Hifi News - Pre amps

Review - iFi Audio iTube 2

iFi Audio iTube 2

iFi Audio launch the iTube 2 - valve buffer stage
T he iFi Audio iTube 2 is many thinks all in the one small box. The iTube 2 can be used as a fixed output valve buffer stage between DAC and amplifier to give a warmer less digital sound or even between a pre amp and power amp to provide the same function. Two can be employed one between DAC / pre-amp and one between pre-amp and power amp to double up ! The iTube 2 also has a volume control so can be used as a preamp for one analogue input. This could be useful if you have a digital pre-amp DAC feeding directly into a power amp and want to listen to a high quality analogue output only turntable, or its phono stage. Simplest option here is to connect the turntable to the iTube 2 and the iTube 2 into the power amp, disconnecting the DAC, to listen to the turntable. The 2 in the name suggests and upgrade to a previous version, the original iTube. However iFi point out that the iTube 2 is a complete redesign and the only commonality between the two is the General Electric GE5670 valve. Additionally the iTube 2 offers XBass+ for speakers, a bass boost for small speakers, and 3D Holographic+ matrix for Speakers, a means to increase the sound stage of two narrowly placed together speakers. Typically 3D+ would be useful for near field listening where two speakers have been placed on either side of a computer.

Review - Denon HEOS Link HS2 - Wireless Pre-Amplifier

Denon HEOS Link HS2 - Wireless Pre-Amplifier

Denon Launch The HEOS Link HS2 - Wireless Pre-Amplifier
T he Denon HEOS Link HS2 (yours for £299) is an upgraded version of the original Denon Link. HS2 allows both wired (analogue and digital) and wireless connection into the Denon HEOS network. There are two new features in the HS2. Firstly the HS2 has support for Hi-Res Audio. The HS2 is capable of playing WAV, ALAC and FLAC in formats up to 24 bit/192 kHz sample rates. There will be support for AIFF and DSD incoming via a future software update. Secondly Denon have added direct Bluetooth support. This means you can stream directly to HS2 without having to download and install an app.

Review - Krell Vanguard Digital Preampifier

Krell Vanguard Digital Preampifier

Krell Announce A Vanguard Digital Module Software Update
K rell have a new software version for the digital module in the Digital Vanguard, Vanguard DAC, and Vanguard Digital Preamp which enables the vTuner Internet radio service and the Deezer* and Tidal* streaming services.

Review - McIntosh C2600 - Preamp

McIntosh C2600 - Preamp

McIntosh Reveal The C2600 Vacuum Tube Preamplifier With USB DAC
T he McIntosh C2600 Vacuum Tube Preamplifier will retail at around $7,000 in the US in August 2016 – UK availability and price will follow. The C2600 is an analogue vacuum tube preamp, headphone amp, with digital inputs and an internal DAC. The C2600 builds upon the C2300 and C2500 – two of the most successful McIntosh vacuum tube preamplifiers. The C2600 which incorporates the best of the previous models while adding our advanced digital audio section and upgraded tube circuitry design. The C2600 is a versatile preamplifier with an expansive set of 16 inputs to connect virtually all analogue or digital music sources. Analog inputs include 3 balanced, 4 unbalanced plus 1 each dedicated Moving Magnet and Moving Coil phono inputs. Digital inputs consist of 3 optical, 2 coax, 1 USB and 1 McIntosh exclusive MCT connection. Three sets of balanced and unbalanced analogue outputs connect the C2600 to the rest of the system. The C2600 features a 32-bit/384kHz, DSD digital-to-analogue-converter (DAC) and is capable of decoding and playing DSD64, DSD128 and DSD256 plus DXD 352.8 kHz and DXD 384 kHz. For headphone listening, the addition of Headphone Cross feed Director (HXD®) brings an added dimension to the music. Home Theatre Pass Thru allows for seamless integration into a multi-channel home theatre system.

