ROKSAN: The blak

By Hi-Fi Choice

There’s something very reassuring about a high-end integrated amplifier. While stacks of black boxes might have been the done thing in the early eighties, in today’s world, the trend is to downsize, but music fans don’t want to hear any less of their beloved recordings. The so-called ‘super-integrated’ breed ticks all these boxes; it’s big but not too big, and promises a sound to rival some more expensive pre/power amplifier combinations.

Roksan, lest we forget, has always made fine-sounding amplification; it has a distinctly muscular-but-musical character that covers more bases than some rival designs, many of which tend to be one or the other. The blak is a new highish-end integrated that pushes out a claimed 2x 150W RMS, and sports a wide range of inputs to make it flexible enough for today’s brave new hi-fi world. That means two additions to the amps that we were buying a decade ago – aptX Bluetooth and a moving-magnet phono stage. There’s also a USB input connecting to the obligatory DAC.

The blak is a big thing – and heavy too – with a large front-mounted LED display that lights up bright amber. I’m not a fan of the usual blue backlit LCDs, so I love its wilful contrariness, but still you’ve got to wonder if it will go down well with prospective purchasers. The volume control also gets its own light show with a useful indication to show the level. The three fascia-mounted buttons let you scroll through the inputs – totalling three RCA line ins, a pair of analogue XLRs plus the aforementioned USB type-B, aptX Bluetooth and MM phono stage. As per previous Roksan products, the power switch is hidden underneath the fascia on the left, just to confuse you.

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