I am not certain in fact that their quality of construction could be achieved in Western Europe. Especially those pure copper heat sinks atop each mono amplifier seemed very expensive compared to the usual aluminium heat sinks we're familiar with. One expects ultra-efficient cooling for these class A/B output stages. There even was an artificially aged patina applied to the dissipation surface. I'd never seen that before.


The two-box preamplifier had 3 RCA line inputs with a high input sensitivity of 600mV/33kΩ and one phono input at 300mV/10kΩ. This machine too is very unusual. Its overall architecture is based on many tightly slotted vertical boards without rigid fixing, in particular a switch board and floating volume control (a softly padded Alps) whose axis connects to the knob with a soft coupler. Chosen after many preliminary auditions, all internal hookup wiring is hand-assembled point to point. The two boxes of head unit and power supply are assembled from thick aluminium plates, very different from the thin chassis used by most competitors. Two unusual Lithium batteries control bias and lower the noise floor of the cascoded input stage. According to the manufacturer, these will have to be replaced every 5 years.


The dimensions were deliberately picked for utmost rigidity and vibration suppression. Each box sits on Finnish wood footers which aren't fixed to the metal but loose. The outboard power supply runs off a 400-watt toroidal power transformer followed by six regulation stages and total filter capacity of 44'000µF. Switching inputs interrupts power and signal to sidestep potential ground issues. A sensitive command on the frontal glass handles input selection and mute but all functions are duplicated on the elegant IR remote wand.


The 107/200-watt into 8/4Ω monos support max current of 25A. They were conceptualized for challenging loads. Their innards too float inside their housings. The Sanken output transistors combine different conductivity and don't bolt directly to the copper radiator. Each amp runs off a 500-watt power toroid with full-wave rectifier. Signal and chassis ground are separate to avoid potential ground loops from the preamp.


Special attention for the internal wiring ended up with a mix of  Acrolink, Siltech and Goertz.  Other carefully selected parts were sourced from BHC, ELNA, Allen Bradley and Silver Mica. Input impedance is 1kΩ with a 1V input sensitivity. For multi-channel applications, a higher 33kΩ/1V option is available. THD up to 12 watts regardless of load impedance remains between 0.005 – 0.01%. At max 200-watt/4Ω output, it doesn't exceed 1%. The four casings are available in various colour combinations including the glass accents and LEDs (throughout the review, I've included photos of other installations to show some of these). The chocolate candy finish Tarim Audio sent me was particularly elegant.


Sound. I thought Alexander Tarim had sculpted it very accurately and rather sophisticatedly at that. His Flood House amplifier set performed sustained and organic whilst remaining suave and ethereal when required. I found it far removed from the typically clinical class D sound as well as from the overly warm American sound. Then it had more authority in the bass and midrange than the usual Italian class A or class A/B efforts; and was harmonically richer than the German four-box proposal from ASR. Here we face something designed in mother Russia with apparently plenty of fresh air drawn in from Siberia. In short, this set has a look and sound all its own. That really was the first impression that came to mind when firing up this Flood House (dis)-integrated amplifier.