Lavardin Model IS Ref: Unleashing the True Potential of Your Audio Experience


In the world of audio enthusiasts, the pursuit of high-quality sound amplification is a never-ending quest. The right amplifier can make all the difference in bringing music to life, elevating the listening experience to new heights. Today, we delve into the realm of hifi sound amplifiers with a focus on the Lavardin Model IS Ref. This amplifier has garnered significant attention and acclaim, earning five stars from the esteemed publication What Hi-Fi?.

Sound amplification plays a crucial role in reproducing music with accuracy and fidelity. It enhances the dynamics, depth, and clarity of audio signals, allowing listeners to truly immerse themselves in their favorite tracks. The Lavardin Model IS Ref promises to deliver an exceptional audio experience, and we are eager to explore its features, characteristics, and performance in this comprehensive review. Join us as we embark on a sonic journey with this remarkable amplifier.

Technical Specifications

The Lavardin Model IS Ref amplifier is a stereo amplifier that boasts impressive technical specifications. With a power output of 90 watts per channel at 8 ohms, this amplifier delivers robust and dynamic sound. It operates in Class AB, which combines the efficiency of Class B amplifiers with the low distortion characteristics of Class A amplifiers.

When it comes to sound quality, the Lavardin Model IS Ref excels with its exceptional signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and low total harmonic distortion (THD) of just 0.005%. This means that the amplifier produces minimal background noise and distortion, resulting in clean and accurate audio reproduction.

In terms of connectivity, the Lavardin Model IS Ref offers a range of inputs and outputs. It features four analog RCA inputs, allowing you to connect multiple audio sources such as CD players, turntables, or media players. The amplifier does not have XLR inputs or outputs. It does not support built-in USB playback or RDS FM radio functionality.

The frequency response of the Lavardin Model IS Ref ranges from 10Hz to 100kHz, ensuring a wide range of audio frequencies are faithfully reproduced. The amplifier is compatible with various audio formats, making it versatile for different music sources.

The Lavardin Model IS Ref has a standard impedance rating of 8 ohms, making it compatible with most speakers on the market. However, it does not support bridged mode or the ability to connect two pairs of speakers simultaneously.

Overall, the technical specifications of the Lavardin Model IS Ref demonstrate its capability to deliver high-quality sound reproduction with low distortion and excellent connectivity options.

Design and Construction

The Lavardin Model IS Ref amplifier boasts a sleek and understated design that exudes elegance. Its black color adds a touch of sophistication to any audio setup. The amplifier is compact and lightweight, weighing in at 6.5 kg, making it easy to integrate into any space.

In terms of construction, the Lavardin Model IS Ref is built with high-quality materials that ensure durability and longevity. The attention to detail is evident in its solid build, which enhances its overall performance.

One notable design feature of the amplifier is its efficient cooling system. With a height of 80 mm and well-placed ventilation slots, it effectively dissipates heat, preventing overheating and ensuring optimal performance even during extended listening sessions.

To reduce interference and maintain audio purity, Lavardin has paid careful attention to the internal layout and shielding of the amplifier. This helps to minimize electrical noise and distortion, resulting in a cleaner and more accurate sound reproduction.

When it comes to connectors and switches, the Lavardin Model IS Ref does not disappoint. It features high-quality connectors that ensure secure and reliable connections with your audio sources. The switches are sturdy and responsive, providing a satisfying tactile feel when adjusting settings.

Overall, the design and construction of the Lavardin Model IS Ref amplifier showcase a commitment to both aesthetics and functionality. Its sleek appearance, robust build quality, efficient cooling system, and reliable connectors make it a standout choice for audiophiles seeking both style and performance in their audio equipment.


The Lavardin Model IS Ref amplifier offers a wide range of connectivity options, making it versatile and compatible with various audio sources. Whether you want to connect your CD player, computer, smartphone, or other devices, this amplifier has got you covered.

With four analog RCA inputs, you can easily connect multiple audio sources to the amplifier. This allows for seamless switching between different devices without the hassle of constantly unplugging and re-plugging cables. The availability of multiple inputs enhances the convenience and flexibility of the amplifier.

While the Lavardin Model IS Ref does not feature balance controls or tone adjustments, it focuses on delivering a pure and unadulterated audio experience. This minimalist approach ensures that the original sound quality is preserved, allowing you to hear music as intended by the artists.

Additionally, this amplifier does not have any built-in digital features such as USB playback, internet radio, or Bluetooth connectivity. Instead, it prioritizes analog sound reproduction and provides a clean and straightforward interface for connecting your audio sources.

