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Amplifier Reviews

Audio by Van Alstine FET Valve CF Vacuum Tube Preamplifier Review

Audio by Van Alstine FET Valve CF Vacuum Tube Preamplifier Review

The Audio by Van Alstine FET Valve CF Vacuum Tube preamplifier is a pure analog design with no solid state transistors in the signal path. It is based on a Cathode Follower architecture providing wide bandwidth, substantial gain even into difficult loads.

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Mark Levinson No 52 Stereo Preamplifier Review

LevinsonMark Levinson, one of the most respected names in audio, has just released their latest stereo preamplifier design, the No52. Its looks, handling, and performance are what you would expect from Levinson: Extraordinary.

 

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Naim Supernait 2 Integrated Amplifier

Naim Supernait 2 Integrated Amplifier

1983. The compact disc is introduced and record companies everywhere rejoice at the prospect of selling everyone worse sounding versions of music they already own. The universe, however, seeks a balance. The same year, Naim unleashes the first Nait integrated amplifier and the product category is never the same. The runtish, low-powered amplifier was controversial on many fronts, but its astonishing degree of musicality was never in dispute. The Naim Supernait 2 integrated amplifier does not deviate from their unique path that began more than three decades ago.

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NewClear Audio NC1000L Class D Stereo Power Amplifier

New Clear Audio NC1000L AmplifierClass D (i.e., "Switching") amplifiers have been around for quite a while now. What's clear from models produced so far is they all sound different, even when using the same core technology. Like many amplifiers of the type, the NewClear NC1000L uses the Bang and Olufsen ICEPower module. What makes the NC1000L different isn't this module; it's how that module is implemented. NewClear Audio was started by Sean Brady to improve upon the sound of existing switching amplifiers. Sean had heard some very good amps based on ICEPower technology, but thought he could do even better. The question is, does the NC1000L deliver the goods compared to similarly priced, traditional Class A/B amplifiers?

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Marantz PM6005 Integrated Amplifier and CD6005 CD Player

Marantz PM6005 Integrated Amplifier and CD6005 CD Player

Marantz is one of the legendary names in audio and has remained a brand noted for high quality audio devices from power amplifiers to CD/SACD players, integrated amplifiers, home theater receivers and processors. The PM6005 integrated amp and CD6005 CD player are part of Marantz' Slim Line components and are updated versions of the PM 6004 integrated amplifier and CD 6004 CD player reviewed by Secrets' writer Jared Rachwalski in May, 2012.

 

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Emotiva XPA-1 Gen2 Monoblock Power Amplifier Preview

Emotiva XPA-1 Gen2 Monoblock Amplifier Review

The Emotiva XPA-1 Gen2 is an update to Emotiva’s 1,000 watt per channel monoblock amplifier. There are subtle improvements, from a higher quality RCA jack and electrical changes, but the most noticeable is a switch up front. It allows the XPA-1 to run in Class A for the first 60 watts of power.

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Pass Labs Xs Preamplifier and Xs 300 Pure Class A Monoblock Power Amplifiers

Pass LabsPass Labs recently introduced their new Xs Preamplifier and XS 300 Pure Class A (300 watts) monoblock power amplifiers. They are a completely new design compared to their previous components, and have a sound that is almost beyond description in words.

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Parasound Halo P 5 Preamplifier Review

Parasound Halo P 5 Preamplifier Review

The new Parasound Halo P 5 is so much more than a preamplifier, with the inclusion of digital processing and bass management.

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NAD D 3020 Hybrid Digital Stereo Amplifier

NAD D 3020 Hybrid Digital AmplifierWhen I left home for college in 1984, I brought my stereo system along. It consisted of a Kenwood receiver, Technics turntable, and a pair of Fisher 3-way speakers. After discovering a few high-end stereo shops in Boston, and having my turntable set up properly; I started shopping for a better amp. My meager funding ruled out separates but the proprietor of a small hi-fi shop pointed me to that now-familiar brown box. I returned to my dorm room clutching a brand-new NAD 3020, for which I believe I paid around $220. My reward was the cleanest sound I'd ever heard, bar none. I used that amp all through college and probably for another 10 years after. Today, NAD has recreated this amazing product for the digital age. Where we once relied on vinyl and ferrous tape, now it's all about bits and bytes. The timeless philosophy of clean high-quality sound, versatile operation, and a low price has now given birth to the all-new D 3020 Hybrid Digital Amplifier.

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Krell S-550i Integrated Amplifier

Krell S-550i Integrated Amplifier

The S-550i is the larger of two new integrated amps from Krell. Both of these amps feature circuit boards that utilize surface mount components. This means they can pack more power into smaller chassis than ever before. The S-550i is rated at 275 watts per channel into 8 ohms, and that doubles to 550 wpc into a 4 ohm load. This being from a box that is less than 6 inches tall. So now you can get tons of Krell goodness in a small package and at a very affordable price.

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Bryston 28BSST2 Monoblock Power Amplifier

Bryston 28BSST2 Stereo AmplifierLately I had been sampling the Bryston Mini T Bookshelf speakers with my reference amp, a modest Marantz Integrated, and though they matched well I wondered how they would fare with some serious Bryston power behind them. So when Bryston offered up some 28BSST2 's for review I had one stipulation: let me try them with the Mini T's.

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