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Bryston B135 SST² Integrated Amplifier/DAC

Bryston B-135 Integrated Amp“This all-purpose amplifying and control device has been at the heart of my audio system for several weeks now, first as a basic amp, replacing a 3B SST, and subsequently operating as a full preamp/amp/DAC. I won’t say that it has surprised me a lot, but it is a case where familiarity definitely does not breed contempt…”

NAD Masters Series Components - Very Classy!

NAD Master's series Detail“NAD has traditionally produced relatively inexpensive audio products, so the Masters Series is more than a step upmarket. Clad in grey and silver cabinets, these components are very elegant. The M3 integrated amplifier is included here, but was reviewed previously by AIG, so I will quote from that review. The tuner and disc player are more recent, and proved to be elegant in operation as well as looks. Let’s start with the M4 tuner…”

Niro Spherical Surround System - Almost Invisible Enveloping Audio!

Niro Spherical Surround System“The Niro Spherical Surround System, or SSS for short, is a complete surround system that supports Dolby Digital, DTS, and Dolby Pro logic II. It provides 6 channels of 30 watts rms, and complete surround reproduction from a 3-piece front-mounted minimal speaker/subwoofer array and an amplifier/controller with analog and digital inputs. It’s plug-and-play all the way, and offers a level of convenience that’s hard to resist…”

YBA Integre DT Integrated Amplifier [From The Archives]

YBA Integre DT (small)“It was four years ago that the notion that all electronics, or at least, all amplifiers sound pretty similar was given a major jolt by a component. Not that I’ve ever thought this, but as products improved, they did start to sound more similar, if, indeed, they were more accurate reproducers of the signal fed into them. But the component that made me sit up and listen once again was the YBA Integre, a 50-wpc integrated amplifier of utter simplicity, made almost completely (that is, most of the internal components are created in-house) by Yves Bernard Andre of France…”

NAD Masters Series M55 Digital Disc Player and M3 Dual Mono Integrated Amplfier

NAD M3 Integrated Amplifier

“There is no question that they do look quite classic (more so than the previous Classic series they replace), and somewhat permanent, in a rather bank-like manner. Here’s how the elaborate brochure goes on to describe their build quality: “Mechanical construction is to a very high standard to assure a lifetime of trouble free use. With 2mm thick steel panels, combined with extruded aluminum and die cast zinc parts, the chassis forms an incredibly solid foundation to reduce air and structure born [sic] vibration from reaching any sensitive electronic components within. Specialized vibration damping feet employ silicon rubber to further isolate the chassis from vibration…”

Bryston B100 DA SST Integrated Amplifier

Bryston B-100 DA Integrated Amplifier

“The Bryston B100 sits in a line of revered preamplifiers and integrated amplifiers, outstanding for their sonic performance and operational flexibility, and the latest version provides 6 analog inputs (TV, CD, AUX/PHONO, AUX 2/SPDIF [A/D or ANALOG/DIGITAL on DA remote and faceplate, respectively] VIDEO, and TUNER), with RECORD IN and POWER AMP IN complementing the RECORD OUT and PREAMP OUT RCAs. A slide switch on the rear panel allows disconnecting of the normally direct preamp/amp path…”

Qinpu A-8000 MkII Integrated Amplifier

Qinpu A-8000 MK II Integrated Amp

“According to Wikipedia, qinpu is tablature for music of the guqin, a fretless, seven string Chinese instrument belonging to the zither family. “In the past, music was passed on from teacher to student” continues the Wikipedia entry. “Only recently has tablature been written down, often to preserve music or as a reference book.” And only much more recently has Guang Zhou CHPO Electronic Co. Ltd of China begun producing extremely stylish solid state integrated amplifiers which try very, very hard to look like vintage tube amps…”

Synthesis Pride CD Player and Ensemble Integrated Amp

Synthesis Pride CD Player

“Synthesis is an Italian company that, like many firms in that country, makes beautiful things. Theirs do not happen to be cars, or fashions, but high fidelity components. And there seems to be a certain sense of style in their product names, too…”

Arcam FMJ CD23 CD Player and A32 Integrated Amplifier

Arcam FMJ CD 23 CD Player

“We’ve already looked at Arcam’s FMJ DVD player (Almanac 02), and here we have their best offering for 2-channel folks, the CD23 and the A32. Both are cleanly styled in silver and grey, with a long thin remote with a lot of small buttons that are grey on grey. In fact there are two, one for each component, that for the player also able to operate the DV27…”

