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Integrated  Amps up to £999

Project Stereo Box S Phono

The Stereo Box S Phono is something we’ve been hoping that Project would make for quite a while. It’s effectively the same amplifier as the Stereo Box S featured above but in a slightly larger chassis to accommodate the addition of an onboard phono stage. This makes it ideal for anyone into vinyl with a limited budget and a lack of space.


Above: please click on the pictures to enlarge

The sound it produces is clean and crisp, which is a nice change from some of the overly soft sounding competition. The phono stage is, as you’d expect from Project, a good sounding circuit, which suits the amplifier perfectly. Two line level inputs and a remote control are also included, and it’s available with either a silver or a black fascia.

If you partner it with a reasonably efficient pair of speakers (circa 88dB and upwards for relatively nearfield use) then it will be the heart of a great budget system.

Project Stereo Box S Phono amplifier: £219.00

Rega Io

We’ve been really excited about the idea of the Io ever since it was mooted some months ago. It will be an all new entry level amplifier from Rega, opening up their wonderful amplifier designs to an all new market. Details are currently rather limited, we know it will have a phono stage and a remote control along with some line level inputs and a headphone socket. It will be made in the UK and is scheduled for release sometime around February 2020.

Rega Io integrated amplifier: Price TBC


Edwards Audio Apprentice IA-5

The IA-5 is an incredibly high value for money amplifier. Built in UK and housed in a half width case, there’s a substantial 200VA transformer at the heart of this amplifier, and I feel it’s this that helps give the amplifier its involving, toe tapping sound. There’s a natural warmth to the presentation too, which is thanks to the care an attention involved with component selection, the result of hours of listening sessions.

There are 5 line level inputs and a line output (for a headphone amplifier or tape output), and the option to add a high quality phono stage board (this can be done at the point of manufacture or at a later date, this uses up one of the 5 inputs).

Dimensions: H:100mm, W:240mm, D:360mm

Inputs: 4 line level with optional phono stage, see pricing below

Remote control: None

Edwards Audio Apprentice IA-5 amplifier: £499.95

Edwards Audio Apprentice IA-5P amplifier with MM phono stage: £549.95

Edwards Audio IA-MM Moving Magnet phono stage option board, if purchased separately: £69.95

Edwards Audio IA-MC high grade MC phono stage option board: £249.95

Project MaiA S2

Like the ‘Stereo Box S’ featured above, the Maia is another miniature amplifier from Project. The Maia features a slightly more powerful output as well as even greater functionality. It has a total of 9 inputs including an MM phono stage, bluetooth input for music streaming, 2 optical inputs, one coaxial digital input, USB (asynchronous) and 3 analogue line level inputs. The internal DAC is 24bit/192kHz capable, so will cope with most formats. There’s also a headphone socket and remote control too, making it the ideal amplifier for a multi source system for anyone with limited space.


Dimensions (W x H x D):  206 x 36 x 200mm (220mm W/Sockets)

Finishes: Silver or Black

Project MaiA S2 integrated amplifier: £435.00

Rega Brio

The Brio has been revised for 2017 and features a few key changes. Firstly the new case design points to the future of Rega half width case designs, with a new curved fascia and back panel. Gone is the steel top and bottom of the chassis, replaced by aluminium, this removal of ferrous materials normally results in improved sound quality and should also increase heat sinking. A headphone socket is included on the fascia, with Rega claiming to have paid great attention to ensure it does not detract from the main speaker outputs. The power supply has also been tweaked, with reduced interaction between the output stage and low level stages by the addition of a new supply stage, and the parts quality has been increased even further.

Sonically this build upon the previous generation, which was already one of our favourites. The new model sounds a little cleaner and better resolved than the outgoing one, you can still hear the Brio-R DNA, as you would hope, but overall there has been a small lift in overall performance, which ultimately makes it the amplifier to beat at anywhere near this price point.

Rega Brio integrated amplifier: £599.00

Edwards Audio IA-6

The IA-6 amplifier is a more powerful and improved version of the IA-7 featured above. The IA-6 features higher grade parts including a very substantial 250VA mains transformer. This helps increases the output to 65 watts per channel and provides an even more authoritative sound. There are also gains in timing and resolution, making this an extremely strong amplifier at this price level. It includes a remote control and has the option of an external phono stage.

Dimensions: H:100mm, W:240mm, D:360mm

Inputs: 4 line level with optional phono stage, see pricing below

Remote control: Included (volume and mute)

Edwards Audio Apprentice IA-6 amplifier: £699.95

Edwards Audio Apprentice IA-6P amplifier with MM phono stage: £749.95

Edwards Audio IA-MM Moving Magnet phono stage option board, if purchased separately: £69.95

Edwards Audio IA-MC high grade MC phono stage option board: £249.95

Puresound A10

The A10 is the entry level integrated amplifier from Pure Sound. The design uses 6N3 dual triodes driving a pair of EL84 valves running in push-pull for each channel which produce 10 watts per channel. It has two line level inputs and switchable speaker impedance for both 4 and 8 Ohms.

Above: The A10 now comes with an attractive acrylic valve cage.

This amplifier is simply great fun. It’s very involving to listen to and has performance that is unheard of at this price point which makes it a bit of bargain, whether it’s going to be used in your main system or perhaps in a second system. This amplifier now comes with a removable valve cage.

Pure Sound A10 integrated amplifier: £729.95

Croft Acoustics integrated amplifiers

The Croft integrated amplifier is available as either a line level version or with an excellent MM phono stage included. Housed in the same chassis as the rest of the range, the integrated effectively features a Series 7 power amplifier stage - a hybrid design using a triode driving a mosfet output stage. As you’d expect with Croft, these amplifiers are completely hand made in the UK and do not feature circuit boards, with everything being wired point to point. The sound it produces is dynamic and punchy, with plenty of bite yet tempered by good levels of refinement and resolution. For the price we think it has unbeatable performance, and its ability to shrug off difficult or insensitive speaker loads is quite remarkable too.

A version with a single volume control in place of the dual mono controls are also available, please click here for pictures

Croft Acoustics Integrated Line version: £935.00

Croft Acoustics Integrated phono version £1,100.00

Rega Elex -R

The Elex-R is an amplifier that falls between the ever popular Brio-R and the Elicit-R models, and as you’d probably expect it is closely related to both. For a start the basic circuit topology is common to the three models, and with the Elex-R you get a bigger transformer than the Brio-R combined with the full size case, power circuit and uprated phono stage of the Elicit-R.

To gauge its sound I spent time going between the Brio-R, Elex-R and Elicit-R (via CD to avoid the differences in phono stages) and it was fascinating to hear a sound evolve throughout a range so closely tied by design. Comparatively speaking, if the Brio-R has an obvious character is that it’s a little muddled and grainy in the lower mid, although it’s something that really doesn’t get in the way musically and if anything adds an appealing warmth to the sound. The Elex-R banishes this, sounding much cleaner, more potent and in control, in a very similar fashion to the Elicit-R.

Whilst it’s true that the Elicit-R offers even greater refinement, resolution and detail, it’s also a touch cooler in tone and not as tolerant of lesser recordings. When you start to consider the price, the Elex-R really does make a very good case for being the sweet spot in the range, offering a really nice blend of the toe tapping involvement of the Brio-R with the more mature presentation of the Elicit-R.

Rega Elex-R integrated amplifier: £949.00

Integrated Amplifiers over £1,000

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