Stereophile Reviews AVM CS 2.3 All-In-One


I did all my listening utilizing the app. After spending some time with it, I found it intuitive and a pleasure to use. Navigating menus and submenus felt logical and appropriate.
I got chills while listening to a CD I hadn’t heard in a while. When music is reproduced with this level of quality, it’s like a time machine transporting you to other moments and places.
In term of capability and flexibility of its digital platform, the Inspiration CS 2.3 hunts with the big dogs. Taking it to the 192/24 Qobuz limit, I listened to Alan Yoshida’s 2012 remaster of the Coltrane masterpiece Blue Train. This version got my juices flowing: real air and slap, and when the three horns start playing in unison, it was pedal to the metal time.
The phono stage for the CS 2.3 is no afterthought. It works with both MM and MC cartridges. It keeps the phono signal analog throughout. That’s good: I want to hear an LP played as it was meant to be played.
The AVM Inspiration CS 2.3 is a delicious example of having cake and eating it. Some out-of-the-box thinking has taken shape in this small, attractively finished box. The quality is patently evident – real creative excellence.
It is not inexpensive, but when you price out everything it does – DAC, streamer, CD player, line and phono preamp, amplifier, headphone amp – and how well it does it, the smallness of that number starts to impress.
I’d like to give the CS 2.3 an award. Instead, I’ll reward myself; I’m buying the review sample. Gut gemacht, [well done], AVM!
Sasha Matson, Stereophile, June 2023
AVM’s CS 2.3 amplifier offers generally excellent measured performance, though it will probably work best with speakers that have an impedance greater of 4 ohms. The phono input offers low noise and distortion and accurate RIAA equalization; the digital inputs offer higher resolution; and the CD transport offers one of the best error correction/concealment performances I have encountered.
John Atkinson, Stereophile, June 2023

Click here to download the full review.