Home Audio Equipment Review by Mike Masztal, August 1999
One of the more pleasant surprises I had at CES ’98 happened in the Margules Audio room, which I entered on the urging of my friend Jim Kean. Never one for too many words, Jim thought he’d let the gear speak for itself. “Margules, huh? Never heard of them” was my reply. He went on to tell me about the killer sound from the Mexico City company, so off I went to the Margules room.
Margules Audio – Tel Rad S.A. is a family-owned company that researches, designs, and manufactures preamplifiers, power amplifiers, and loudspeakers. The origins date back to 1926 when Jacobo Margules founded Emporio Electrico, which later became Casa Margules specializing in electrical components for radio broadcasters, radio amateurs and service technicians. That company then became Radio Surtidora S.A., the oldest company in Mexico. Margules currently specializes in electronic measurement equipment and industrial electronic components. Tel Rad was founded in 1954 as the manufacturing branch for audio components, and for the past 14 years has developed its own technology.
The U280sc offers both ultralinear and triode modes. After careful listening to both modes, I found I preferred triode for most types of music. The air and dimensionality the amps produced made long-term listening totally effortless and non-fatiguing, and the bass was better than you might think. Actually, I consider the switching capability a strong attribute of the U280sc as it offers the listener a real choice in customizing the sound he wants from his amp. I also tried using the volume controls provided on the U280sc and got very good results with proper harmonic texture and decent soundstaging, but using a preamp does produce a tad more refined sound.
Julian Margules has done a commendable job designing and building an excellent amplifier that offers the consumer real options for customizing its sound. Build quality is first rate, and I think other manufacturers can learn a lot about functionality from Margules. The sound of the U280sc that initially drew my attention at the CES didn’t disappoint me after having spent several weeks with the amp, proving that the U280sc is worth considering for the long haul. Read the complete review at www.soundstage.com