Overall, the functionality of the Lavardin Model IS Ref amplifier is designed to prioritize audio purity and simplicity. It offers a range of analog inputs for connecting various devices and delivers an uncolored sound experience without any additional tone adjustments or digital features.

Sound Characteristics

The Lavardin Model IS Ref amplifier delivers a sound quality that is truly exceptional. It excels in reproducing music with incredible detail, allowing the listener to experience the subtle nuances and intricacies of each instrument. The instrument separation is remarkable, creating a three-dimensional soundstage where each instrument occupies its own space.

The bass response of the Lavardin Model IS Ref is deep and controlled, providing a solid foundation to the music without overpowering or muddying the other frequencies. The low-end reproduction is tight and well-defined, allowing for a dynamic and engaging listening experience.

In terms of treble clarity, the amplifier showcases impressive transparency and accuracy. The high frequencies are crisp and articulate, without any harshness or sibilance. The treble reproduction is smooth and natural, adding a touch of airiness to the overall sound presentation.

Regardless of the music genre being played, the Lavardin Model IS Ref amplifier performs exceptionally well. Whether it’s classical, jazz, rock, or electronic music, this amplifier brings out the best in every genre. It effortlessly captures the essence and emotion of the music, making it an ideal choice for audiophiles who appreciate a wide range of musical styles.

The Lavardin Model IS Ref amplifier has a unique ability to bring all musical elements together in perfect harmony. It seamlessly blends different frequencies and musical nuances into a cohesive whole, creating a captivating and immersive listening experience. Every note is rendered with precision and accuracy, resulting in a sound presentation that is both natural and engaging.

Overall, the sound characteristics of the Lavardin Model IS Ref amplifier are truly exceptional. Its ability to reproduce music with incredible detail, instrument separation, balanced bass response, clear treble clarity, and overall cohesiveness makes it an outstanding choice for discerning audiophiles who demand nothing but the best from their audio equipment.

Sound Performance

The Lavardin Model IS Ref amplifier delivers an exceptional sound performance that will transport you into a captivating auditory experience. With its ability to faithfully reproduce audio signals, this amplifier truly shines in terms of clarity, dynamics, and tonal balance across different frequency ranges.

When it comes to clarity, the Lavardin Model IS Ref ensures that every detail in the music is presented with precision and accuracy. From the delicate nuances of a piano to the intricate layers of a symphony orchestra, this amplifier brings out the subtlest details in the music, allowing you to truly appreciate the artistry and craftsmanship of each recording.

The dynamics produced by this amplifier are nothing short of impressive. It effortlessly captures the energy and impact of music, whether it’s the thunderous drums in a rock concert or the gentle crescendo of a classical piece. The Lavardin Model IS Ref allows you to feel every note and chord with its dynamic range, creating a truly immersive listening experience.

One standout feature of this amplifier is its impeccable tonal balance. It ensures that no frequency range overpowers another, resulting in a natural and well-rounded sound reproduction. The bass is tight and controlled, providing a solid foundation for the music without overpowering other elements. The midrange is rich and expressive, bringing vocals and instruments to life with warmth and clarity. The highs are detailed and extended, adding sparkle and airiness to the overall sound.

Whether you’re listening to jazz, rock, classical, or any other genre, the Lavardin Model IS Ref excels in delivering a natural and engaging sound performance. It effortlessly handles complex musical passages with ease, ensuring that each instrument is distinctively portrayed while maintaining a cohesive musical presentation.

In conclusion, the Lavardin Model IS Ref offers an extraordinary sound performance that captivates listeners with its clarity, dynamics, and tonal balance. It faithfully reproduces audio signals with precision and accuracy, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the music. Regardless of the genre, this amplifier brings out the best in every recording and guarantees a truly enjoyable listening experience.


The Lavardin Model IS Ref amplifier offers several distinct advantages that set it apart from its competitors in the market. When compared to other models in the same price range, it truly stands out with its exceptional performance and features.

One of the key advantages of the Lavardin Model IS Ref is its remarkable musicality. It has been praised for being one of the most musical amplifiers in its price segment by renowned publication What Hi-Fi?. This means that regardless of the genre of music you listen to, this amplifier will reproduce it with a natural and convincing sound. It excels at capturing even the finest details and nuances, creating a cohesive and emotionally engaging listening experience.

