AavikU-300usedAavik U-300 - Integrated w/ World Class-DAC & Phono - Raidho & Borresen - Customer Trade-In - Warranty Remaining - BTC Now Accepted - 12 Months Interest Free Financing Available!!!JUST RECEIVED ON TRADE-IN - AWESOME OPPORTUNITY!!! PURCHASE FROM A TRUSTED SOURCE & AAVIK RETAILER!!! HIGH QUALITY TRADE-INS ALWAYS CONSIDERED!!! For sale is a customer trade-in Aavik U-300 I...13220.00

Aavik U-300 - Integrated w/ World Class-DAC & Phono - Raidho & Borresen - Customer Trade-In - Warranty Remaining - BTC Now Accepted - 12 Months Interest Free Financing Available!!!

Listing ID: lisb1ad5 Classified 
 Listed  · 212 Views

Time Left: 21 Days


New Retail Price:$30,000.00


Buy It NowMake Offer
Payment methodsContact seller

Contact seller after sale to pay via VISA/Mastercard, American Express, Discover, Certified check, Personal check or Wire Transfer

Ships fromWayne, IL, 60184
Ships toUnited States
Package dimensionsunspecified
Shipping carrierFedEx
Shipping cost$200.00
Original accessoriesRemote Control, Box, Manual
Agon miniAverageResearch Pricing




For sale is a customer trade-in Aavik U-300 Integrated Amplifier.  Our client purchased the unit brand new from us and has since upgraded within the Aavik lineup making it an excellent opportunity for the new owner.

For those of you not familiar this integrated was designed and manufactured by the same Danish masterminds behind Raidho, Ansuz, and Borresen.  While the aesthetic virtues of this integrated amplifier are handsomely understated/Scandinavian do not let the minimalist look fool you - it’s an absolute powerhouse of an amplifier with a built-in DAC and fully adjustable Moving Coil Phonostage both of which are truly world-class.  This amplifier often bests separates at our boutique costing north of $100k (and requires less space, cabling, and rack space). 

As this unit has roots with Raidho and Borresen Acoustics you will be hard pressed to find a better pairing for these Danish Loudspeakers.  We have won numerous best of show awards with the U-300 as it is simply remarkable with Raidho and Borresen loudspeakers. 
The unit ships with the original remote and flight case.  The unit will be double boxed to preserve its condition.    

INTEREST FREE FINANCE OPPORTUNITY: Next Level HiFi Is Now Offering 12 Months Interest Free Financing, To Approved Credit, On This Listing!!!     

BITCOIN: Next Level HiFi Is Now Pleased To Offer Acceptance Of Bitcoin (BTC) Payment.

TRADE-IN:  Next Level HiFi Does Accept High Quality & Complete Trade-Ins (No Vintage Or Damaged Goods).  Please contact us for further information.  Pllease be realistic, when considering this service, as it relates to trade-in values.

See below for a Glowing Review of the U-300 from The Absolute Sound magazine!

...This particular room contained a number of listeners tapping their toes to the music, a pretty happy exhibitor/DJ having a great time spinning digital tunes, and a very minimalistic set of audio componentry, too little in fact to account for the propulsive sound knocking down the walls. I decided the chocolate croissants downstairs would have to wait (a while).

I happened to walk in when Raidho principal Lars Kristensen was playing “Welcome to My World” by Depeche Mode. He was playing his own sampler CD and it was rocking—driving bass line, crystal-clear vocals, and a huge sense of space. I expected more gear but I only saw a pair of fairly compact speakers on the floor about ten feet in front of the backwall. Each slender and beautifully finished speaker was just a little over four feet high. The sign said X-3, and I soon realized the X-3 was a new model somewhere in the middle of the Raidho line, at $30,000/pair far from the top but certainly not inexpensive. Each speaker had an array of four 4" ceramic mid/bass drivers, the highly regarded Raidho ribbon tweeter, and one measly 8" bass driver mounted on the side. There was no way two of these were putting out all that bass, so I looked carefully for subwoofers hidden somewhere in the room. None to be found. I looked at the floor around the speakers for the presumably massive amplifiers, but no amps were to be found either. It was either some sort of trickery, or the Raidho guys were really onto something special.

