REVIEW : DIMD PP10 AT BELHiFi
Posted on 13 September 2016
DIMD PP10 Stereo Integrated Tube Amplifier :
Today i hooked up one of the (in my opinion) most beautifully designed integrated tube amps i have seen in years. It combines the most elegant mix of aluminium with a solid oak cabinet. Everything is CNC machined to ensure the highest matching precision of each and every component in the enclosure. The whole thing makes me think of those classic american fifties cars, or even better, remember The Jetsons cartoons? Well, I don’t know how old the designer is (after some quick research, I found out the man behind the design is Gusts Rutkis, Art Director at McCann Riga, Latvia), but I’d bet he’s seen this cartoon a lot on TV when he was a kid, I know I did…
No matter what angle you look at it, everything is just smooth and balanced, combining straight lines with curves in that very distinctive retro futuristic style. I could easily imagine this amp being the big price at the Jack Rabbit’s Slim Twist Contest where the winner would have the absolute luck to bring back home Uma Thurman AND this amp ! OK, imagination is running wild here. But you get it it, this thing just looks amazing and would be a good investment even if you only use it as a design object somewhere in your living room.
Let’s talk about DIMD a little bit.
DIMD is a company based in Latvia (yeah, I had to look it up as well). It all started when Edgar Spārniņš decided to build a tube amplifier for his wife Marta (a well known violin player) who would always wear headphones when listening to music because she didn’t like the sound quality of their stereo system.
Lucky for her, Edgar, in addition to holding a Ph.D. in physics has always had a lifelong interest in electronics, but is also fascinated by music and played the oboe in various symphony orchestras for years.
So Edgar decided to use his different skills to make her the perfect amplifier, and in 2013, the PP10 was presented in his primary form. It took another year or so experience around a little bit and to find a designer (Gusts Rutkis) who would shape the amplifier to its definitive form. But finally, in 2014, the DIMD PP10 Stereo Tube amplifier was born.
My first impression is that the PP10 makes me think of a dimmed lights, candle lit atmosphere where you’d be enjoying a fine glass of whisky while relaxing in your favourite lounge chair. Or the same thing as aforementioned, but in some kind of jazzy lounge bar, sweet talking some incredible looking woman with flamin red lipstick (you know, the kind you only see in those retro photo shoots). Could it be because I’m listening to Melody Gardot ? Let’s try something else, like Gainsbourg, Johnny Cash or John Lee Hooker instead. Yep, still has it ! Smooth, bluesy and velvety. Me likey !
The DIMP PP10 offers very smooth and warm mids, with just the right amount of softness on the low and upper high end (partly due to the EL-84 tubes I guess, since construction and circuitry is equally important). Everything blends nice into place, it gives detail but no excessive chiseling of the sound and puts down a relatively wide sound stage. The amp does require some sensitive speakers to give its best performances.
The EL-84 tubes are well known by connoisseurs for their musicality and reliability (and I’m talking about a life span of 10.000 hours compared to the usual 3.000 a KT88 or EL-34 might give you…).
Tube afficionados might even consider unscrewing the protective housing to expose all that magical glowing, but I , for one, really like the look it has with the housing on it, so I’ll just leave it be.
The DIMD, is the kind of amp you could listen to all day long without having yours ears (or that of your spouse for that matter) overly fatigued.
I could go on and on about how sweet sounding this amp is and how much I like the built quality and craftmanship behind it, but that would easily get boring, to you as for me.
Instead of wasting my time writing, I’m going to sit back in sofa and listen to some more music, and I suggest you do the same.
This is an amp well worth his money with a high WAF. It looks impressively good, so, for once, I guess your spouse won’t mind as much if you come home with this amp instead of some oversized square metal box with big ugly knobs on it. And the best part is, it sounds really nice too !
The DIMD company really managed to develop a superbly musical amplifier delivering a very coherent timbre. Astonishing classical music reproduction is one of its major feats, most probably due to its non neglectable pedigree (remember the classical music aptitudes of its “family” and the rigorous quality control of its “mother”…).
This amp probaly isn’t suited for everybody, since it’s personal characteristics, mixed with your own taste and preference will play a major role in whether you’ll enjoy it or not.
But don’t take my word for it, see and listen for yourself and make up your own mind. Because in the end, that’s the only thing that matters.
You'll find more info and technical specs on the DIMD PP10 by following this link :