WHAT’S the worth of an amplifier without a DAC these days, eh? Electrocompaniet’s acclaimed Prelude-range PI 2 integrated amplifier was missing just this feature but the Norwegian company has made amends with the launch of the PI 2D, which tags on a built-in DAC to the original structure.
Of course, for digital audio buffs, this means fewer cables to mess around with – five digital sources can be hooked up to the amp, and the 24-bit/195kHz asynchronous DAC offers two coaxial, two optical and one USB input.
Which isn’t to say the analogue club has been forgotten – one balanced XLR and four single-ended RCA inputs are provided, should you still be mired in the old-fashioned way of doing things.
The amp section retains all the good elements of the older unit – 100 watts per channel into eight-Ohm loads (165W into four Ohms/220W into two Ohms), so it’s pretty much able to handle tricky loads with ease.
Electrocompaniet, while developing the PI 2D, kept focus on retaining the essentials and sonics of the classic line amp, while keeping an eye on costs (this was made possible also via use of today’s surface mount technology)
The PI 2D retails at €3,150 … not really a modest price tag, but given that it’s essentially two bits of gear rolled into one box, there’s justification.