As my review is still linked to on the front page of the Dayens site, I thought I'd update my experiences with the Dayens monoblocks. A couple of weeks ago while auditioning a pair of Proac Studio 148s, I had a chance to compare them to a Linn Majik integrated network player at about $5k (the previous version was Stereophile class B).
First off, this was a far, far better system than I expected: it clearly bested most of the rooms I heard at Axpona. Admittedly it was my music, and set up in a dedicated (though not ideal, nor overly treated) environment; but it never faltered in any way so as to distract me from the performance. Ignoring rooms with components costing more than my annual income I can say only two rooms at Axpona managed to outperform it in all ways: Harbeth/LIO at around $25 & Enigmacoustics/Questyle at $20k.
So what changed when we put my monos in the chain? Well, not much; any differences were far outweighed by the similarities. No loss of musicality, prat, power or control; I'd say they were about 95% the same. What I did begin to notice after some more time listening was their overall presentations:
With the Linn everything emerged from a slightly blacker background, and had just a tad more transparency & ambiance. With the Dayens, the tonality seemed richer, a bit more vibrant & more inviting. The character of moonlight vs sunset, perhaps.
Was the Linn more neutral & accurate? Probably--but besides the price difference, do consider we also added a pair of interconnects & power cords (straight to wall) that could account for some/most/all of this. More importantly I rate the room just as highly enjoyable with either amplifer. Having had this comparison I feel even better about my purchase. Dayens is definitely a bargain in audio. And many thanks to Lawson at SoundImage in Atlanta for making this possible.