StereoLife Magazine - Displaying items by tag: amplifier

Siegfried Amft - T+A

In a complex world of audio equipment it's now all about not just products and brands, but most importantly - the people who stand behind them. This applies to manufacturers as well as distributors or retailers. It seems that in the era of ubiquitous fakes, the authenticity driven by a true personality begins to matter more and more, becoming something unique and very desirable. Many new companies on the audio market have been established as a result of the agreement of several people who, in most extreme cases, know nothing about the hardware and music. It is easy to note, however, that the most respected and iconic brands have always been associated with real people whose philosophy works for years.

Fezz Audio Titania

Fezz Audio is an example of a brand that has kicked-off fairly recently, but the onset of the launch of their very first product, it has already had a considerable baggage of accumulated experience, facilitating a strong, heads-on jump-start. From the very beginning, it seems that the manufacturer has not only embarked upon the right concept when it comes to the design of the device itself, but he has also pointedly targeted an extremely attractive price range. The tube amplifier in question, called Silver Luna, has perfectly blended into the demands of audiophiles, a product trait which we have witnessed only very rarely in recent times. From the outside - it holds the traditional looks of stereo tube amplifier, made available in a range of intriguing color schemes. From the inside - a respectable powerhouse built of components stemming from the companies in-house production. And all of this comes at a price that would, under normal conditions, restrict us solely to a product range comprised of middle-class solid state amplifiers or, possibly, to some Chinese tube amplifiers, of questionable quality at that.

Egg-Shell Prestige PS5

Careful readers of StereoLife should already know the equipment of Encore Seven company, makers of the Egg-Shell Prestige PS5 phono preamplifier. Encore Seven is not only known because of their tube amplifiers, but also other activities connected with music. What emerges from the information on their website is an image of a young, but very dynamic company whose actions aren't limited to the production of audio gear, yet this part is certainly the most important one.

XTZ SUB 12.17

Subwoofers are very specific products. It might seem that the market was dominated by speakers manufactures, but this is not entirely true. Specialized companies often offer much more interesting, more powerful subwoofers than those which can be found in catalogues with common speakers. What do we want when choosing a subwoofer? Obviously - it has to be big, powerful and able to bring out frequencies which will significantly extend the capabilities of our stereo or home cinema system. And that's what XTZ SUB 12.17 is.

G Lab Design Fidelity Block

5.5-watt tube amplifier made by a young, little-known company? It doesn't sound like a recipe for success, does it? But when we saw this amp, we knew we have to review it. Block is a product of G Lab Design Fidelity company, whose aim was to design a tube amp for the 21st century. The device looks spectacular, but is simple in its form, which - according to the manufacturer - is also reflected in its internal structure. Maybe the company is young, but obviously people with experience and clear vision stand behind it.

John Franks - Chord Electronics

Just as we were finishing the review of two DACs by Chord Electronics, we had an opportunity to meet the founder of the company and ask him some questions about the technology used in the latest devices and his idea of a perfect sound reproduction so to speak. John Franks is not a musician or self-taught electronical engineer as it often happens, but an avionics engineer who knows his trade very well. This job and everything that goes with it, has been translated into the world of high-end audio equipment. The company was founded in 1989 and since then it has been associated with technical innovation and brilliant design. Chord's sources and amplifiers are not only intriguing to look at, but also full of stuff you won't find anywhere else.

Chord Hugo & Hugo TT

Mission, B&W, KEF, Castle, Celestion, Rogers, NAD, Acoustic Energy, Naim, Spendor, Harbeth or ProAc are only a few companies whose names all audiophiles should associate with what might be called the British school of sound. Absolutely, this does not mean that the products of all these brands sound the same. You can distinguish here, at least, a couple of trends, but there is no denying that in this part of the world a lot of audiophile legends were created. Recently, another British company reminded us about itself. So far Chord Electronics were mainly engaged in hi-end gear for home use, but thanks to a small, functional headphone DAC everyone heard about it. This DAC was of course the Hugo. Hugo TT is its bigger brother - a typical desktop model, with an expanded functionality. Since we didn't have a chance to review any of them, we took both and decided to compare them.

Egg-Shell Prestige 12WKT

Encore Seven is a typical example of creating and building the brand completely from scratch. The passion, knowledge, experience, and willingness to act were the fundamentals here. In these few words, you can describe the genesis of this manufacture, but we should go back in time 25 years to start the story from the very beginning. As Encore Seven's founders say, the best way to get something good back then was to build it yourself. As teenagers wishing to play the electric guitar, they needed an amplifier, so they used some components from tube receivers and their first amps were created. The owner of the company assured me that, already at this point, his brother came up with the Egg-Shell name and logo, because he dealt with the design of amplifiers for their own needs. In the subsequent years, the passion moved to stereo systems for listening to music at home. Finally, five years ago they started designing new amplifiers and began regular production.

Heinz Lichtenegger - Pro-Ject

Heinz Lichtenegger is one of the most interesting and forward-thinking people in the audio industry. The founder of Pro-Ject is known for his unwavering love for vinyl records and turntables. He is one of those who always believed in the power of vinyl and more - he's probably largely responsible for the renaissance of this medium. All turntable lovers should know his products - many of them have started their analog adventure with a Pro-Ject, and even those who do not use vinyl certainly associate the company with Box Design units. Where did it all come from, and what plans does Heinz have for the nearest future?

John Hunter - REL

Among the speakers we can distinguish some types made for specific applications, such as center channels, wireless active speakers or subwoofers. Each has its place in a stereo or home theater, but their makers rarely focus on a particular type of speaker. Manufacturers try to satisfy every customer and offer everything, including these very specific products. There are several specialized factories among which subwoofer specialists tend to be the strongest group. REL was founded in 1990 by Richard Edmund Lord.