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March 29, 2012 / btgaudio

Apex Butte: Day 1.5 – Build quality.

I dub this review “Day 1.5” because in the time between my orignal post and, hopefully, my next post, I noticed a few things that I would like to share with you.

Being a loaner amp, it’s safe to say the amp has been used and examined by other reviewers, hopefully much more versed in reviewing than I.

Here are the things I’ve noticed.

The potentiometer of the Butte, is incredibly smooth. Fine tuning volume is a cinch! It also doesn’t give when turned to the max or min. This gives the amp’s most used interface a elegant and smooth feel. As for the actual functionality, I found myself turning the knob a lot in order to change the volume slightly. This will be tested further with a LOD on an iPod, but in my current setup, There is a lot of turning to do.

In contrast to the smooth pot, the buttons on the input selector and the power are very firm and have an authoritative click when pushed in and out.

All of the connection points are very solid although only one of them has a ring screw. The output 1/4 socket. Also the front plate is a solid 1/8th inch larger than the body of the amp except on the bottom where it’s about 1/32 larger. The front plate is also exceptionally thick. Weighing in at 1/4in of solid aluminium.

The LED is almost flush with the front plate and also has a sand paper like finish. You can tell these LED’s were made flat and matte, not simply ground down. It’s also SUPER bright as seen in my first pictures of the amp.

Both end plates are brushed a beautiful brushed aluminium with the labels engraved by a very high quality laser engraver. Over 600 dpi. I have had experience with laser engravers and at a first I thought it was the typical silk screen, but as I felt it, it was not raised like it normally would be and had a sand paper like finish. The metal is also anodized.

However the main section of the case is not brushed aluminium like the plates. It is a simple painted black extruded piece of aluminium.

On the back side you can see that the holes are not perfectly cut and there is a little bit of a lip on the bottom of the amp if you run your finger on the bottom. This isn’t a issue at all, just an observation.

With the Butte I was sent, the top right scew wasn’t catching on to the thread because it ran from the back of the amp, all the way to the front. I had to remove one of the plastic washers for the screw to properly catch and not fall out when I was handling it. This is probably because past loaners had been tampering with it, by evidence of marks on the screws and socket wrench markings around the back screws.

Finally, the amp sits on some huge sticky bumpers that are so perfectly lined up its uncanny.

That’s all for now…


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