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Description. The IT-15 integrated amplifier is a very sleek device with a front panel anodized in deep red. Each mechanical component is made precisely because the company controls even the smallest step of its construction in their own workshop with CNC Vitronics-Soltec machines working with 1/100mm precision able to perform 18.000 activities per hour.
On the fascia we have two knobs in natural aluminum. One controls volume, the other input selection. There is no remote control. Between the knobs sits a big black power switch with a red LED. The remainder of the chassis is black-anodized aluminum. The cheeks feature heat sinks with rounded edges. The RCA sockets located in two rows are nice and placed wide apart so we can use any cabling desired. Interestingly the right channel marked red sits on top and not bottom as usual. The only other machine with this socket arrangement I’ve come across is my Ayon Audio Polaris III preamplifier.
Lavardin gives us four line inputs and one recording output. The sockets are identified by a sticker placed below them. On the sides are single gold-plated speaker terminals with plastic heads. The quality is good but the spacing tight. You have to be careful with big spades! It’s apparent how the people at Lavardin thought seriously about resonance control. Their chassis is solid, there is the Plywood shelf/plinth and finally there are three exceptional feet: one in the back made from rubber, the other two in the front using aluminum balls.
The insides are well packed. Curiously when I reviewed the IT model some time ago I had the impression of a lot of empty space inside. I might have been mistaken. At the back plate sits the input PCB with the RCA sockets soldered directly to it. Input selection is made with quality hermetic relays activated by a solid mechanical switch soldered to the same PCB. A long axle connects it to the front panel. From that PCB the signal travels via quite long solid-core copper cables made by Lavardin very similar to their interconnects. It arrives at the Alps Blue Velvet potentiometer for a situation where the attenuator sits ahead of the preamplifier, not behind it (this choice is often confused with a passive preamplifier). Next the signal runs through the same kind of cables to the main PCB of preamplifier and power stages.
There are two power stages bolted vertically to the heat sinks at the sides. Here are many parts to certainly not be a minimalist circuit. The whole is made from discrete parts except for one integrated circuit for perhaps the feedback loop or power supply. The most important parts are four small transistors bolted to the heat sinks – two control and two push-pull TIP147+TIP142 National Semiconductors. The latter are Darlingtons, i.e. two bipolar transistors in one enclosure. Adjacent to the power supply we get very nice Evox polypropylene capacitors. The signal runs to the loudspeaker terminals over two very short braided copper wires.
In the middle of the bottom plate resides the big power supply. Its basis is a toroidal transformer enclosed in a metal canister of thick metal plate. The whole is mounted on elastomeric pads. Outside the can are the rectifying and filtering circuits. Each channel has separate power supplies for current and voltage gain. There are eight 10.000μF and four 2.200μF caps each. Everywhere are high-quality passive elements like polypropylene capacitors from Evox and Philips as well as precision resistors.