Pre/Power Amplifiers

Sort By:  Post Date TitlePublish Date
Richard Stevenson & Paul Miller  |  Jun 06, 2009
Until the recent addition of high-end Japanese AV processors like Denon’s AVP-A1HD, the upper echelons of the multichannel pre-amplifier market have been dominated by US brands like Lexicon and Krell. Neither of which have ever really got my juices flowing if I am honest. Enter Anthem, a new contender from Canada’s Paradigm stable [see box], with the Statement processor and power amplifiers. It is easier to start with the Anthem Statement P5 and P2 power amps.
Paul Miller  |  Jun 06, 2009
If ever a brand typified the most conservative values of reliable, performance-driven British hi-fi, then Audiolab alongside its IAG stablemate, Quad, would be firmly in the running. Which is why the launch of its first AV product demands some serious attention. After all, this processor/amplifier combination even bears the moniker of the company’s formidable 8000-series separates, with the historical resonance that this invites. Audiolab itself is reticent in the 8000AP’s description, referring to its new HDMI-enabled product as a ‘reference quality 7-channel audio processor and preamplifier’.
John Bamford & Paul Miller  |  Jun 06, 2009
There’s a reassuring matter-of-factness about the design and construction of Bryston’s amplifiers. While they might lack a little glamour – there’s no frivolous dressing up to impress – there’s an understated purposefulness to the marque’s range that has brought the company considerable success in the professional arena since it first began making amplifiers in 1973. Countless professional sound studios around the world employ Bryston electronics for 24/7 amplification duties thanks to the company’s acclaimed quality control and reputation for reliability. In the world of high-end hi-fi manufacturing, boasting to be somehow connected to the worlds of medical and/or the aerospace industries adds a certain cache to a brand, conjuring up images of hard science and meticulous attention to detail.
Ian Harris & Paul Miller  |  Jun 06, 2009
Up to now, Coda Technologies Inc of Sacramento, California, has managed to resist the economic rip-tide which has swept so much audiophile manufacturing towards the Far East. Resolutely continuing to design and build wholly in the US, Coda offers both integrated and pre/power amplification solutions, with prices starting at a point that sits squarely in the territory of the burgeoning Chinese high-end zone. In terms of build quality, the Coda faces tough competition from the latest Far Eastern products. On construction alone, the CS earns a draw, but the CL’s slightly less than hewn-from-solid casework cedes the initiative to the best competition.
Richard Stevenson & Paul Miller  |  May 06, 2009
I love the design of Classé’s Delta series products. The beefy build, curved fascias and contrasting silver and dark colours make for an extremely cool look. Add in a colour LCD screen as a display and source monitor, a remote control handset hewn from an aluminium ingot and Classé’s audiophile heritage, and the new SSP-800 processor is one of the most desirable pieces of multichannel lushness available today. I want one, can you tell? Some two years in the making and coming to market with a price tag around the £5000 mark puts this beast up against the Denon AVP-A1HD.
Steve Harris & Paul Miller  |  Apr 17, 2009
You might be surprised to see Leema launching a massive £20,000-plus amplifier combination now, hard on the heels of its lower-cost Pulse and Stream models. But as with everything this company does, there’s a logical progression. The Pyxis/Altair IV combination forms the heart of Leema’s long-considered reference series. ‘We needed to produce our reference system,’ says Mallory, ‘and from the outset it was always going to be monoblocks.
Ken Kessler & Paul Miller  |  Apr 06, 2009
Back after a hiatus of nearly a decade, Trilogy’s founder Nic Poulson has returned to amp manufacture, having spent the interim producing mains filters and regenerators. Both the promise and the standards of Trilogy ‘Mk I’ have been maintained in the rebirth, but with new twists, including microprocessor control. Poulson has revived Trilogy with three models, continuing the 900-nomenclature of the 1990s units. The 909 preamplifier will most amuse the tweaker because it’s all-valve, using three ECC88/6922s and a 6U4P rectifier, but it boasts features usually found in cutting-edge solid-state products, or valve exotica from the likes of VTL, McIntosh and other American makers.
Ken Kessler & Paul Miller  |  Mar 06, 2009
Americans have this phrase – probably politically incorrect – for those areas you never hear about. They call them the ‘flyover states’, a perfect description for anywhere that isn’t New York, California or Florida. Which is not to say that places like North Dakota, Idaho or Nebraska are totally without charm. They’re just not on everyone’s radar.
Steve Harris & Paul Miller  |  Feb 06, 2009
There cannot be many words more overworked than ‘classic’. Sometimes it means a previous model, kept in production ‘by popular demand’, perhaps because the new replacement model doesn’t quite cut it. Sometimes it means a new emulation of an old and once successful product, which may bear little real resemblance to a famous forebear. Conrad-johnson’s website straightforwardly lists all its discontinued models as ‘Classic Products’.
Steve Harris & Paul Miller  |  Feb 06, 2009
Reacquaintance can be a fraught affair, as anyone who has met an old lover after many years will attest. You risk either discovering that you are still in love with them, which is usually bad news, or wondering whatever attracted you in the first place. Neither outcome is good for the ego. It’s much the same when revisiting an audio product.
Richard Stevenson & Paul Miller  |  Jan 17, 2009
There is something about the Italian high-end that gets my juices flowing. It’s the style, the grace, the sheer passion that goes into the design – and the absolute certainty that there will flaws of epic, forehead slapping proportion. Exhibit A – the Audia Flight Pre remote control. Utterly gorgeous, CNC-machined from an aluminium billet and offering an innovative multifunction interface that keeps the button count to a luxurious minimum.
Andy Whittle and Paul Miller  |  Jan 06, 2009
Flying mole – now there’s an interesting name that would appear to fly against the face of convention. In this case, it’s the convention of Class A/B transistor amps and thermionic devices that glow in the dark. I am not even certain that they have moles in Japan. I’ve been to Tokyo a number of times and haven’t seen moles on the menu, so can only assume that they do not.

Pages

X