This is one of several high end integrated amps that we recently got in. And what a listening session we had with all of them! The “cheapest” was Nagra’s Classic, itself a $20,000 integrated amp and the most expensive, the Behold Gentle G192 which is a $28,000 masterpiece. In between this two price points was the dartZeel and the Vitus. If we had $100,000 to spend, we would get all four of them but alas we don’t and if you are looking to get a top end integrated amp, either one of this four would do it. It all boils down to what you want, how you want your music to sound and how much flexibility you want (see our other listing on what we think of the other integrated amps).
The difference between the Behold and the rest of the pack was its multi-functionality. Its also a DAC, a streaming player via its USB input and has room correction capability via its downloadable software (via hookup to a PC and upon purchase of Behold’s room correction software). As a “complete” unit, the setup is simplistic and really gorgeous. The bright LED touchscreen display that is the focal point for all communication between you and the unit is an eye catching design. From there, you could make any kind of selection or settings you want. The unit does demand a fair bit of time to run through all its features but for this listing, we will just stick to the main use most audiophiles will put the Gentle through and that is its CD playback and amplification quality. It has two pairs of speaker outputs on the rear which you can use for bi-amping or just savor the difference between switching amplification (160W/ 4 ohm) and analogue amplification (80W/ 4 ohm). If you want to stream music in, you can do so through its USB (Media) input. The G192 has one of the cleanest sound we have come across on any integrated amp. There was a distinct neutrality to its tones but with a good pair of speakers, you can exploit the clean details it is capable of producing. With current hungry speakers, the G192 does try to keep pace but it drove the amp warmer than driving a less demanding speaker (so proper ventilation is needed).
All in all, this is an extremely well built, over engineered unit. It is sonically superior to most sub-$8,000 integrated amp and offers a lot more features not found in those other integrated amps. If you want an aesthetically pleasing one box setup that is just brimming with technology, the G192 you see here has no equals. Cosmetically, there are some some scuff marks and a few tiny knicks along the edges. Nothing really bad but its there. We have the original box but will securely double pack this for safe shipping. Remote included. Unit is universal voltage – 100-240V, so it can be used anywhere in the World!