On a stand in the middle of the room was a smallish black component that looked like it could have been designed by Darth Vader in one of his more creative moments. Sleek, black on black on black, solid metal with holes drilled for cooling, it could well have come from the command center of the Executor. It possessed a huge volume-type control on the front, silky smooth in operation and surrounded by a circle of tiny white LEDs. The curved top plane bore the name “AAVIK” deeply engraved in the metal and three small metal buttons above the volume control. Whatever it did, or however it worked, it was undeniably cool.

Raidho chief designer Michael Børresen then took the floor and told us about the loudspeakers. He also answered questions, the general tenor of which was, “How do you do that?” Unassuming and mild-mannered, he described what sounded like a new way of loading the bass drivers. He quietly extolled the virtues of the ceramic drivers and the almost massless ribbon tweeter. He didn’t even mention the Vader box until I asked him about it. Almost nonchalantly, he gave me a brief tour of the device and informed me that he had been working on its design for a while. Aavik is a new company helmed by Børresen and Kristensen, and the U-300 is the first of a new line of electronics they will be introducing. They have also started a cable company called Ansuz Acoustics. Not to be overlooked is their less-expensive speaker line, Scansonic.

In that brief meeting at CES, Børresen explained that the “U” in the U-300 stands for “Unity” and the “300,” not surprisingly, for the power output in watts. It was the component powering the X-3s. He said its output doubled to 600Wpc into 4 ohms, and was stable to 2 ohms. He was distinctly not apologetic that it was a Class D design. The burly amp I had been looking for was contained in the svelte Aavik package. Matter-of-factly, he acknowledged that Class D amplification did not enjoy the best reputation in the high-end community. Nevertheless, he stated that design of Class D circuitry had come a long way in the past five years and, after all, he and Lars were forced to improve upon prior Class D design because they wanted the U-300 to have the ability to drive virtually any loudspeaker. In short, Class D was the only way they could get truly high power into a relatively compact package and not worry about heat dissipation. Personally, it doesn’t matter to me what class the circuit is, as long as it sounds great. I admired his goal of building a take-no-prisoners integrated amp as his first project for Aavik.

Indeed, the U-300 is more than just a preamp and amplifier in one chassis. It also houses an internal DAC which was playing at the time. (He was using a dCS Puccini transport to feed digits to the U-300.) To complete the “Unity” aspect of the project, Børresen pointed out that the U-300 also contains a state-of-the-art RIAA phonostage. Press one of those buttons on top and start turning the volume control, and bingo—adjustable loading for a moving-coil cartridge. Overall, I thought the sound in the room was terrific and went back to visit three or four times during the show.

Fast forward to the Newport Beach 2015 show. Raidho was again exhibiting and this time Børresen was using the U-300 with the superb X-1 monitor speakers. Robert Harley wrote very highly of the X-1s last year and just as that came to mind Mr. Harley himself walked into the room and sat down next to me. After extolling the virtues of the Raidho ribbon tweeter, he and I simply listened to the great sound. Robert had also enjoyed the U-300 at CES and said we needed to review this amplifier. I was mightily interested in doing it, but was concerned about its (possible) limitations. I had a short discussion with Børresen about use of the U-300 with my reference Magnepan 20.7 speakers. I had several issues. First, I’m a tube guy and, through the years, have only really been satisfied with a tube front-end and large tube amplifiers driving the Maggies. Was the solid-state Class D U-300 going to sound thin, bright, and/or two-dimensional on the planars? Second, the 20.7s are power hogs. Simply put, the more (clean) power, the better. They will do a creditable job with 200Wpc, but require (IMHO) at least 300–500 watts, or more, to really sing in a mid-to-large size room. Believe it or not, if driven properly, the large panels will actually disappear, leaving the listener sitting in a pretty vast acoustic space. (My colleague JHb misquoted me when he commented that imaging must not be that important to me because I use the 20.7s. I specifically wrote that the 20.7s won’t image with the best cone-driven systems, but they nevertheless image extremely well and certainly at no less than the same level I hear in a large concert hall, even sitting fairly close to the orchestra.) But could the smallish single Vader box deliver the goods? Michael’s nonchalant response to all of my questions: “Don’t worry about it.”

