Hi-Fi Advice Review
4 / 2021
Having tested the AW180’s and AW600 Nemos simultaneously and with various loudspeakers has given me a very good handle on their respective performance. Both models provide a ballsy, sonorous and slightly dark sound with a very natural timbre. These amplifiers’ immense power reserves make that they won’t run out of breath easily but their iron grip also means that the sound can become too controlled when partnered with other electronics and speakers that are tight-sounding themselves. I have the distinct feeling that these Norwegian heavyweights are happiest driving power-hungry speakers although they also worked fabulously well with the very relaxed but relatively easy to drive Graham Audio LS5/9f’s.
The AW180’s are really great and actually very similar in character to the AW600 Nemos. Like their bigger brothers, they have no trouble driving any loudspeaker that I connected to earth-shattering volume levels and they remain stable under all circumstances. However, if the budget does not stretch as much as is required for the Nemos, I wholeheartedly suggest not listening to them because they will spoil a person. Even if more expensive or more powerful models need not always be universally better than their lower-end stablemates, the Nemos simply outperform the AW180’s in literally all the technical aspects as well as lyricism and emotional involvement.
Product: AW600 and AW180