Preamp Reviews

portable DAC, preamp and headphone amp
Oct 2020
Two and a half years after releasing Poly for its award-winning Mojo, Chord Electronics has treated its flagship portable DAC/headphone amp, Hugo 2, to an add-on streamer/server of its own. Having reviewed Hugo 2’s larger...
DAC/streamer
Aug 2020
When is a streamer not really a streamer, in Auralic’s case that is when there is not Lightning DS operating system onboard. Auralic has been making the Aries which is purely a streamer with digital only outputs, and the...
step-up transformer
May 2020
Where would we be without vinyl? Whether you love it or hate it, it’s been a major element of home music replay for many decades from its earliest beginnings in the heady days of acoustic shellac discs to the refined...
passive preamplifier
Apr 2020
You wouldn’t think that attenuating or reducing a signal would be all that difficult, yet this is essentially what preamplifiers do most of the time. Active ones complicate matters by adding gain, which in essence is...
preamplifier and monoblock power amps
Feb 2020
For a small island, Great Britain has an extraordinary number of very accomplished manufacturers of excellent audio equipment. In recent years many famous brands have been taken over by foreign conglomerates, but some have...
Streamer/preamplifier and power amplifier
Mar 2019
It is a long time since I had a separate pre and power amplifier in my system, the last being the highly accomplished Naim NAC 552 pre and NAP 300 power amps. They had to be sold when redundancy struck in 2008 and we needed...
Passive preamplifier
Mar 2019
It can be all too easy to take things for granted I find, you can use something for years and fail to find anything to better it and still don’t climb to the top of the nearest tower and shout about it. But when the...
Modular input preamplifier
May 2018
AVM announced their 30th anniversary last year with a new entry level range and at this year’s Sound & Vision Bristol show I asked MD Udo Besser how he got into the hi-fi business, his jokey response was: “Very easy, I...
DAC preamplifier headphone amplifier
May 2018
Using an acronym for a serious piece of hi-fi might be a fun play on words but it risks understating the product. Chord have used similar quirky names for other DAC products; the previous 2Qute and latest Qutest, for example...
CD player DAC preamplifier
Apr 2018
ATC aren’t into change for changes sake, they won’t revise the range every year or so just to refresh its profile in the market, indeed even when they give something a major overhaul as is the case here the appearance...
Metrum Acoustics Onyx and Jade
Digital to analogue converter
Nov 2017
For a long time Metrum Acoustics could only supply digital to analogue converters (DACs) at either end of the scale, they made expensive ones and relatively affordable examples but there was nothing in between. This gap has...
DAC/preamplifier
Mar 2017
We are used to miniaturization today, the Japanese got very good at it many years ago so we tend to take for granted what are tremendous engineering feats. Nonetheless the feature count on the Mytek Brooklyn does take the...

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