Jason said: Solid-state lovers would like it. Tube lovers would like it. But where it would hit a home run, I believe, is with two groups: those who would like to try a tube amp but are leery of doing so because of the perceived downsides of tubes, and tube aficionados who might be getting tired of unreliable, soggy-sounding tube amps.
The gist: An amp that expertly straddles the tube/solid-state line.
Jeff said: With V2 of the Aura Note music system, April Music has produced a versatile, adaptable, complete home-audio system in a single box.
The gist: The centerpiece of your new living-room entertainment system.
Uday said: As of today, the AX-5 is not only, overall, the finest-sounding amp I’ve ever heard, it ranks as one of the finest components I’ve heard of any type. Or, to put it another way while emphasizing one of its strongest suits: This is the best damn integrated I’ve never heard. The AX-5 is truly a Goldilocks amp: not too hot and not too cold, it’s just right.
The gist: Might be the best integrated you can buy.
Hans said: The Devialet 120 is a state-of-the-art piece of hardware, an inspired design marked by deep originality and a thorough understanding of how humans actually interact with modern technology.
The gist: Simply groundbreaking.
Price: $17,495 per pair
Jeff said: In some ways, buying a Devialet is like replacing your ancient flip phone with an iPhone 6: you won’t believe everything it can do, how it performs every function, and how it looks and feels in your hand while doing it all. It’ll seem kind of like magic. The question is: Are you ready for it? If you’re like me, once you hear the Devialet 400, there will be no going back. I’m as surprised as you that I’m saying this, but the Devialet 400s produced the best sound I’ve ever heard.
The gist: The state-of-the-art amplification device.
Roger said: For $2000, the H80 is a great option for anyone looking for a cost-effective, single-box way to build a high-performance audio system.
The gist: The minimalist’s perfect match for a small pair of bookshelf speakers.
Sid said: With its effortlessly fluent musical flow, the Line Magnetic 216IA integrated amplifier more than made up for its minor shortcomings of providing not quite the ultimate levels of control and refinement. Factoring in the 216IA’s outstanding build quality and its low price of $1850, its ratio of value for money is right up there with the best.
The gist: High-value tube amp not of the cookie-cutter variety.
Hans said: Monitor’s Airstream A100 is a honey of an amp that makes a compelling argument for never having to buy into traditional hi-fi of yore. With analog, digital, and wireless connectivity, an accomplished class-AB amplifier -- something its competitors can’t boast -- and sound quality that reaches well past its $499 price, it comes highly, highly recommended. $500 never sounded so good.
The gist: If you thought Monitor only made speakers, this component will make you think twice.