And now for something completely different…

The Konus Audio products don’t just look different. If I tell you that the Vinyle phono-stages are current-sensing designs and that the DAC offers only two inputs (S/PDIF and USB) but a separate decoder chain for each, you’ll start to appreciate just how unusual they really are. With each separate unit offering a standalone solution as well representing one part of a complete system, I’m going to take them individually – starting with the integrated amplifier.

The Integrale 2000 is a squat and surprisingly solid box. An all up weight of 3.1kg might not seem too impressive, but combined with its diminutive dimensions it makes for a remarkably dense (and reassuringly inert) lump. The chassis stands on three acorn headed bolts that mechanically couple it to the supporting surface. The front face sports a rotary volume control and a toggle switch to select between the two line inputs. Two? You’d better believe it. In a world where the input options on many fancy integrated amps run into double figures, the Integrale 2000 puts its minimalist credentials firmly front and centre. The back panel is similarly Spartan, with the right and left inputs and outputs separated left and right, underlining the unit’s dual-mono construction. Apart from two, nice quality phono sockets and a set of binding posts per channel, the only other connection is the IEC mains socket. Apart from that, you get an output rated at 33 W/Ch into 8Ω – and that’s pretty much it. And no – there’s no remote control (your reviewer mutters a soto voce “Hurrah!”).

What’s not to like? Well, the limited space on the back panel means that the socketry is placed close together – close enough to make it tricky for those of us with fat fingers. Using the minimalist and highly flexible SternKlang cables made things considerably easier, The fact that they were fitted with 4mm Z-plugs made things easier still. The average user will connect once and once only, but even so, the 4mm route is the one to take when t comes to speaker connections. I’d also like some kind of positional indicator on the volume control. Again, it’s easy enough to fix a simple solution, but it would be better if Konus Audio did that for us. And that’s all the nits to be picked…