Integrated Amp Reviews

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Mark Fleischmann  |  Oct 04, 2010  |  0 comments
Price: $999 At A Glance: Desktop stereo integrated amp, including tube preamp and DAC • Apple-approved digital iPod connection • Jitter reduction

We’re Not in Kansas Anymore

Like many surround-sound audiophiles, I listen to a lot of twochannel material as well. It’s part retro sacrament, part necessary evil. Although I haven’t turned on my ancient stereo amp and preamp in months—their presence in the rack is mainly symbolic—I regularly run my 5.1-channel system in stereo mode when the nature of the content demands it. I also get a lot of use out of the cheap speakers and chip-amp in my kitchen, not to mention the powered iPod speakers in my bedroom. I use my 2.1-channel desktop rig throughout the day—not only when I’m at my desk, with the inevitable YouTube distractions, but also during the evening, when I curl up with a book. My armchair happens to sit across the room from my desktop system. Because the distance from the speakers is greater than the distance between the speakers—about a 3:1 ratio—this isn’t an ideal setup for stereo imaging. But it’s great for casual listening. I’ve spent some of the happiest hours of my life sitting in that chair, listening to that system.

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