The Pier Audio MS 480SE integrated amplifier is the second product of the Gold range of the French manufacturer. Like every product of this “Gold” range, this is a hybrid tubes/transistors amplifier. The 12AT7 and 12AU7 tubes (SRPP mount) are devoted to the preamp and the drive section. Bipolar transistors from Toshiba control the power section.
The front panel is available in a black or gold brushed aluminium finish. In the center there is a nice aluminium volume potentiometer. Just above the potentiometer there is a backlit volume unit meter which indicates the input level of the selected source. On the left, there is the power on button. And on the right there are five red LEDs which indicate the selected source via the small push button or via the superb remote control (this remote control comes with every Pier Audio MS 480SE integrated amplifier). On the back of the amplifier, there are 5 pairs of plated gold RCA which correspond to the analogue auxiliary (4) and ByPass (1 for video processors) inputs.
The plated gold speaker terminals provide a connection for bare wires, banana plugs, and fork connectors. There is an IEC power plug which signifies that a specific power cable can be connected.
On top of the amplifier, there are two smoked glass windows in order to see the tubes. On the inside of the MS 480SE, the manufacturing is carefully thought out. There are Rubycon/Nichicon power supply chemical capacitors of Japanese origin. The polypropylene connecting capacitors are of French origin and made by the French manufacturer SCR. A 320VA power supply transformer ensures the announced power and voltage.
The opening bars are relatively significant regarding the articulation and dynamic capacitance of the Pier Audio MS 480SE integrated amplifier. The feeling of power and control of the loudspeakers produced by this amplifier is surprising! The sound restitution is very lively and communicative. The timbre is a little flattering and will delight the nostalgics (and not only them!) of the “warm” and present sound. The listening is never aggressive nor fatiguing. This Pier Audio integrated amplifier favors the amplitude of the soundstage, substance, and the voices. It does wonders with neutral or clear and transparent Hi-Fi speakers. Do not be afraid to use it with an excellent turntable to get the most out of it.
This Pier Audio MS 480SE integrated amplifier surprised us several times. It is a true revelation, especially for the price it is offered at! One of the best quality/price/musical pleasure ratio of the moment!
Diapason d'Or - 2017
Power: 2 x 50W/8 ohms
Distortion: ≤ 1%
Input sensitivity: ≤ 220Mv
Bypass: ≤ 600Mv, 5Hz - 35KHz (-2dB)
Frequency response: 5Hz - 75KHz (-2dB)
SNR: ≥ 88dB (A)
Tubes: 2 x 12AT7 et 2 x 12AU7 (SRPP mount)
Transistors: 4 x bipolar Toshiba
Remote control: source and volume
Output impedance: 4Ω - 8Ω
Weight: 10.5 kg
Dimensions: 275 x 425 x 115mm