At around 18″ wide x 19″ deep x 9″ tall, the Delta MONOs are no joke. And the basic black form that looks so good on the Delta PRE is twice as impressive on the MONOs. These components have a bespoke look and feel to them, like James Bond in a basic black tuxedo. Elegant, serious, and capable of almost anything.
[…] You can’t help but be drawn to the beautifully backlit output meters displayed on the right side of the front panels. The output power is shown as watts into an 8-Ohm load. As a point of reference, the first-meter mark to the right of center is 30 watts. When the pointer is left of that mark, the amplifier is operating in class-A. Outside of the initial 35 watts of class-A, the MONOs are rated at 300 watts class-A/B into 8 Ohms, 600 watts into 4 Ohms, and 100 watts into 2 Ohms, and as Dave Nauber himself told me, “it does so with tons of power.”
The MONOs also use 32 output transistors and 22 Mundorf 4-pole storage capacitors, which discharge and refill current extremely quickly. Finally, one more nice touch I wanted to mention was the use of specially designed damped feet from Navcom that are used on both the MONOs and the PRE. There are thoughtful design touches and the highest-quality parts used throughout these components, which is reflected in their high, but not high (IMHO), costs.
[…] Once I connected [the MONOs] to my Tekton Double Impact SE loudspeakers, getting the system up and running was a breeze. It was late when I turned them on and ran the cable channel Music Choice (R&B) through them, keeping the volume at a late-night comfortable -45.00 dB. Now typically, that volume level will get you some low-end from your music, but not much. But when “All Day Music” from the soul supergroup War came on, I was shocked at just how much low-end energy and music I was getting. It was then that I remembered that the first 35 or so watts of the MONOs were pure class-A.
Robert Glasper’s album, Canvas. Glasper has been one of my favorite jazz pianists over the past decade, and this album is a big reason why. His highly personalized performances were the perfect way for me to start getting into the Delta gear. The first track that I listened to was the title track, “Canvas.” Glasper and his bandmates Vicente Archer (bass) and Damion Reid (drums) play music that is intimate and really draws the listener in if rendered properly by your system. I got that and more.
The Delta gear portrayed this music in a way that was new to me, although I’ve heard it dozens of times before. The piano had amazing richness and allowed me to feel the sound of the hammers striking the piano strings, but also the texture of the vibrations on the strings. Another song from this same album, “Enoch’s Meditation,” provided the same result, except this time, there was also the depth of Reid’s drum work. This is where the MONOs showed their strengths. The sound of the kick drum was unforgettable. It was deep and very tight, and the percussive nature of the entire drum kit was true to life. I remembered hearing it years ago when they performed at Joe Segal’s Jazz Showcase here in Chicago. Great performances are unforgettable, and that’s what the Delta gear provided.
Regardless of what others may be doing, in my opinion, no other audio company offers this combination of operational flexibility, high-quality parts, thoughtful design, build quality, and faithfulness to the performance of music. Well done, Classé!
- Dave Thomas
- 22 April 2021