Hegel Music Systems H360Price: $3500

Website: www.hegel.com

Hans said: I can’t think of a competing integrated amplifier that comes close to its combination of excellent top-to-bottom sound, fabulous remote control, plentiful power, and one of the most comprehensive ranges of features I’ve seen at the price. What a delightful little amplifier.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! Access review.

The gist: Everybody seems to love this little guy.

Linn Majik DSMPrice: $4900

Website: www.linn.co.uk

Hans said: What pushes the Majik DSM into a class of its own is Linn’s suite of apps, which turn the Majik into a thoroughly reliable and easy-to-use daily companion. Media from just about any source can find its way through the Majik’s circuitry and into your listening room with consummate ease.

Read the SoundStage! Access review.

The gist: Hans liked the sound, but was really impressed by the functionality.

Luxman L-550AXPrice: $4990

Website: www.luxman.com

Hans said: The Luxman L-550AX is the best-sounding integrated amplifier for under $5000. Its classic design and high-quality materials set it well apart from its peers, and grace it with an inherent coolness and sophistication that smack of gear retailing for far, far more.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: Who knew 20Wpc could sound so good?

Musical Fidelity M6siPrice: $2999

Website: www.musicalfidelity.com

Erich said: The M6si’s sound never drew attention to itself, handling all types of music with aplomb, and its performance was evenhanded at any listening level. I enjoyed listening to it because its sound produced no stress in me. That’s how the experience of listening to music should feel, but often doesn't. The M6si struck just the right balance.

Read the SoundStage! Access review.

The gist: Flexible, powerful integrated with very nice sound.

NuPrime Audio IDA--8Price: $995

Website: www.nuprimeaudio.com

Roger said: I love the NuPrime IDA-8. It sounds fantastic, has plenty of power to drive any reasonably efficient loudspeaker to room-filling levels, it’s compact, and, best of all, it costs less than $1000.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! Xperience review.

The gist: Considering the excellent built-in DAC, this little gem is great value.

NuPrime IDA-16Price: $2350

Website: www.nuprimeaudio.com

Vince said: The NuPrime IDA-16 is an exemplary integrated amp-DAC with rock-solid imaging, transparent sound, and tight control of bass. It doesn’t impose a sonic signature on the sound -- I was enthralled with every recording I played through it.

Read the SoundStage! Access review.

The gist: Lots of good stuff packed into this sub-$2500 integrated-DAC.

Octave Audio V 110Price: $8300

Website: www.octave.de

Hans said: Octave Audio’s V 110 is a delight. Thoughtfully engineered and impeccably built, it veers from many of its tubed brethren to chart its own paths in both circuit architecture and sound. The V 110 lacks the tonal colorations one might expect from its seven tubes. Its reproduction of music is as clean and pure as it is supple and vital -- I suggest giving it a listen for its exquisite midband alone.

Read the SoundStage! Ultra review.

The gist: German engineering applied to tubes.

Optoma NuForce DDA120Price: $699

Website: www.optomausa.com

Roger said: The NuForce DDA120 sounds every bit as good as the DDA-100 that it replaces, which means that it’s a great-sounding integrated amplifier-DAC. Although it costs $150 more than its predecessor, it adds some key conveniences, including Bluetooth connectivity and an analog input.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! Xperience review.

The gist: Flexible connectivity and a great price make this a prime candidate for your next desktop system.

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