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Thread: Boulder 866

  1. #1
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    Boulder 866

    Anybody heard or bought the 866? Saw Mike's you-tube video looks promising.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Boulder 866

    I also got interested in this integrated after watching Mike's video with Magico A5. Sounds superb. Mike also posted another video on Esoteric F-03a with A5 and that sounds very good as well.

    Mike, how do they compare ?

  3. #3
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    Re: Boulder 866

    The Boulder is a winner. It has that engaging, full, meat on the bones, musical sound just like the 2160 amp. Incredible amp. World class.

    The Esoteric is very very good as well, but 30 watts, so choose your speakers wisely.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Boulder 866

    I thought it was interesting you can add a photo for the input, like a photo of your actual turntable or whatever. You typically don't see flashy features like this on high end gear.
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  5. #5

    Re: Boulder 866

    Heard this with a pair of DeVores and thought it sounded great, though I wasn’t intimately familiar with the setup/speakers. It was before the Roon cert so analog-only version.
    Sean

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  6. #6

    Re: Boulder 866

    It also looks pretty cool in-person (at least to me). Different, yes, but kind of cool.
    Sean

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  7. #7

    Re: Boulder 866

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    Heard this with a pair of DeVores and thought it sounded great, though I wasn’t intimately familiar with the setup/speakers. It was before the Roon cert so analog-only version.
    Hello,

    Which Devore speaker did you hear it with?

  8. #8

    Re: Boulder 866

    I believe they were the O/96’s.

    Quote Originally Posted by essrand View Post
    Hello,

    Which Devore speaker did you hear it with?
    Sean

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  9. #9

    Re: Boulder 866

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    I believe they were the O/96’s.
    Thank you. I own the O96 and was interested in them as a downsize from my current setup. Glad to hear that they work well together.

    Wonder how good their DAC/Streamer is ...

  10. #10
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    Re: Boulder 866

    I've been considering a new integrated and this one has my interest. How do you think the 866 stacks up relative to my Accuphase E-650? I value strong bass control and smoothness in the upper frequencies. The additional wattage isn't a big deal for me since my speakers are 96db and I listen at low volumes. My only experience with Boulder (and it was favorable) has been their separates and that was years ago. Travel restrictions have made it nearly impossible to audition in person so I'm left to rely on others' impressions.
    Gary
    Main: Lumin A1, Accuphase E-650, Tannoy Canterbury GR, Shunyata, Audience
    Secondary: Lumin M1, Linton Heritage, Shunyata, Audience

  11. #11
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    Re: Boulder 866

    Quote Originally Posted by Oly View Post
    I've been considering a new integrated and this one has my interest. How do you think the 866 stacks up relative to my Accuphase E-650? I value strong bass control and smoothness in the upper frequencies. The additional wattage isn't a big deal for me since my speakers are 96db and I listen at low volumes. My only experience with Boulder (and it was favorable) has been their separates and that was years ago. Travel restrictions have made it nearly impossible to audition in person so I'm left to rely on others' impressions.
    For me it would come down to the 866 or Luxman 590x. Both are winners.


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  12. #12
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    Re: Boulder 866

    Thanks for the feedback, Mike.
    Gary
    Main: Lumin A1, Accuphase E-650, Tannoy Canterbury GR, Shunyata, Audience
    Secondary: Lumin M1, Linton Heritage, Shunyata, Audience

  13. #13
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    Re: Boulder 866

    Boulder 866 Integrated Amplifier - Positive Feedback


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  14. #14
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    Re: Boulder 866

    Short list amp for me when I finish my new house. Want to run Raidho X5 with it.

