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INTEGRATED AMPLIFIERS - UNDER £300
PRICES SHOWN ARE THOSE AT THE TIME OF REVIEW
Integrated Amps
£
Year
Verdict
Alchemist Maxim £299 Mar 96 Fluid and musical but upper bass is a little dry. Useful phono stage with but with a little sibilance and ringing.
AMC 3025 £150 Nov 96 A lot for very little money - sweet sound and good build make the AMC 3025 a great starter amp.
AMC 3050A £170 Feb 98 Offers plenty of power for the money but sound quality is not class leading.
Arcam Alpha 5 plus £250 Oct 96  Good with efficient loudspeakers but generally needs more power and control.
Arcam Alpha One £230 Jan 99 In a smooth system with a warmish bias the Alpha One makes a strong case for itself.
Aura VA80 SEx £250 Mar 96 The Aura has a smooth, civilised sound with fine detail. Bass punch really rolls along. Good phono stage.
Cambridge A1 MkIII integ £100 Jul 98 Involving and finely detailed, the Cambridge pushes forward the boundaries for inexpensive amps.
Cambridge A5 £150 Sep 02 A bargain in almost every respect. So good, you will hardly notice the lack of a remote control. Sounds more expensive than it really is.
Denon PMA 250SE £160 Feb 97 A mix of control, delicacy and detail allows it to excel with any music.
Denon PMA 255UK £140 Sep 02  Big, powerful sound is only slightly marred by the slightly hard sound. Excellent material value for money.
Denon PMA 350SE £200 Apr 00 Musical and exceptionally sweet phono stage. No tone controls or remote.
Denon PMA 355UK £230 Feb 01 An exciting sound with excellent drive and bass. A sometimes harsh treble and slight lack of cohesion stop top honours though. Good value.
Denon PMA 425R £230 Sep 96 Good drive, punch and an open soundstage, but suffers from confusion plus a thin midrange and treble.
Harman Kardon HK610 £180 Jun 95 Thorough-going down to earth liveliness. Bright but clean which gives appealing vivacity.
Harman Kardon HK620 £280 Oct 95 Not quite a giant killer, the Harman is nevertheless a good solid budget buy.
Harman Kardon HK670 £250 Mar 02 Great sense of power and grip but sometimes sacrifices subtelty and detail for outright attack.
Kenwood KAF-1030 £155 Sep 02 If you have bass-heavy speakers, the Kenwood could well smooth things out. An expressive treble sometimes wins through.
Kenwood KAF-3030R £249 Mar 01 A lot of amp for the money, with a tidy and enjoyable sound. Not the audiophile number one, but a fine real world budget product nontheless.
Marantz PMA 4000 £130 Apr 00 Top honours in value for money. Neutral and exciting
Marantz PM610 OSE £200 Sep 02 A rock-oriented amplifier that can sound fantastic if it is carefully mixed with well-matched CD and speakers.
Musical Fidelity E11 £299 Feb 98 A very capable integrated with a smoothness and warmth predisposed to classical rather than rock.
NAD 304 £239 Apr 95 Fine quality bass but rather lackadaisical as regards timing. Phono stage moderate. Needs careful matching.
NAD 310 £130 Jan 95 Good detail and a spacious open sound gives acoustic music and the majority of rock superb clarity. 
NAD C320 £200 Apr 99 Younger sibling of the famous 3020 with many of its virtues to boot. Pre-eminently balanced and natural.
NAD C350 £300 Dec 00 The C350 has a lot going for it. A well balanced and natural sounding amplifier that's hard to better at £300.
Onkyo A-9211 £200 Sep 02 Strong, loud and up-front with a decent phono stage. Perhaps a bit too up-front.
Pioneer A103 £130 Mar 95 Luxuriant presentation doesn't compensate for the tendency to un-rhythmic effects. MM phono stage.
Pioneer A207R £150 Apr 00 Overall detail good, bass slightly thin, good phono stage.
Pioneer A-209R £140 Sep 02 Feature packed fast-paced amplifier that is a bit too inconsistant but plays a mean up-beat rhythm.
Pioneer A300X £230 Apr 95 Another highly capable all-rounder although a touch sterile sounding for some tastes.
Pro-ject 7 £259 Apr 95 On a budget, the Pro-ject has strong merit, including an excellent phono stage. Not for all systems.
Rega Brio £298 Sep 01 A fine performer for the price with a lively and precise sound, plus a decent phono stage to boot!
Rotel RA 970BX £250 Oct 96 Fresh sound with sharp attack. A slight midrange emphasis can make certain music sound rather forward.
Rotel RA 931 £150 Dec 98 For the money thereís no faulting such a gifted performer.
Rotel RA 931 Mk2 £175 Apr 00 Slightly 'flatter' than its predecessor with less depth to the sound but still good value.
Sony TAF446E £250 Aug 95 Bright clear and detailed, but needs a touch more refinement to prevail.
Teac A-E2000 £180 Sep 99 Unusual power supply and very clear treble. Mid and bass so-so hot but the Teacís not expensive considering.
Technics SU A700 Mk3 £250 Jan 97 A smooth unassuming sound misses out on the subtlety which brings music to life
Technics SU A707 £250 Sep 02 A very fine phono stage and excellent performance is somewhat marred by the less than inspired overall sound.
INTEGRATED AMPLIFIERS - £300 - £799
Alchemist APD43A Nexus £799 Dec 99 A good looker with a smooth and powerful sound, if a tad sterile. Competition is strong at the price.
Alchemist Axiom £300 Sep 95 Musically rewarding; deserves serious audition. Great British hi-fi on a budget.
AMC 3150A £329 Nov 98 Not the most musical amp ever but good value. The tone controls and balance adjustment will appeal to some.
Arcam Alpha 6+ £350 Jan 96 Full and smooth sound, unfortunately with loose bass.
Arcam Alpha 9 £500 Dec 96 Excellent value. A detailed and open sound gives great atmosphere to all types of music
Arcam A65 £380 Dec 01 A fine amp that offers good audiophile value, but it can be a bit too reserved for its own good.
Arcam A75 £450 Jul 02 Smooth as silk, tactile bass and sweet treble. A very easy and relaxing listen, if a tad laid back at times.
Arcam A85 £699 Apr 01 Exciting integrated with detail, poise and control that can compete with the best under £1000. Excellent facilities and upgrade potential.
Audio Analogue Puccini SE £595 Dec 97 All the main ingredients like rhythm and dynamics present and correct. Natural smoothness and transparency.
Audio Analogue Puccini SE Remote £795 Apr 00 This is the revamped remote control model. Whether you go for plain or pukka Puccini, the results are fast enjoyable and detailed.
Audio Analogue Puccini £595 Sep 97 Excellent sound quality outstrips the competition at up to £1000.
Audio Analogue Puccini Remote £575 Apr 00 This is the revamped remote control model. Whether you go for plain or pukka Puccini, the results are fast enjoyable and detailed.
Audiolab 8000S £700 Dec 97 Powerful hefty sound which doesnít blench when driving awkward loads.
Cairn Aria £450 Oct 99 Looks great and Rocks with the best of them, but treble could be smoother.
Creek 4330 Mk2 SE £499 Jul 02 Fast, powerful and smooth sound, a little warm but very atmospheric. Gripping stuff. Mediocre build.
Croft Troubadour £750 Sep 00 Gives an exceptionally fast sound for valves. Good value with plenty of excitement.
Cyrus 3 £500 Oct 96 Highly refined and detailed performance with a clear well-proportioned soundstage.
Cyrus 5 £500 Aug 00
Jul 02
Good value and well built, with an exciting and very solid-state sound. Could be a little bright for some.
Cyrus 7 £700 Feb 00 Don't judge this amp by it's size. It combines impressive scale with delicacy in an attractive package.
Cyrus Straight Line £398 Nov 98 A good, honest bit of kit with a fine musical sound and no glaring vices.
Densen Beat £650 Dec 97 If a musical adrenaline rush is what you seek, fine. Listening in bulk, rather clinical and cold sounding.
Edmund ESI 10 £400 Apr 99 Solid build and a big sound make the ESI 10 worthy of audition. Not perhaps the transparent at the price.
Exposure 2010 Titanium £599 Feb 01 Audiophilia at a sensible price, with a large, generous sound that's cohesive and controlled. a rocking sound that's not for the faint hearted.
Holfi Audis £750 Jun 98 Powerful and refreshingly pure; a sound investment.
Kenwood KA-7090R £400 Apr 98 Excels with sound staging but lacks subtlety and tonal colour.
LFD Mistral £499 Jun 97 An extremely enjoyable, lucid little amplifier that really gets to the heart of the music.
Marantz PM-66 KI-S £400 Nov 97 An enjoyable and rhythmic sound but may be too lean for some bass-light 'speakers.
Marantz PM-8200 £599 Apr 02 Plenty of clout and projection but has a strangely soulless appeal and some odd colouration.
Marantz 6010 OSE £400 Jun 02 Heavy, deep bass, thin lower midband and flat imaging, but incredible levels of insight and fine upper treble. Immediately impressive.
Monrio Asty RM £500 Aug 99 Attractive integrated that offers a glimpse of real high-end performance. A touch bass light, though.
Munrio Asty £550 Jul 02 Wonderful stage depth, imaging and coherence. Captivating sound, if lacking smoothness.
Monrio MJ £695 Jan 97 An engaging musical performance; sweet overall sound. Doesnít cope with difficult loads so well.
Moth 30 Integrated £320 Jul 95 A big open sound sound sets the Moth apart at this price. Low powered, though. Distinctly amateurish looks.
Musical Fidelity X-A1 £480 Dec 98 Two boxes donít form a pre and power in the X-A1 but the result is nevertheless a winning combination.
Musical Fidelity X-A200R £699 Jul 01 Powerful, musical and incisive, the new MF's formidable blend of strengths makes it a top buy at this price.
Myryad T-40 £399 Nov 98 Couple the Myryad with a warm system and enjoy. Possibly a little lightweight on the Reggae & Rap side.
NAD 317 £470 May 97 With 80 watts on tap, the NAD has power aplenty but is rather dynamically limited and ultimately uninvolving.
NAD C370 £450 Jun 01
Jul 02
Insightful and detailed as well as amazingly powerful, the C370 is a bargain buy for those seeking musical thrills.
Naim Nait £500 May 95 Rather monochromatic with midband emphasis and slightly dry bass. Good imaging but smallish soundstage.
Naim Nait 3R £799 Feb 00 A fast amplifier that sounds exciting and rhythmic. Not for the weak-hearted or laid-back though.
Naim Nait 5 £799 Feb 01 An exquisitely musical, dynamic and punchy sound, but flawed elsewhere. Superb build and ergonomics make it a far more accomplished all-rounder, and one of hi-fi great bargains right now.
Nakamichi RE-10 (receiver) £400 Jul 99 A powerful performer in a competent package that is good value for money. Bettered by good separates though.
Orelle SA 100 £449 Jul 96 Clean, open, active sound. Smooth and detailed with good punch too. One of the best at the price.
Pioneer A-300R Precision £400 Aug 97 A bargain at £400 pure and simple. Outclasses the competition in every area.
Primare A10 £499 Aug 00 A very sweet sounding and musical amplifier. May not suit those with 'heavier' tastes though.
Quad 77 £595 Feb 95 Although classically orientated, the Quad will rock too. Precise  and stable imagery and fidelity to tonal values.
Rega Mira £498 Oct 01 Not the last word in dynamic resolution or bass clout, the Mira is nevertheless impressive when it comes to detail and timbre.
Roksan Candy £475 Jul 02 Big, powerful and open, with surprisingly tight bass. This amplifier blends power and grip with imaging and detail. Excellent.
Roksan Caspian £695 Jun 97 Mixes the best of solid state and valve worlds (without valves!) to produce a seductive sound.
Rose Scion £615 May 97 Great packaging and super sound make the Scion a winner.
Sonneteer Campion £579 Jan 96 Highly detailed and smooth sound. Worth searching out.
Sony TA-FB730R £200 Mar 00 A sturdy workhorse with an exciting and upfront sound but not the most winning of phono stages.
Sony TA-FB920R £300 Feb 99 Partnered correctly to counterbalance its forwardness, the Sony offers a fast, rhythmic presentation.
Tag McLaren 60i £499 Sep 00 The no-frills 60i offers a detailed and dynamic sound rarely found at the price. Excellent value.
Teac ABX7R £700 Jun 96 Big and powerful sound, but a little unsubtle with it.
Technics SE-A900 MkII £300 Mar 99 Nominally a separate pre and power, but the pre canít work alone. Exciting but unsubtle.
Thule Spirit IA60 £450 Nov 99 Benefits from a calm, controlled presentation. Could ideally do with more fire in its veins.
Token K50 £345 Nov 99 Well-specified low-feedback design gives punchy results, if a little unrefined. Well sustained power.
Unico £750 Aug 02 Another stormer from Unison Research - big, beguiling, punchy sound and great build and style make it a true audio bargain!
Valve Audio Exclame £310 Dec 99 The Exclame does an excellent job of being all things to the the audiophile on a budget.
INTEGRATED AMPLIFIERS - £800 - £1500+
Arcam FMJ A32 £1099 Apr 01 A brilliant package, combining great power, fine sound and superb flexibility, but all-out audiophiles should look elsewhere.
ATC SIA2-150 £1250 Sep 01 A fine sounding amp with bags of power. Relays music with good emotion but lacks that last ounce of fluidity to carry it off.
Audio Analogue
Maestro Intergrated
£2500 Oct 01 Plenty of power on tap but it uses it subtly to favour jazz and classical. