Esoteric AI-10 Integrated amp


Bronze Member
Username: Darrenmc

Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada

Post Number: 94
Registered: Mar-04
Just curious if anyone has this Integrated amp or has had any experience with it? How would it stack up against a decent pre-amp/power amp combo in it's price range which is approx. $5000US. Any comments would be appreciated.

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 12556
Registered: Feb-05
I doubt it would stand up to a Sonneteer Orton or any of the LFD amps. I don't own one so I can't really say, just saying unless you are getting a great deal on a used one you may want to open up your horizons. Lot's of great integrateds outside the well worn path.

Gold Member
Username: Soundgame

Toronto, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 1138
Registered: Jun-08
Soundstage review - comparing Bryston B100SST against the Esoteric.

That's what I heard while comparing the AI-10 and B100. Both performed at such a high level that I found it impossible to say that one was clearly better. Rather, as is so often the case in subjective evaluations, the better of these two integrateds will be that which more closely satisfies the listener's sonic preferences. Playing "Going Nowhere," from Elliott Smith's New Moon (CD, Kill Rock Stars KRS455), both the Esoteric and Bryston sounded exceptionally clean and transparent, both placing Smith's voice front and center, as if he were sitting in my room. In terms of his voice, I could hear very little difference between the amps. Listening more closely to the sound of Smith's guitar, however, I'd give the slight edge to the Esoteric, which was able to reproduce the subtlest details as Smith fingerpicked the tune, sliding his hand up and down the frets. Again, it was like being in the room with him as he played. It wasn't that the B100 wasn't detailed, but that the AI-10's ultra-tidy sound helped me be more aware of such details.

"Going Nowhere" also helped me discern differences in the two integrateds' bass reproduction. Through the AI-10, the acoustic bass had ample weight and extension; with the B100, the instrument sounded fuller and weightier in my room. I also noticed this with Groove Armada's "Suntoucher": the Bryston was simply more powerful down low, making the Esoteric sound leaner by comparison.
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