The Pier Audio MS 680SE Anniversary Edition integrated amplifier is a special and more audiophile version of the famous MS 880SE. Like every product of this “Gold” range, this is a hybrid tubes/transistors integrated amplifier. The 12AT7 and 12AU7 tubes all come from a “N.O.S” (New Old Stock). These tubes were selected for their extreme musicality. They are integrated in a SRPP mount devoted to the preamp and the drive section. Bipolar transistors from Toshiba control the power section. Franck
The front panel of the Pier Audio MS 680SE Anniversary Edition integrated amplifier is available in a black or gold brushed aluminium finish. In the center there is a nice volume potentiometer. Just above the potentiometer there is a backlit volume unit meter which indicates the power used and therefore available. The front panel also has 6 horizontal slits which provide a view of the tubes. On the left, there is the power on button and in the center there are six push buttons in order to select the source. There is also a remote control that comes with every Pier Audio MS 680SE Anniversary Edition integrated amplifier which gives you control of this device. On the back of the amplifier, there are 5 pairs of plated gold RCA which correspond to the analogue auxiliary (4) and By-Pass (1 for video processors) inputs. It is to be pointed out that this By-Pass input makes the sound pass by the preamp section and thus through the 4 tubes! This enables to correctly power the 2 main speakers (stereo) of an AV system with an input sensitivity of 500MV! This compensates for the low dynamics of the mass market AV amplifiers in playback on 2 stereo channels.
The plated gold speaker terminals provide a connection for bare wire, banana plugs, and fork connectors. There is an IEC power plug which signifies that a specific power cable can be connected.
On the inside of the MS 680SE Anniversay Edition, the manufacturing is carefully thought out. There is a superb and impressive 750VA power supply transformer. It is coiled the old fashion way with high quality copper and Z11 steel sheets. All of the power supply capacitors and filters are of Rubycon/Nichicon/Elna Japanese origin. The polypropylene connecting capacitors are of French origin (SCR).
The Pier Audio MS 680SE Anniversary Edition is somewhat of a racing “beast”! This integrated amplifier surprised us several times by its dynamic capacities and bass handling even with Hi-Fi speakers that are hard to drive. It is a true revelation, especially for the price at which it is offered! It offers a more vintage sound than its competitors but with a complete and dynamic restitution. There is clearly a “tube” balance, without losing in transparency and detail. In this case, the hybrid choice is clearly justified and the tubes are not just there for the “beauty” aspect!
If you need power and the timbre is essential this Pier Audio MS 680SE Anniversary Edition integrated amplifier is certainly made for you!
One of the best quality/price/musical pleasure ratio of the moment!
Power: 2 x 120watts (8 OHMS)
Harmonic distortion: <1%
AUX input sensitivity: <240MV
BY PASS input sensitivity: <500MV
Frequency response: 5Hz - 86Khz (-2db)
Noise signal: < 93db
NOS tubes: 2 x 12AT7 et 2 x 12AU7 (SRPP mount)
Speaker impedance: 4/8 ohms
Remote control: source and volume
Dimensions: 180 x 450 x 420 mm