Category Archives: amplification

Quad II

One of the longest running British power amplifiers, the Quad II has a legendary reputation and can be considered a definitive and iconic valve design. Launched in 1953, it acquired a matching preamplifier – the QC 22 – in 1959,

Quad II

One of the longest running British power amplifiers, the Quad II has a legendary reputation and can be considered a definitive and iconic valve design. Launched in 1953, it acquired a matching preamplifier – the QC 22 – in 1959,

Roksan K3 Integrated

This £1,250 integrated amplifier was launched in 2016. It has five line inputs, moving magnet phono stage and aptX wireless Bluetooth but interestingly though, no DAC functionality is offered. Indeed, aside from the Bluetooth which is unashamedly a convenience feature, this

Roksan K3 Integrated

This £1,250 integrated amplifier was launched in 2016. It has five line inputs, moving magnet phono stage and aptX wireless Bluetooth but interestingly though, no DAC functionality is offered. Indeed, aside from the Bluetooth which is unashamedly a convenience feature, this

Leak Stereo 60

We all know how great the Leak Stereo 20 is. Introduced in 1958, it was a perfectly packaged ‘do-it-all’ stereo valve power amplifier with enough power to drive most loudspeakers of its day. Using the same basic circuit as Harold Leak’s ‘Point

Leak Stereo 60

We all know how great the Leak Stereo 20 is. Introduced in 1958, it was a perfectly packaged ‘do-it-all’ stereo valve power amplifier with enough power to drive most loudspeakers of its day. Using the same basic circuit as Harold Leak’s ‘Point

Creek Evolution 50A

Traditionally Creek has been king of budget British integrated amplifiers. The CAS4040 for example, is a lovely listen, and in its day one of the best things any budding audiophile could afford. It had a warm but grippy, detailed and musical sound that offered enormous bang

Creek Evolution 50A

Traditionally Creek has been king of budget British integrated amplifiers. The CAS4040 for example, is a lovely listen, and in its day one of the best things any budding audiophile could afford. It had a warm but grippy, detailed and musical sound that offered enormous bang

Icon Audio MB90

Back in the late nineteen nineties, tube amplification was regarded as an extreme niche in hi-fi – something akin to how most petrolheads think about kit cars (i.e. “interesting, but not for me”). So perhaps it’s a sign of the

Icon Audio MB90

Back in the late nineteen nineties, tube amplification was regarded as an extreme niche in hi-fi – something akin to how most petrolheads think about kit cars (i.e. “interesting, but not for me”). So perhaps it’s a sign of the

Stello S200

The ultimate sleeper, here was a great sounding solid-state power amplifier at an affordable price, built like the proverbial brick wash room and finished to the standard of the finest Japanese hi-fi. Trouble is, it was made in South Korea by

Stello S200

The ultimate sleeper, here was a great sounding solid-state power amplifier at an affordable price, built like the proverbial brick wash room and finished to the standard of the finest Japanese hi-fi. Trouble is, it was made in South Korea by

Marantz SA-10/PM-10

Launched on December 1st, 2016, the new Marantz SA-10 SACD player/DAC and PM-10 amplifier are technologically the boldest products the Eindhoven-based company has done in many years. The silver disc spinner replaces the SA-7, and sports a bespoke, newly designed optical disc

Marantz SA-10/PM-10

Launched on December 1st, 2016, the new Marantz SA-10 SACD player/DAC and PM-10 amplifier are technologically the boldest products the Eindhoven-based company has done in many years. The silver disc spinner replaces the SA-7, and sports a bespoke, newly designed optical disc

Canor TP134

This £2,495 Hungarian-made integrated is a serious attempt by a niche manufacturer to produce an affordable, decent sounding valve amplifier. It’s an EL34 pentode-based integrated design that’s said to work in full Class A mode up to about 10 watts, going on to

Canor TP134

This £2,495 Hungarian-made integrated is a serious attempt by a niche manufacturer to produce an affordable, decent sounding valve amplifier. It’s an EL34 pentode-based integrated design that’s said to work in full Class A mode up to about 10 watts, going on to

Sony TA-73

Since the late nineteen sixties, Sony always had an entry-level hi-fi range – one that offered obviously better quality than lesser brands but wasn’t a full-fat Sony product with impressive styling and specification. The TA-73 (and its matching ST-73 tuner

Sony TA-73

Since the late nineteen sixties, Sony always had an entry-level hi-fi range – one that offered obviously better quality than lesser brands but wasn’t a full-fat Sony product with impressive styling and specification. The TA-73 (and its matching ST-73 tuner

Hitachi Lo-D HA-5700

The nineteen seventies saw Japanese companies experimenting with different types of output devices in a bid to bring better sonics and greater power – for example, Sony and Yamaha launched super sounding but unreliable V-FET amplifiers at the beginning of that decade. But