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  16. #16
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    Re: Boulder 866

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    For me it would come down to the 866 or Luxman 590x. Both are winners.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Mike,

    Since you have extensive experience with both, how would you compare the sound of the Boulder 866 to the Gryphon Diablo 300?
    Thanks

  17. #17
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    Re: Boulder 866

    Quote Originally Posted by apdoc2004 View Post
    Mike,

    Since you have extensive experience with both, how would you compare the sound of the Boulder 866 to the Gryphon Diablo 300?
    Thanks
    Very different. The Boulder 866 sounds like a class A amp. Rich, warm, musical. The Diablo 300 has a big bold sound, with thunderous monoblock bass and grip and a huge soundstage. I was talking to a customer this morning who was debating between these two integrated amps. He was coming from a Prima Luna and wanted to be done with tubes, done with the heat, but wanted to retain the sound. I suggested the 866 to meet his needs.
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  18. #18

    Re: Boulder 866

    Gary,
    Hopefully I can give you some good feedback in a month or so...have the E650 as well, and ordered the 866 today. Life is short...))
    Just hoping my old ears hear a difference...!

  19. #19
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    Re: Boulder 866

    Quote Originally Posted by maxdog923 View Post
    Gary,
    Hopefully I can give you some good feedback in a month or so...have the E650 as well, and ordered the 866 today. Life is short...))
    Just hoping my old ears hear a difference...!
    Did you get the digital package?

  20. #20

    Re: Boulder 866

    cs
    Last edited by maxdog923; February 25, 2021 at 11:31 PM. Reason: double

  21. #21

    Re: Boulder 866

    Yes....If it will replace my PS Directstream, then it becomes an even better buy. Love the fact that it had the Dac with Roon built in.

  22. #22

    Re: Boulder 866

    Hi Maxdog,

    Any updates on the accuphase e650 VS the 866.
    I am trying to decide between the two myself too.

    Thanks!

  23. #23

    Re: Boulder 866

    Quote Originally Posted by essrand View Post
    Hi Maxdog,

    Any updates on the accuphase e650 VS the 866.
    I am trying to decide between the two myself too.

    Thanks!
    These are two very different amps in topology and characteristics. The choice depends on the speakers used and personal preferences of course. I've got both here on permanent demonstration since a while back together with many others within the same segment.

    The Boulder 866 is a powerful Class A/B amp at 200W/8Ohm with the option of adding an internal DAC and streamer module. This amp excels in control, power and uncolored neutrality while also being very engaging offering great drive and excitement. A setup and forget kind of amp with great build quality.

    The Accuphase E-650 is a Class A amp at 35W/8Ohm with the option of adding an internal DAC + Phono stage. More moderate in power and drive capabilities, but sufficient enough for most speakers at normal listening levels. Accuphase is more dense, saturated and seductive and a bit darker in tonality compared to Boulder and also a bit more laid back. That being said, Accuphase of today is not slow or too relaxed with very satisfying dynamics, transparency and resolution.

    Hope that helps.

    / Marcus, Perfect sense | Audio Matters
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  24. #24

    Re: Boulder 866

    Quote Originally Posted by Perfect Sense View Post
    These are two very different amps in topology and characteristics. The choice depends on the speakers used and personal preferences of course. I've got both here on permanent demonstration since a while back together with many others within the same segment.

    The Boulder 866 is a powerful Class A/B amp at 200W/8Ohm with the option of adding an internal DAC and streamer module. This amp excels in control, power and uncolored neutrality while also being very engaging offering great drive and excitement. A setup and forget kind of amp with great build quality.

    The Accuphase E-650 is a Class A amp at 35W/8Ohm with the option of adding an internal DAC + Phono stage. More moderate in power and drive capabilities, but sufficient enough for most speakers at normal listening levels. Accuphase is more dense, saturated and seductive and a bit darker in tonality compared to Boulder and also a bit more laid back. That being said, Accuphase of today is not slow or too relaxed with very satisfying dynamics, transparency and resolution.

    Hope that helps.

    / Marcus, Perfect sense | Audio Matters
    Thank you, this was an extremely useful post.

    My speakers are Devore O/96 and I am a tube guy and do like a dense, rich but high resolution sound. So looks like Accuphase would be my preference if I were in your store and listening to them side by side.

    I have heard the E-650s and love them, but was wondering about the 866 given the rave reviews and my fear that the E650 will soon be upgraded since it's been out for 4 years now.

  25. #25

    Re: Boulder 866

    Still waiting on it.....hopefully the middle of the month....Will let you know tho..