Aavik’s Design Philosophy
At Newport, as well as in subsequent conversations, Børresen told me more about his thinking behind the design of the Aavik U-300. He was not aiming for an entry- or mid-level integrated amplifier. Instead, he wanted to embrace the benefits offered by a single box, and design an all-in-one unit that would compete favorably with the best equipment in the world. As noted, he decided early on that the only way to provide major power for virtually any loudspeaker, in a relatively small enclosure, was through Class D circuitry. Even though the circuit might have a negative connotation to some audiophiles, he was convinced that he could do better and that the proof was in the listening.

Børresen also extolled the inherent virtues of an integrated amplifier/DAC/phonostage: Very short connections and no interconnects required! And he was not necessarily looking at this as a cost saving, which it undeniably is. Instead, his point was that with proper circuit design and layout in a single box, there was great potential for the resulting sound to be faster and more unfettered than if the signal were traveling through yards and yards of interconnect between components. Again, he did not say that separates could not sound fast, and he was not putting down any particular design. He simply remarked that, with a well-engineered integrated, there was potentialfor faster, more open sound.

The designer gave me a breakdown of the philosophy and circuit implementation for each of the main sections of the U-300. The U-300 phono section is based on a discrete, floating, balanced, ultra-low-noise, bipolar input circuit. He said he did this to maintain the inherent floating, balanced signal of a moving-coil cartridge. Paralleling several transistor pairs has resulted in a dead-quiet phonostage. At 62dB, the U-300 phono section has ample gain for any of the better moving coils. Børresen believes that designing a phono section to accommodate a wide range of cartridge outputs is detrimental to absolute performance. Accordingly, he designed this section to accommodate mc’s from the lowest output to approximately 1.5mV. This narrower focus allowed him to avoid the JFETs used in most competing designs. Moreover, the use of six, individual, low-noise power supplies for the phonostage, together with a 4-layer PC board with shortest possible traces, has allowed Aavik to obtain an extremely high 94dB signal-to-noise ratio. Cartridge loading is adjustable from 50 ohms to 5k ohms.

The U-300 24bit/192kHz DAC section is also designed in-house and offers five digital inputs: two TosLink, one USB, and two SPDIF. The DAC’s circuits are fitted with ultra-low-jitter onboard clocks to minimize timing errors in digital-to-analog conversion. Børresen indicated that when designing the DAC, he had to decide if it should handle both PCM and DSD. In his view, multi-format architecture, at least at this time, does not offer the ultimate performance of a single-format DAC; thus, he settled on a PCM-type DAC, a decision that he said made it easier to deal with all bit depths and sample-rates in an optimum manner.

For the amplifier section, Michael stated that Class D was the obvious choice as no other technology offers comparable performance in regard to power, size, and the need for cooling. He acknowledges the inherent issues with Class D designs and does not assert that Class D is superior to Class AB or Class A amplifiers. But he does believe that great progress is being made in Class D technology and has devoted a lot of time and energy to building the best Class D amplifier he can at this time. Someday, he speculates, Class D may become the best performer of them all.

The rear panel of the U-300 is reasonably accommodating. Aside from the five separate digital inputs, it has a dedicated RCA input for the phonostage and three other line-level, single-ended inputs. A really useful feature is that the gain of each input may be separately adjusted in three steps: 3, 6, and 12dB. This makes it much easier to match volume levels from different sources. The loudspeaker binding posts are easy to use and will accommodate bare wire, spades, or banana plugs.

Is anything missing? At first I thought it would be helpful to have at least one balanced input, to accommodate owners who already own a balanced cable they prefer. But as I used the Aavik, I came to realize the absence of an XLR in was not really a hardship. Connections from a turntable are always going to be single-ended. With its choice of five digital inputs, only a digital connection is required between a transport and the Aavik DAC. Of course, if one also wants to use additional line-level sources, such as a tuner or a different DAC, single-ended cables would be required.

Some users might also want a volume-controlled line-out, but Børresen explains that is not really the purpose of the U-300. It was designed to literally encompass all front-end and amplification needs, rendering line-out superfluous for most users. If the intended system is fairly complex and includes subwoofers, for example, he correctly points out that many high-quality subs allow connection at speaker level for most coherent performance.

