Integrated Amp Reviews

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Kalman Rubinson  |  Aug 05, 2022  |  12 comments
On a cold, clear February morning, I attended my first in-person press event since the beginning of the pandemic. Marantz had invited me to a small group session in a suite at the Equinox Hotel at Hudson Yards but gave no indication of what was in store. After two years without live press events or audio shows, I was not going to spurn the offer no matter what would be presented: I was hungry for hi-fi. Upon arrival, I learned that Marantz would be featuring just one new product, a streaming integrated amplifier, the Marantz Model 40n ($2499). Sure, I'm in.
Ken Micallef  |  Jun 24, 2022  |  8 comments
When I reviewed Technics's SU-R1000 integrated amplifier for the December 2021 issue, I found its performance beyond my expectations. It practically rewrote the ritual of listening to music on my home hi-fi. With its wealth of technological advancements, significant user options, and clear, three-dimensional sound, it cast a large sonic shadow over the other integrated amplifiers in my possession.
Ken Micallef  |  May 27, 2022  |  0 comments
Old-school audiophiles like me cling to our vinyl records and CDs. We spin them on turntables and slide them into transports, which send electric signals through wires to solid state or tubed amplifiers—a string of hardware devices. But, despite our object-attached ways, we're quite aware that we are living in a software-enabled, Bluetooth-connected, Wi-Fi–facilitated world. Even our Milky Way galaxy is wireless; as that pontificator of everything galactic, scientist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, has proclaimed, "We're all connected."
Rogier van Bakel  |  May 18, 2022  |  16 comments
National pride is the damnedest thing. When I was growing up in the Netherlands, schoolchildren were taught that the inventor of the printing press was a Dutchman named Laurens Janszoon Coster. Germany's Johannes Gutenberg was waved away as an also-ran, if he was mentioned at all.
Julie Mullins  |  Mar 04, 2022  |  2 comments
I've been on a Kim Gordon kick lately. It began a few months ago with rediscovering some Sonic Youth albums and picking up Gordon's solo record, No Home Record. I recently finished reading her memoir, Girl in a Band, about her life, art, and musical career. I tend to read books rather than listen to them, but this time I listened with the Audible app, and I found the experience compelling. Gordon's delivery is direct, her voice even-keeled, almost deadpan. She's giving us the straight dope. Subtle inflections are detectable: moments when she felt strong and proud; leftover cobwebs of postbreakup pain. Her humanity came through.
Herb Reichert  |  Jan 27, 2022  |  22 comments
I remember, around the time I started at Stereophile, telling Art Dudley that I wanted to review "a lot of power amplifiers" because amplifiers are the "blood-pumping heart machines" that "reanimate the artistry" of musicians: Horowitz, Björk, Bill Monroe. Whereupon he looked over his glasses and spied me with bare eyes like a stern parent and said, "Just be sure to not review any amplifiers that weigh more than 65 pounds."
Ken Micallef  |  Dec 03, 2021  |  16 comments
Technics, an arm of the Japanese giant Panasonic Corporation, has long been a major player in the hi-fi world, even if, in some recent decades, it stayed below the radar.

In the 1970s, analog-centric audiophiles particularly praised the Technics SP-10, the world's first direct drive turntable. Created by Matsushita engineer Shuichi Obata in 1969, the SP-10 and its successors became the standard in vinyl playback for American radio stations during that heyday of broadcast radio.

John Atkinson  |  Nov 29, 2021  |  0 comments
Stereophile often subjects products that have been reviewed to further coverage: sometimes because there was an aspect of performance that needed further investigation; other times because there was a controversial finding. Three recent followups concerned the Ayre Acoustics EX-8 2.0 Integrated Hub amplifier that Ken Micallef reviewed in the November 2021 issue; the Accuphase DG-68 Digital Voicing Equalizer that Jason Victor Serinus reviewed in August 2021; and the Zesto Leto Ultra II line preamplifier that Ken Micallef reviewed in February 2021.
Herb Reichert  |  Nov 22, 2021  |  11 comments
Out of the blue, a forever friend I hadn't spoken to in years called and asked me to join him at Riverside Church for a concert of William Basinski performing his renowned Disintegration Loops. Dedicated to the victims of 9/11, the work was completed as Basinski watched the airplanes crash into the World Trade Center from his Brooklyn rooftop.
Ken Micallef  |  Nov 03, 2021  |  4 comments
In New York City, everything comes at a premium: Housing, groceries, transportation, walking space, living space, sanity space—consider our cubbyhole apartments and tenement buildings. Even "air rights" are for sale in NYC, including rights to the air over my beloved Katz's Delicatessen in the Lower East Side. The square footage of my downtown apartment is less than a quarter of the space of my North Carolina home. (Brownstones? Only above 72nd Street.) But, as the song says, "If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere." What did Frank Sinatra know, anyway? He was from Hoboken!
Robert Schryer  |  Sep 21, 2021  |  54 comments
In 1968, I was a 2-year-old toddler living in Paris, France—my birthplace—on the 14th floor of a diplomat-occupied apartment complex overlooking the Seine. My dad, a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, was stationed in Paris, working security at the Canadian embassy. My mom and I were there with him.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Aug 20, 2021  |  13 comments
What's the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word "boulder"? I think of a rugged, mountainous landscape with jagged snow-capped peaks. I see images of the last time I drove up from sunny Boulder, Colorado, to Rocky Mountain National Park and discovered so much snow coming down that if we had dared walk too far in, our trail would have been covered with snow and we'd never have been able to find our way out. But how magical it was!
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."

Alex Halberstadt  |  Jun 18, 2021  |  12 comments
If you've ever paused in front of a painting by Peter Paul Rubens, you may have noticed that the canvas seems to glow. Everything in Rubens's paintings celebrates abundance. A golden light bathes his landscapes, and his figures are epitomes of radiant health—the women ample and voluptuous (a body type sometimes called "Rubenesque"), the men vigorous and athletic. Invariably, these expanses of rosy European flesh appear to be in motion, an effect Rubens mastered more thoroughly than arguably any artist of his age.
Herb Reichert  |  May 28, 2021  |  22 comments
During my 100 years on earth, I've owned mostly separate amps and preamps, but only because that is where I started—or I should say, that is where my audio-savvy friends directed me when I began asking for guidance. Nevertheless, the audio system I've used the longest (unchanged for almost 10 years) consisted of 1984 Rogers LS3/5a loudspeakers (15 ohms, with factory wall mounts) powered by a proletarian-looking Creek 4330 integrated amp sourced by an Oppo CD player.

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