Not only did the AGD Gran Vivace reproduce the weight and energy of the orchestra, it also created a natural sounding space which reminded me – I swear I haven’t touched a drop – of my beloved 211 triodes, of all things.

So technically subversive is AGD’s Gran Vivace, one must re-think its essence as one would DS Audio’s optical cartridge. Only by banishing any prejudice against Class D amplifiers, and getting past the undeniable weirdness of a solid-state-amp-in-a-valve, can one luxuriate in its sheer power, grace, and – yes – warmth.

This is less an acquired taste than it is a test of bias. Not a valve’s bias, but one’s own.

AGD Gran Vivace is a contemporary amplifier that thinks it was designed in the 1930s at Western Electric. Ignoring whatever spiel you hear about the transparent envelope, the Gran Vivace is a helluva lot of fun.

by Ken Kessler & Paul Miller – HiFi News