The Aavik remote is clever and worth a few words. A small piece of brushed aluminum with three controls, it was designed by Apple! In fact it’s the same remote Apple uses for many of its products. In the Aavik application it controls volume, allows selection of source, and enables muting.

So the U-300 was conceived to be competitive with the best high-end separates and is gorgeous to behold. It sounded wonderful on two different sets of Raidho speakers at two different shows. But only a trial period at home would let me know if Børresen was right about whether I had no need to be concerned that this small box could get the best from Maggie 20.7s.

How Does It Sound?
It was almost too easy to set up the U-300. It weighs slightly less than 40 pounds, so I had no problem moving it around. In my system, the Aavik replaced a lot of gear: Aesthetix Io Eclipse phonostage with two power supplies, Callisto Eclipse linestage with two power supplies, Meitner DAC, and a variety of heavy amplifiers currently on hand (including Aesthetix Atlas monos and a pair of VTL 750s). (I also have Audio Research REF 250 SE amplifiers and a REF phono and linestage waiting in the wings, but they were not in use when I auditioned the U-300.)

To get on with the show, at first I simply connected my Kuzma Stabi M turntable (with 4Point arm and Lyra Etna cartridge) and two-box Meitner CD transport and DAC directly to the U-300. I did not have to change speaker cables as they were long enough to reach the centrally-located Aavik. It was a breeze to set cartridge loading at the recommended 500 ohms. I prefer vinyl, but first I put on some CDs just to see if the U-300 could actually drive the 20.7s to satisfying levels without a meltdown. Taking it slowly at first, I put on one of my favorite discs, Beethoven cello sonatas with du Pre and Barenboim [EMI]—the Allegro Vivace from Sonata No. 1, and the Adagio and Allegro from Sonata No. 2. As I turned the volume slowly upward, it wasn’t long before I was simply blown away. Cello tone was ravishing and Barenboim had never sounded this dynamic. I know it’s hackneyed, but the performers were in the room. More accurately, I was in their room as I heard sounds from the live audience I had barely noticed before. I love this version of the sonatas (du Pre is sensational), and it never sounded better. I easily achieved lifelike levels without any sense of strain or compression from the Aavik or the speakers.

Very pleasantly surprised. I decided to throw subtlety out the window and try more hard-hitting CDs. These included the Raidho show sampler given to me by Lars Kristensen (not true that I pried it out of his hands), the soundtrack from Lost Highway [Nothing/Interscope], and some of the fabulous CDs that Philip O’Hanlon (owner of On a Higher Note) makes and occasionally hands out to a lucky few. From the Raidho sampler I went right to the Depeche Mode cut I had heard at CES. Fresh in mind was the huge sense of space and driving bass of the demo. I played it really loud, and was stunned. I knew the 20.7s could do tight, deep bass, but again I had never heard it like this. Amazing definition, control, and extension in the lower frequencies. Dave Gahan’s voice was crystal clear and the soundstage was huge. I just couldn’t get over the ease with which the U-300 was driving the big Maggies. The amp was in total control and played cleanly at any level I could tolerate. The U-300 is rated at 600Wpc into 4 ohms, but in use it felt like 1000 watts or more, with pretty much unlimited headroom. No wonder Børresen had smiled when he told me, “Don’t worry about it.” I was not only amazed at the amp, but had new appreciation for the capabilities of the 20.7s, the limits of which obviously I had not previously reached (and may still not have reached). Equally important, there was no sense of transistory hardness or thinness, all of which are eagerly exposed by the Maggie ribbon tweeter. The music just sounded alive. Very transparent, emotional, and dynamic. The stage was panoramic.

