Price: $58,000 as configured ($30,000 base price).

Website: www.behold.eu

Jeff said: It can work wonders, and it won’t be outclassed by any other single component in the equation. The Behold APU768 is the most advanced piece of high-end electronics I’ve ever used.

ultra sel 120x80

Read the Ultra Audio review.

The gist: The future of ultra-high-end preamps?


Price: $4695

Website: www.powermodules.com

Vade said: The Belles VT-01 sounds spectacular, looks gorgeous, is easy to operate, and, considering its performance, is reasonably priced.

rc 70x80

Read the SoundStage! review.

The gist: Dave Belles hitting his stride.


Price: $19,950 with internal phono stage, $16,950 for line stage only

E-mail: catamps@aol.com

Marc said: Given its many and varied strengths, the CAT SL1 Legend is the finest preamp I’ve had in my system. If it takes years of tinkering to produce a preamp like this one, so be it. Greatness, as they say, can’t be rushed.

rc 70x80

Read the SoundStage! review.

The gist: The CAT’s out of the bag: this could be the best.

lamm_ll21_300wPrice: $5990

Website: www.lammindustries.com

He said: Perhaps the highest compliment I can pay the Lamm LL2.1 Deluxe is to say that, after I came to know it, I didn’t want to review it -- I just wanted to hear music through it. By the end of my listening sessions, the audiophile words tended to fall away.


Read the SoundStage! review.

The gist: Vladimir Lamm improves on a classic.


Price: $265

Website: www.trendsaudio.com

Roger said: The SEs cost significantly more than the earlier Trends products I’ve heard and admired, and with higher cost come higher expectations of sound quality -- in that regard, these models delivered.

Read the GoodSound! review.

The gist: Tubes on the cheap.

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