Review - Leema Elements Pre-Amplifier

Leema Elements Pre-Amplifier

Leema Launch The Elements Pre-Amplifier
T he Leema Elements PreAmp (yours for £1,395) is an analogue preamp with three RCA inputs and one balanced input. Going out to the power amp is both balanced and unbalanced RCA outputs. In addition the Leema Elements Pre-Amp includes a USB DAC, a 3.5 mm Jack on the front for attachment of iDevices mobile devices and a headphone amplifier.

Review - McIntosh C1100

McIntosh C1100

McIntosh Launch The C1100 - Preamp And USB DAC
T he McIntosh C1100 (£12,995)is an analogue preamp with a USB DAC, a headphone amp and phono preamp not rolled into one box but two. The C1100 builds on the recently launched C47 and C52 but offers additional improvements.

Review - McIntosh C47

McIntosh C47

McIntosh Launch The C47 - Preamp And USB DAC
T he McIntosh C47, (£3,995 ) is an analogue preamp with digital inputs, a USB DAC capable of DSD and DXD decoding, a phono preamp and a headphone amp, all in one box ! As well as offering all the above functionality, the C47 is housed in the classic, and unmistakeable McIntosh “retro” styling.

Review - Krell Vanguard Digital Preampifier

Krell Vanguard Digital Preampifier

Krell Launch The Vanguard Digital Preampifier
T he Krell Vanguard Digital Preampifier retails for $5,000 and is based on the Krell Vanguard Universal DAC but includes a volume control. No analogue inputs then.

Review - McIntosh C52

McIntosh C52

McIntosh Launch The C52 - Preamp And USB DAC
T he McIntosh C52 (yours for £6,995) is a solid state analogue preamp that also includes digital inputs, phono inputs and an on-board DAC. Styled in the classic McIntosh "retro", and immediately recognisable, styling the C52 is actually very modern and can even decode DSD and DXD files. Headphone listeners have not been forgotten either as the C52 features a headphone output with (new for McIntosh) a Headphone Crossfeed Director (or HXD for short).

Review - Naim NAC-N 272 Streaming Preamp

Naim NAC-N 272 Streaming Preamp

Naim Launch The NAC-N 272 Streamer DAC and Preamp
T he Naim NAC-N 272 Streaming Preamp comes in at £3,300 (£3595 with DAB+/FM option) and is a souped up version of the well received Naim NAC-N 172 XS streaming preamp. As a streaming preamp the NAC-N 272 is both a network streamer, a coax and optical DAC, and both an analogue and digital preamplifier all in one box. For the first time ever the Naim NAC-N 272 will be able to decode DSD.

Review - Arcam C49 - pre amp

Arcam C49 - pre amp

Arcam launch the Arcam C49 Pre amp and headphone amp
T he top of the range £2750 Arcam FMJ C49 is both a pre amp and headphone amp and the natural partner for the Arcam FMJ P49 power amp.

Review - Mark Levinson Reference No.52 Pre amp

Mark Levinson Reference No.52 Pre amp

Mark Levinson Launches the Reference No.52 Pre amp
T he Mark Levinson No. 52 is Mark Levinson top of the range pre amp. It is a deep two box construction isolating the critical analogue audio circuitry from the control section. You’ll need deep pockets to buy one at £28,000. It’s also all analogue i.e. No DAC.

Review - Musical Fidelity M8PRE

Musical Fidelity M8PRE

Musical Fidelity launch the M8PRE - Preamp
T he Musical Fidelity M8PRE is a pre-amplifier without limits. From its performance to its connectivity, via quality fit and finish, the Musical Fidelity M8PRE makes a superlative centrepiece for almost any system.

Review - Krell Illusion Preamp

Krell Illusion Preamp

Krell Launch the Krell Illusion Preamp
K rell announces the Krell Illusion preamplifier. An Ideal companion for the new Class A series of iBias power amps , the Illusion preamplifier is a perfect centerpieces for a world class two channel audio systems. Shipments begin next week.