Chord CPM 3300 Integrated Amplifier

Chord SPM 3300

“The new Chord CPM 3300 integrated amplifier from Britain is one of the most expensive in our experience, even dearer (to use the English phrase) than the Rowland Concentra (Almanac 2000) with full MC phono section. It’s a beautiful component in its silver machined aluminum case, the top having a sculpted circle with crescent cutouts on either side through which you can see a full circle of blue LEDs glowing under the circuitry and a metal protective screen…”

Redgum Integrated Amp and CD Player

Redgum System

“Redgum is an Australian hardwood that, when finished in a glowing lacquer as on this company’s products, looks stunning. It’s used for the faceplate of both the amplifier and CD player, the latter flipping down to reveal controls and disc drawer. Redgum audio is an Australian company(obviously), based in suburban Melbourne, which makes amplifiers and CD players….”

Talk Electronics Integrated System

Talk Electronics Duo

“I think the product names of this company from England are an inside joke about talking about the weather. But, as I joked myself to distributor Angie Lisi the other day, they’re unlikely to call a product, the Downpour or the Monsoon…the Tempest, maybe, with its Shakespearean implications. At the moment they’ve covered Storm, Hurricane, Tornado, Whirlwind and the other meteorological phenomena noted above. How about the cold spring this year, eh?..”

Jeff Rowland Concentra Integrated Amplifier

Jeff Rowland Design Group Concentra Integrated Amplifier

“Though the name Concentra may suggest a new Japanese compact car, one look at its lustrous, thick front panel tells you that, whatever it is, this ain’t no econobox. An inch thick, this machined aluminum fascia appears to have contours and depth, as if it were an acrylic surface, with visible gentle vertical curves that aren’t there when you run your hand along its smooth surface: The curvature is an illusion created by the manner in which the aluminum has been machined and polished. This process must take many hours of meticulous work. And it’s simply gorgeous!..

Audio Refinement Complete System

Audio Refinement Complete System

“Giving the name “complete” to the components in this system of French origin and oriental manufacture reminds me of an old insult: “Everyone wants their life to be complete, and yours is, because you’re a complete (fill in appropriate word).” I suspect the word “complet” has different connotations in French, but I think the whole idea is to get you to buy the whole system…..”

Arcam Alpha 10 Home Theater System

Arcam Alpha Ten Home Theater System

“This new modular home theatre system from Arcam could be called plug-and-play, though it’s the dealer who’ll be doing the plugging, putting the DAVE (Digital Audio Video Entertainment) module into an Alpha 10 integrated amplifier, and configuring a 10P basic amplifier by adding in the same internal space an additional Power Amplifier Module (PAM) for the centre channel…”

Rega Mira Integrated Amplifer

Rega Mira Integrated Amplifier

“If audio companies were people Rega would be something of a character. We’ve all met folks like him. He’s a purist, a quasi-Spartan, leading a simple life uncluttered with the myriad of possessions and pursuits most of us assume personify success. The entire concept of trends is completely meaningless to him, concerns about what is popular almost nonexistent. Never flashy or ostentatious he does not do things to impress others, only himself…”

Myryad MI 120 Integrated Amplifier, MC 100 CD Player and MT 100 FM Tuner

Myryad MI 120 Integrated Amplifier

“Myryad Systems came together in the partnership of Chris Short, former owner and managing director of Mordaunt-Short, Chris Evans, a founder and director of Arcam, and David Evans, a veteran of NAD. The M Series components are their upscale line, and handsome they are, as well as very competitively priced for what they are….”

Audio Research CA-50 Integrated Amplifier

Audio Research CA50 Integrated Amplifier

“Audio Research is known not only for its superb-sounding products, but also for its service, which is very important for a company that has made its mark with tubed products. Their CA50 is a tube integrated amplifier, the initial gain stages being a pair of of 6922s, followed by a driver stage using another pair of the same tubes, followed by a push/pull output using a matched pair of large 6550C tubes…”

Bryston B-60 Integrated Amplifier

Bryston B-60 Integrated Amplifier

“The first integrated amplifier from Bryston, the B-60 has been almost two years in development, the long process of getting ST performance with preamp and amp on the same chassis delaying its introduction. Apparently, the signal layouts for lowest noise and distortion were harder to achieve in such close quarters…”


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