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Pre/power amplifiers

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Naim NAC 12/ SNAPS/NAP 250 - Vintage

Naim NAC 12/ SNAPS/NAP 250 - Vintage

This Naim system proved to be an arresting listen, whether with CD or vinyl

Quad 22/Quad II - Vintage

Quad 22/Quad II - Vintage

This Quad duo is perhaps the most widely available complete vintage valve amplifier pairing to be found secondhand

Meridian Prime/Prime PSU (£1200 Prime/£800 Prime PSU)

Meridian Prime/Prime PSU (£1200 Prime/£800 Prime PSU)

These Prime units makes many other headphone amplifiers appear like period pieces

Oppo HA-1 (£1099)

Oppo HA-1 (£1099)

The HA-1's headphone amplifier stage is up there with the finest

Schiit Audio Magni (£80)

Schiit Audio Magni (£80)

The Schiit Audio Magni joins a small, select group of components that let you wallow in decent sound for well under a ton

Teac HA-501 (£700)

Teac HA-501 (£700)

Forget the HA-501's retro looks and concentrate instead on its magical blend of resolution and uncontrived warmth

Audio Research SP20 (£8998)

Audio Research SP20 (£8998)

The SP20 acts exactly as a modern ARC control unit should. It is detailed, open, musical, expressive and commanding

Mark Levinson No52 (£28,000)

Mark Levinson No52 (£28,000)

Mark Levinson's development engineers have certainly designed a most glamorous preamplifier

Icon Audio MB90 MkIIm-150 (£2900 pair)

Icon Audio MB90 MkIIm-150 (£2900 pair)

With ample power for most systems and user-friendly operation, there's a great sound that's tremendously inviting, and smooth as silk.

Krell Duo 300 (£9500)

Krell Duo 300 (£9500)

Assuredly solid-state in its demeanour is Krell's Duo 300

VTL S-200 Signature (£11,500 with 6550 tubes; £11,700 with KT88s)

VTL S-200 Signature (£11,500 with 6550 tubes; £11,700 with KT88s)

To say that the VTL gave fresh insights to everything played wouldn't convey what this amplifier does

ModWright LS 36.5/KWA 150S  (£7995 pre with PSU/£6795 power)

ModWright LS 36.5/KWA 150S (£7995 pre with PSU/£6795 power)

With this hybrid system, the sound bears the hallmark of long and thoughtful development by a dedicated designer

T+A P3000/A3000HV (£9500 Pre/£11,900 Power/£7900 PSU)

T+A P3000/A3000HV (£9500 Pre/£11,900 Power/£7900 PSU)

T+A's HV series is designed for the luxury audiophile market and this latest amp combo is sensational value

Musical Fidelity The Preamp/Dr Thomas - Vintage

Musical Fidelity The Preamp/Dr Thomas - Vintage

Early Musical Fidelity products, especially The Preamp, are still impressive audio performers

Furutech ADL X1 (£400)

Furutech ADL X1 (£400)

At sensible sound levels you get the sort of subtlety you only normally expect from high-end digital

McIntosh MC275 MkVI (£5500)

McIntosh MC275 MkVI (£5500)

The MC275 MkVI's stress-free presentation, liquid purity in the mid and intricate, believable stereo imaging make for absorbing listening

Musical Fidelity M8PRE/ M8700m (M8Pre, £3500; M8700m, £4000 each)

Musical Fidelity M8PRE/ M8700m (M8Pre, £3500; M8700m, £4000 each)

Given the eye-watering cost of today's ultra-high-end amplifiers these M8 components can be counted a relative 'bargain'

Siltech SAGA C1, V1 and P1 (£85,000)

Siltech SAGA C1, V1 and P1 (£85,000)

The SAGA's calm, unfussy sound quality is sure to win the ears and hearts of the well-heeled music lover

Simaudio Moon 380D & 330A (380D, £4600; 330A, £2800)

Simaudio Moon 380D & 330A (380D, £4600; 330A, £2800)

The 380D is a fabulous USB-equipped DAC, and the app for the MiND network player has been thoughtfully executed

TAD C600/M600 (C600, £27,000; M600, £26,000 each)

TAD C600/M600 (C600, £27,000; M600, £26,000 each)

Striking a near-perfect balance between explicit 'studio monitoring' and home hi-fi 'musicality', the TAD should be on any audiophile's dream wish list

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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