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Monday, 02 February 2009 ,  Written by Julianne Stilson
Plinius Tautoro Preamplifier
The Basics:Preamplifiers are essential elements in the audio chain for sound systems and home theaters. The Plinius Tautoro is on the top tier of high-end preamplifiers in with high –quality manufacturing and design. However, it is also on the top tier of price tags at an MSRP of $8,395.The Plinius Tautoro’s exceptional construction and design features simple front / side panels which are ergonomically sound. The source selection buttons are adequately lit and appropriately sized. The front panel also features a volume control wheel that is both big and tactile. You will also find a ¼” headphone jack that is, despite being traditionally standard, very rare in many of today’s models. Moreover, turning the Plinius Tautoro around, the rear panel has well-organized, high-quality WBT socketry.As a multi-source, superior system, the Plinius Tautoro features generous input and output options for easy, ...
Tuesday, 08 April 2008 ,  Written by AVRev.com
Conrad Johnson CT6 Composite Triode Stereo Preamplifier
Introduction Conrad Johnson is one of most well-known and respected names in the world of tubed audio gear. The CT6 preamplifier reviewed here is the result of trickle-down technology from the company’s famous ACT preamplifier, which itself descends from the legendary ART preamplifier. At $5,000, it is roughly a third of the price of the current ACT II preamplifier that shares its composite triode circuit design. For those of you interested in a technical description of this circuit, I recommend a look at the Conrad Johnson website, which provides more information on this circuit design. The Upside Turning on the CT6, I was surprised by the long wait for the unit to warm up, during which no control input is accepted.  I quickly learned to simply leave the unit on and muted in between a day’s listening sessions.
Friday, 01 June 2007 ,  Written by Jerry Del Colliano
Krell Evolution 202 Stereo Preamplifier
Introduction I have owned various Krell amplifiers in my reference systems over the years, each providing hours upon hours of listening joy. Recently, Krell has released a new top-of-the-line lineup of gear under the Evolution moniker that speaks to those for a need for the best of the best and a willingness to pay for it. The review system under evaluation is comprised of a $10,000 Krell Evolution 505 SACD player with 24-bit 192 DACs, a $15,000 Krell Evolution 202 two-chassis stereo preamp and the monstrous Krell Evolution 900 monaural amplifiers at $20,000 each, or $40,000 for the stereo pair as reviewed. My review samples are done in Krell’s signature silver finish, which is breathtakingly beautiful out of the rack and poised on a simple table as it is installed in my reference system. Set-up To start, it is important to note that the Krell Evolution 900 power amps are nothing short of huge. With a travel ...
Friday, 01 June 2007 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
McIntosh C220 Stereo Preamplifier
Introduction Ask someone who was into audio in the early days of high end for the names of their favorite high-end audio brands and McIntosh is bound to be mentioned in their first breath. McIntosh has been an icon in the high-end audio world for over 50 years. McIntosh components have long been recognizable by their elegant black glass faceplates, silver trimmed knobs and blue back-lighting. McIntosh’s newest and least expensive preamplifier, the C220, combines the Old World luxury McIntosh is so well known for with modern performance features, all without breaking the bank. The C220 is a full-featured, tube-based stereo preamplifier that retails for a reasonable $3,300. Some may categorize the C220 as a purist design, as it makes no accommodations for multi-channel or home theater integration as most $3,000 preamps do. However, to consider the C220 a simple stereo preamplifier would be to severely underestimate it. As you will see below, the C220 is ...
Thursday, 01 January 2004 ,  Written by Augie Bettencourt
Krell KCT Stereo Preamplifier
Introduction Krell built its reputation on building big, powerful amplifiers with massive amounts of power reserves, tremendous transient response and bullet-proof build quality. Although the Krell name is best known for its amplifiers, Krell has also built preamplifiers since its beginnings in 1980. The Krell KCT preamplifier is the finest preamplifier Krell has to offer and is the result of the development of Krell’s best amplifier, the Krell Master Reference Amplifier. The question for many well-heeled audio enthusiasts is, does a well-engineered amplifier design translate into equally well-engineered preamplifier design? As I unboxed the Krell KCT preamplifier, the cliché “built like a tank” was the first thought that came to mind. The Krell KCT is a visually striking piece of equipment, with a great sense of industrial design and ergonomics. At $8,500, this preamp is immensely expensive although priced comparably or less than other “statement” preamplifier offerings such as Mark Levinson No. 32 (about $12,000) or ...
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