  26. #26

    Re: Boulder 866

    Quote Originally Posted by essrand View Post
    Thank you, this was an extremely useful post.

    My speakers are Devore O/96 and I am a tube guy and do like a dense, rich but high resolution sound. So looks like Accuphase would be my preference if I were in your store and listening to them side by side.

    I have heard the E-650s and love them, but was wondering about the 866 given the rave reviews and my fear that the E650 will soon be upgraded since it's been out for 4 years now.
    I would think that Accuphase might be more to your liking and taste among those two alternatives - yes. There's always the E-800 as well if your budget allows it.

    If you get the chance - try to find a dealer who carries Riviera Levante as well. A truly magnificent hybrid integrated amp where you could choose in between Class A or A/B with the opportunity of tube rolling as an additional benefit for fine tuning the sound.

    Riviera Audio Labs - Perfect sense

    / Marcus, Perfect sense | Audio Matters
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  27. #27

    Re: Boulder 866

    Quote Originally Posted by maxdog923 View Post
    Still waiting on it.....hopefully the middle of the month....Will let you know tho..
    Great! Will look forward to your impressions.

  28. #28

    Re: Boulder 866

    Quote Originally Posted by Perfect Sense View Post
    I would think that Accuphase might be more to your liking and taste among those two alternatives - yes. There's always the E-800 as well if your budget allows it.

    If you get the chance - try to find a dealer who carries Riviera Levante as well. A truly magnificent hybrid integrated amp where you could choose in between Class A or A/B with the opportunity of tube rolling as an additional benefit for fine tuning the sound.

    Riviera Audio Labs - Perfect sense

    / Marcus, Perfect sense | Audio Matters
    I have had my eye on the Levante, but there are no dealers locally. Also I already have a tube amp (Nagra 300p) so an SS makes more sense to me right now.

    I have been debating whether to get the E800, I certainly don't need the extra power, 30W is plenty on this speaker, but I do know someone who had the E650 and E800 on my same speakers and finally chose the E800 because it gave him a bigger sound.

    What are your impressions on the E650 vs E800? The E800 has had certainly some mixed reviews while I cannot find anyone who has anything but positive things to say about E650. Since I cannot hear them side by side, that's all I have to go by.

  29. #29
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    Re: Boulder 866

    hi essrand
    do you still own the tube dac? never heard any feedback since you bought it. do you like it?
    that leads to the question why an integrated. in case you would want a ss for the tube dac, then i d go for the classic amp. perfectly finetuned to each other.

  30. #30

    Re: Boulder 866

    Quote Originally Posted by u-sound View Post
    hi essrand
    do you still own the tube dac? never heard any feedback since you bought it. do you like it?
    that leads to the question why an integrated. in case you would want a ss for the tube dac, then i d go for the classic amp. perfectly finetuned to each other.
    Hi U-sound,

    I was planning to write a long feedback about the Nagra Tube DAC once it was properly broken in. And also a thank you note to you for stirring me in the direction of Nagra Tube DAC + Nagra 300P combo.
    I really really love the DAC. But there were quite a few hiccups with the DAC, so haven't listened to it as much as I should have (it came dead on arrival and had to be sent back etc etc).

    But the Nagra Tube DAC + Nagra 300P, just listening to it the first time, I was like, "I am done."

    I am keeping the Nagra 300p which I like better than the Nagra Classic.
    But I was interested in a SS amp as well, just for change (and for different genres of music), and also not to run those 300b tubes too much (I forget to switch off the amps all the time).

    I like the Accuphase E-650 that I heard a lot, and get the feeling that it with the Nagra Tube DAC might be mind-blowing. I already have a Nagra amp, so going Nagra SS would be too similar a sound signature, hence the accuphase.

    Let's see, if this happens.

  31. #31
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    Re: Boulder 866

    I had the 650 and loved it. I also have a tube dac (lampizator pacific) and that plus the 650 was a great combination. At the time, I was driving a pair of TAD cr-1s, which are harder to drive than the Devore. I have always thought that accuphase plus Devore would be a good combo, but have not heard it.


