Australian HIFI - - SOUND BITES -

Perreaux has re­leased a new in­te­grated am­pli­fier, the 255i, which it says is the most pow­er­ful Class-AB in­te­grated am­pli­fier it has ever built, be­ing rated at 250-watts con­tin­u­ous per chan­nel into 8 and 500-watts con­tin­u­ous per chan­nel into 4 .

The new Perreaux 255i can op­tion­ally be fit­ted with a 32-bit/384kHz DAC and a phono pream­pli­fier which can ac­com­mo­date both mov­ing-mag­net (MM) and mov­ing-coil (MC) car­tridges. The 255i has three sep­a­rate power trans­form­ers and four in­de­pen­dent power sup­plies. Ac­cord­ing to Mar­tin van Rooyen of Perreaux: ‘ The 255i is de­signed to han­dle dif­fi­cult speaker loads. Its MOSFET out­put stage is ca­pa­ble of con­tin­u­ously de­liv­er­ing a gen­uine 360-watts into an 8 load and 530-watts into 4 , so it will drive dif­fi­cult speak­ers with ease, pro­duc­ing con­trolled, qual­ity au­dio.’

On the rear panel, the 255i has one bal­anced line-level in­put (via XLR) and four un­bal­anced line-level in­puts (via RCA). The front panel in­cludes a line-level aux­il­iary in­put via 3.5mm socket and a head­phone out­put via 6.5mm socket. You can also by­pass the pream­pli­fier sec­tion of the 255i and con­nect di­rectly to the power am­pli­fier via an ‘Amp In’ pair of RCA sock­ets.

The op­tional DAC/Phono mod­ule uses the top-of-the-line ESS Tech­nol­ogy ES9038PRO Sabre DAC and has two coax­ial dig­i­tal in­puts, two op­ti­cal in­puts and a USB in­put. The coax­ial and op­ti­cal in­puts can han­dle up to 32-bit/192kHz, while the USB in­put goes up to 32-bit/384kHz and also han­dles DSD 64, 128, and 256. This new DAC/ Phono mod­ule can also be fac­tory retro­fit­ted to the Perreaux 150i and 250i in­te­grated am­pli­fiers as an up­grade.

All func­tions on the 255i are con­trolled by a mi­cro­pro­ces­sor, ac­cessed via front-panel push­but­tons and ro­tary en­coder. The am­pli­fier’s op­er­a­tional sta­tus is clearly shown via a large LCD dis­play. Vol­ume and bal­ance is done via mi­cro­pro­ces­sor-con­trolled re­sis­tor banks, so there are no noisy po­ten­tiome­ters in the sig­nal path.

The mi­cro­pro­ces­sor also mon­i­tors the am­pli­fier’s out­put stage to pro­tect it against mains power in-rush, over-cur­rent, over-tem­per­a­ture, d.c. off­set, in­ter­nal a.c. sup­ply vari­a­tions and d.c. at the out­put. ‘ The pro­tec­tion is non-in­va­sive and does not de­grade the sig­nal path’, said van Rooyen. ‘ You re­ally need to au­di­tion this am­pli­fier to ap­pre­ci­ate its in­nate sound qual­ity,’ said Mark Gusew of BMC Whole­sale, which dis­trib­utes Perreaux in Aus­tralia. ‘ The amount of top-to-bot­tom con­trol over the speaker is re­mark­able—with in­her­ent speed and dy­nam­ics. This is one of the most mu­si­cal am­pli­fiers you will ever hear!’ The Perreaux 255i re­tails for $7,995, with the op­tional DAC/Phono up­grade at ad­di­tional cost, and is avail­able now. For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion, please con­tact BMC Whole­sale on (03) 8683 9910 or visit the web­site at

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