The Pier-Audio MS 380SE integrated amplifier is the entry level range of the French manufacturer. Like every product of the “Gold” range, there is a hybrid tubes/transistors assembly. The 5654 RT tubes are for the preamplifier and the drive. The bipolar transistors generate the power.
The front panel is very simple. It is available in a brushed aluminium black or gold finish. In the center there is a large gray metal knob that serves to adjust the volume. On the left side there is the power button. On the right side there are 5 red LEDs that indicate the selected source via the small push button or via the superb remote control included with the Pier-Audio MS 380SE. On the back panel there are four analogue aux inputs. There is also a digital Bluetooth input that is identifiable by the presence of a small antenna under the loudspeaker terminals.
The V4.0 Bluetooth version is compatible with the following Bluetooth audio formats: AAC, MP3, SBC, and APTX. Speakers terminals provide a point of connection for banana plugs, fork connectors, and bare wires. There is an IEC power plug which means that a specific power cable can be connected.
The tubes on the top of the device can be seen through smoked glass windows. The inside of the MS 380SE shows that the manufacturing is carefully thought out and pure. We can find Rubycon/Nichicon power supply chemical capacitors of Japanese origin. The polypropylene connecting capacitors are of French origin and made by the French manufacturer SCR.
From the opening bars, we are surprised by the power handling and sensation that delivers this Pier-Audio MS 380SE amplifier! There are indeed 50 watts! The restitution is extremely lively and dynamic. The is also an excellent timber and a superb articulation. The listening is never aggressive or tiring. This Pier-Audio integrated amplifier favors the extent of the soundstage and the substance. It may not be the most transparent on the market but the definition is excellent and the balance is remarkable. Thanks to the realism and the coherence of the unison, it can be combined with components of an even superior range.
In all honesty, this Pier-Audio MS 380SE integrated amplifier seduced us and even surprised us several times. At this price, there seems to be no competitors for those who love a warm and a little bit of vintage restitution.
Highly recommended! Franck
Maximum output power: 50W + 50W (8Ω)
Distortion: ≤ 0.05% (25W, 1KHz)
Input sensitivity: ≤ 285MV
Frequency response: 5Hz - 50KHz (-2dB)
SNR: ≥ 92dB (A)
Tubes: 5654 RT x 4
Load impedance: 4Ω - 8Ω
Bluetooth version: V4.0
Audio formats: AAC, MP3, SBC, APTX
Weight: 10,5 kg
Dimensions: 420 x 275 x 110 mm