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SAE HP2-D Amplifier and MK One Preamplifier


Fifty years ago SAE hit the market with its first amplifier, the venerable MK 1. A 60-watt per channel affair that stunned the audio world and received rave reviews by none other than J. Gordon Holt when he stated that under most conditions it was the best sounding solid-state gear he had ever heard. Big... Read More »


Khozmo Acoustic Passive Preamplifier


Over the many years that I've been involved in high quality home audio, there's been no part of system that has given me more concern, and kept me from making a decision for what my system needs, than the preamp or linestage. Seems silly, as in theory at least, a preamp or linestage should be... Read More »


Zesto Audio Leto Ultra II Preamplifier


The Zesto Audio Leto Ultra II Preamplifier Now celebrating its 13th anniversary of producing award-winning all-tube designs for audiophiles, California's Zesto Audio has introduced its most advanced preamplifier to date. The Leto Ultra II Preamplifier is the amazing George Counnas's assault on the state of the art in all tube topology, and the third incarnation of the... Read More »


Von Gaylord Audio – A Great Integrated System


Some 20 plus years ago, as a fledgling cub reporter for a local HiFi group, I was attending CES and the high-end show at the Alexis Park. That's when I had my first encounter with the Von Gaylord Legend speaker. I wandered into their room and waited for the next demo session. I took my... Read More »


SAE Mk One Preamplifier World Premier Review:  A New Solid-State Benchmark!


With its strikingly intense blue-lit lettering and elegantly smooth finished black metal case, this uniquely featured and performing preamplifier is designed and assembled right here in Southern California. This is not your father's SAE, and it surprised this seasoned audiophile and reviewer from the moment I activated the on button. I placed this solid-state preamp... Read More »


The LTA MICROZOTL Preamplifier


I think everyone who reads my reviews has figured out that "this guys loves him some tubes." I want to confirm that this is a factually accurate statement. I would however clarify it to say "this guys loves well designed tube based products." But what does well designed mean in this context? A tube based... Read More »


The Pass Labs XP-12 Preamplifier - an Indispensable Instrument in My Reference System!


I am amazed how my role as an audiophile and audio reviewer informs my volunteer work running the Behringer X32 mixing console at church—and vice versa. Although one focuses on live performances in a much larger and livelier space than my more acoustically intimate home Audio/Visual room, in both cases, I listen closely for issues... Read More »


Cary Audio SLP-98P Tube Preamplifier


Audiophiles that might be reading this are most likely very familiar with Cary Audio, originally the brain child of Dennis Had who is something of a legend in our industry. The venerable Cary 805 Mono Block Power amplifiers are legendary, and the audio equivalent of the Lamborghini Countach and Ferrari 512 Testa Rosa. Many of... Read More »


The Mactone XX-440 Line Preamplifier and MH-120 Stereo Amplifier: Adventures in Max-tone!


Founded in 1964, and for 59 years now, Mactone has continuously manufactured high-fidelity vacuum tube audio components, longer than any other company in Japan. Steve Mishoe (In Living Stereo) started importing Mactone audio components to North America in late 2018, after visiting the Matsumoto family—who owns and operates Mactone—in Japan. Steve recently contacted me and... Read More »


Manley Labs Impressions: The Snapper Monoblock Amp and Shrimp Preamp - Tasty Stuff!


This article by Dr. David Robinson originally ran in Issue 5, February/March 2003, so while we call this section "New Old Stock - Articles from Our Days in Print" you are also going to see some articles from our early days of going online. After All These Years... You know, it's strange. In PF's "Ghost of... Read More »


SoulNote P-3 Special Edition Line Preamplifier


SoulNote is a Japanese company, founded in 2004 by the ex-director of Marantz Nippon, an engineer, Mr. Norinaga Nakazawa. It specializes in the construction of solid-state amplifiers, phono preamplifiers and digital sources from the middle and upper price range. We are testing its P-3 Special Edition linestage. Mr. Norinaga Nakazawa, co-founder of the SoulNote brand,... Read More »


Octave Jubilee PRE Preamplifier and MONO SE Amplifiers


Octave Audio is a German company founded in 1968 by Karl Heinz Hofmann; initially it produced transformers. In 2000, his son, Andreas Hofmann took over the business, and from then on it has been called Octave Audio. We are testing the top Jubilee system. Although the first Octave amplifiers were made in 1975, and since... Read More »


Wells Audio Commander Level II Preamplifier


A little while ago I reviewed the Wells Audio Cipher. I asked Jeff Wells, the owner of Wells Audio, to tell me more about the Cipher, and he more or less described it as his preamp circuit, with a single fixed input coming from the DAC. I was so impressed with the smooth analog nature... Read More »


Simaudio Moon 740P Preamplifier and Moon 820S External Power Supply


The Simaudio Moon 740P preamplifier has been reviewed many times since its introduction circa 2012, most recently for Positive Feedback by Sam Rosen (HERE). I read many of these reviews, but not until after I had done my own evaluation. I am evaluating the 740P in conjunction with its companion piece the 820S External Power... Read More »


Mola Mola Makua Line Stage


On Mola Mola's website if you click on the Makua, the first thing you will notice is "Analog Design for a Digital Age" in bold under a picture of the Makua. It was this statement that first interested me in the Makua, and caused me to reach out to Mola Mola's US distributor for a... Read More »


Wells Audio Innamorata II Amplifier and Commander Line Stage Preamplifier


Prologue I've had the Magneplanar LRS loudspeakers in my daily-listening system for over two years now; every time I swap them out for something else, they invariably seem to find their way back in. And that's despite being devilishly difficult loudspeakers to drive; their 2.8 ohm impedance (almost constant across the entire audio spectrum) presents... Read More »


Rotel's RB 1582 MKII Amplifier and RC 1572 MKII Preamplifier


I was first introduced to Rotel products back in the mid 70s when I bought my first Rotel turntable from the Stereo Buff in Springfield, MO. I was a poor college student, and they had very affordable prices. I ran that table through a Yamaha integrated amp along with a Aiwa cassette player and Genesis... Read More »


Triangle Art M-100 Mono Amplifiers and L-200 Preamplifier


I first came across Triangle Art around 7 years ago while scrolling through a familiar webzine. It was fortuitous as I was getting back into vinyl after abandoning it decades ago, leaving behind my thoroughly thrashed Garrard that carried me valiantly through my childhood and teens. What caught my eye in that webzine's ad was... Read More »


Musician Monoceros Preamplifier


Thick aluminum casing, a dark anodized finish, microprocessor-controlled functions, and mysterious red lights on the faceplate could describe the latest generation of Cylon Centurion from the Battlestar Galactica science fiction series, or the newly released Monoceros preamplifier from Musician Audio. While Cylons are a Hollywood creation, this preamplifier (linestage) is the real deal, and is... Read More »


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