One of the biggest challenges of human existence is the ability to let go. This is always very easy if something more interesting, better or newer comes next – nobody said something younger. So far at least in theory. When Audionet announced to discontinue the SAM V2, we impulsively set the flag in front of the editorial building at half mast and for several weeks we were wearing mourning clothes. Because this integrated amplifier had rendered us an excellent, long-standing service. Its reliability was exemplary, its sound quality immaculate. So why the heck cease the production? »Technical progress – and this also implies tonal advancement«, replies Audionet managing director Thomas Gessler upon request in a rather low voice. And Audionet sales manager Andreas Selhorst, who is also largely responsible for the audio quality, adds: »Soundwise we were able to take another leap forward!«

In a branch which is by no means free from marketing chitchat we must of course believe such statements first and then verify their intrinsic value on the living object. Yet after far more than one decade of market presence Audionet enjoys confidence in this respect, which makes the test of the SAM G2 for about 4,000 EUR certainly even more exciting. So let’s see what the designers have conceived for the new model.

Facelift or new design

It goes without saying that technical equipment can be improved over time. In the field of consumer electronics this is often emphasised by a shorthand symbol like Mk II, III, IV etc. annexed to the product name. In most cases detail improvements like new power transistors, an innovative display or a modified power supply hide behind such symbols. The basic design of the component, however, remains unchanged.

While the »V2« of the previous SAM designated »Version 2«, the »G2« of the new model stands for »Generation 2«. Buy why isn’t it called »SAM V3« then? The answer is as consistent as it is logical: the scope of modifications was just too large. Because inside and outside the new SAM generation puts sweeping innovations forward.