Boulder 866 Integrated Amplifier $14,250 Review
January 13, 2023 §
Gentle Ben is one of my most favorite albums in my entire high resolution jazz collection. The 866 DAC grabs this digital file and makes it something special. On the first track, “Ben’s Blues,” Ben Webster on saxophone and Tete Montoliu on piano provide the perfect balance of urgency and despair for this beautiful blues ballad. Again, we have the suddenness and dynamic contrast that only the very best components can bring to the table. These musicians and these instruments were now in the room! I also have the outstanding 45 RPM vinyl pressing from Analogue Productions. This was one of the few times that digital was able to really satisfy all that this recording can offer.
The Boulder 866 is a star performer and a true standard of excellence. With its superb industrial design and musical presentation, the 866 can easily be the center piece of the very best sound systems. The optional integrated DAC provides tremendous value and performance and competes well with DACs many times it price. Bottom line. The 866 indisputably pushes the envelope for what current integrated amplifiers can now provide—even for the most sophisticated Audiophiles. Highly recommended!