The 508 Takes on France

Haute Fidélité magazine in France has followed up the wonderful 1100 Series review with a rave review of the 508.

Just a few quotes:

“The Boulder 508 reveals dynamic response and instantaneous capabilities quite surprising and unimaginable from its chic and sober look.  And yet it responds with timing and energy at the slightest solicitation and impulse for the sheer pleasure of the listener who is willing to listen a little deeper into the work and interpretation.  The execution and clarity of individual notes are first-class.

Sound Stage: 

The immediacy and spontaneity felt in the sound stage offered to us is vast and perfectly proportionate and is clearly revealed in the message returned by the Boulder.  The precise placement of images in space allows you to locate any chair during a classical performance or a pop/rock performer, live or in studio. 

In two words or a hundred, it is rigor, transparency, and neutrality that probably best define the musical spirit of this Boulder phono preamplifier.  The balance is exceptionally linear, the high resolution very powerful, even when connected in unbalanced mode with adapters, and it never falls into the surgical or emaciated character that can result from the use of transistor circuits. 

Able to be quick as lightning, it also knows when to be subtle and delicate on the most moving pianissimo.  The drama of Lea Dessandre’s voice on “Venezia” from the album Citiesby Thibault Cauvin is a perfect illustration.

Value for Money: 

The American manufacturer enjoys a justified reputation for very high-end build quality with expense as a result.  Their declared effort towards less expensive products within the 1100 range still exhibit superb workmanship and technical performance and very first order sound.  This goes even further with the 500 Series, with the 508 the first through the doors.  That said, the minimalist phono preamplifier fits in Boulder’s traditional perfectionist line and therefore remains very high-end and luxurious and still waiting for competition.

VERDICT

The Boulder 508 is the perfect example of a design made with the essential bare necessities.  This is not a simple style exercise but well and truly a new product that aims to make achievements from one of the best audio manufacturers of the 21stcentury more accessible.

The build quality, just like the aesthetics, conform to the very demanding quality standards of the manufacturer.  Musically, the 508 captivates with its precision, its transparency, and its sweetness. 

Boulder grand cru.”

To see the complete review, please click here.

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