Saturday, 6 June 2015

KOGA Onycs Power Amp - The Right Highs (Part Trois)



For the third and final review, the Onycs was connected directly to Musical Fidelity M6 DAC and M1 ViNL phono stage. With the attenuate knob is set at about 10 o' clock, the Onycs can already drive the ProAc with some brute force.

THE SESSION

Girl from Ipanema kicked off with a bang on this. The vocals and piano and double bass emerged very coherent in the intro. And when the female vocal came in, it was very evident how luscious this amp can be. The saxophone was also very fluid and with right amount zing to its overall highs for the music.The separation between the various layer of music on this track can be experienced with a clear stereo imaging as well. The overall presentation was more straight forward with no character crossing with Musical Fidelity.

Jaie's vocal on Legion of The Damned was very detail and the level of clarity and coherent towards the overall music was an exhilarating experience. However, the kick drum loss a little bit detail as it sounded a bit muffled up. Still on the forgiving side but it could improve on a little bit more of bass control. Guitar riffs were still authoritative and one can be very please when it comes to the control on highs. It delivers quite an impact to the overall music with the lead guitar sounded very melodic yet full of metal character.

Hotel California was painted with quite a a colourful presentation. The solo intro was very mesmerizing, bringing back memories of my trip to Madrid and Barcelona where I caught the Gipsy Kings show. I am still quite surprise that the Onycs can also provide quite sufficient bass to compliment the luscious highs it provides. I am particularly impressed with the imaging it delivers. The various musical layers of this track was not only presented and detailed vertically but also horizontally. With the vocals were centralised, the remaining musical instruments were evenly spread from left to right, giving quite  wholesome presentation. This is on top the large soundstage vertically.

Andrea's vocal on Because We Believe started off with a touch warmth but energetic enough to quickly build that 'Olympic' spirit. When the music kicked in, it blended well with the vocals with maintaining that balance between the bass and treble. Again, vocal was centralised whilst the music just seems to wrap around the energy that Andrea deliver via this Onycs. Another fantastic balance delivery by Onycs.

Ode to My Family sounded more on the warm side which is surprising given Onycs is a Class D amp, heavily associated to bright sound.  Dolores's high pitched voice was subdued by Onyc's bass dynamics, giving a more balanced sound to the song. The natural folk song can be summarized to be a very well balanced delivery by the Onycs. In fact, I believe this is the best experience I have with Onycs. Natural,,balanced ... and yet still fluid and melodic.



THE CONCLUSIONS (PART TROIS)

From the 3 modes tested, it it very clear that Onycs has its own character. The best performance delivery is when it is connected directly to the source. Using the attenuate knob is no different from controlling a volume knob on an integrated amp. But of course, at a fraction of the size and cost.

Onycs excels best with vocals, guitar works, acoustic and jazz. For rock and metal, it still deliver an acceptable performance but if double pedal details that you are looking for, Onycs might not be it. But if natural, balanced, fluid and melodic are your taste, give Onycs a go. It does not have the typical Class D character as I believe the design is such to balance the luscious highs with a good delivery of the low ends as well. Kudos to the designer on achieving this.

Onycs can be demo-ed by contacting KOGA Audio via email koga.audio@gmail.com 




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