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Integrated Amps up to £999
Edwards Audio Apprentice IA & IA1
The Apprentice IA and the IA1 are two fantastic new ‘entry level’ integrated amplifiers. They’re hand made in the UK, feature an MM phono input, 3 line level inputs (two via RCA connectors and one on a 3.5mm socket on the front) and a 6.3mm headphone socket output. It uses a proper linear power supply and discrete output stage producing 30 watts per channel.
The only difference between the Apprentice IA and the IA1 models is that the latter has remote control of the volume and mute, in all other respects they are the same -
The acrylic casework is available in a variety of striking colours too (see list below).
Dimensions: H: 60mm, W:180mm, D:290mm
Inputs: 3 line level (2 x RCA, 1 x 3.5mm) and 1 MM phono inputs
Remote control: see prices below
Finish: Black, Red, White, Blue, Green, Grey gloss acrylic
Edwards Audio Apprentice IA integrated amplifier: £369.95
Edwards Audio IA1 integrated amplifier (as above with remote control volume): £429.95
The Io amplifier has a blend of useful features -
The end result is a diminutive amplifier (just 180mm wide, 68mm tall and 290mm deep) that produces a much bigger and better sound than you’d ever likely to expect at this price level. It’s a fun, foot tapping amplifier which is eminently listenable and is the ideal foundation for putting together a great sounding hi-
Dimensions: H:68mm, W:180mm, D:290mm
Inputs: 2 line level and 1 MM phono inputs
Remote control: Included
Rega Io integrated amplifier: £420.00
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-
Rega Brio integrated amplifier: £549.00
Musical Fidelity M2si
The M2si is the starting point in the Musical Fidelity range of integrated amplifiers. It’s a powerful integrated amplifier with multiple line level inputs, pre amp outputs and a home theatre pass through. There’s no internal phono stage line level amplifier but this allows the most money to be spent on the power supply and output stage. A remote control is naturally included and there’s a hone
More details to follow shortly.
Finishes: Black or Silver fascia
Musical Fidelity M2si integrated amplifier: £699.00
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-
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
The Leak name has been absent for many years but has now returned under the auspices of IAG, the firm that controls many classic British brand names. The Leak Stereo 130, from no more than a few feet away looks the spitting image of the original Stereo 30. Up close details give it away, but it has the classic look and proportions yet with entirely modern internals.
In terms of features, there’s not a lot that the Stereo 130 can’t do, it has an MM phono stage for your turntable, and a DAC with USB input, optical and coaxial connections and Bluetooth, making it a neat solution for those with limited space who want something that combines good performance with classic retro styling.
Two versions are available, one with an exposed metal enclosure and the other sleeves in wood -
A matching CD Transport is also available.
Leak Stereo 130 integrated amplifier metal sleeve: £749.95
Leak Stereo 130 integrated amplifier with wood sleeve: £849.95
Musical Fidelity M3si
The M3si follows a long line of very highly regarded integrated amplifiers from Musical Fidelity. This model includes an MM phono stage and 24/96 USB input DAC,along with 4 line level inputs (one of which can be used as a home theatre un attenuated pass through), pre out and line level out, and naturally a remote control is included. A substantial power supply means the amplifier can drive a wide variety of speakers.
Sonic impressions to follow shortly, but at its price point this is a very strong amplifier that should be on anyone's shortlist.
Finishes: Black or Silver fascia
Musical Fidelity M3si integrated amplifier: £999.00