Still anxious to get more of a take on the raw drive capabilities of the U-300, I put on the Lost Highway soundtrack. At a CES a few years ago, Jon Valin introduced me to this CD. In one of the show rooms, after hours, he put on “The Perfect Drug” and told them to play it very loud. Clearly his goal was to drive everyone from the room, leaving it for himself. I braved it and became a real fan of the entire album. I’m not embarrassed to say I especially get a kick out of the Marilyn Manson and Rammstein selections, not to mention the David Bowie opening and closing numbers. Manson’s cover of “I Put a Spell on You” is killer. In Rammstein’s disturbing but powerful “Hierate Mich,” the lead singer makes Leonard Cohen almost sound like a soprano. At the highest sound level I could tolerate, which is high, the Aavik fed the 20.7s enough juice to bring the hounds of hell into my room. The bass line was throbbing; the full band was aggressive but never sounded unnaturally harsh or bright, and vocals were moving through the room. Scary, actually. It confirmed my earlier impression that the U-300 has wide-open dynamic range, as if the designers had managed to capture and restrain some small nuclear reactor inside that Vader box.

It was time to really get serious with vinyl. I now knew the U-300 had the power to drive the 20.7s with ease, but could the phonostage compete with high-quality separates? First up on the orchestral side was my favorite Mahler Third, with Zubin Mehta at Royce Hall [King]. The first think I noticed with the Aavik was that the sense of air and space was huge and gave up nothing to tube gear. The Royce Hall acoustic enveloped most of my room, making it easier to get lost in this massive symphony. The bass drums thunder at the opening of the first movement (almost a symphony in itself) soon subsides into some relatively delicate strokes of the drum, far back, stage left. The Aavik firmly differentiated the varying intensities of the drum and left no question about the significant space between the bass drum and the front of the stage.

Throughout the first movement, the brass section (trumpets, trombones, and tuba) was sensational, burnished, and piercing as in life, but never harsh as in hi-fi. The orchestra was illuminated from within, not with spotlights but with the warm glow of the orchestral stage during a performance. Timpani rolled through the room while massed violins and doublebasses sounded as they do in the concert hall. Solo violin was lovely and the woodwinds floated throughout this massive orchestral undertaking (Mahler’s largest symphony and, IMHO, also one of his most uplifting).

Orchestral piano was also beautifully rendered by the Aavik and 20.7s. I’m a fan of Julius Katchen, and his playing of Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 with Pierre Monteux [Decca] highlights his skills. After the lengthy introduction by full orchestra, the piano’s entry is precisely located well behind the speakers, rich in timbre and fully percussive when the playing becomes more intense.

The next record to settle on the Kuzma was Miles & Quincy Live at Montreux [Warner]. A wonderful performance and atmospheric recording, the Porgy and Bess medley is fabulous. Great definition of all instruments with Miles’ trumpet riding above and through it all with authority and explosiveness. Speaking of explosive, the song “Pan Piper” (from Sketches of Spain) on side two was breathtaking.

On the terrific early stereo (1958) recording What Is There to Say? by the Gerry Mulligan Quartet [Columbia], Mulligan’s sax and Art Farmer’s trumpet were full-bodied and right in front of you in the room, leaving nothing to the imagination. My aunt was friends with Peggy Lee and some years ago she gave me her Peggy Lee records. They generally suffer from early “left-right” recording techniques, but the sound is pretty good and Peggy Lee’s voice and interpretations are still fresh and relevant. The old standards “The Lady is a Tramp” and “Days of Wine and Roses,” both on Mink Jazz [Capitol], exhibited new life through the Aavik. It didn’t turn the recordings into the state of the art, but it allowed all of Peggy Lee’s expressiveness to shine through as if she were recorded yesterday.

I’ve played The Red Hot Ray Brown Trio 45-rpm reissue [Groove Note] dozens of times in the past few years. It never gets old. With the Aavik in the system, Ray Brown’s bass had an unexpected level of definition and expression. Likewise, Gene Harris’ piano playing beautifully ran the range between subtle and driving. It was never more clear that the performers were having fun, and so was I. The Aavik just seems to deliver intact all of the energy of the original performance. Put another way, it didn’t seem to restrict or compress the dynamic range of the musicians. Could this be a function, at least in part, of all electrical components being closely together in one enclosure, with minimal wiring and almost no interconnects? Why not?

