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Ayon Audio Crossfire III PA Power Amplifier

By | June 24th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

Ayon Audio Crossfire III PA Power Amplifier

“Ker-chunk!” went the 132-pound package as it plummeted out of the FedEx truck and crashed onto the pavement in front of my house. “@#$%^&*!” went yours truly, contemplating the fate of the very expensive tubes within that package. That was my first exposure to the Ayon Audio Crossfire III PA power amplifier. Ayon Audio, an Austrian company, got its start manufacturing tube gear, but its lineup now includes a complete audio system—everything from digital file players to CD players to DACs, amps, preamps, speakers, and even cables.… Read the full article

Accustic Arts Amp II Mk 3 Stereo Power Amplifier

By | June 13th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: |

Accustic Arts Amp II Mk 3 Stereo Power Amplifier

Over a decade ago, as I was traveling through Germany, I picked up an audio magazine at a train station to try and kill some time. Leafing through the periodical, I happened upon a review that announced with not atypical Teutonic certainty that the “loudspeaker is the slave of the amplifier.” Somehow or other it’s a statement that has stuck in mind through the years. I’ve seen some highly touted solid-state amplifiers wilt under the strain of trying to drive inefficient loudspeakers that feature punishing loads.… Read the full article

Bricasti Design M25 Power Amplifier

By | May 29th, 2019|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: , |

Bricasti Design M25 Stereo Power Amplifier

This is the real deal. Or at least that was the knee-jerk emotion that flooded in during the first few notes from the Bricasti Design M25 power amplifier (M25) as it first drove my loudspeakers. Sure; the M25 had drive, poise, a neutral tonality, and an impeccably tidy soundstage. But most well designed high-power amplifiers do, so what was this initial whip-snap about? While there is no absolute perfection in the world of audio, that is a question worth digging into, since the M25 has settled itself right at the crossroads of real high-performance, and life-like (not simply “live”) presentation of the music.… Read the full article

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Balanced Audio Technology VK-56SE power amplifier

By | May 23rd, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

I had never been alone with a Russian-manufactured 6C33C tube. At least not at night, in the dark. The first night Balanced Audio Technology’s VK-56SE tubed amplifier was in my system, I sat on the floor studying the unusual shape and dark orange glow of its four 6C33C-B output tubes. I noticed their brightly lit, cathedral-like innards. My Russian neighbor told me they were used as regulator tubes in MiG jets during the Cold War. I could believe it—their exposed cathodes were the exact color of the Soviet flag.… Read the full article

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Audio Research launches new Reference 160S stereo power amplifier

By | May 9th, 2019|Categories: Audio news, Dagogo|Tags: , |

MAPLE GROVE, MN – May 8th, 2019 Audio Research is pleased to announce the launch of the Reference 160S stereo power amplifier. The new product distills the astonishing resolution, dynamic impact, musical purity and finesse of the 160M into one beautiful and attainable chassis designed for the music lover in all of us.

Following the example of the internationally-acclaimed 160M monaural power amplifier introduced in 2018, the Reference 160S (REF160S) is a vacuum-tube design with dual transparent power meters that float in front of the eight KT150 output power tubes.

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Worlds ultra-fast power transistor Gallium Nitride (GaN) used again on 3rd Power Amplifier from Merrill Audio Advanced Technology Labs, LLC

By | May 3rd, 2019|Categories: Positive Feedback|Tags: |

BERNARDSVILLE, New Jersey, USA – Zero Feedback, Zero Dead time and bottomless noise floor using Gallium Nitride (GaN) transistors on the ELEMENT 114 Stereo Power Amplifiers from Merrill Audio make it simply one of the best amplifiers available. Merrill Audio is very excited to release this new advanced technology at a lower price point. Utilizing trickle down technology from the award winning ELEMENT 118 and ELEMENT 116 Monoblock Power Amplifiers released last year. The Merrill Audio ELEMENT 114 ZXOL proprietary design technology leaps ahead of all other Class D implementations and provides more detail and immediacy almost than almost any amplifier in any amplifier class.… Read the full article

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Merrill Audio Advanced Technology Labs unleashes Element 114 stereo power amplifier

By | May 3rd, 2019|Categories: Audio news, Dagogo|Tags: , |

Worlds ultra-fast power transistor Gallium Nitride (GaN) used again on 3rdPower Amplifier from Merrill Audio Advanced Technology Labs, LLC

Berndsville, New Jersey, USA – Zero Feedback, Zero Dead time and bottomless noise floor using Gallium Nitride (GaN) transistors on the ELEMENT 114 Stereo Power Amplifiers from Merrill Audio make it simply one of the best amplifiers available. Merrill Audio is very excited to release this new advanced technology at a lower price point. Utilizing trickle down technology from the award winning ELEMENT 118 and ELEMENT 116 Monoblock Power Amplifiers released last year.

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Verity Audio Monsalvat Amp-60 power amplifier

By | April 25th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

I first encountered Verity Audio’s Monsalvat Amp-60 stereo power amplifier ($58,000) in October 2017, in one of the largest single-system rooms at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. After hearing the Amp-60 and Verity’s Monsalvat Pre-2 preamplifier drive Verity’s Lohengrin IIS loudspeakers ($133,000/pair), I enthused about the “most impressive range of colors and supreme sense of spaciousness” that contributed to the system’s “absolutely beguiling” sound. A year later, after John Atkinson and I had visited the same exhibit space and been deeply impressed by the sound of a much larger system—in which one Amp-60 drove the two bass towers of Verity’s $675,000 Monsalvat speaker system, and two more Amp-60s biamplified that system’s main tower speakers—I requested a review sample of the Monsalvat Amp-60.… Read the full article

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McIntosh Laboratory MC462 power amplifier

By | April 19th, 2019|Categories: Stereophile|

It hit me not long ago: I need more Mac in my life! I promptly purchased the current production version of McIntosh Laboratory’s time-honored MC275 tubed amplifier, to mate to the Mac C2300 tubed preamplifier I already owned. The recently reinvigorated debate in these pages comparing solid-state and single-ended tube designs got me to thinking. One thing led to another, and voilà! McIntosh’s latest solid-state stereo amplifier, the MC462 Quad Balanced ($9000), arrived, bolted to a shipping pallet and encased in two big, heavy, nested boxes.… Read the full article

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The 12 Most Significant Power Amplifiers of All Time

By | April 12th, 2019|Categories: Absolute Sound|Tags: , |

The 12 Most Significant Power Amplifiers of All Time

Kondo Audio Note Ongaku Resurrecting a Lost Art Hiroyasu Kondo resigned his position as an audio circuit designer at CBS to follow his dream of creating an amplifier that delivered “natural sound” free from “mechanical” artifacts. Kondo’s research led him to revisit the long-abandoned single-ended triode (SET) designs that were the first amplifiers built at the dawn of the electronics age. His enthusiasm for SET amplifiers was based on both reason and emotion. The engineer in him preferred the inherent simplicity and lower parts-count of SETs relative to other amplifier types—at least as long as high power was not a …… Read the full article

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