PS Audio Sprout100 Integrated Amplifier

PS Audio Sprout100 Integrated Amplifier

In February of 2015, I reviewed the original PS Audio Sprout, the brainchild of Scott McGowan. It was a powerful, small, simple to use stereo integrated amplifier with DAC, analog preamplifier, headphone amp, phono stage, Bluetooth receiver and more; I was dazzled by its performance at $799. Now we step forward 3 years to the second generation for review here: the Sprout100—at only $599.

I ran into McGowan recently at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in October 2017, where he pulled out a prototype of the Sprout100 from his backpack at the hotel restaurant for my perusal; my eyes lit up at what I saw—and hoped to hear soon after. As I will try to convey in this review, some serious thought by McGowan was clearly given to this new version, and by drawing upon the expertise of PS Audio’s engineer Darren Myers, PS Audio has produced a product of exceptional value—and substantially better than the original. 

SEI SOLO: Bach’s Six Sonatas & Partitas for Violin Alone—Thomas Bowes, violin

SEI SOLO: Bach’s Six Sonatas & Partitas for Violin Alone—Thomas Bowes, violin

I first heard British violinist Thomas Bowes on a Signum Records release. It was a recording of the Walton and Barber Violin Concertos conducted by the wonderful violinist, Joseph Swensen, with the equally wonderful Malmo Opera Orchestra. Both performance and recording were superb. 

If you know that recording, you will appreciate the art of a very special violinist. Bowes has the technical gifts of many of the virtuosos seen before the public, but he brings much more to his performances than many fiddlers spinning yet another Mendelssohn. There is deep commitment, musicality, and yes, risk. Even on recordings, as heard here on this marvellous new set of CDs from Navona Records, you will thrill at the risks that Bowes attempts, both with tempo and in dynamic range . It makes for an exceptional listening experience.