Integrated Amplifiers

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Ed Selley  |  Nov 19, 2011
An innovative amplifier featuring sophisticated adjustable impedance matching. From the outside at least, what we have here is an integrated amp seemingly conventional in most respects, though its dimensions are just 440x80x410mm (whd) meaning it takes up no more shelf space than would a small turntable.
Review: Tom Anderson, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Jan 21, 2021
hfncommendedThis famous French brand was launched in 1956 – the very same year as Hi-Fi News – and continues to cut a very distinctive path. We test its latest tube/hybrid integrated

When your brand has been around for over 60 years, designing a new integrated amplifier becomes a matter of balance. You need to weigh up the company's rich heritage with electronics that compete with the best new kids on the block. Perhaps something to caress the ears with valve warmth and character, combined with the grunt of a transistor output to drive even the most reticent of speakers? Enter the Supravox Vouvray.

Review: Ken Kessler, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Jul 18, 2022
hfnoutstandingFlagship of this Italian brand's trilogy of tube amps, the Metropolis NYC 200i occupies a huge footprint and mercilessly sucks power from the wall. But the music is magic...

Is it unkind to suggest some Italian brand names do not carry convincingly into English? Who keeps a straight face with a cooker called 'SMEG'? As for Synthesis – which also has the appropriately named Roma range – choosing to dub its Metropolis integrated amplifiers 'NYC', because New York is a Metropolis, actually makes sense, I suppose.

Review: James Parker, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Aug 12, 2021
hfncommendedHaving nailed the whole 'one box system with built-in speakers' category, T+A now shifts tack to a 'just add speakers' unit. It's on-trend, and with substance to match the style

Are we downsizing, simplifying, or just looking for more from less? Whatever the reasons, it seems the one-box system, to which one only needs add some speakers, is in the ascendant. There's no denying a movement is growing, with everything from 'more integrated' amps complete with onboard streaming through to complete systems such as the NAD M10/M33 [HFN Jun '19 & Aug '20], Naim's Uniti range [HFN Mar '11 & Nov '17] – which was in the vanguard of this trend back in 2009 – and the recently-announced Cambridge Audio Evo models [News, HFN Jun '21].

Review: Jonathan Gorse, Lab: Paul Miller  |  May 11, 2020
hfncommendedAs T+A's midrange E series is reinforced by a new amplifier, based on the PA 1000 E but equipped with BT and a USB DAC, we ask 'is this now the stereotype for modern amps?'

As the latest in a long line of amplifiers from the German brand, T+A's PA 1100 E integrated is also one of the more innovative and comprehensive in its scope. The company (T+A stands for 'Theory and Application') has been manufacturing audio equipment since 1978 and prides itself on both its deep technical capability and in-house manufacturing. However, despite this heritage, the PA 1100 E is only the first of its amplifiers to include an onboard DAC – something very many competing brands have been doing for years.

Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 18, 2014
Germany’s T+A has spent the last couple of years developing a completely new range of all-solid-state electronics: its ‘HV Series’. Built into an all-aluminium case, the PA 3000 HV amplifier’s individual sub-assemblies are screened in separate chambers. An upper compartment houses the preamplifier and voltage amplifier stages, while the electronic control processor and circuitry for driving the display screen – fed by a separate power supply arrangement – sits in a recess machined out of the 40mm-thick aluminium front panel. A 10mm-thick dividing wall shields the top section from the left/right current amplifier stages and the unit’s massive power supply is in a lower compartment.
Review: Tim Jarman, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Sep 23, 2022
hfnvintageAttractive, affordable and the first step on the hi-fi highway for many a budding audiophile, is this '70s amp now the perfect introduction to vintage? We find out

The instantly recognisable Trio/Kenwood KA-2002 is one of those products that is sure to have touched the lives of many readers of Hi-Fi News. A popular first move upmarket from record players and radiograms towards 'proper' hi-fi, this inexpensive amplifier was a frequent choice for enthusiasts taking their initial steps towards serious listening.