Additionally, the Lavardin Model IS Ref demonstrates impressive articulation and control across all volume levels. Whether you prefer to listen at lower or higher volumes, this amplifier maintains a confident and composed performance, ensuring that every note and instrument is reproduced accurately and with precision.

Another advantage of the Lavardin Model IS Ref is its understated design. While many other amplifiers may prioritize flashy aesthetics, this model focuses on delivering exceptional sound quality without compromising on looks. Its sleek and minimalist appearance blends seamlessly into any audio setup, allowing it to seamlessly integrate into your home decor.

Furthermore, the Lavardin Model IS Ref offers a high level of build quality and construction. Made in France, it showcases meticulous attention to detail, resulting in a robust and durable amplifier that will withstand years of use. The thoughtful design extends to its user-friendly functionality, including a remote control for convenient operation.

In terms of value for money, the Lavardin Model IS Ref certainly delivers exceptional performance for its price. It competes favorably with other amplifiers in its category, offering superior sound quality and features without an exorbitant price tag. Its ability to reproduce music faithfully across various genres makes it a versatile option for audiophiles seeking an amplifier that can handle any musical preference.

In conclusion, the Lavardin Model IS Ref amplifier offers a range of advantages that make it a standout choice in its price range. Its exceptional musicality, precise articulation, understated design, and robust construction set it apart from competitors. With its impressive performance and reasonable price, the Lavardin Model IS Ref is a compelling option for music enthusiasts looking for an amplifier that delivers on both quality and value.

Value for Money

The Lavardin Model IS Ref amplifier offers exceptional value for money in the world of high-end audio equipment. While it may not boast the most glamorous appearance or the most impressive technical specifications on paper, its performance more than makes up for it.

Priced competitively within its segment, the Lavardin Model IS Ref delivers an audio experience that rivals amplifiers at significantly higher price points. Its ability to reproduce music with exceptional clarity, detail, and articulation is truly remarkable. Whether you’re listening to classical music, rock, jazz, or any other genre, this amplifier effortlessly brings out the natural and convincing qualities of the music.

What sets the Lavardin Model IS Ref apart is its ability to create a cohesive and immersive musical experience. The way it seamlessly connects all musical nuances and intricacies together creates a sense of unity and emotional depth that is hard to find in other amplifiers. It effortlessly captures the essence of the music, allowing listeners to truly connect with their favorite songs on a profound level.

Considering its price point, the Lavardin Model IS Ref offers an incredible value proposition. It provides a level of audio performance that is typically associated with much more expensive amplifiers. Its solid construction and reliable functionality ensure that it will continue to deliver outstanding sound quality for years to come.

In conclusion, if you are searching for an amplifier that offers exceptional value for money without compromising on audio performance, the Lavardin Model IS Ref is an excellent choice. Its ability to bring out the best in your music, combined with its competitive pricing, make it a standout option in its price range. With the Lavardin Model IS Ref, you can enjoy a truly captivating and immersive listening experience without breaking the bank.


In conclusion, the Lavardin Model IS Ref amplifier is a truly exceptional piece of audio equipment. With its impressive sound characteristics, solid construction, and versatile functionality, it sets a new standard for amplifiers in its price range.

The Lavardin Model IS Ref delivers an incredibly musical and engaging listening experience. It excels at reproducing fine details and nuances in music, while maintaining a cohesive and unified presentation. The amplifier’s ability to articulate the subtleties of each instrument and vocal performance is truly remarkable.

One of the standout features of the Lavardin Model IS Ref is its versatility. Despite its compact size and unassuming design, it has more than enough power to fill a room with rich, dynamic sound. Whether you have sensitive speakers or a larger listening space, this amplifier will deliver an impressive performance at any volume level.

The build quality of the Lavardin Model IS Ref is top-notch, reflecting the attention to detail and craftsmanship that Lavardin is known for. Its sleek and understated design may not be as flashy as some other amplifiers on the market, but its performance more than makes up for it.

When considering value for money, the Lavardin Model IS Ref stands out as an excellent investment. While it may not have all the bells and whistles of some higher-priced amplifiers, its exceptional sound quality and reliability make it a worthwhile purchase for any audiophile.

In conclusion, if you are looking for an amplifier that can bring your music to life with incredible clarity and musicality, the Lavardin Model IS Ref is an excellent choice. Its impressive sound characteristics, solid construction, and versatile functionality make it a standout performer in its price range. Whether you are a casual listener or a dedicated audiophile, this amplifier will exceed your expectations and provide countless hours of musical enjoyment.

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