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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: $4499

Website: www.anthemav.com

Roger said: I can’t overstate how impressed I was by the execution of its overall design. In my years as an audio reviewer, the STR Integrated is one of the most impressive examples of a fully fledged audio product I’ve come across.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: Anthem Room Correction puts this powerful integrated over the top.

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: $15,450

Website: www.gryphon-audio.dk

Uday said: Ayre’s AX-5 Twenty has long been my favorite integrated amplifier. But unless there’s a plan to include an optional DAC module in the Ayre, I now have to recommend the Diablo 120. “Our higher goal is to bring to the listener a ‘You-Are-There’ sensation”? Mission accomplished, Gryphon.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: The smallest beast from Denmark’s Gryphon.

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: $399

Website: www.nadelectronics.com

Brent said: Its sound is comparable to that of the far more expensive and powerful gear I normally use, and it’s so refreshingly simple to operate that the mere lack of frustration on the user’s part has to be worth something.

Read the SoundStage! Access review.

The gist: Values sound over features, and costs a pittance.

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: $399

Website: www.nadelectronics.com

Sathyan said: As was its ancestor the 3020, the D 3020 V2 is an affordable entry to the audio hobby, and is well suited to powering a small system for very little outlay.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! Simplifi review.

The gist: Adds Bluetooth and phono capabilities to a classic design.

Price: $2499

Website: www.nadelectronics.com

Vince said: NAD’s T777 V3 is an excellent audio/video receiver that includes most of the features you’d want in a centerpiece for your home theater.

Read the SoundStage! Access review.

The gist: The Dirac room correction and strong amp are the selling points here.

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: AU$25,000

Website: www.soulution-audio.com

Edgar said: The Soulution 330 is a superb example of the integrated amplifier craft. I'm expecting big things from Soulution in the future and am very curious to see what's next from this Swiss wizard.

Read the SoundStage! Australia review.

The gist: Very engaging sound from this expensive integrated amp.

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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