E&OE Copyright 2010-
Integrated Amps over £1,000
To gauge its sound I spent time going between the Brio-
Whilst it’s true that the Elicit-
Croft Integrated R
This is the top of the range Croft Integrated amplifier. As you would expect of Croft products at this level the power supply is complex and highly regulated which gives a forceful and potent presentation. Naturally this is built in the standard croft casework and due to the size of the power supply there is no space for an onboard phono stage, so this model is is live level only.
A version with a single volume control in place of the dual mono controls are also available, please click here for pictures
Croft Integrated R line level integrated amplifier: £1,800.00
The Elicit mk5 is an all new model that by all accounts owes a lot of its design to the more expensive Aethos model. Inside it combines a new discrete FET pre amp stage with a high quality alps volume control, a chunky toroidal power transformer and selected audiophile parts. It’s a similarly powerful design to its predecessor (105 watts into 8 Ohms), so more than sufficient to drive all but the most demanding of speakers.
Froma features perspective the greatest change is the addition of two digital inputs (optical and coaxial) which adds some convenience for those that need it. A headphone socket is also now included.
More details to follow shortly.
Rega Elicit mk5 amplifier: £2,000.00
The Audion Sterling EL34 uses a single EL34 per channel in single ended topology, producing 12 watts per channel. Like all good single ended amplifiers these have remarkable speed and openness, and an ability to drive speakers that belies their low rated power output. This amplifier features 6 line level inputs
Two versions are available, the mk1 which has uses a PCB and the Anniversary (pictured above and below) which is hard wired and features superior components, output transformers and polished top plate.
Both models are exceptional at their respective price points, with speed, dynamics and musicality in spades. You really do need to hear what they can do to your system!
Audion Sterling EL34 mk1 integrated: £1,908.00
Audion Sterling EL34 mk1 integrated with remote control volume: £2,395.00
Audion Sterling EL34 Anniversary integrated: £2,378.00
Audion Sterling EL34 Anniversary integrated with remote control volume: £2,865.00
Pure Sound A30-
The original A30 was in successfully in production for 13 years, testament to a design that was ‘right’. The new ‘R’ version simply evolves the recipe. So the core design, with its triode 6N8P (a 6SN7 equivalent) and 6N9P (a 6SL7 equivalent) for input and phase splitting duties feeding 6550 output valves in class A push pull (switchable between Triode and Ultralinear remains unchanged. A new output transformer is used, with improved lamination material and revised winding techniques which results in wider bandwidth, output remains at 30 watts in Ultra linear setting. Two mains transformers replace the original single one, so now the filament supplies are run separately from the HT supply, this helps lower the running temperature. The two valve rectifiers (5Z3P/5U4G equivalents) and choke smoothing remains unchanged.
It features auto bias so there’s no need to make any adjustments when changing output valves and it uses high quality parts in the signal path.
A remote control of volume and muting adds some additional convenience, and the inclusion of an extra input (it has 4 line level inputs) makes it even more flexible. A valve cage is included, as pictured below.
Pure Sound A30-
The Aethos is a beautifully built integrated amplifier which fits in the range between the Elicit-
It’s line level only, so vinyl users will need a separate phono stage, but it does feature a headphone socket and naturally comes with a remote control.
The resulting sound is big and bold, more akin to a giant Elex in presentation than the Elicit and with the ability to grab difficult to drive speakers very effectively.
Audio Note Oto SE
The Oto SE integrated amplifier uses EL84 valves in parallel single ended configuration, producing an output of 10 watts and is available with or without an internal an all valve MM phono stage. It’s all housed within the classic Audio Note casework which is available with either a black acrylic or brushed aluminium fascia. As you’d expect with a good single ended amplifier the sound is punchy and dynamic, whilst still being very natural and expansive. It may lack the completely grain less mid band of a 300B SE amplifier but it’s an exceptionally neat package and so involving to listen to that dissecting the minutiae of its performance seems to be missing the point. The phono stage is a very good quality design too, and not simply an afterthought like many. A fractionally more powerful push pull version is available, but we would always recommend this SE version for the best sound quality.
Audio Note Oto SE Line integrated amplifier: £POA at manufacturers request
Audio Note Oto SE Phono integrated amplifier: £POA at manufacturers request
Audion Silver Night 300BSE integrated
The Silver Night is one of our favourite sounding amplifiers -
It uses one 300B directly heated triode output valve per channel driven by a 6H23/6922 input valve and has 6 line level inputs.
Don’t let its apparent low power put you off, it is not only exceptionally fast and potent sounding but also as open and airy as only a good single ended design can be.
The Anniversary is hard wired, features a large choke filtered power supply, high grade audio components and a very serious pair of output transformers -
The picture above is of the power amplifier version, the integrated option has a row of toggle switches to select between the 5 inputs.
Audion Silver Night 300BSE Anniversary: £3,528
Audion Silver Night 300BSE Anniversary with remote control volume: £4,015