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Larry Greenhill Posted: Jan 15, 2016 2 comments
Finished in Lancaster Grey, the Quad PA-One headphone amplifier is a full-tube design, with a built-in DAC.
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Larry Greenhill Posted: Jan 15, 2016 0 comments
Pass Laboratories designer Wayne Colburn showed me their new INT-60 Integrated amplifier ($9000). Rated at 60Wpc, the amplifier uses the same heatsinks, power supplies, and output stages as the Pass Point 8 power amplifiers.
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Larry Greenhill Posted: Jan 15, 2016 0 comments
Pass Laboratories celebrated its 25th Anniversary in business by introducing its HPA-1 headphone amplifier ($3500). The circuitry is a two-stage CFA topology using cascaded ultra-low noise Toshiba JFETs driving complementary Fairchild power MOSFETs running in class-A.
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Larry Greenhill Posted: Jan 15, 2016 1 comments
Matthieu Latour, Nagra's Marketing Director, spent time showing me the Swiss company's new Classic Integrated Amplifier ($19,450). Both Nagra's Classic Integrated Amplifier and Classic stereo power amplifier deliver 100Wpc into 8 ohms and are strikingly similar, but differ in that the integrated unit has 3 RCA inputs and 1 XLR input and cannot be bridged. It uses a solid-state circuit preamplifier section. The Classic Integrated amplifier will be available in May, 2016.
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Larry Greenhill Posted: Jan 14, 2016 0 comments
I first encountered Levinson's new No.526 preamplifier ($15,000) when I visited the Mark Levinson Engineering Facility on September 30, 2015. The company embargoed any mention of the product until CES, so I went over to the Harman exhibit at the Hard Rock Café to take photos and get information. I was greeted by Levinson's Director of Engineering, Todd Eichenbaum (left) and Jim Garrett, Director of Product Development (right). They walked me through the design of the No.526. Jim presented the inner circuitry as a layer cake, with identical digital control board and DAC digital boards to those in the No.585 Integrated amplifier that I had reviewed in December 2015.
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Larry Greenhill Posted: Jan 14, 2016 3 comments
Audio Research's Director of Marketing, Brandon Lauer, gave me a tour of the company's new value-oriented components, including the $16,000 GSi75 tubed amplifier rated at 75Wpc; $14,000 Reference Preamplifier 6; and the Reference Phono Preamplifier 3. Audio Research has replaced the KT-120 output tubes in all their amplifiers, including the GSi75, with the Sovtek KT-150 because of its superior reliability and longevity.
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Larry Greenhill Posted: Jan 14, 2016 0 comments
GTT's Paul Vataj was demonstrating the Kii Audio Model Three speakers ($13,900/pair), designed by class-D expert Bruno Putzeys. This product is amplifier and DAC intensive. Its small cabinet—the size of a 2-way monitor—is stuffed with 6 drivers (1 tweeter, 1 midrange unit, and 4 woofers, two on the front, two on the back), 6 DACs, and 6 channels of NCore amplification.
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Larry Greenhill Posted: Jan 14, 2016 0 comments
GTT Audio has taken over the US distribution of Bruno Putzey's Mola Mola line and was showing the new, completely optioned Makua linestage. Checking all the boxes when ordering this $11,740 components adds a $2900 phono section, a $6600 DAC, or a $1890 DAC. The Makua can be controlled by the MolaMola App, shown here running on a Samsung tablet.
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Larry Greenhill Posted: Jan 14, 2016 0 comments
The 2016 CES was the North American Debut of the BSC's L5 Reference multi-chassis remote controlled class A line stage ($15,900).
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Larry Greenhill Posted: Jan 14, 2016 0 comments
Bryston had sent me emails announcing a new amplifier series but gave little detail. Arriving at the exhibit in the Venetian Towers, I was greeted by ever-upbeat James Tanner, Bryston's Director of Marketing. He pointed to the new Bryston 7B3 monoblock amplifier ($11,000/pair), and explained that the "cubed" name arose as naturally following the previous Bryston amplifier SST2 series.

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