This is a review of the Tangent Ampster, a mini stereo amplifier from Denmark. The concept is very simple, as it seems to me… A small, well priced, modern amplifier with flexible input options. I am listening to the Ampster, predominantly, alongside a pair of Tangent Spectrum X4 passive speakers, cousins of the Spectrum T5 Bluetooth powered speakers that were so good to listen to last year. The speakers and Ampster are available as a package to buy from certain retailers and they represent excellent value together.
Tangent Ampster Design
The Tangent Ampster could represent a really interesting starting point for entry into the world of HiFi and the idea of separates. It is really very flexible with optical, auxiliary and standard RCA Phono stereo inputs, as well as Bluetooth. All you need is a smartphone and a streaming music account. When I think back to my student days when I was carting around an amplifier, CD player and a pair of Mission 700s, speaker stands, etc, this seems so much easier!
The design concept is simple here, pocket battleship style the Tangent Ampster is 50 Wpc into 8 Ohms. The case is metal, with side cuts to dissipate heat. There are stylish alan screws, no frills just performance and functionality, these are all good things in my view. The Tangent Ampster has an array of inputs, as follows:
- Optical, into which I am streaming a Bluesound Node
- RCA Line In, into which you could put a CD player or a phono staged turntable
- Bluetooth, the easiest option of all using the various Apps. I also had the Elipson Bluetooth turntable in here a few weeks ago.
- 3.5mm Aux In, for iPods, smartphones, etc.
The outputs are as follows:
- Speakers out
- including a Sub out option
There is no headphone out.
The Ampster is mini, the weight is around 8kg. The dimensions are w x d x h : 190 x 139 x 52mm
The review set-up is basically the Tangent Ampster with the Tangent X4 speakers as package although I have put other speakers to the Ampster, for example my Dali Zensor bookshelves .
The Ampster is very easy to set-up and get going. I’ve had no pairing problems, for example and I’ve found connectivity to be excellent. My usual Bluetooth test is to put on a Tidal playlist or Jamie Cullum’s podcast (excellent radio show and my current favourite) and put my phone in my pocket and tidy up (usually) or cook as normal, My range for this is more than 5m with the usual obstacles in the way, an island, tables, chairs, etc.
There is in fact a remote control which you can use for input control and volume but I have barely used it if I’m honest. It is however a good one one and nicely put together. I have mainly used an App to control volume (iPlayer or Tidal or Bluesound). The Ampster goes to sleep after 30 minutes of inactivity but you can wake it with a press of the volume control on the box itself or the remote and then off you go again.
Bluetooth with iPlayer, Tidal or Elipson BT turntable
Bluetooth performance is, in my view, very good, there is nothing dull or off putting at all. The Tangent X4 passive speakers are stylish and perform nicely in this package. There is width, depth and plenty of excitement to be had here from a full and dynamic presentation. I had the Elipson BT turntable into the Ampster for a while and it was excellent indeed
Optical in with Bluesound
Using a Bluesound Node into the Ampster is excellent. The Bluesound App is much better these days, though not with ‘Masters’ yet. The detail and a high quality punch from the X4 speakers is very impressive indeed. These days with a Bluesound Node, you need little else for endless musical joy.
Aux In with an iPod
I have had a play with an old iPod into the Aux in, it is nice enough but the best sound comes from the Elipson turntable, hard wired, or the Node.
The Tangent Ampster and X4 speakers are more than capable at this price level and I wouldn’t hesitate if I were off to university again
As a package this is great entry into HiFi and presents opportunity to build in the future at this price point. The Tangent Ampster and X4 speakers are more than capable at this price level and I wouldn’t hesitate if I were off to university again! For me, this package with a Bluesound Node would be an amazing entry into the HiFi separates world for a very reasonable price. I can’t think of anywhere else you could find such value for money from the Tangent Ampster and X4 speakers.
The optical in
Ampster & X4 Package Price
Starting the Journey
Matt White X4 Pair
What more do you want?
Package prices for the Ampster and Tangent X4 from Avoke are available. The Ampster is retailing near £150, the package with the X4s is near £300.