Not just the heart of a sys­tem, the brains too

No longer pow­er­house of your sys­tem, the in­te­grated stereo amp now comes with blue­tooth, hi-res sup­port and more. but is it still all about the per­for­mance?

What Hi-Fi (UK) - - Contents -

Stereo amplifiers are try­ing to outgrow their 20th cen­tury role as sim­ply the pow­er­house of hi-fi sys­tems. For many, it’s not just about power out­put or how nice the vol­ume dial is any more, but the fea­tures they have: Blue­tooth? A DAC? Hi-res sup­port?

Our cur­rent Award-win­ner, the Rega Elex-r, doesn’t play this game, but it has bowled over the com­pe­ti­tion on per­for­mance alone to claim two con­sec­u­tive What Hi-fi? Awards in the sub-£1000 cat­e­gory. But in the face of this year’s new wave of bet­ter-spec­i­fied amps from the likes of leg­endary amp pur­vey­ors Cyrus and Audiolab, can it go on to make it a third?

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