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Acoustic Portrait Swara Integrated V2

Acoustic Portrait Swara Integrated V2 Amplifier Review

Review by Amit Dubey, Feb 13 2024

Every now and then you come across a piece of kit in audio, that you get to listen to that you have not heard much about and have no expectations bias.  Part of this journey in audio is to hear as much stuff as possible at dealers, resellers, fellow audiophile’s homes and hifi shows. When I was given an opportunity to hear the Acoustic Portrait Swara V2 in my setup, I was pleased enough to pass it away. I had the pleasure of meeting Siva during the recent What Hifi show in Bangalore and was looking forward to hearing some of his gear up front in person. 

I currently have 5 two channel setups (two in living as a primary setup, two in bedroom as my secondary setup, 1 in another bedroom) and 1 HT setup. I was happy to take one of my integrated amps out and insert this in. 

Design, Build & Connectivity:

Thank goodness this is not a very heavy amp, weighing at around 10 kgs and was easy to pick up and mobilize it into my setup. The build quality of Acoustic Portrait Swara V2 overall is nice with vents on top and sides and a lovely wooden fascia in front which has a nice little display right at the center which shows the input selection and the volume level. The case enclosure looks like a well-made heavy gauge steel that looks quite sturdy and industrial for what it is. Entire amp sits on custom made feet which should provide good isolation.

Internals are neatly laid out with the preamp stage using high grade op-amps driven by a motorized alps potentiometer for the volume control experience. Apparently, Belden cables are used for internal wiring. This amp is a Class AB implementation with 80 watts at 8 ohms powered by a high-quality toroidal transformer. 

At the back we see a simple layout of one set of speaker binding posts for left and right channels and three RCA single ended inputs that are gold plated and look high quality.

Sources: The room in which I set these up had the following chain:

MIT’s Z strip AC Power conditioner, MIT power cables connected to all my gear. Avid Ingenium Turntable, Lumin U1 mini + Lumin U1 LPS running into Holo Spring dac connected through balanced to YBA Passion Integre 300 connected to my Von Schweikert Unifield Model 3 speakers and to Dynalab 208 integrated through it’s single ended output via Van Den Hul D-102 connected to Proac Response 1sc speakers through Audioquest Rocket 22 speaker cables biwired.


I took the Dynalab 208 out to connect the Acoustic Portrait Swara V2 and started off with some streaming.

I just listened carefully to “Brothers in Arms” rendition of Dire Straits beautifully covered by Georg Wardenius & Nina Persson. I realized after the first couple of minutes that there was very little acclimatizing my brain had to go through as if I felt Swara was picking up exactly where Dynalab had left. The sound was clean and transparent where the AP Swara almost got out of the way letting the source come through and shine. Proac Response 1sc has an inherent voicing with a mid centric presentation with sweetness in the high frequency and the lows that are surprising for this form factor. And I enjoyed the different outcomes when paired with varied amps. I have really liked what Swara does with these too. A very clean, airy, transparent presentation where the tone is not on the warmer or on the cooler side, just transparent and neutral.

From the get go, I got a lock in on the imaging with the vocals being distinctly dead center and enough space within the image to locate the positioning of other band members. The soundstage was not very deep but it definitely had a good height to it. Width wise the stage extended beyond the width of the speakers and the overall presentation was not either too forward sounding nor recessed. It sounded just right given the position of speakers within the room.

Proac 1sc have a tendency to project mids forward more so than others in their form factor and price. However, the amp did not amplify this part. The Proacs also have that lovely presence in the high frequency and while this came across in spades, it didn’t seem like Swara was either adding or taking anything away from this. Also I wouldn’t want anyone to think this amp was too analytical due to its transparent nature. In fact it told the truth more often than not. I know of some songs that I love that aren’t the greatest of productions esp a whole lot from Rolling Stones and while Swara didn’t make it anymore listenable, it didn’t put a microscope on recordings shortcomings either.

The presentation was overall on the clean, agile and articulate side with good air and dynamics. This was very similar to the Dynalab I have been used to but very different from the YBA Passion which I have heard these on over the years. YBA passion has that big class A presentation with a lot of warmth and whole lot of body and texture to the voices and instruments. But the reason I have had Dynalab 208 for as long as I do is that it gives me that lean, fast presentation that’s something also right up my palette in terms of sonic preference. A lot of sax from Miles Davis and Coltrane sounded beautiful with this kind of presentation where you could hear each note being deciphered and dished out without any linger or residue while quickly moving on to the next. I like how Diana Krall’s vocals sounded across her entire album “Turn on the Quiet” with this coming across as very natural. I look out carefully for female vocals esp when high pitched being articulated right. Diana has a close mic easy going voice. As there was not much in this recording that sounded off. It just sounded right through and through my listening session through the Swara. I would have liked a little more body to her vocals and overall a bit more bass that I know response 1sc is capable off on this album, I didn’t mind this signature at all. Also, with the sound  of guitars (both acoustic and electronic) retaining its tone and not sounding off is important as I listen to a lot of rock, metal, progressive and grunge. Some cooler amps tend to add this glaze to the electronic guitars which in my smallish 13 x 13 room can be a bit fatiguing, which was not the case with Swara at all. Once I get my electronics like streamer and dac sorted, I expect the pre and power to do its part and belt it out. Swara did not disappoint.

I would have liked to try and drive some more difficult loads like the ATC SCM 20s I have, to see how Swara performed but I was short on space in my living room rack and also if I don’t buy gear without matching it well to the speakers, what’s the point in testing it. In my experience both my Proac response 1sc and Proac Tablette 10 signature are a good match for this lovely little integrated with enough headroom to spare and I feel similarly efficient speakers will do well when paired. I feel this potentiometer though a very good one has all its usable gain within a certain range and matching a speaker that falls in that range is an important consideration from a speaker matching point of view. This is a working man’s clean sounding audiophile integrated amp and at the price that I have been given the indication that it can be obtained, it’s a steal. Acoustic Portrait Swara Integrated is a hidden gem that comes from an Indian manufacturer that brings a lot to the table for its cost, making it a high value piece of gear. Strongly Recommended!

Product Price: ₹75000

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