Review - Van den Hul the Emerald

Van den Hul the Emerald

Van den Hul launch the Emerald pre amp
T he van den Hul Emerald balanced preamplifier is the next logic step after the introduction of The Grail SB (fully balanced phono preamp or phonostage).
van den Hul have used the same design ideas from our Grail SB, like the complete balanced DC coupled circuitry, HF PCB with 24 carat gold connections and 0.1% precise selected components. The very innovative electronic circuitry is able to handle a mix of balanced and unbalanced signals both on the input and output.

Review - Auralic Taurus Pre

Auralic Taurus Pre

Auralic launch the Taurus Pre - pre amp
T he £1790 Auralic TAURUS PRE is a fully balanced line stage pre-amplifier. It is the finest coming together of art and passion by inheriting the design essence of analogue recording equipment, from the ‘golden age’, and aesthetic taste of our new era. Together with the Auralic MERAK mono block power amps, The Auralic TAURUS PRE would bring an ideal audio playback system, which is fantastic enough to please the most enthusiastic hifi enthusiast !

Review - Meridian G65

Meridian G65

Meridian launch the G65 Surround processor
M eridian’s G65 is the definitive surround processor of the G Series. In conjunction with the HD621, it allows connection of a diverse range of audio and video sources with unified control over time alignment, bass management and surround sound processing. The latest in the G Series line of high performance components, G65 builds on the achievements of our flagship 800 Series, with entirely new circuitry developed specifically for the product.

Review - Rotel RC-1570

Rotel RC-1570

Rotel Launch a new preamp the RC-1570
A new preamp from Rotel to go with the two new power amps.
boasting both analogue and digital inputs SRP £795. Rotel quote :-

Review - Audio Research SP20

Audio Research SP20

Audio Research launch the SP20 preamp
T here have been many new products from Audio Research of late and this is a fully balanced class A pre amp.

Review - Audio Research LS17 SE Line-Stage Preamplifier

Audio Research LS17 SE Line-Stage Preamplifier

New SE preamp from audio Research the LS17 SE
T he LS17 SE preamplifier benefits from a long tradition of exceptional preamplifier technology from Audio Research and shares many common traits with its larger peers. The Reference Anniversary has been hailed by many as the greatest preamplifier yet; it also yielded technological developments to be shared across the entire Audio Research product range. The SE treatment of the Reference 5 SE preamplifier and Reference Phono 2 SE phono preamplifier have been applied to the LS17 SE to great success, providing the listener the ability to hear deeper into the performance and overall better musicality in a more affordable package.

Review - Audio Research DS Pre Stereo Pre Amp and digital to Analog Converter

Audio Research DS Pre Stereo Pre Amp and digital to Analog Converter

New preamp and DAC from Audio Research the DSPre Stereo Preamplifier and Digital to Analog Converter
C onvergence technologies have fueled the demand for the integration of multiple components into unified products. The DSPre is such a product, combining the award-winning digital-to-analog capabilities of the DAC8 into a fully balanced active analog Audio Research preamplifier. This combination of high performance and convenience in one chassis delivers incredible musical performance as well as great overall value.

Review - Audio Research REFERENCE 5 SE Vacuum Tube Line-Stage Preamplifier

Audio Research REFERENCE 5 SE Vacuum Tube Line-Stage Preamplifier

New Preamp from Audio Research the Reference 5 SE
T he Reference 5 SE is the latest model in a series of the finest and most successful line-stage preamplifiers ever made. From the Reference1 to the Reference Anniversary, each one has built upon the legacy of its predecessor as the most sought-after reference level line-stage preamplifier. The Reference 5 SE clearly redefines the state of the art at a price that is not inexpensive but represents extraordinary value. Like every Audio Research product, it is made entirely by hand in our facility in Minnesota.


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