Sprout100 – Great Big Sound In A Small Package

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Sprout100

I think I have a Sprout100 in my future.

Like many in our generation, I fulfilled my audio needs with receivers: a modest Sony when I was in college; my beloved Yamaha CR-2020 when I was first very gainfully employed; a Denon at “cost” when a client was Denon’s PR agency & the old Yamaha was too analog for my needs.

The Denon sits in the living room hooked up to Infinity floor & center speakers (another PR agency deal) plus two smaller rear speakers – I skipped a subwoofer. The Yamaha is down in my “office” with small bookshelf speakers but it needs yet another repair to its tuner, volume control and whatever else requires futzing around. I’ve thought of selling it on eBay but after almost 40 years it would feel like a divorce.

But now, having tried the Sprout100, I’m reconsidering

Sprout100The Sprout100 isn’t a receiver, but an integrated amplifier in a small size that packs quite a punch. 10.5 inches across, 5 inches high and 14 inches deep, it weighs in at under 3 pounds. But in the aluminum box with a wood veneer top is up to 100 watts of speaker output per channel, more than enough to drive my big floor speakers to room shaking loudness (I cranked it up when the Mrs. was out on an errand). I’m not an audiophile or techie, so I won’t go through all the specs here, but suffice it to say the way the Sprout100 sounds – clear & full – should impress just about anyone. Feel free to check out the complete specs on PS Audio’s site.

Sprout100In addition to the right & left speaker outputs – it comes with 4 gold- plated banana plugs to go in the sockets – the Sprout100 has an RCA-type subwoofer jack; dedicated “vinyl” jacks (plus a grounding screw) for your record turntable; analog in & out plugs; an optical input; and one for USB to play audio from your computer (you’ll need to download a driver if you aren’t using a Mac or Windows 10). That black rectangle next to the power connector is for Bluetooth reception.

Sprout100Up front, from right to left is the on/off and volume control (push to turn on & off, twist for volume); the 4-position input selector; and a quarter-inch headphone jack. A gold-plated adapter for your 3.5mm headphone plugs is included. A long push on the volume knob turns the bass boost on or off, as indicated by the color of a little LED on the front panel, and you’ll hear the difference.

I tried out a couple of favorite albums on my old Technics turntable – still with its Shure V15 Type IV cartridge – and my wife said it “sounded good” (before she left & I rattled the room). Same with playing a CD through the analog connector, and it was easy to connect Bluetooth to my phone and send some hard-rockin’ blues from Amazon Music.

I was sold.

Sprout100Oh, almost forgot to mention the 4.5-inch-long remote: on/off, mute, volume up and volume down. It’s a piece of apparently solid brushed aluminum with an undocumented way to replace the button battery inside (hint: look for the pinhole on the back). The remote is also magnetic, meaning you can stick it to a metal shelf or filing cabinet or refrigerator, etc. so it won’t get lost.

The price for the Sprout100 is $599, direct from PS Audio with free shipping, and free 30-day returns. I seriously doubt you’ll be returning it. I wouldn’t.

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