Category Archives: amplification

Icon Audio Stereo 40 mkIII KT88

Launched in 2012 for the princely sum of £1,700, this was a great affordable audiophile valve amplifier. As chief designer David Shaw put it, “the original Stereo 40 was born in 2000, and was at the heart of what we

Icon Audio Stereo 40 mkIII KT88

Launched in 2012 for the princely sum of £1,700, this was a great affordable audiophile valve amplifier. As chief designer David Shaw put it, “the original Stereo 40 was born in 2000, and was at the heart of what we

Naim NAP 250

It’s a long time since Naim Audio Ltd. first started up in a Wiltshire backstreet in 1973, and from that moment on began to win friends and favour. Founder Julian Vereker once explained that he established the company to make

Naim NAP 250

It’s a long time since Naim Audio Ltd. first started up in a Wiltshire backstreet in 1973, and from that moment on began to win friends and favour. Founder Julian Vereker once explained that he established the company to make

Sony TA-E86/TA-N86

The golden age of Japanese hi-fi was arguably from 1976 to 1981 – a time when the Yen was drastically undervalued on world markets, allowing Japanese manufacturers to launch products that Western companies simply couldn’t compete with. Although Nipponese hi-fi

Sony TA-E86/TA-N86

The golden age of Japanese hi-fi was arguably from 1976 to 1981 – a time when the Yen was drastically undervalued on world markets, allowing Japanese manufacturers to launch products that Western companies simply couldn’t compete with. Although Nipponese hi-fi

Mission 771/772

Mission Electronics was launched in 1977, with Farad Azima, his brother Henry and Stan Curtis as founder directors. Yet another exciting new British hi-fi company to come out of ‘Silicon Fen’ around Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire – the UK’s equivalent of California’s

Mission 771/772

Mission Electronics was launched in 1977, with Farad Azima, his brother Henry and Stan Curtis as founder directors. Yet another exciting new British hi-fi company to come out of ‘Silicon Fen’ around Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire – the UK’s equivalent of California’s

NAD 3155

“Two products in one”, is how NAD described its new 3155 upon its launch in January 1985. “As a preamplifier it matches most separate audiophile preamps in sonic performance and surpasses them in operating flexibility. As a high-current high-headroom power

NAD 3155

“Two products in one”, is how NAD described its new 3155 upon its launch in January 1985. “As a preamplifier it matches most separate audiophile preamps in sonic performance and surpasses them in operating flexibility. As a high-current high-headroom power

Musical Fidelity A100

The Musical Fidelity A1 design story is well told now. Tim de Paravicini takes it up. “I try to be inventive, I don’t copy people if I can avoid it”, he told me. “The idea started life as a circuit

Musical Fidelity A100

The Musical Fidelity A1 design story is well told now. Tim de Paravicini takes it up. “I try to be inventive, I don’t copy people if I can avoid it”, he told me. “The idea started life as a circuit

Sony TA-F35

Any British hi-fi magazine reader in 1980 would be treated to page after page of commentary and opinion – sometimes dressed up as fact, sometimes not – about how poor Japanese amplifiers were. This was particularly the case, they said,

Sony TA-F35

Any British hi-fi magazine reader in 1980 would be treated to page after page of commentary and opinion – sometimes dressed up as fact, sometimes not – about how poor Japanese amplifiers were. This was particularly the case, they said,

Hitachi HMA-6500

Back in the mid nineteen seventies, Hitachi’s development and productionising of MOSFETs (Metal Oxide Silicon Field Effect Transistor) played a massive part in the hi-fi world that was then just around the corner. The world wasn’t even fifteen years into

Hitachi HMA-6500

Back in the mid nineteen seventies, Hitachi’s development and productionising of MOSFETs (Metal Oxide Silicon Field Effect Transistor) played a massive part in the hi-fi world that was then just around the corner. The world wasn’t even fifteen years into

Mola-Mola Makua/Kaluga

Ah yes, Class D. I am not a fan, but that’s only “so far”, because I don’t have any philosophical objections to it. Experience has taught me that it’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it

Mola-Mola Makua/Kaluga

Ah yes, Class D. I am not a fan, but that’s only “so far”, because I don’t have any philosophical objections to it. Experience has taught me that it’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it

Cyrus ONE

First seen at the 2016 Munich High End Show, Cyrus Audio’s ONE integrated amplifier is a Class D design using the third generation of the company’s hybrid Class D technology. It puts out a claimed 100W RMS per channel into 6 ohms,

Cyrus ONE

First seen at the 2016 Munich High End Show, Cyrus Audio’s ONE integrated amplifier is a Class D design using the third generation of the company’s hybrid Class D technology. It puts out a claimed 100W RMS per channel into 6 ohms,

Arcam FMJ SR250

Remember the nineteen seventies – the golden age of the stereo receiver? From the nineties of course, the breed swelled to become multichannel, and these days it’s hard to find one that doesn’t have at least seven channels on hand.