Time to try the U-300 with other genres. My daughter Serena has her own weekly blues radio show at Indiana University. She’s teaching me a lot about blues music and history and I’m enjoying the blues (the music, that is) more than ever. She sent me on a record-buying mission at last year’s Newport Show (great show with a pretty spectacular selection of vinyl for sale). One of those purchases, Otis Rush’s Cold Day in Hell [Delmark], is seeing more than its fair share of turntable time. How bad can any album be when Mighty Joe Young is playing guitar? Rush’s songs are addictive and, yet again, the Aavik lets this raw-boned music through in all its gritty glory. The more I listened to the U-300, the more I realized one of its greatest strengths is what it doesn’t do—it just doesn’t get in the way of the music.

How about the U-300 with rock ’n’ roll? Jack White headlined Coachella last Spring and put on a helluva show, not to be forgotten. Since that performance, my White Stripes and Jack White (solo) vinyl collection has substantially expanded. The LPs are all really good, but if you’re new to the White Stripes on vinyl, the two-record set Elephant [Third Man Records] is a great place to start. (All songs were recorded to eight-track reel-to-reel and, so state the album notes, “no computers were used during the writing, recording, mixing or mastering of this record.”) I just read that Rolling Stone called it the fifth-best album of the decade. It’s all good, with “Seven Nation Army” and “Ball and Biscuit” (“Let’s have a ball and a biscuit, sugar, and take our sweet time about it”) still receiving a lot of airplay on the indie channels. Jack White is undoubtedly one of the greatest guitarists of our era and this album finds him pulverizing just about every cut. Through the Aavik, his guitar shreds and the bass buckles the walls. But through it all, his voice remains crystal clear and the lyrics are intelligible, a rarity today. This record has always sounded awesome on my tube gear, but the Aavik just cranks up the energy to another level without any loss of clarity.

Digital Redux
I wanted to audition the Aavik’s built-in DAC but my Meitner transport apparently has proprietary connections that are incompatible with the Aavik. I didn’t have the time to accumulate a number of transports for purposes of this review, but I do have a perfectly good Oppo multi-format player with TosLink and RCA digital outputs, both of which are accepted by the U-300. I understand the Oppo is not the ultimate high-end source, but it is a great value and I thought it would be interesting to see if an inexpensive transport would work well with the Aavik.

I connected the Oppo and re-played all of the CDs I played when I first received the Aavik, discussed above. When finished, the Oppo/Aavik combination had demonstrated some distinct differences from my Meitner transport/DAC. I have been very happy with the Meitner for a long time and never thought it was anything but “quiet,” but the greater background blackness of the Aavik DAC was noticeable on every CD. Second, the Meitner was a little more laid-back in presentation, while the Aavik was more upfront. I can’t say that one sound is better than the other, but over time the Aavik seemed to flesh out small nuances a little better than the Meitner, while the Meitner seemed to offer slightly more air and space on orchestral recordings. Call it a tie. The Oppo/Aavik sounded very slightly more transparent than the Meitner; perhaps that is why musical nuances were more easily heard with the Aavik. But the biggest difference between the two combinations, by far, was in the bass range. The Meitner has powerful bass which sometimes seems a little overblown (in my system). The Aavik DAC also has powerful bass, but through the Maggies the bass with the Aavik is much better controlled and more tightly defined than the Meitner. I could imagine some systems where it would be a close call choosing between the two sets of transport/DACs, but the 20.7s loved the control and definition of the Aavik.

I can only imagine what higher-end transports might sound like with the Aavik. But I can report that even with a low-cost but outstanding player like the Oppo used solely as a transport, the Aavik digital section was competitive with the Meitner and superior in some important respects. Sonically, there is little doubt that the Aavik DAC was designed and built, like the phonostage, to compete with or exceed the best separates. In my view, Aavik has more than achieved its goals with both the digital and the phono sections of the U-300.

Does the U-300 Offer Good Value? 
Where does the Aavik U-300 fit in the audio universe? One thing it did for me, immediately, is change my view of integrated amps and Class D technology. Before I tried the U-300, my general impression of integrateds was that they were a convenient and cost-effective means of driving less-assuming speakers in a smaller room. But the U-300 shows that an integrated amplifier system can be the heart of a cost-no-object system. This single box is truly competitive with a host of very expensive separates. Based upon my very positive experience with the U-300 and my power-hungry 20.7s, it is hard to imagine the Aavik having difficulty cleanly driving any speaker to any level you might want. It’s a true powerhouse. It is also supremely transparent, removing even the clearest pane of glass between you and the music. It is not thin or harsh. Nor does it sound like my preconception of “solid-state” or “Class D.” It is rich and full-bodied when the music allows, but it is never syrupy or overripe.

