Home Review Bladelius ASK all-in-one amplifier – Damn good!

Review Bladelius ASK all-in-one amplifier – Damn good!

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Pros

  • Rhythmic and smooth playback
  • Beautiful midrange
  • Dynamic and tight
  • Modular!

Cons

  • Volume knob looks a bit crazy
  • Remote control is... well...

Price: € 10000

Build quality
Usability
Sound
Price
Alpha-Audio Approved
Bladelius ASK

Intro

We estimate that not everyone will know the Bladelius brand. Or Mike Bladelius for that matter. The Swedish brand was founded in 1997, but Mike Bladelius has a very rich audio history. And that is definately audible in the products he creates. We take a look at the Bladelius ASK all in one amplifier.

Sweden’s Bladelius is an interesting company. As mentioned, we were not yet familiar with the brand. Mike Bladelius founded the company in 1997. But for some time, the band was not available. But, luckily, now its back in full swing and Mike Bladelius is designing and manufacturing amplifiers, streamers, CD players and phono amplifiers again.

Tank

When you spend 10,000 Euros on an integrated amplifier with streamer (and potentially another 2,000 Euros for a dac and 1,600 Euros for a phono pre-amp), you want it to last a long time. Fortunately, the Bladelius is built like a tank. The unit weighs about 20 Kg, which comes largely from the power supply, but also from the thick housing.

The housing is thick, but the whole thing looks very sleek. It’s beautifully tightly milled all around. The only thing that looks a little goofy is the round volume knob on the front…. nah… let’s say that’s a matter of taste.

Modular

The great thing about Bladelius is that they have built their products modular. We’d really like to see that more often, as it can keep prices reasonable ánd it also potentially makes products a lot more future-proof. After all: not everyone needs a phono preamplifier or dac. You can just leave those out with the ASK. And that saves you 3600 Euro!

In addition, digital technology changes much faster than an analog amplifier. By providing updated modules, users can use their beautiful product much longer than if you do not offer this. It also appears much friendlier, so people will be more inclined to buy the product… at least: we would.

The Bladelius ASK

The Bladelius ASK is – as mentioned above – an all-in-one product. It is an integrated amplifier with a streamer and – if desired – a d/a converter and a phono preamplifier.

Now the Bladelius is not small, but considering its capabilities as well as the impressive amount of power this amplifier can deliver, it has been kept very compact. We measure about 44cmx 43cm x 13cm (wxdxh). The weight is around 20 Kg.

The ASK can deliver 220 watts into 8 Ohms and 400 watts into 4 Ohms. In the measurements we will briefly go into these figures. At the base is a 2000VA power supply. That should be more than enough to keep any speaker under control.

About the DAC we can not find much, except that it can handle 32 bit / 768 KHz and Quad DSD. Bladelius has used a custom filter, which is incorporated in a separate Xmos FPGA chip. This is an interesting addition, since it also allows for updating filters as well as letting users choose filters.

Streaming

Finally, the streamer. The streamer is included by default in the ASK. The streamer is based on volumio software, which frankly is a smart choice. For a small manufacturer like Bladelius it is impractical to develop its own software. By choosing a solid platform, you relieve yourself and your customers.

As many readers know, we regularly use the Volumio Primo and Rivo in reviews and research projects. The software works reliably and quickly. Also, Volumio supports Spotify connect, Tidal Connect, Airplay and allows integration with multiple platforms. It’s a decent product.

Amplifier type
Integrated
Bridgemode
No
Amplifier inputs
  • Analog RCA
Amplifier outputs
  • Analog RCA
Build in dac
Yes