Introduction to Amplifier Reviews

Amplifiers can be considered in three subcategories: Preamplifiers, Integrated Amplifiers and Power Amplifiers.

Preamplifiers handle small signal switching and gain or attenuation (volume control). In many cases, these products have balance controls, equalization or even automated room correction. Preamplifiers may also contain phono preamps, DACs, video switching, headphone amps and streaming/playback of digital files to name just a few additional features you may encounter. There are several different circuit topologies on the market, some are quite simple and others very complex. Preamplifiers do not have amplification to drive speakers and for this purpose you will need to add a separate power amplifier.

Integrated Amplifiers : take a preamplifier, add a stereo amplifer in the same chassis and you have an integrated amplifier. Though more convenient, this is widely regarded as less desirable than having a separate preamplifier and power amplifier as this isolates the small and large signal sections far better than with integrated amplifiers. Integrated amplifiers can have all the features of preamplifiers. They are also available in solid state, vacuum tube or hybrid designs.

Power Amplifiers provide the power to drive your passive loudspeakers. Like all the other amplification components, they can come in a variety of styles. It is of the utmost importance to select an amplifier that is compatible with your speakers and with sufficient power to fill your room with music.

All our reviews feature breakdowns of the product design, product setup and notes on the performance with subjective listening impressions. Most of our reviews also include our own objective bench tests which tell you how much distortion an amp has, its frequency response and, in many cases, its maximum power output, irrespective of manufacturers' claims.

Review Categories

Amplifier Reviews

E.A.T. E-Glo S Tube Phono Preamplifier Review

High-End tube design phono preamplifier inspired by its successful but pricier predecessor, the EAT E-Glo S revealed everything in my system’s potential. Switching from moving magnet (MM) to moving coil (MC) cartridges is simply accommodated while providing flexibility for any system.

Technics SU-G30 Network Audio Amplifier Review

Technics is a high end Japanese audio company known for building some of the greatest and most sought after products in audio history. Their products represent cutting-edge technologies with cost-no-object build quality. Technics products display all the merits of painstakingly designed and crafted components. This review will focus on their Grand Class SU-G30 Network Audio Amplifier.

McIntosh Reviews: MVP901 A/V Disc Player, MX122 A/V Processor, MC205 Five-Channel Power Amplifier

The McIntosh MVP901 Audio Video Player, the McIntosh MX122 A/V Processor, and the McIntosh MC205 Five-Channel Solid-State Amplifier are some of the brand’s coolest home theater components. Iconic McIntosh meets the 21st Century! The McIntosh MVP901, MX122 and MC205 have some surprises up their sleeves. McIntosh fans will definitely want to check them out!

Parasound Halo JC 3 Jr. Phono Preamplifier Review

Any fan of Parasound Audio gear knows all too well the “JC” moniker in their Halo line stands for John Curl. Before joining Parasound to work with founder Richard Schram, John Curl became legendary for his Vendetta Research SCP-2 phono preamplifier. About 200 were produced, all were hand-built.

Mytek Liberty DAC And Headphone Amplifier Review

The Mytek Liberty DAC and Headphone Amplifier is one of the latest products from the prolific Mytek company, of Brooklyn, New York. The Mytek Liberty DAC is a member of the rapidly-growing DAC-Headphone Amp category of components. Its primary intent is to supplement a disc transport or a computer audio system playing local files or streaming audio including high-resolution MQA.

NAD C 328 Hybrid Digital DAC Amplifier

NAD C 328 Hybrid Digital DAC Integrated Amplifier Review

Today, I’m looking at NAD’s C 328 Hybrid Digital DAC Amplifier. It’s a two-channel integrated amp with digital chops in the form of an advanced DAC that features a dual-differential signal path. It also supports moving-magnet phono cartridges and boasts a clean and efficient 50 watts-per-channel thanks to a unique Class D design.

Vacuum Tube Audio M-125 Mono-Tube Power Amplifier Review

The Vacuum Tube Audio (VTA) M-125 Mono-Tube Power Amplifiers offer performance rivaling products up to five times their price. But to get that performance, one has to give away some features. So how hair-shirt an audiophile are you? For those willing to read the owner’s manual, the Vacuum Tube Audio M-125 mono-tube power amplifiers offer amazing sound for the money – but are you up to the challenges?