Manley Chinook

Written by on 06/04/2012 in Latest Auditions - No comments

This is a highly anticipated product from the makers of the legend himself, Mr. Steelhead. His little sister, Ms. Chinook received all the trickled down tricks from big brother, but is offering herself for a mere R24,000.

A Manley phono preamp at about a quarter of the price of Steelhead? Oh yes! This is the best news we’ve had since the birth of Steelhead himself more than a decade ago!

Chinook is a more simplistic version of Steelhead however. She is a set, forget, enjoy type product, other than Steelhead who begs to be fiddled with. Chinook offers a similarly wide range of load and capacitance settings, but they are all around the back now on clearly marked dip switches. For most audiophiles and vinyl lovers, Chinook will be the ideal vinyl partner.

I recently had opportunity to meet Ms. Chinook and I’m glad to report her build quality is right up there with Manley’s established best. Her chassis resembles that of bulletproof stalwarts from Manley’s pro series, specifically the Vari-Mu.

Inside I spotted the now customary Multicap coupling capacitors also doing duty in Steelhead. The circuit board layout is clean and intuitive with a massive power supply and a generous compliment of vacuum tubes.

Everything simply screams quality and Chinook holds the promise of achieving giant killer status. What else can be expected at this price considering her makers has Steelhead to reference against?

About the Author

Audio Engineer, Critic & Retailer twenty-seven years in the making.

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