Integrated Amp Reviews

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John Atkinson  |  Oct 12, 2020  |  0 comments
Two of the followup reviews that were published in the November 2020 issue of Stereophile have been posted to the magazine's website: Herb Reichert on the Yamaha A-S3200 integrated amplifier and the measurements of the Denafrips Ares II and Terminator D/A processors.
John Atkinson  |  Apr 19, 2021  |  First Published: May 01, 2021  |  27 comments
Stereophile has reviewed two somewhat controversial products in recent issues. The Italian Grandinote Shinai integrated amplifier, which Robert Schryer wrote about in November 2020 is a solid-state design but with an output stage that resembles that of a typical push-pull tube amplifier. Falcon's "Gold Badge" edition of the BBC-designed LS3/5a minimonitor, which Herb Reichert reviewed in April 2021, is a re-engineered version of a design that will soon be celebrating its 50th birthday.
Ken Micallef  |  Jun 23, 2016  |  4 comments
In 1999, I visited a friend, professor of Italian history Bill Adams, at his castle lair in the mountain village of Panzano, in Chianti, Italy. The 10th-century Castello di Panzano towers over the lush Tuscan hills, offering stupendous views. Each morning we'd walk down the mountain to the town below, where squat old men drank espresso and watched soccer at the all-in-one café/general store/post office. We toured the Roman ruins at Volterra and San Gimignano, gorged ourselves on pasta, and admired the fashionable young women.
Chip Stern  |  Sep 01, 2004  |  First Published: Apr 01, 2000  |  0 comments
In Hinduism, an avatar is an incarnation of spirit—a god who descends to earth in bodily form. For Kevin Hayes of the Valve Amplification Company (VAC), the Avatar was meant to be nothing less than his defining statement of the state of the audio designer's art. Drawing on the high-tech refinements and scrupulous attention to individual components that distinguish his flagship high-end amps and preamps, Hayes has filtered it all down into one attractively priced integrated amplifier.
Julie Mullins  |  Mar 25, 2021  |  20 comments
All my earliest hi-fi memories involve tube amplification: as a young girl, staring at the tubes' glowing filaments and listening to music with my audiophile father. I was mesmerized by the glow of those tubes, too hot to touch, but even more so by the music, which often was classical or opera. How those tubes worked was a mystery to me, but I knew they played a big part in the magic coming from the speakers.
Ken Micallef  |  Jul 01, 2021  |  9 comments
Founded in 1995 by Uwe Bartel, Vincent Audio is owned by Sintron Distribution GmbH. Vincent launched its LS-1 preamplifier and D-150 hybrid stereo power amplifier the year the company was founded.

Vincent "offers two 'electrical concepts,'" states the Vincent website. "One side is solid state transistor products. The other is a hybrid technology featuring vacuum tubes on the input stages combined with solid state transistors in the output stage."

Michael Fremer  |  Apr 16, 2009  |  0 comments
If you ever find yourself in an audiophile-type argument and need proof that, in the 21st century, manufacturing high-performance audio gear to sell for a reasonable retail price is becoming an impossibility, point to Vincent T.A.C.'s TubeLine SV-236MK integrated amplifier, designed in Germany and built in China.
Herb Reichert  |  Sep 04, 2015  |  13 comments
My girlfriend, "bb," a 6'-tall Aries artist, always says, "Math, science, religion, and even history, are all simply stories we tell ourselves about our experiences with a phenomenon we call energy."

My father, Herb Senior—the Deacon—always said, "The fundamental nature of the universe is vibratory—everything we experience is just waves!" He explained that waves—possessing power, amplitude, and frequency—are the basic building blocks of our reality. The universe actually "works" and is "comprehensible" because these waves are not random, but organized into exponential intervals called octaves. Our job, he told me, was to recognize and study this mathematical (and mystical) nature in action.

It's a shame that bb and the Deacon never met.

Chip Stern  |  Feb 01, 2001  |  0 comments
Having evaluated any number of integrated amplifiers in the past year or so, I've repeatedly been impressed by the ways in which designers build versatility and sonic distinction into their single-box designs. In matching those that sounded and measured the best—such as the tubed E.A.R. V20 (October 1999) and the solid-state Magnum Dynalab MD 208 receiver (January 2001)—with appropriate speakers and source components, I was able to attain high-resolution musicality with a minimum of fuss. Crave high-end sound but require even less complexity? You could dispense with interconnects altogether by integrating a high-quality CD player into a remote-controlled receiver, as Linn has with the diminutive Classik that I reviewed last November.
Herb Reichert  |  Dec 29, 2016  |  5 comments
When I applied for this fabulist audio-preacher gig, John Atkinson protested, "But Herb, aren't you a triode-horn guy?"

"No, that was decades ago! Today I'm still a bit of a Brit-fi guy, but my mind remains wide open."

However: As a professional reviewer, I am biased toward affordable, lovingly engineered audio creations made by family businesses with traditional artisanal values. I enjoy solid-state as much as tubes—often more!

John Atkinson, Shannon Dickson  |  Dec 16, 1999  |  0 comments
Convergence is a widely used buzzword in today's consumer-electronics industry. However, other than using my PC's soundcard in the office to play back MP3-encoded music and plugging the Mac in my listening room into my reference system in order to experience Riven with the highest possible sound quality, I've kept a low profile in this area.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Aug 27, 2020  |  124 comments
Yamaha: The name evokes memories of my youth when those much-coveted receivers were out of financial reach, leading me to rely upon entry-level Kenwoods and Pioneers and others that sounded worse. Everyone who ever had a cheap receiver blow up—that's what caused me to move from Kenwood to Pioneer—or heard an old Akai that made LPs sound like 128kbps MP3s, please raise your hands.

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