Tube Power Amp Reviews

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J. Gordon Holt  |  Aug 16, 1995  |  First Published: Aug 16, 1986  |  0 comments
The D-250 is the flagship of Audio Research's power amplifier range and, at 250 watts per channel, is the most powerful all-tube stereo amplifier currently available in the US. Under the circumstances, then, it is not surprising that it should also be one of the heaviest and largest.
Anthony H. Cordesman  |  Nov 15, 2018  |  First Published: Jun 01, 1986  |  4 comments
Some audio products deliver truly superb sound of a kind that really makes all the frustrations of building a high-end system worthwhile; they also require exceptional attention and care. The Counterpoint SA-4 is a case in point. With the right speakers, it competes for the title of "Most Transparent Amplifier Available at Any Price." On the other hand, this amplifier steadily loses output power as speaker impedance drops; it must be carefully matched to the right speaker. Then, and only then, can it produce one of the finest musical experiences available.
J. Gordon Holt  |  Aug 30, 2009  |  First Published: Nov 30, 1985  |  0 comments
Many audiophiles who have only recently subscribed to Stereophile will be surprised to find that those clunky, heat-producing, short-lived tubes that reigned up through the mid-'60s are still Executive Monarchs in the mid-'80s. Why, for Heaven's sake? Because, despite everything, people like them.
Anthony H. Cordesman  |  Sep 23, 2011  |  First Published: Jun 01, 1984  |  0 comments
66cjp4.jpgIt says something for the state of technology that, after a quarter of a century, there still is no authoritative explanation for why so many high-end audiophiles prefer tubes. Tubes not only refuse to die, they seem to be coming back. The number of US and British firms making high-end tube equipment is growing steadily, and an increasing number of comparatively low-priced units are becoming available. There is a large market in renovated or used tube equipment—I must confess to owning a converted McIntosh MR-71 tuner—and there are even some indications that tube manufacturers are improving their reliability, although getting good tubes remains a problem.
Anthony H. Cordesman  |  Sep 23, 2011  |  First Published: Jun 01, 1984  |  0 comments
The Audio Research D-160B has been heavily modified since the D-160A, and uses the same technology as the D-70, D-115, and D-250. It embodies William Z. Johnson's latest transformer and power supply designs, his latest choice of capacitors and resistors, and the same independent regulation of screens, drivers, and front end. D-160s and D-160As can be converted to D-160Bs for $1500.
J. Gordon Holt  |  Oct 14, 2021  |  First Published: May 01, 1984  |  5 comments
Although one of the most innovative firms in the audio electronics field, the David Berning Company seems determined to keep as low a profile as possible. The company advertises little, does not actively seek out new dealers, and seems content to let potential customers seek it out, as though to say "Okay, here's my product, take it or leave it." Thus, even though both Stereophile and The Absolute Sound, in a rare outbreak of agreement, a couple of years ago declared Berning's TF-10 to be one of the best preamplifiers available, most serious audiophiles are still unaware of the Berning Company's existence. Perhaps the EA-2100 will change that.
J. Gordon Holt  |  Jan 12, 2022  |  First Published: May 01, 1984  |  7 comments
It would appear that there are still people out there who are unaware that this is the age of the transistor. Not only are tubed amplifiers not vanishing from the face of the earth, they are proliferating. Audio's equipment directory for 1977 listed three tubed power amplifiers. The same directory for 1984 lists over 30 of them, and the Quicksilver amplifier is not even included!
J. Gordon Holt  |  Dec 05, 2019  |  First Published: Aug 01, 1976  |  13 comments
We mentioned in the last issue that we were becoming increasingly disturbed by "a certain manic quality that is creeping into this pursuit of sonic perfection." We were referring then to a manufacturer's announcement of the imminent availability of a speaker system weighing over 1000 lb per channel, but we could just as well have been speaking of this behemoth from Audio Research.
J. Gordon Holt  |  Aug 08, 2019  |  First Published: Sep 01, 1967  |  14 comments
It is not at all unusual these days to find manufacturers producing "matched" speakers and amplifiers that are designed specifically for one another. But it is very unusual to find this being done by an amplifier manufacturer who doesn't make loudspeakers. The Futterman H3-A is one of these rarities—an amplifier designed primarily to complement one of the best, and one of the hardest-to-drive loudspeakers on the market: the KLH Model Nine.

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