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  32. #32

    Re: Boulder 866

    Got my new 866 this morning, and replaced the Accuphase E650....so far,I'm pleased...aside from almost blowing the speakers when it first fired up...))..Crap that was loud!!..now to see if it's the scotch or the new amp which makes things sound different...this
    could take all night!!

  33. #33
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    Re: Boulder 866

    Congratulations!

    Any idea what you might have done on startup?

    Quote Originally Posted by maxdog923 View Post
    Got my new 866 this morning, and replaced the Accuphase E650....so far,I'm pleased...aside from almost blowing the speakers when it first fired up...))..Crap that was loud!!..now to see if it's the scotch or the new amp which makes things sound different...this
    could take all night!!
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  34. #34
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  35. #35
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    Re: Boulder 866

    +1
    Set-up 7.2.6
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  36. #36
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    Re: Boulder 866

    Quote Originally Posted by maxdog923 View Post
    Got my new 866 this morning, and replaced the Accuphase E650....so far,I'm pleased...aside from almost blowing the speakers when it first fired up...))..Crap that was loud!!..now to see if it's the scotch or the new amp which makes things sound different...this
    could take all night!!
    When turned on the 866 should have automatically reduced the volume from its previous setting. Although there is a very brief, sometimes shocking, "blast from the past". i.e. it starts at the previous setting before reducing the volume automatically.

    What speakers are you using with the 866?

  37. #37

    Re: Boulder 866

    Quote Originally Posted by joeinid View Post
    Congratulations!

    Any idea what you might have done on startup?
    When I logged into Roon, a song immediately started , and the volume was maxed out. Rather startling to say the least. All is OK tho...
    Have had it running since yesterday , and am pleased with what I'm hearing....Treble is a bit more refined and definitely smoother than the Accuphase, thus far. Speakers are Persona 9H's, Mike's fav..))..They do need some smoothing in the treble, and this amp has definitely been a step in the right direction. Female vocals do sound more relaxed and for that I"m appreciative. Funny, but the resolving power of modern electronics and speakers seems a double edged sword. So often now I can hear the 2,3 or more voices backing up singer, and often I think it actually detracts from the artist..Never a problem with the Heathkit I built, or the Dyna 400.
    Do like the one box solution, and having the DAC/Roon together...good chance I'll sell my PSAudio DAC and CD player, asI have a Modwright Oppo 103 sitting around, and CD's seem to be listened to less frequently..

    Anyway, I'm happy so far...beautiful piece of equipment and seems to deliver on it's promise.

    Do wonder what the recommendation is for power. Have it on a Shunyata Denali 2 at the moment, with an Alpha V2 NR cord....wonder if this would be better direct into the outlet?

  38. #38

    Re: Boulder 866

    Quote Originally Posted by maxdog923 View Post
    Got my new 866 this morning, and replaced the Accuphase E650....so far,I'm pleased...aside from almost blowing the speakers when it first fired up...))..Crap that was loud!!..now to see if it's the scotch or the new amp which makes things sound different...this
    could take all night!!
    Congratulations to one of the most impressive integrated amplifiers of its kind available today.

    I'm curious what made you go from Accuphase E-650 to Boulder 866?

    Kind regards / Marcus, Perfect sense | Audio Matters
    PERFECT SENSE
    www.perfect-sense.se

    Showroom in Stockholm, Sweden | info@perfect-sense.se | 08 518 368 00 | Follow us on Facebook

  39. #39

    Re: Boulder 866

    Thanks....as to the reason for the shift, I believe the proper audiophile term is " Whim"..))
    After all the great comments, it seemed like a good move, and as I can probably dispose of the Accuphase and my DSD DAC, it should be almost a tossup financially. And now it's all in one....less cables, power cords, etc....time in my life to try something new and also simplify.

    Strange as well, but years ago I got a Resolution Audio GNS Opus 21, which I still have . Always had great admiration for Steve Huntley and his work, and I see he's now with Boulder. He always struck me as a straight shooter, and if Boulder is a line he likes, It's a good recommendation for me.

    Also , I'm Canadian...We don't know any better...))).

    The E650 is a really good integrated...just had to try the Boulder....may well be a sideways move...time will tell...

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