Some Customer remarks aboat the Black Swan
“I was lucky enough to get to trial the Black Swan as did a couple others at work. The sound on the Black Swan immediately blew me away. It was natural sounding while not fatiguing at all. I was so blown away as my whole album collection had become new to me all over again! I kept putting on different albums and was just amazed at the sound coming out. Hours went by while I did this and pointing it out to my wife who also thought the sound was much clearer than it previously was. I was immediately sold and ready to swap out my existing phono pre-amp gladly.
After having the Black Swan for a few months nothing has changed. I’m still very excited to plug it in and fire it up to listen to some beautiful music. The Black Swan is very configurable as since I have purchased it I have swapped out carts on my turntable. It really didn’t take much time to get the Black Swan dialed in. The sound stage is vast to where I feel I am at a live show. At this point I need to question the rest of my gear and audition more from Austin Audioworks!”
I have been fortunate to get a ground floor opportunity to review the Austin Audio Works head amplifier unit that I named. “The Black Swan”. This thing came to me out of no-where, and we all know, or should know, that super low voltage amplifiers are a tough nut to crack. The name came after I listened to it. I was bowled over by the DYNAMICS, holographic image, even sounding frequency reach and transparency that this unit throws out. The only reason you might not tap your toes with this unit, is if you don’t have toes! I have several different head amplifiers, and the Black Swan is my main squeeze right now.
Barry has added on the fly loading and this is super nice to dial in the right loading, and not any more or less than YOUR ear enjoys. I can’t recommend this unit enough for audiophiles on a realistic budget…or those that think you have to spend $$$ more to get near this units performance.
Reporting in on the Black Swan preamp. I got my busted monoblock fixed and running smoothly. Wow! they never sounded this good. Now I get what the fuss is about for the “hallucinations” from audio. I took it over to my friend’s with the audiophile setup last night. He was impressed, we listened to several jazz albums, he definitely heard more detail than his other setup. The black swan replaced his PH-16 tube preamp. He was also running tubes on a Dynakit power amp rebuilt with a bunch of modern bias circuitry and those overpriced russian oil filled capacitors, so it was still plenty warm enough for his taste. My monoblocks sound exactly warm enough with this, I guess they like getting a nice accurate signal now.
The Black Swan has many tube qualities with a wonderful 3D presentation, great sense of air and wonderful microdynamics without trying to sound “tubey”.
‘F’ – SBAF review
Quiet background, very configurable loading (I maxed out the gain on this unit for my cart but it was sufficient), rich timbre, slightly tipped-down tone, complete lack of grain in the highs, forgiving of some of my lower-quality pressings without inversely feeling like it was sucking details out of my nicer plates, solid follow-through on decays and sustains without blunted attacks, good LF extension, generally a jack of all trades.