“Zero Feedback, Zero Dead time and bottomless noise floor using Gallium Nitride (GaN) transistors on the ELEMENT 114 Stereo Power Amplifiers from Merrill Audio make it simply one of the best amplifiers available,” claims the latest press release from Merrill Audio, continuing and adding that they are “very excited to release this new advanced technology at a lower price point”.

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Tubes, transistors, mosfets: discussions between audiophiles have long been about the question of what the best device to be interposed between preamplifier and loudspeakers is. Today semiconductor technology offers us equally valid alternatives, and the best option in the opinion of Italian brand Audiozen is the development of silicon carbide mosfets.

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I was really pleased to receive a call from Italian brand Monrio a few months ago asking if we’d be interested in reviewing one of their amplifiers as I’d owned one of their preamplifiers many years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. Here we take a listen to the company’s MC 201 integrated amp with onboard USB DAC and costing £1600.

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Coming from a land down-under (depending on where in the world you reside), Burson makes a wide range of relatively affordable products. Here Janine Elliot takes a listen to their tiny Bang amplifier. Does it offer good bang for its $499 (£599) bucks? 

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Ken Stokes and David Robson take their Nord NC500 power amps for the latestupgrade using the newly available Nord REV D Buffer Boards as used in their MKII Amp with 2590/990 package Sparkos and Sonic Imagery op-amps to compare and contrast the merits of each.  The complete upgrade board with Op Amps are £712.80 with Sonic Imagery 990’s and £658.80 with Sparkos 2590’s including VAT. Extra OP Amps are:  Sparkos£60 each and SI990 £73.80.

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I love factory visits and so when an invitation to Linn in Glasgow dropped onto our virtual doormat I was really quite chuffed. I’ve known, as many of you reading this will have, Linn from my teenage days and reading the mags of the day and lusting after the LP 12, Isobariks etc. Needless to say I ended up owning aforementioned turntable having spent the majority of my first term at university’s grant on a second-hand one (afromosia plinth, no arm and no cartridge). That got swapped, along with my Musical Fidelity The Preamp and Crimson Electric amp, for a pair of Technics 1210s when the acid house craze kicked off and I started my Djing career. For many years I was Linnless (though many will have noticed the fact that the good lady wife is a Lin, though missing an n from the end of her name). I digress but Linn did play a major part in the rekindling of my love of Hifi when about 13 years ago Lin (Mrs Hifi Pig) noticed some Linn gear for sale on a local expat forum. So I was now fully kitted out with an LP12 (this time it had an arm and cartridge), a Karik CD player, Majik amp and a pair of Keilidh speakers. So, to say Linn are somewhat instrumental in the creation of what has become Hifi Pig is a bit of an understatement. More »

Sicily is famed for its lemons.  Fortunately, John Scott discovers that Sicilian amplifier manufacturer Audiozen’s Alchemy amp is a bit of a peach at £3091. More »

Onkyo has announced the A-9110 and A-9130, new integrated stereo amplifiers. More »

APURNA, who we visited in Valence, France, have announced their new stereo amp the Prelude. It will be available from September 2018 in two versions, Power Amplifier and Integrated Amplifier. More »

Aimed at the budget market the Cyrus ONE amp packs a lot of features into its diminutive box, allied with the equally budget friendly ONELinear speakers you have a full system for a little over £1000. Ian Ringstead takes a listen.  More »

The Parasound Halo 2.1 Integrated Amplifier with DAC is a fully featured integrated amplifier with an on-board DAC and much more. David Robson takes a listen to this £2999 well specified amp.  More »

Schiit Audio EU have announced the introduction of its third-generation Lyr headphone amp/preamp. Using Schiit’s new Coherence™ hybrid single-tube/solid state architecture, new Continuity™ constant-transconductance output stage, the same modular design as Jotunheim, Lyr 3 is a dramatic advance in technology, versatility, and convenience say the company. Lyr 3 is available now from Schiit EU  starting at £530 with a Tung-Sol Tube. More »

Leema Acoustics, based in Wales have launched an Anniversary edition of their well received Tucana II integrated amplifier. Hifi Pig takes a listen.  More »

Hand-made in Wales, Leema Acoustics’ new Pulse IV amplifier is a ‘hub’ for contemporary music-listening with turntable connectivity, Bluetooth playback and seven digital inputs enabling a huge range of devices to connect. More »

Based in Wales Leema has a great reputation for designing and building electronics to suit all pockets. Dominic Marsh takes a listen to their Tuscana II Integrated amplifier costing  £3,995. More »

McIntosh, who were founded in the USA in 1949, have announced the MC1.25KW Quad Balanced Power Amplifier. McIntosh told us: “The MC1.25KW is our newest and one of our most advanced amplifiers. Redesigned from top to bottom, it replaces the venerable MC1.2KW as our most powerful single chassis monoblock amplifier. A simple glance at the 158 pound (71.7 kg) MC1.25KW is enough to convey its power and performance capabilities, but when you hear it – then you’ll truly understand what it can do”. More »

The first hybrid integrated amplifier from McIntosh has been announced, the the MA252 Integrated Amplifier. More »

Hailing from The USA the PS Audio Stellar Gain Cell DAC/Preamp & S300 Stereo Power Amplifier cost  $1699 and $1499 respectively. Here the all American duo are reviewed by David Blumenstein. More »

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