David Berning Special Edition ZH-230 Class A mono bloc amplifiers, current models, these amps are built to special order. They are the big brothers to the stereo version of the ZH-230 that Dick Olsher awarded amplifier of the year in the 2011 issue of The Absolute Sound. Selling these for a client who is freeing up cash to buy some large Nola speakers. He is the first owner. These amps are rated at 12W however in comparison to other tube amps, these exhibit more power than several he has compared them to in the 25W to 40W range. Amps are ready for shipment in the original boxes. They are in excellent shape and work perfectly. Rated 8 of 10 as there are a couple of tiny scratches visible under under close up inspection. If you are reading this you know that Berning amps rarely come up for sale and that David Berning does not sell his amps through a large dealer network with significant markups. These amps sell new for over $18,000. They are offered at $10,900.. For more info please email or view our other ads for contact information.
Below are some excerpts from the a few reviews.
ZH-230 wins The Absolute Sound 2011 Editors Choice Award
Dick Olsher in TAS
The Berning ZH-230 is the one, the anointed new king. It represents in my estimation the state-of-the-art in medium-power amplification. Let no one doubt the sonic potential of ZOTL technology. It delivers a substantial dose of tube magic while avoiding the pitfalls of tube euphonics and textural hyper-liquidity that afflict so many conventional tube amps. Its sound is rich, luxuriant, and dramatic, with a winning combination of transient speed and immediacy. A must audition for anyone serious about reproduced music.
Dick Olsher TAS 2011
If asked to compare it to the other amplifiers I have owned, from some of the most famous names in audio, I would say that such a comparison was not fair. Those amplifiers were clearly broken ;)
Vader Forrester said of the ZH-230 in Soundstage Ultra
I was totally smitten by theDavid Berning Company’s ZH-230. It solves some of the significant drawbacks of tube amplifiers -- short tube life, heavy weight, limited bandwidth -- while
retaining the tonal luminosity, detail, and smoothness for which tubes are prized. Its ability to provide almost instantaneous power made it sound more powerful than its rated output.
As a reviewer, I get to audition a fair number of amplifiers, and have tried to survey 30Wpc amplifiers for the SoundStage! Network. I’ve also reviewed amplifiers ranging from low-powered SETs to fairly high-powered push-pull models, and have auditioned(but not reviewed) other types of amps, including class-D models. I haven’t listened to every power amp out there, but the Berning ZH-230 is the best I’ve ever heard. And while all the technical hoo-ha is fascinating, what counts is that the ZH-230 made music sound right. For me, that meant it was more fun to listen to music with the Berning -- my listening sessions with it ran unusually late. David Berning’s ZH-230 has made it very hard for me to listen to other amplifiers.
. . . Vade Forrester
Published in hifi+ issue 91 dated September 2012 and written by Alan Sircom
It’s a truly uncanny feeling. We’re used to amplifiers sounding like there’s
no devices between you and the music, but this is something more, er, less
than that. It’s like everything else sounds artificial and arch by comparison.
It’s a kind of “oh, that’s how it sounds” epiphany; other amps could be likened to having your ears syringed, that feeling of sparkly clean detail that makes you think you could hear a pin drop from six miles away. That is sort of what the Berning ZH-230 monos do on a surface level. Underneath that however is something more like the musicians had more rehearsal sessions.
I can see why so many musicians have poor audio systems (aside from
the whole ‘musician = normal person, but poorer’ factor), because musicians
frequently listen for things non-musicians skip over, but that needs tempering
in the light of these sweet little amps. These amps resolve musical intervals
brilliantly (that’s the pitch change from one note to the next, something jazzers
especially spend years training themselves to hear... and it’s not as easy as it
sounds), tease out the textural relationship between lines of music, harmony
and rhythm as if it were a music theory masterclass. In short, musicians don’t
buy good audio systems, because they haven’t heard what the Berning monos
can do. And yet, for all that, the sound is full of the passion and dynamism that
keeps you in awe of music. It’s the kind of musical instrument that you could
listen to the same piece of music 200 times in a row and still extract musical
marrow from the 201st listen.