Sometimes hi-fi can be fun (a lot of fun) but getting serious is – as with everything else – key to getting stuff done. Roksan recognise this. They’ve had their fun, and now it’s time get serious. And to get serious, you need a pretty serious piece of kit. Introducing…
That right there, is the rather impressive Roksan Blak Integrated Amplifier. This is the first product in a new Blak range. It will be Roksan’s first new product range release since Kandy K3, filling a fresh gap in their overall range. It, and its other Blak units, will sit above the entry level Kandy K3 and the mid level Caspian range, all of which can be viewed by clicking here. This makes the Blak Roksan’s new high end range, which is pretty bloody exciting.
The Blak range, in the high-end tradition, consists quite simply of this integrated amplifier and a matching CD player. Both completely purist. This is a strictly no frills amplifier, featuring 150W into 8 ohms with balanced (XLR) and standard (RCA) inputs. And that’s it.
Okay, there are few small frills. But they doesn’t detract in any way from the raw power and beautiful sound quality of this unit: the benefit of Bluetooth AptX! This means you can stream from a suitably enabled device (read more about AptX here) and there is a headphone amplifier and a high-end phono stage. That makes this particular amp as as versatile as you will ever need – but with no more than that. Its designed purely to deliver Roksan’s best sound quality from an amplifier yet, regardless of the source.
Thanks to its impressively huge power (150W into 8 ohms over the 85W offered by Caspian M2 into 8 ohms), it sounds better than you would ever expect. The Blak amp has a dynamic range, with the difference between this and the Caspian most noticeable in rock, jazz or classical music. Not only is the power greater, the the Blak digs deeper with improved clarity and a rich, lush Class A sound. Pair it up with the aforementioned CD player, and you will have the makings of a glorious system ready to showcase your music as it deserves.
Now to the nitty gritty. You can pick the Blak up for £2749, an interesting price point as it’s almost the same price as the Icon Audio Stereo 60 which makes for an interesting alternative if you fancy a foray into valves. Schooching up to a slightly higher price point, you have the Naim Supernait 2. Yes, this gives you an introduction to Naim ownership (which is a wonderful thing) however it is considerably lower in power at 80W a channel. And pre/power combos are even more expensive yet, especially if you want to reach the same level of power. Above the Blak amplifier, you have to spend considerably more to improve on it. If you want to improve, something like the Arcam A49 at £3995… but this is almost £1300 more.
What I’m trying to say is, the Blak may no be cheap, but it is still incredible value for money, and a awesome option for an audiophile who wants huge power a d high-end without a huge price tag.