Mono, stereo and multichannel power amplifiers over $5000 reviewed on the SoundStage! Network in 2010. All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted and are accurate at the time of the review.

The entries are shown alphabetically by company name.

Ayre MX-RPrice: $18,500 per pair

Website: www.ayre.com

Peter said: The MX-R monoblock amplifiers signified the dawning of a new era at Ayre. With their prodigious power capabilities, they can drive the difficult loads of low-sensitivity speakers with aplomb. Most important, however, they deliver the sonic goods, possessing that very rare ability to communicate in captivating fashion even the music on less-than-stellar recordings. That multiple tube fanatics of my acquaintance have ditched their tube power amps in favor of MX-Rs says it all.


Read the Ultra Audio review.

The gist: Compact design, reference sound.

201007_ear890Price: $7595

Website: www.ear-usa.com

Garrett said: . . . with fine fit and finish in England, and a product of the duly deliberated engineering of electronics wizard Tim de Paravicini, the EAR 890 is indeed an amp for all seasons.

Read the Ultra Audio review.

The gist: Treat your ears to EAR power.

201005_esoteric_a03Price: $14,000

Website: www.esoteric.teac.com

Randall said: If you’re in the market for a new stereo amplifier and can afford an A-03, you may find it to be the last amplifier you ever buy. I fell in love with this amp from the moment I pulled it out of its box.


Read the SoundStage! review.

The gist: A very sweet 50Wpc in an equally sweet package.

201008_titanPrice: $30,000

Website: www.musicalfidelity.com

Jeff said: The Musical Fidelity Titan kicks butt. It is competitive in every sonic category you could name, and moves ahead of the competition in some. One thing that should give prospective owners confidence is the notion that they can choose whichever speakers tickle their fancy, with no regard for their power requirements.


Read the Ultra Audio review.

The gist: Big bass, big power, for a big system.

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