Sugden A21SE Integrated Amp (CAD 4,999) Review in UHF

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ultra High Fidelity (UHF), a 26-year-old Canadian hi-fi magazine, has reviewed the Sugden A21SE integrated amp (CAD 4,999). This is the “Special Edition” version of Sugden’s venerable A21a integrated amp (CAD 3,249). The A21SE is a Class A design with 30 watts per channel into 8 ohms (40 watts into 4 ohms).

Editor Gerard Rejskind, along with reviewers Reine Lessard and Albert Simon, liked the amp’s finesse and grace, but were less impressed with its hot front panel, cheap remote, and crosstalk between inputs. Compared to the standard A21a, Rejskind asserted:

…the A21a costs much less but is so good. Indeed, I suspect that, in many systems, the extra finesse of the SE version would not be apparent. For most systems, therefore, the other amp is the one to get. Re-read our review in UHF No. 82, and compare.

To read the entire review, download the free version of the issue (8.3MB PDF). To get the full version of the issue, which includes a review of the Vecteur Ai4 integrated amplifier (CAD 1,190) among other things, you must pay. Luckily, the cost of downloading a single issue is reasonable, as is the cost of subscribing the old fashioned way (requires paper, ink, fuel, etc.).