StereoLife Magazine - Displaying items by tag: preamplifier

Audiolab 6000A & 6000CDT

When Audiolab launched the iconic 8000A in 1983, it swiftly became Britain's favourite 'step-up' from the budget amps of the time. Its crisp ergonomics, high-quality engineering, useful range of facilities and excellent all-round sound won it a legion of fans, cementing its place as one of the British hi-fi scene's most significant products. 25 years on and the company is set to repeat the feat: the new 6000A is the ideal amp for modern music lovers seeking premium-level performance, build quality and facilities at an affordable price.

Exposure 5010

As highly regarded as it was (and it was), the MCX series had just one potential drawback - it was massive. Which wasn't a problem in the days of 'bigger is better' but lately our living spaces are becoming more compact and we're living an increasingly mobile lifestyle. During 2016 and 2017 Exposure introduced its innovative XM series of hi-fi components, each of which sports an impressive complement of high quality features in a neat, half-width size. So, having perfected the art of packing a great deal of high-performing technology into a smaller space, the company then turned its attention to revisiting the top end of its offering and the question of how to create its finest combination of amplifiers yet at a fraction of the physical size. The result is the brand new 5010 series which features two products - a preamplifier and a pair of mono power amplifiers.

Audio Analogue AAphono

In 2016, Audio Analogue celebrated its twentieth birthday with two bang-up-to-date 'Anniversary' editions of the company's earlier classic integrated amplifiers, the Puccini and Maestro. Now, the Italian brand has launched its 'PureAA' line of products, drawing key ideas from the Anniversary amps and adding a raft of further features. Second in the line, following the AAcento amplifier, is the new AAphono.

Cambridge Audio Edge

Cambridge Audio celebrates its 50th anniversary with the introduction of Edge, a flagship hi-fi system that introduces a new standard for sound and design from the company. The new series builds on Cambridge Audio's driving principles of creating products that bring the 'Great British Sound' - a pure, unfiltered audio experience - into the home, offering the company's most accomplished system to date, says the release.

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.

Hegel HD30

When the D/A converters conquered the market, some saw it only as evolutionary dead end. For traditionalists, a DAC could only be a part of a CD player. However, people who ten years ago saw the future in combining the hi-fi with music files stored on a computer, were also not convinced that DACs are a final solution. Some time later, the servers playing music from built-in hard drive or external memory sticks were born, and then the first streamers appeared. Today, the situation is quite predictable. DACs are on the rise - they are better, bigger and more advanced. Hegel is one of the companies that knows the world of DACs very well. The Norwegians produced them when the market was not so big, and since then they have been constantly developing their products in this segment. I had a chance to review most of them - the HD2, HD11, HD 12, HD20 and HD25. Now the company has decided to reach even further with the new flagship model - the HD30.

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.

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.