Integrated amplifiers are hot. I don't mean in the literal sensealthough having a preamplifier and stereo power amplifier in the same chassis usually results in higher running temperaturesbut in the metaphorical one. Once viewed as the type of component that no serious
audiophile would consider buying, integrated amps have made a comeback in popularity and prestige. Consider: the October 2006 "Recommended Components" issue of Stereophile
listed 29 integrated amps, whereas the October 2011 issue lists 40. Stereophile
's 2010 Amplification Component of the Year award went to an integrated amp, the Audio Research VSi60
, beating out a host of heavy-hitter preamps and power amps. The 2012 Stereophile Buyer's Guide
lists 400 integrateds.