Arcam FMJ SR250

Remember the nineteen seventies – the golden age of the stereo receiver? From the nineties of course, the breed swelled to become multichannel, and these days it’s hard to find one that doesn’t have at least seven channels on hand.

Sony TA-F55

By 1979, Sony amplifiers had abandoned their exotic but unreliable V-FET output transistors, and were innovating in different ways – the challenge was to add an interesting twist to a conventional design. So from the middle of the new TA-F

Sony TA-F55

By 1979, Sony amplifiers had abandoned their exotic but unreliable V-FET output transistors, and were innovating in different ways – the challenge was to add an interesting twist to a conventional design. So from the middle of the new TA-F

Croft Vita

Warp back to 1995, and the world was quite a different place. In hi-fi, we were besieged by a welter of black pressed steel-cased transistor amplifiers and CD players; Audiolab’s 8000a reigned supreme on the showroom floor, and the talk was

Croft Vita

Warp back to 1995, and the world was quite a different place. In hi-fi, we were besieged by a welter of black pressed steel-cased transistor amplifiers and CD players; Audiolab’s 8000a reigned supreme on the showroom floor, and the talk was

AMC CVT3030

If NAD had made a tube amplifier, then this would have been it. Designed by Peter Bath (who worked for Dolby, AR and indeed NAD), and manufactured by IEEE in Taipei (one-time makers of Cambridge Audio, Luxman, Proton and NAD

AMC CVT3030

If NAD had made a tube amplifier, then this would have been it. Designed by Peter Bath (who worked for Dolby, AR and indeed NAD), and manufactured by IEEE in Taipei (one-time makers of Cambridge Audio, Luxman, Proton and NAD

Whest Audio PS.30RDT

Launched in 2009 as close descendent of the company’s flagship MC REF V, Whest Audio’s PS.30RDT cost a hefty £2,799 when new. It comes in a single 430x280x72mm box, inside which is an ultra low noise bipolar opamp DIP8 chip heavily biased into

Whest Audio PS.30RDT

Launched in 2009 as close descendent of the company’s flagship MC REF V, Whest Audio’s PS.30RDT cost a hefty £2,799 when new. It comes in a single 430x280x72mm box, inside which is an ultra low noise bipolar opamp DIP8 chip heavily biased into

Icon Audio Stereo 845PP

The famous 845 power triode started life as a radio transmitting vacuum tube – physically large and with an impressive anode dissipation of 75 watts, it ran 1,250V on the anode no less. The thoriated tungsten filament – which glowed

Icon Audio Stereo 845PP

The famous 845 power triode started life as a radio transmitting vacuum tube – physically large and with an impressive anode dissipation of 75 watts, it ran 1,250V on the anode no less. The thoriated tungsten filament – which glowed

SLiC Innovations Eclipse C

New cable brands often come and go like ships in the night, so does the world really need another? Well, perhaps. The first encouraging sign of the SLiC’s quality was the packaging, which was far less lavish than most cable brands, suggesting

SLiC Innovations Eclipse C

New cable brands often come and go like ships in the night, so does the world really need another? Well, perhaps. The first encouraging sign of the SLiC’s quality was the packaging, which was far less lavish than most cable brands, suggesting

Audio Research SP9

  Back in the United Kingdom of 1987, few audiophiles really noticed the launch Audio Research SP9 – despite it being the company’s best selling and arguably most loved heritage product. It was an exceptionally capable – and technically innovative –

Audio Research SP9

  Back in the United Kingdom of 1987, few audiophiles really noticed the launch Audio Research SP9 – despite it being the company’s best selling and arguably most loved heritage product. It was an exceptionally capable – and technically innovative –

Oppo HA-1

  Who would have thought it? Obscure manufacturer of decent Chinese optical disc players starts spin-off company (Oppo Digital Inc.) in California to make high quality hi-fi products. It’s not a typical tale of hi-fi success, but the story is

Oppo HA-1

  Who would have thought it? Obscure manufacturer of decent Chinese optical disc players starts spin-off company (Oppo Digital Inc.) in California to make high quality hi-fi products. It’s not a typical tale of hi-fi success, but the story is

Sim Audio Moon 600i

A dual mono integrated Class AB powerhouse (sporting a claimed 125W into 8 Ohms), this was a pricey bit of kit when launched for £5,750 in 2010. It’s well built and nicely finished, but a £6,000 Japanese product it isn’t – there’s

Sim Audio Moon 600i

A dual mono integrated Class AB powerhouse (sporting a claimed 125W into 8 Ohms), this was a pricey bit of kit when launched for £5,750 in 2010. It’s well built and nicely finished, but a £6,000 Japanese product it isn’t – there’s