
These things are tiny. When the package arrived I thought Temple Audio had made a mistake, only dispatching the PSUs. However, the boxes are made of sturdy metal and are quite weighty for their size so first impressions re build quality were favourable. John suggests a couple of days switched on to burn in and they did improve noticeably after just a day. Early impression was mainly one of incredulity - how the heck was such a small package making all that very nice noise? At this stage I was impressed all right but in that performance vs price way. Then they began to improve and I began to get more and more records out, even the odd CD. Far too much time has been spent listening to music this weekend, from Blossom Toes to Schoenberg, Massive Attack to Vivaldi and no matter what I have thrown at them these little monoblocks have played with aplomb. Starting with airy stuff like Bat for Lashes, no problem, Stevie Ray Vaughan's guitar, no problem. OK I thought when it gets heavy and complicated that will catch them out. Massive Attack, Pink Floyd, Carmina Burana, no problem. Bum, I can't catch them out, I can't send them back and look for a way of spending a lot more cash on something with a name that glows or weighs three tons a side
Ah, the website says good with electrostatics, I bet! Out come the Quads, I sit back expecting them the Temples to curl up and die. They didn't. Instead that huge sense of air and space that Quads do so well filled the room. Detail retrieval is superb, on the Crouching Tiger Hidden Tiger CD I swear you can hear Yo Yo Ma breathing as he strokes his cello! Cymbal decay reverberation goes on until hearing threshold kicks in. Back to the Jordans today and some heavier stuff. Do the Temples rock? They certainly do. Bass lines are clear and insistent, demanding that your feet tap. With the Jordans the music is pushed out front more than the Quads but now listening to some full orchestra stuff and there is a wall of sound but with a real impression of height, depth and width so no grumbles about the soundstage. The Schoenberg has real drama about it.
OK, I could rabbit on for ever with more and more examples but it is time to summarise. I took out a near £2000 retail Copland power amp to put the Temple monoblocks in. I am not going back to it. The Temples are superbly neutral and plenty powerful enough in my room with my speakers. If the music is warm and cuddly that's how it sounds, if it is cool and cerebral that's how it comes across and of course if it is a bad recording you'll know about it, this amp doesn't smooth over rough edges.
As I said up the top, my early impressions with these amps were that they were remarkable for their size and price. Now I simply think they are remarkable full stop, not unlike our Lencos!
Next step for me, try these with batteries