Best Buys – Audio & AV

INTEGRATED AMPLIFIER EINSTEIN THE TUNE

Entirely designed and built in Bochum, in Germany, ‘The Tube’ comes from what is, at heart, a family company. Volker Bohlmeier, who co-founded Einstein in 1988, is responsible for the management of the company, while his wife, Annette Heiss (a well-respected architect and interior designer), is responsible for the exterior cosmetic design. Rolf Weiler, the other founder, heads up electronic design. Their products are built by hand, rather than on a production line as such, so all Einstein’s products are built in small, bespoke batches.

EQUIPMENT

The Einstein is certainly unlike any integrated amplifier you’ve ever seen before, because it’s totally feature-less: there’s not a knob, button or switch in sight: just a rectangle of curved black acrylic, fixed to a solid aluminium facing, with a single square display in the centre of the acrylic that’s blacked out when the amplifier is not operating.

Once the amplifier is switched on (via an inconveniently-placed rocker switch on the rear panel),

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