I have taken pains, so far, to avoid a detailed comparison of the U-300 with my reference tube gear. I can’t say that the Aavik sounds like tubes, but neither can I say that it sounds solid-state. It sounds like music. Perhaps it is not quite as full-bodied or three-dimensional as competitive tube gear, but it is close enough to be totally satisfying on the broadest range of music. And it is so fast, and so black of background, that it leaves much tube gear in its wake. Moreover, finding tube preamps and power amps that will drive the 20.7s with the ease and alacrity of the Aavik is not an easy or inexpensive undertaking. The U-300 is the first solid-state preamp and amp combination I have auditioned, in my own system, that offers a fully satisfying alternative to high-powered tubes.

I do not mean to imply that the U-300 is unbeatable. I love my tube front-end, and some tube amps sound outstanding with the 20.7s. I have not heard them all. Perhaps a more interesting question today, in light of the wealth of new superb solid-state equipment from many manufacturers, might be how the Aavik sounds compared to the best of the latest solid-state gear. I have not heard all of the latest amplifiers in my room and cannot make that assessment. What I am prepared to say, with a high degree of certainty, is that it would be very difficult to find separates (tube or solid-state) with performance equal or greater to the Aavik, at anywhere near its price. In drawing this conclusion, I am considering the cost of a state-of-the-art phonostage, a state-of-the-art DAC, and a superb amplifier with sufficient power to drive most, if not all, speakers with ease and enormous headroom.

After living with the U-300 for over three months, I still look forward to every listening session and am still discovering subtle nuances in old recordings I thought I knew well. I get goosebumps at almost every session. Fun bonuses that don’t affect the sound: It’s nice to turn on the whole system with a single switch; it’s refreshing not to have to turn on the air-conditioning every time I play the system for more than an hour; it’s a pleasure to only need a few cables and power cords to hook up the entire system.

To answer my own question, I believe the U-300 offers enormous value, even at $30,000. When considering the combined cost of separates that are truly competitive with the Aavik, the U-300 is a relative bargain in today’s high-end scene. To my way of thinking, the U-300 is a game-changer in the high-end industry. It is now possible to think about state-of-the-art performance for all necessary electronics in a single, very stylish box. The U-300 welcomes with open arms almost any speakers, not just monitors or high-sensitivity models. I hope some of you take or make the opportunity to audition the U-300. I think you’ll be impressed.


Type: Integrated amplifier with built-in DAC and mc phono preamplifier
Output: 300Wpc into 8 ohms, 600Wpc into 4 ohms; stable to 2 Ohms
Inputs: One RCA (phono), three line-level, two RCA SPDIF (32k–192kHz), two TosLink optical (32kHz–96kHz), one USB (PCM 32k–192kHz)
Input impedance: 10k ohms
Dimensions: 17.3" x 3.9" x 14.6"
Weight: 36 lbs.
Price: $30,000

9000 Aalborg / Denmark
+45 40 51 14 31
[email protected]


Our Company: Next Level HiFi is a premier retailer of the world’s finest HiFi products. We operate by appointment and offer our clients the opportunity to experience systems not heard elsewhere. We are proud to support our business partners including: Aavik, Ansuz, Børresen, Dynaudio, Focal, Kudos, Naim, Nordost, Octave, Rega, REL, Soulution, & YG Acoustics.  

Payment can be made by Check, Cash, Money Order, Credit Card, or PayPal. Credit Card or PayPal adds 3% to the total.    

Illinois Residents add 7% to the total. 

Local pickup is available as well.

Feel free to contact us at the following for questions, appointment requests, and or orders:   

o: 630-797-5117
c: 630-246-0390
f: 630-830-0395  
e: [email protected]
w: www.nextlevelhifi.com


No questions have been asked about this item.

Ask the seller a public question

You must log in to ask a question.

Return Policy

Return Window

Returns are not accepted on this item.


member since April 2007

Next Level HiFi  Verified Dealer

Last 12 months

11 Watchers