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I bought my Technics V-300 Mark 2 Amplifier probably 5 years ago, and it still impresses me like it did the first day I brought it home, and opened the box in keen anticipation.
Ill start by mentioning the most important aspect of any amplifier, the sound! I listen to varied music, but generally stuff that is heavy on range variation, so its important to me that an amp is able to cope well with deep bass as well as the intricate detail of the higher range components of music. And this is exactly what you get with the V300 Mk2, an excellent detailed sound, at ALL volume levels. I think thats an important point, as many amps Ive used have been very good at a party, but have absolutely no subtlety when youre listening at home, sounding too flabby on the bass and lacking any real quality on the important parts of music such as cymbals and hi-hats.
It really does have a nice sound to it, it doesnt click, hiss or pop at you when you change channels on the output selector, it doesnt crackle when you move the sturdy volume control up or down, it copes well with a decent phono input as well as your line in channels. It has 6 line in channels and one phone which for the price is excellent for your expansion plans!
Looks and General Comments:
Its relatively minimal looking for an integrated amp at this price, it has a defeat button for those of you who do not want the bass, treble and balance controls interfering with the sound from the source. That really is a nice touch, as generally these controls are superfluous, unless you decide to cut the bass for the sake of your neighbours, which this amp gives you the opportunity to do. It has a feel of quality and refinement to it, which is usually lacking at this end of the market.
It has the typical red led lights to the amp, the possibility of two sets of speakers. I have a pair of floorstanders and some standard loudspeakers hooked up, and it manages to really give them a run for their money. Its important to use quality speaker cable for this amp, that is one thing that I would suggest for any amplifier, but this really does need a reasonable quality cable to get the most out of the bass and detail.
As well as looking good, and sounding great it doesnt get too hot. I have a big beefy Technics SA-GX170 receiver which you could cook your breakfast on after 1 hour of relatively loud music. Despite not being a particularly powerful amp, it does the job so well and is ideal for a range of different people, it really is capable of a party, as well low level listening.
The best feature is the price, which is probably in the region of £150, but you can now pick one up second hand from about £80 on ebay if you are very lucky. But do consider looking for a new one, as its worth the extra cash so you can know what youre getting is in A1 condition.
So, in summary, if youre looking for a replacement amp, or your first serious piece of hi-fi it gets my full backing! It gets a 95% recommendation from me!