StereoLife Magazine - Displaying items by tag: amplifier

Bartolomeo Nasta - Unison Research

In the times of rampant digitization and the pursuit of better sound recording formats, it's important to remind ourselves of solutions that effectively resist being relegated to the past. Sometimes we get the impression that all the modern solutions create an ever greater need to escape to a world in which one can appreciate things such as turntables, vintage hi-fi and of course - tube amplifiers. There are few music lovers who have tried tubes and emerged from this experience without any emotion. This technology offers a unique sound, but on the other hand it is difficult to deny that there is something magical in these devices. Most of them are eye-catching and look beautiful, and if we add the Italian sense of style to this puzzle, we get exactly what Unison Research has been offering for years.

Naim Statement

In a couple of days we will have an opportunity to listen to Naim Statement amplifier in a controlled environment - during a special weekend show in Wrocław, Poland. Of course the Statement has been presented to the audience at many big hi-fi shows all over the world, and thanks to Doug Graham and Jason Gould from Naim Audio we had a chance to listen to it during the last High End show in Munich, but to be left alone with it for a couple of hours - that should be quite something!

Denon DA-10

Until recently Denon's catalog centered on devices almost exclusively dedicated to usage in stereo and home cinema systems - amplifiers, players, streamers and micro-systems. The offering was supplemented with accessories and a wide range of headphones, very interesting headphones, we have to say. However the increasing trend pushing many sectors towards mobile devices caused also a change in the catalogue of this Japanese company, causing an avalanche of propositions with different purpose. So last year we saw a few novelties, like the CEOL series of systems, the Envaya speaker looking like a lady's purse, the elegantly sleek soundbar DHT-T110 or the HEOS wireless speakers. But Denon seems not to be stopping there, as they recently presented their first DAC/headphone amplifier. This device is not only small, but also looks splendidly placed on a desktop.

Marantz HD-DAC1

Marantz is a company which managed to successfully penetrate the area of home cinema, receivers and modern streamers while preserving audiophile roots and an aura of exclusivity at the same time. It seems that they've found a recipe how to balance between the world of modern technologies and this what is proved, classic and desired by the lovers of high-quality sound. If you are interested in the gear from previous ages, and if you like internet profiles with vintage audio, you have surely seen loads of Marantz's equipment there - beautiful amplifiers, tuners with backlit scales and oscilloscopes, CD players with massive trays and advanced optics, all in metal, wood and glass. No wonder that in times of omnipresent plastic a retro fashion came back, bringing stereo equipment to where it should be.

Auris Audio Adagio 300B

Some time ago we were contacted by the Auris Audio company, after we saw their products at this year's High End show in Munich. These unknown tube amplifiers from Serbia accompanied by small Boenicke Audio showed such an addictive sound, that we were very enthusiastic about having a chance to listen to these devices more closely. It was unusual situation and the surprise is all the greater, because this fresh company presented several other products - preamplifiers, integrated amplifiers, power amplifiers and even a couple of DACs and headphone amplifiers. We could have expected that at least dozens of distributors will be willing to promote this brand in their countries. Indeed Auris Audio aroused so much interest that we had to wait a few months for the first amplifier for the review.

Audio Show 2014

Audio Show in Warsaw is by far the biggest exhibition of audio equipment in Poland and perhaps the second biggest in Europe, after the High End in Munich. This year's edition was announced to be the largest in history and it turned out that these news were not exaggerated. To cope with the growth of the whole event, the rooms were divided into three zones - analog, head-fi and cinema - so the fans of these specific topics could quickly find interesting presentations. If you want to get the idea of what Audio Show looks like, imagine three large hotels filled with hi-fi equipment and thousands of people rushing inside them over just one weekend. It's vast, but also very interesting and satisfying for audio enthusiasts.

Classé Audio Sigma

Classé has announced the availability of a new series of components called Sigma. The first devices from these line will be 7.1-channel home cinema processor and two power amplifiers - for two or five channels. Each of the them will provide exactly 200 watts per channel at 8-ohm load. Could this be an interesting idea for a hi-end stereo system and multichannel home cinema all in one? SSP processor and the AMP5 power amplifier will be priced at $5000, while the AMP2 stereo amplifier will cost $3500. Photos by Classe Audio.

Lab12 HPA

In our reviews we often describe the latest products of well-known brands, and so they are eye-catching devices, regardless of their functionality and price range. This time we decided to test something very rare - a tube headphone amplifier made in Greece. Although Lab12 is quite successful and presents its products at international exhibitions, the company is pretty much unknown in the audiophile world. On the web there were just a few coverages, and one review written by Matej Isak from the Mono and Stereo magazine with whom we collaborate. The company is situated in Athens, and beyond the home market its products are distributed in four European countries. They are Hungary, Norway, Switzerland and Poland. In the catalogue we find a power cord and five boxes for different uses - preamplifier, DAC, power amplifier, headphone amplifier and a passive preamp with source selector. All combine classic design and valves - even the DAC output stage is built around the tubes.

SPL Phonitor Mini

The technical and sonic characteristics of the Phonitor 2 were translated into a more compact and less expensive format to create the Phonitor Mini. Small and sturdy housing and affordable price make it the perfect headphone amp for home studios, hi-fi enthusiasts and mobile recording and mixing. New model features the Phonitor Matrix to recreate speaker-like working conditions and the second generation of 120-Volt amplifier technology. Photos by SPL.

Canta Audio Topaz

Canta Audio Topaz line stage is the outcome of several years of research and development. Its designers opted for a tube-based line stage design, as tubes allow for the most minimalistic approach, regarding the number of components needed, in comparison with solid state. Topaz has five analog inputs, two preamp outputs and one record output. The whole device weighs 14 kilograms. Photos by Canta Audio.