Integrated Amp Reviews

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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  |  11 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.
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.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Apr 02, 2021  |  12 comments
"I want to redo that painting," the spouse declared. "It's too dark."

"What's wrong with dark?" I responded. "Rembrandt's portraits are often dark. So are the paintings of Courbet and Hobbema. Your color palette represents how you were feeling at the moment. If it's true to you and speaks strongly, why change it?"

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.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jan 28, 2021  |  16 comments
Joy. It's all about the joy.

Joy manifests during those moments when the critical mind suspends, the lens clears, and only union between you and your experience exists. When joy arises, time stands still, all sense of separation vanishes, and only wonder remains.

Many of us live for those moments. Moments of understanding that transcend verbiage and mental chatter and affirm what is real and eternal about the human condition.

Larry Greenhill  |  Dec 30, 2020  |  39 comments
Recently, I received an email from Editor Jim Austin. "Larry, do you still use your Day Sequerra FM Reference tuner1 to listen to FM radio?" he asked.

"Jim, yes, I still listen to FM classical music in the Bay area. Why?"

Ken Micallef  |  Dec 24, 2020  |  20 comments
During my tenure as a Stereophile writer, I've reviewed a lot of integrated amplifiers. The mostly moderately priced integrated machines I've reviewed have included the Heed Audio Elixir ($1195), Luxman SQ-N150 ($2795) and L-509X ($9495), NAD C 328 Hybrid Digital ($549), Octave Audio V 80 SE ($10,500), Rega Brio ($995), and Schiit Ragnarok 2 ($1799 as equipped). Regardless of price, all these integrated amplifiers engaged my senses and made engaging, dynamic, colorful music from LP grooves and ones and zeros.
Herb Reichert  |  Dec 18, 2020  |  14 comments
DeKalb, Illinois, 1971: When I was in college, my anthropology professor would invite me and a few of his other favored students to his house for fondue parties. We sat on shag carpet around a glass-topped coffee table, drank wine, and dipped vegetables in molten cheese. The stated purpose of this rite was to discuss Margaret Mead or Franz Boas, but that was obviously a ruse. The gathering was really about excessive pot smoking accompanied by coughing fits and the telling of ridiculous stories, all while playing LPs on his top-of-the-line Dual turntable/record-changer.
Ken Micallef  |  Dec 02, 2020  |  28 comments
The story behind European Audio Team (E.A.T.) is that of one woman, company owner and CEO Jozefína Lichtenegger.

While studying for her MBA at the University of Economics in Bratislava, Slovakia, Lichtenegger (née Krahulkova) sold vacuum tubes for her brother-in-law, Alesa Vaic, then owner of Czech Republic–based tube brand VAIC. After VAIC shuttered in 2003, Lichtenegger founded her own retail business and engaged 100-year-old tube manufacturer Tesla Vršovice to supply 300B and KT88 tubes made to her specifications. When the owner of Tesla retired, she bought the company. She christened her new endeavor E.A.T. (The original Tesla continues as TESLA ElectronTubes, s.r.o.)

Robert Schryer  |  Oct 16, 2020  |  16 comments
I was doing my press beat for Stereophile in the hallway of Montreal's 2019 Audiofest when I glimpsed something that stopped me in my tracks. It was a marketing slogan, across the room on importer/exhibitor Goerner Audio's floorstanding banner: "Tubes or semiconductors? Magneto-solid technology amplifies emotions."
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.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Oct 09, 2020  |  15 comments
Once upon a time, reviews of Musical Fidelity components frequently filled pages in Stereophile. But in all my years covering audio shows, I can't recall blogging about any of the company's products, not even once. So, when my editor offered a review of the new M8xi ($6490), a hefty 101lb dual-mono integrated amplifier that includes a DAC, I seized the opportunity to fill a black hole in my consciousness. (Kindly cast aside thoughts that it would take more than a hunk of audio equipment to fill the black hole in my brain.) As long as I didn't break my back lifting the M8xi, solo, to the top shelf of my rack—for this I humbly beg assistance from spouses, neighbors, and friends—new vistas were in store.
Kalman Rubinson  |  Sep 28, 2020  |  11 comments
On the cold and sunny morning of February 19, 2020, a dozen or so audio critics and writers gathered at Gilmore's Sound Advice on New York's far West Side to see some new NAD and DALI products that had been unveiled the prior month at CES. It was a friendly group, and we kibitzed over coffee before clustering in the arranged seats for presentations and auditions. I doubt any of us realized that it would be the last time for the foreseeable future that we would experience this familiar rite.

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