Pre/Power Amplifiers

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 |  Jan 19, 2015  |  0 comments
A preamplifier’s life is not a happy one. In the olden days, when mammoths roamed the wild planes and Duran Duran were at number one, its job was clear. A preamp sat in front of the power amp, because without it there was no way of getting music from your sound source. Music came from vinyl, and its meagre output was such that plugging it directly into a power amplifier would have produced all the power, as Captain Blackadder once said, of an asthmatic ant.
Ed Selley  |  Sep 15, 2010  |  0 comments
Parasound P3/A23 - £800/£900 This pre/power duo boasts a sound performance that adds extra dimension to vocals Parasound is a name which will be familiar to those interested in American audio, but historically it’s not had much visibility in the UK. These two products are part of the company’s ‘Halo’ range, value audiophile products designed in America but built in Taiwan. Very nicely built, too -– the cases are well finished and exceptionally solid, while the look and feel are generally first-rate. The P3 preamp is well equipped with inputs, including a balanced line input and also a phono stage.
 |  Feb 02, 2015  |  0 comments
For those that love music, there are going to be times where you want to hear it in other rooms apart from the listening room. One solution is to have extension speakers wired up to the main system, but that means running speaker cables everywhere. It also means having your system running full tilt when all you wantis some background music in your kitchen. A better solution is a completely separate, standalone system that doesn’t take up too much space and won’t break the bank.
Ed Selley  |  Sep 27, 2011  |  0 comments
Quad Elite Pre/Mono Quad's new Elite series may appeal strongly on visuals and simplicity, but we found lots to like sonically too With its track record in audio now exceeding three-score years and ten, Quad remains true to its original aims in offering unique audio products that are immediately recognisable. The Elite range, which over the last year or so has replaced the respected 99 Series, aims to incorporate audiophile design in small, smart and easily connected matching units, with source and amplification components sharing a basic case design. They can all be connected with the usual phono sockets, but Quad’s default hookup is the ‘Ampbus’, a 15-way D socket on the back of each unit which is connected to the next unit in the chain with a supplied ribbon connector, carrying balanced audio (and control) signals. There is a stereo power amp in the range, but for this test we chose a pair of mono amps, each rated at 150 watts output.
Ed Selley  |  Sep 27, 2011  |  0 comments
Rotel RC-1580/RB-1582 Lots of power, lots of features – but also plenty of good quality sound to get worked up about f this test were principally about specifications, the other manufacturers might as well not have bothered submitting kit at all. The RB-1582 puts out nearly twice as much power as most of the other amps in the group, while the RC-1580 offers more inputs, more sophisticated switching, tone controls, MM and MC phono as standard, headphone output. . .
Ed Selley  |  Sep 15, 2010  |  0 comments
Rotel RC1580/RB1582 - £1,000/£1,100 An undisputed badge-winner, Rotel promises a great deal for the money and delivers. . . in spades Like NAD, Rotel has for many years steered a careful course somewhere between the vast multinationals (Sony, Yamaha) and the small specialists, as well as managing to maintain a profile associated with distinctive products of good performance and value.
Ed Selley  |  Sep 15, 2010  |  0 comments
Tsakiridis Devices Alexander/Artemis - £1,450/£1,450 Variations in performance levels are disappointing New to us in the UK it may be, but Tsakiridis Devices is a brand with over two decades of history. A family-run outfit from Greece, it makes valve-based audio with the emphasis very much on affordability. Many of the basic themes will be familiar to valve aficionados, including the use of simple circuits with little or no feedback, thus ensuring that the valves’ character is unchecked, for better or worse. The Artemis power amp comes with a choice of EL34 or KT88 output valves fitted.