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Audio-gd Phoenix Reviews


REVIEW: Audio-gd Phoenix


Pros: In balanced mode especially, outstanding sound; lots of great features

Cons: runs hotter than some tube amps; heavy; not as impressive single-ended (but still very good)

Lots of ink has been spilled about this amp already. The “big thread” on the Audio-GD Phoenix is VERY long – so long it’s only useful as a running dialog about the amp – reading through it to glean information has become very difficult. But it shows that there is a lot of continued interest and excitement for this amp, which is in my experience somewhat unusual for an amp that sells for more than $1,000. So I was very excited myself to get the chance to listen to it. One thing I DID glean from the big thread, however, was that a review of the Phoenix without a pair of balanced headphones would be less than useful, since it is a fully balanced design, and that this is a big part of what...
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Great if you like listening to your music and not your gear.


Pros: Many inputs, solid case, also a great pre-amp, no lack of power, excellent absolutely neutral sound, digital volume control, remote is handy.

Cons: Quite a bit of power used and heat generated, heavy, data connection cable looks like an afterthought, only worth getting for balanced headphones.

Possibly the hardest thing to describe about the Phoenix is it's sound. Simply put, it has no particular "sound", but simply lets the music through as it is, without imposing anything upon it.  For the purist who seeks this, it is perfect, but it's not the kind of amp that will impress you on first listen, but usually only after switching immediately to a lesser amp and realising what is missing.    The soundstage with balanced headphones is wide. This is even very apparent with speakers when used as a pre-amp.  With balanced Grados the result is like sitting in the front row when the band is stretched across the stage, for example.  This is not lost in the...
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Reference system


Pros: Ample power, Spacious stage, Excellent clarity and imaging, Flexible connectivity

Cons: Volume pot action sensitivity

[This is just an impression.  Sorry for lack of time to write up a full review, but I would simply like to recommended it.]   The combination of Phoenix and Ref-1 constantly amaze me with the the clarity and 3D-like soundstage.  Many of my previous amp gave me an sonically "watching the view from TV box" that kind of feeling.  Phoenix, instead, give me the "going out and see the real view" that type of realness and freshness.    The clarity and focusing are so good, that I don't need to "look for" each instruments.  They just come out of picture and show their presence naturally.  Music has been displayed effortless with ample power. ...
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Huge & powerful class A headphone amp/pre-amp


Pros: Powerful and spacious sound, remote control, pre-amp mode can go against more expensive options, built like tank, stepped attenuator

Cons: Single ended mode less impressive, too big for some desktops, requires a 30 minute warmup to sound its best, DIY-look compared to some other products

Not mass market gear, but if you are looking for an enthusiast class A headphone amp that can drive very power hungry headphones the Phoenix remains a solid choice as long as you have the space for it.
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