Hitachi Lo-D HA-5700

The nineteen seventies saw Japanese companies experimenting with different types of output devices in a bid to bring better sonics and greater power – for example, Sony and Yamaha launched super sounding but unreliable V-FET amplifiers at the beginning of that decade. But

Naim NAIT 5

The first Naim NAIT embodied the nineteen eighties move towards minimalism – less was more. So there was nowhere to go for the NAITs that followed (the 2 and 3) except bigger. They got progressively higher powered and less minimalist – the 2

Naim NAIT 5

The first Naim NAIT embodied the nineteen eighties move towards minimalism – less was more. So there was nowhere to go for the NAITs that followed (the 2 and 3) except bigger. They got progressively higher powered and less minimalist – the 2

Marantz KI Pearl

The British launch of the Marantz KI Pearls in Autumn 2009 was a suitably auspicious affair at The Ivy in London’s Soho, with Ken Ishiwata making a speech to a room of assembled journalists in which he traced his career trajectory,

Marantz KI Pearl

The British launch of the Marantz KI Pearls in Autumn 2009 was a suitably auspicious affair at The Ivy in London’s Soho, with Ken Ishiwata making a speech to a room of assembled journalists in which he traced his career trajectory,

Arcam P49

  Arcam has always been a purveyor of fine integrated amps as far back as the late seventies, this much we know. Yet the company does have a tradition of doing capable power amplifiers too, stretching right back to the

Arcam P49

  Arcam has always been a purveyor of fine integrated amps as far back as the late seventies, this much we know. Yet the company does have a tradition of doing capable power amplifiers too, stretching right back to the

Audio Research SP-8

  Such were the politics of British hi-fi publishing back in the early eighties, that you had to struggle to read about anything that wasn’t UK-made and transistor-aspirated. It may be hard to believe in today’s relatively catholic hi-fi world, but

Audio Research SP-8

  Such were the politics of British hi-fi publishing back in the early eighties, that you had to struggle to read about anything that wasn’t UK-made and transistor-aspirated. It may be hard to believe in today’s relatively catholic hi-fi world, but

Exposure 3010S2

  Exposure made its name for powerful and punchy sounding high end transistor amplifiers back in the nineteen eighties, under the stewardship of gifted designer John Farlowe. He subsequently sold his company and emigrated to Thailand, whereupon the brand was reborn.

Exposure 3010S2

  Exposure made its name for powerful and punchy sounding high end transistor amplifiers back in the nineteen eighties, under the stewardship of gifted designer John Farlowe. He subsequently sold his company and emigrated to Thailand, whereupon the brand was reborn.

NAD 3030

Meet one of New Acoustic Dimension’s lost gems, the integrated amplifier that came before the product for which the company is most famous by far – the NAD 3020. Actually, in hi-fi terms, it’s not the barnstormer that its successor was,

NAD 3030

Meet one of New Acoustic Dimension’s lost gems, the integrated amplifier that came before the product for which the company is most famous by far – the NAD 3020. Actually, in hi-fi terms, it’s not the barnstormer that its successor was,

NAD D 3020

Just as the original NAD 3020 had ‘real world’ features and no gimmicks, so this new D version goes the same way. Any modern budget amplifier has surely got to work in Class D, because this mode of operation has lower power

NAD D 3020

Just as the original NAD 3020 had ‘real world’ features and no gimmicks, so this new D version goes the same way. Any modern budget amplifier has surely got to work in Class D, because this mode of operation has lower power

Creek Destiny

Starting with the classic CAS4040 back in the early nineteen eighties, Creek Audio has an illustrious history of producing affordable but musical sounding transistor amplification. Launched in 2009, the Destiny was the company’s flagship product and took it very much into the

Creek Destiny

Starting with the classic CAS4040 back in the early nineteen eighties, Creek Audio has an illustrious history of producing affordable but musical sounding transistor amplification. Launched in 2009, the Destiny was the company’s flagship product and took it very much into the

Rega Brio R

One instinctively knows when something is right. And so it was when I first discovered the Rega Brio five or so years ago. Costing just £328, Rega described it as a “simple, high performance, integrated amplifier”with the company’s characteristic understatement, and that’s

Rega Brio R

One instinctively knows when something is right. And so it was when I first discovered the Rega Brio five or so years ago. Costing just £328, Rega described it as a “simple, high performance, integrated amplifier”with the company’s characteristic understatement, and that’s

Kenwood L-07C/L-07M

The Trio/Kenwood Stereo Control Amplifier Model L-07C and DC Power Amplifier Model L-07M monoblocs hail from a different age. Launched in 1979 at the very zenith of the audio boom, hi-fi was a hugely popular pursuit across the western world – and seen as

Kenwood L-07C/L-07M

The Trio/Kenwood Stereo Control Amplifier Model L-07C and DC Power Amplifier Model L-07M monoblocs hail from a different age. Launched in 1979 at the very zenith of the audio boom, hi-fi was a hugely popular pursuit across the western world – and seen as