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(2018) Stereo Integrated Amplifiers and Receivers

Price: AU$46,650

Website: www.absolare.com

Josh said: While it may be considered for some to be expensive, its performance capabilities in so many areas frankly exceed what could be achieved in preamplifier-amplifier separate combinations at far loftier price points, therefore making it an attractive proposition as a statement amplifier for those slightly short of space or for those demanding electronics capable of the very highest standards.

Read the SoundStage! Australia review.

The gist: Sound that is said to strike a near perfect balance between tube and solid state.

Price: $1995

Website: www.cocktailaudio.com

Al said: Cocktail Audio’s Swiss-Army-knife approach to designing the X35 music system has resulted in a winning proposition for those looking to reduce their systems’ footprints without compromising their performance.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! Simplifi review.

The gist: A list of features a mile long.

Price: $700

Website: www.control4.com

Al said: The Triad One is an affordable way to enter the world of Control4, a leading platform for home automation and A/V system control.

Read the SoundStage! Simplifi review.

The gist: Enter the world of the Smart-home hi-fi amplifier.

Price: $2000

Website: www.hegel.com

Sathyan said: Including the SoundEngine technology of upmarket Hegel models, the H90 punches well above the level you might expect from a DAC-integrated at its price -- Hegel’s attention to dynamics, detail, and transparency shone through. The Hegel H90 is well worth hearing.

Read the SoundStage! Access review.

The gist: Solid way to spend two grand on your hi-fi.

Price: $10,000

Website: www.mcintoshlabs.com

Jeff said: When the fit’n’finish that McIntosh has lavished on the MA9000 is factored in, the result is the most easily recommendable product I’ve reviewed in years -- a Reviewers’ Choice with a bullet, and an early leader in our 2018 race for Product of the Year.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! Ultra review.

The gist: Retro looks, super sound, and impressive functionality . . . and it has blue meters.

Price: $5999

Website: www.musicalfidelity.com

Al said: The main attraction of Musical Fidelity’s M6 Encore 225 is its outstanding sound quality -- in this case, performance lives up to price. And with built-in CD ripping, Tidal and Spotify streaming, and a pledge from Musical Fidelity to introduce future software updates and enhancements, the M6 Encore 225 is a solid bet for an all-in-one music system.

Read the SoundStage! Simplifi review.

The gist: Audiophile-oriented all-in-one-type product.

Price: $549

Website: www.nadelectronics.com

Thom said: If you’re not someone who fiddles with tone controls, if your listening room is of reasonable size and your speakers are of at least moderate sensitivity, I recommend the NAD C 328. It’s a superb integrated amplifier-DAC.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! Access review.

The gist: Unbelievable amount of quality for the money.

Price: $1199

Website: www.peachtreeaudio.com

Al said: Peachtree Audio’s decco125 Sky is packed with useful features, including a built-in phono stage and Wi-Fi streaming. It also offers impressive sound quality for an $1199 integrated amplifier-DAC, sounding great with everything I played, from LPs and streamed playlists to “sad church music” on CD.

Read the SoundStage! Simplifi review.

The gist: A few operational quirks keep it from being a knockout product.

Price: $2100

Website: www.simaudio.com

Philip said: Simaudio’s Moon 240i is set apart by the high level of quality you get for its low price of $2100.

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: Add to good sound lots of features and a ten-year warranty and you have a winner.

Price: $23,500

Website: www.ta-hifi.de

Jeff said: Not only did I really enjoy my time with the PA 3100 HV -- I could easily envision my no-compromise self living with one long term. I bet you’d feel the same way.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! Ultra review.

The gist: Big, expensive, great integrated amplifier.

Price: $999

Website: www.technics.com

Al said: With the Ottava f SC-C70, Technics has created a sleek-looking all-in-one system that combines wired and wireless streaming with CD playback.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! Simplifi review.

The gist: Technics is something cool again!

Price: Base unit AU$4495, as tested AU$16,355 

Website: www.vinnierossi.com

Edgar said: LIO is an exceptional performer through all the configurations tested. It’s natural, smooth yet resolving, capable of great transient attack, pleasingly – and only marginally – mellow-sounding through the midrange and highs while being a strong walloper with its tight and fast bass. Its tonal accuracy and harmonic decay is exemplary too.

Read the SoundStage! Australia review.

The gist: Literally make it exactly what you want it to be.

Price: AU$22,000

Website: www.vitusaudio.com

Edgar said: Along with a handful of ultimate integrated amplifiers, the Vitus Audio RI-101 commands a recalibration of what an integrated amplifier is capable of achieving in terms of performance. Consequently, it would make for a thoroughly satisfying entry into the ranks of the very best amplification available.

Read the SoundStage! Australia review.

The gist: Competes with some of the best amplification regardless of cost.

Price: AU$22,000

Website: www.vitusaudio.com

Edgar said: the Vitus Audio RI-101 is a stupendous sonic performer, excelling at the vividness and life of music while sustaining its tonal beauty, midrange purity and exerting tight-fisted control over its prodigious output in terms of dynamics and its low frequencies output

Read the SoundStage! Australia review.

The gist: Monster integrated that hangs with big separates.

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