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Review Gato DIA-250S integrated amplifier – DAC

Pros

  • Very attractive design
  • Very complete
  • Optional streaming module

Cons

  • DAC can be better implemented
  • Price: € 2500

    Build quality
    Usability
    Sound
    Price
    GATO DIA 250

    Intro

    Contents

    We recently had the Gato AMP-150 on Alpha-Audio’s test bench. We were very impressed with this beautiful amplifier. From the same brand we now have the GATO DIA-250S; an integrated amplifier with DAC. We’re curious to see how it performs, are you?

    For a description of the brand and the structure of the production line, we refer to the previously mentioned review of the Gato AMP-150. The Gato DIA-250S is quite different from the AMP-150 in terms of amplifier topology. The 250 is a class D amplifier while the AMP-150 has class AB technology under the hood. The latter is built entirely analog, the DIA-250S is an all in one with a DAC and an optional network module. And then the price; the DIA-250S tested here costs €2,500 euros, the AMP-150 is €4,000.

    The Gato DIA-250S has an impressive amount of inputs and outputs: Analog XLR in and out, 2 analog inputs (RCA), 1 RCA analog output and then the DAC board with USB, coaxial and optical and aptX Bluetooth.

    There is 1 set of speaker terminals for each channel. Instead of two rotary knobs on the side and a ‘clock’ in the middle, the DIA-250S has a large central rotary knob, a display with large LED lights and two buttons for standby and source selection.

    In the DIA series, Gato offers an even more powerful amplifier of 400W; not surprisingly, it is called the DIA-400S.

    Network Player Module

    For an additional price of € 695, you can order a ROON network module with it… or you can order the NPM version directly, of course. You will then get an Ethernet port and an extra wifi antenna on the back. This turns your Gato DIA-250S into a streamer that, in addition to the usual streaming services, can also serve as a Roon endpoint. And it works with DLNA UpNL protocol. So a very versatile option; also nice is that the rear panel of the amplifier is completely replaced making it look particularly neat.

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