Pre-Power Am­pli­fiers of the Year

Pre-Power Am­pli­fiers of the Year

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We could fill this small space left avail­able by the prod­uct’s enor­mous brand plus model name in talk­ing merely about the nee­dle dis­plays, or the best-look­ing vol­ume con­trol we’ve ever seen (black sur­round and cop­per-coloured in­lay, and ac­tu­ally a ro­tary en­coder that drives a stepped pre­ci­sion re­sis­tor lad­der via high-lin­ear­ity re­lays). The Pro­gres­sion Pream­pli­fier has a DAC op­tion, which is a first for Dan D’Agostino, while its main cir­cuitry is all dis­crete, fully-com­ple­men­tary and bal­anced from in­put to out­put, and neg­a­tive feed­back is not used, yet the cir­cuit is so clean that Dan D’Agostino says its band­width ex­tends be­yond 100kHz, and that THD mea­sures lower than 0.006%. In the stereo power amp (with that mag­nif­i­cant com­bi­na­tion me­ter, in­spired by Swiss watches, we gather), D’Agostino’s Su­per Rail tech­nol­ogy en­sures the out­put of the Pro­gres­sion am­pli­fier could never be starved of volt­age — the power sup­ply com­prises a near-3000VA 240V trans­former and a ca­pac­i­tor bank with a stor­age ca­pac­ity of 400,000µF. Nor are you ever likely to run out of power to drive your speak­ers — what­ever they may be — be­cause the out­put stage here uses 24 bipo­lar out­put tran­sis­tors per chan­nel, which Dan D’Agostino says will de­liver 300W into eight ohms, down to 1200W into two.

D’Agostino has never been shy about charg­ing what he thinks his prod­ucts are worth. The pream­pli­fier costs some $33,995 (and add $6895 to in­clude the DAC mod­ule), and the power am­pli­fier also $33,995. But if you want the best... More info: www.ad­vanceau­dio.com.au

JUDGES’ COM­MENT “A stereo preamp and stereo power amp that not only de­liver the very heights of hi-fi per­for­mance, but look awe­somely de­sir­able into the bar­gain.”

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