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Amplifier Reviews

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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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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Pass Labs INT-150 Integrated Stereo Amplifier

Pass Labs INT-150Pass Labs is renown for their high end preamplifiers and power amplifiers, but they also have integrated amplifiers as well, which include the INT-30A and the INT-150. Here, we review the INT-150, which, as you can imagine from the model number, outputs 150 watts x 2 (into 8 ohms). It has the same massive build quality as the other Pass components I have reviewed, and also, its own distinctive sound, as I have found with the others.

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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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Bryston BP17 Stereo Preamplifier

Bryston BP17Bryston is the only high-end audio company I know of that offers a 20 year warranty on its products. They manufacture some very expensive preamps and power amps, but even the least expensive product carries that warranty. Why? Because they have massive build quality. The BP17 stereo preamplifier exemplifies that approach, and it is in the middle of their preamplifier line-up, which includes the BP6 and BP26.

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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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Emotiva XPR-1 Monoblock Power Amplifier

Emotiva XPR-1 AmplifierAfter releasing a 500 watt monoblock power amplifier, the XPA-1, Emotiva didn't stop there. The newest addition to their monoblock power amplifier line is the XPR-1, which delivers 1,000 watts RMS into 8 Ohms. It may strain your back to move it, but it will set you back only $1,500.

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Pass Labs INT-30A Pure Class A Integrated Stereo Amplifier

INT-30Recently, we reviewed the Pass Labs INT-150 integrated amplifier, which is biased into Class A at about 5 watts, and leaves Class A into Class AB at 10 watts peak. It is a superb integrated amplifier. The INT-150's brother, the INT-30A integrated amplifier, is Pure Class A throughout its 30 watt output (into 8 ohms) specification. Chris Eberle originally reviewed the INT-30A in 2012, and in this review, I compare the INT-30A with the INT-150, and add bench tests which were not in Chris' review.

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Emotiva XSP-1 Balanced Stereo Preamplifier

Emotiva-XSP-1Balanced connections are popping up on more and more audio products these days. But it only really counts when the internal circuitry is fully balanced, which is the case for the Emotiva XSP-1 stereo preamplifier, all for less than $1,000.

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D-Sonic M3-5400-7 Class D Seven-Channel Power Amplifier

D-Sonic M3-5400-7D-Sonic is a company that I had been tangentially aware of for many years due to their direct marketing efforts on websites like Audiogon. The brainchild of Dennis Deacon, D-Sonic was founded in 2006 to make high quality Class D based amplifiers marketed directly to consumers. I had the pleasure of having D‐Sonic's new top of the line 7-channel multi-channel amp in house for a few weeks and am excited to pass on my thoughts.

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Funk LAP-2.V3 Preamplifier

Funk LAP-2.V3 PreamplifierIt is becoming increasingly popular for high end audio buffs to use pro studio gear in their home systems. This preamp from a German manufacturer that makes pro gear is in keeping with this trend. As a matter of fact...

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