Review: Andrew Everard, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Apr 18, 2019
hfncommendedThe latest addition to the Italian manufacturer's range is said to be a ground-up design to make the most of its hybrid – valve preamp, solid-state power amp – configuration

Based in Treviso, Italy, Unison Research has long specialised in making very traditional looking tube amps with polished wooden chassis and rows of glowing bottles on display. At the same time its Unico series has adopted a more mainstream aesthetic and includes valve-based amplifiers that, well, don't really seem like valve amplifiers. Despite an outward appearance suggesting a completely conventional integrated amp, the Due – which sells for £2500 in standard silver with black available at a £100 premium – is very definitely a valve amp, or at least half of one.

Review: Ken Kessler, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Sep 20, 2021
hfnoutstandingHot on the heels of VAC's flagship separates stack on our March '21 cover comes the more affordable derivative, the integrated VAC Sigma 170i – is it a true Mini-Me?

If I wasn't averse to tattoos, I'd have one that says, 'Always Read The Owner's Manual First'. I spent so much time trying to illuminate the VAC Sigma 170i's iQ warning lights that I was wondering if the review sample was a dud. Doh: in this application, the £10,000 single-chassis alternative to the Signature stack [HFN Mar '21], they don't light up at switch-on. Here they only work when something is amiss. Blast it! I never did see them in action.

Review: Ken Kessler, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Aug 10, 2020
hfnedchoiceCan't choose between tubes and transistors? Vinnie Rossi may have the answer with the L2i-SE integrated amplifier, which deals with that conundrum in a unique manner

So overwhelming is the matter of choice when putting together a system that it can cause as much anguish as pose a fun challenge. What type of speakers? MM or MC pick-up? Integrated or separates? These usually sort themselves out due to space or budget, but 'tubes versus transistors' almost calls for a leap of faith – unlike 'digital versus analogue' because most enthusiasts can manage two sources. The valve/solid-state conflict, though, may find a cure in the Vinnie Rossi L2i-SE integrated amplifier, the 'SE' standing for 'Signature Edition'.

Review: Andrew Everard, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Jun 17, 2021
hfnoutstandingSeven years after Yamaha moved into high-end price points with a flagship, all-analogue integrated we look at its latest offering and discover 'retro' with 21st century sound

Big, bold and unashamedly old-school with its silver finish – black is available as an option – polished piano black side panels and large illuminated meters, the £4999 Yamaha A-S3200 is the flagship of the brand's integrated amplifier range, which kicks off with the modest £200 A-S201.

Richard Stevenson & Paul Miller  |  Apr 06, 2009
Yamaha’s Z11 is an amplifier of extremes. Almost every feature can be prefixed with terms like ‘most’, ‘advanced’ and ‘leading’ and the fit and finish is superb. The specification sheet is impressive and the features list is the size of the Encyclopaedia Britannica and reads like my very own wishlist of AV technology. The Z11 is right at the cutting edge of multichannel audio, HD video and multi-room technology and then goes on to incorporate a level of audiophile engineering that would compete favourably with high-end two-channel components.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 19, 2011
This compact valve amp is far more talented than the low price might suggest Established in 1996, Yarland is old by Chinese audio manufacturer standards. With 15 years’ experience, it is able to produce a comprehensive range of models in two quaintly-named series: Dreamwork and Yourmate. The FV-34B is part of the Yourmate range. If the unit looks familiar, that’s because it has been – unashamedly – styled in the manner of a Unison Research.
Review: Adam Smith, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Nov 13, 2019
hfncommendedBeing 'designed in France and built with passion', the IA350A integrated amplifier from YBA's Passion series promises high quality with more than a sprinkling of Gallic flair...

Agood hi-fi system should invoke 'passion' in the listener – be that an urge to crank-up the volume, to play an air guitar or wave an imaginary baton. French brand YBA knows this only too well, bestowing this particular moniker on its penultimate lineup of models. Coming in below its Statement units, but above Design, Heritage and Genesis, the six-strong Passion range also includes the PRE550/AMP650 pre/power amplifiers [HFN May '18].

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