Tube World Monthly – 16th anniversary special
The Best-Sounding New Tube Amplifier from the Past Year

DATE : 25, Jun, 2021
CATEGORY : High-end Audio

Lee Chi Wai’s Choice:

  1. Audio Note’s COBRA integrated amp

“Although the Cobra is a fledgling, its performance is good enough to rival that of both vintage and modern EL34 tube amps. … Audio Note took a different approach, and did not fully extract the power of the EL 34, instead letting them work with a pure Class A push-pull, and pairing them with their own self-produced high-quality output transformers to successfully strike an excellent balance between sound and power. … The Cobra has a solid foundation; you can get different styles by matching different pre-amps. When you pair the Cobra with standard gain pre-amps, the sound is elegant and natural. Should you switch to larger gain pre-amps, the dynamics and vitality increase simultaneously, meaning the Cobra can cope with the needs of different speakers.”

 

Charlie Ma’s Choice:

  1. Audio Note’s COBRA integrated amp

“Audio Note has been a champion of high-end triode tubes. This time, they have succeeded in popularizing the pentode EL34 tube, which instantly elevated the sound [of the Cobra] to unprecedented heights. … Audio Note has persisted in continuing to develop and research new product lines, and in so doing, created this tube amplifier with unbeatable sound-for-money. Looking around today’s market at this price, there is only Audio Note’s Cobra!”

 

W.K. Wong’s Choice:

  1. Audio Note’s COBRA integrated amp

“Audio Note boss Peter Qvortrup created an instant hit when he launched an affordable (relative to Audio Note’s usual pricing) push-pull tube integrated amplifier. As a result, it not only has the strongest, most infectious sound appeal of Audio Note, it also comes with a stronger drive. The Cobra also comes with a built-in DAC decoder,… and a nowadays indispensable USB port, which means that it can be connected to a computer to play high-bit-rate music files. When the computer is connected to music streaming services online, it can also output via USB to the Cobra. I have listened to the Cobra’s amazing performance pushing different pairs of bookshelf speakers many times, all of which have quite appealing sound effects. The power of its 28-watt output is so strong that it is truly shocking..”

 

Tube World Monthly – May 2021

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