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Pre/power amplifiers

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Nagra Jazz/MSA ( Jazz, £8750; MSA, £6450)

Nagra Jazz/MSA ( Jazz, £8750; MSA, £6450)

Audiophiles looking for high-end performance in a jewel-like package should certainly hear the new Jazz preamp, preferably in combination with Nagra's MSA

Constellation Virgo/Centaur Mono (Virgo £19,000; Centaur (each) £26,750)

Constellation Virgo/Centaur Mono (Virgo £19,000; Centaur (each) £26,750)

What you hear is as close to the source as it gets. A notable triumph by any standards

Acoustic Imagery Pre Amp/D400M (£3594/£2394 each)

Acoustic Imagery Pre Amp/D400M (£3594/£2394 each)

New to the British hi-fi scene, this exquisitely formed pre/power amp combo is highly compact thanks to the use of Class D modules and switched mode power supplies

NAT Utopia/Transmitter SET (£8008/£17,527 pair)

NAT Utopia/Transmitter SET (£8008/£17,527 pair)

You want big valves? Really big? NAT has cooked up a monoblock with a mortadella-fat QB 5/1750 tetrode, and a preamp worthy of the honour. Enter Utopia and Transmitter

Electrocompaniet 'Electro' - Vintage

Electrocompaniet 'Electro' - Vintage

The original 'Electro' was a milestone design, even if it was not quite what it seemed. Does this legendary 25W pre/power combination really live up to its cult status?

Audio Research Annivesary Edition Reference 5. (£24,000)

Audio Research Annivesary Edition Reference 5. (£24,000)

Anniversary edition of the Reference five splits into two boxes for improved performance

Icon Audio MB845 MkII (£5500)

Icon Audio MB845 MkII (£5500)

The appearance might be retro but the performance is right up to date

Mark Levinson No53 (£20,000)

Mark Levinson No53 (£20,000)

The latest Levinson product is a consummate music maker

Musical Fidelity AMS100 (£13,000)

Musical Fidelity AMS100 (£13,000)

The largest AMS amplifier is a true giant in all senses of the word

D'Agostino Momentum (£55,000/pr)

D'Agostino Momentum (£55,000/pr)

Dan D'Agostino returns with a product half amplifier, half sculpture, all genius

Mastersound PhL-5/845 (£13,790)

Mastersound PhL-5/845 (£13,790)

A sumptuous Italian pairing with sonics to match the exquisite looks

Quad 33/303 - Vintage

Quad 33/303 - Vintage

The first solid-state Quad remains a classic of the genre

Rotel RB-1552 (£700)

Rotel RB-1552 (£700)

A very potent performer considering the accessible price

Belles Soloist 5 (£1100)

Belles Soloist 5 (£1100)

The entry level Belles power amp has some charming characteristics

ATC P1 (£1830)

ATC P1 (£1830)

A robust design that produces a sound noticeably free of adornment

Bryston 2B SST2 (£3380)

Bryston 2B SST2 (£3380)

The Baby Bryston has many of the behavioural traits of the brand and some likeable sonic qualities

Anthem Statement P2 (£3850)

Anthem Statement P2 (£3850)

A very substantial design indeed with impressive performance to match

Parasound Halo A21 (£2350)

Parasound Halo A21 (£2350)

Better known for multichannel, the A21 demonstrates that Parasound know a thing or two about stereo too

Karan Acoustics KAL Mk3/KAS 180 Mk2 (£4995/£4995)

Karan Acoustics KAL Mk3/KAS 180 Mk2 (£4995/£4995)

Though outwardly unchanged, a serious internal makeover has brought Karan's cool-looking pre/power duo up-to-date. But how do these revised models sound?

Conrad-johnson ET3SE (£4920)

Conrad-johnson ET3SE (£4920)

Still refining its triode technology after all these years, the American company offers a purist preamplifier that promises new levels of musical insight

Top 5 Pre/power amplifiers

Cambridge Audio Azur 840E/840W (£800/£1200)

Now in second-generation guise, Cambridge's Class XD and 'Terrapin' amplifier technologies feature in a stunning new pre/power combination

Flying Mole DAD-M310 (£600 each)

Following the trend for high power and low weight, these PWM-based monoblock amplifiers from Japan offer 180W in a mere 4kg package. But what do they sound like?

Belles 28A/150A (£3750/£2750)

With a reference preamp offering two phono stage inputs, and 125W of stereo power amp, can this combo break free of the crowd?

D'Agostino Momentum (£55,000/pr)

Dan D'Agostino returns with a product half amplifier, half sculpture, all genius

Acoustic Imagery Pre Amp/D400M (£3594/£2394 each)

New to the British hi-fi scene, this exquisitely formed pre/power amp combo is highly compact thanks to the use of Class D modules and switched mode power supplies

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