Closer Look: SilverStone EB03
The SilverStone EB03 arrives well packaged in a colorful box with printed instructions on the side panel. An immediately noticeable feature of the box is the complete lack of any customary audio performance specifications. Instead, a large banner proudly identifies the Studio Quality ICs used in the design of the amplifier. These ICs are the THAT 1640 6W and 1512 integrated audio amplifier components which are discussed later in this article.
The SilverStone EB03 design is dominated by the curved front of the enclosure and the oversized silver volume control at the top of the unit. You would be forgiven for thinking this unit was inspired by a baby grand piano. The location of the volume control will be very convenient when the unit is placed on a desk near the listener, and will make placing the device in a rack of audio equipment somewhat awkward for volume control.
A recessed blue LED adds a subtle accent to the front of the unit while providing an indication that the device is powered on. The relatively low brightness of the blue indicator light will be appreciated in a darkened home theater or office where bright LEDs can be intrusive.
All audio connections and power supply input are located on the back of the unit. A single two position power switch turns the unit on and off. An almost inaudible click after turning on the unit identifies a relay in the audio path, which is useful for preventing switching transients from reaching the headphones and listeners ears.
A set of looped outputs provides a user with a method of directly listening to an audio source such as the EB01-E DAC while still keeping the audio connected to a power amplifier.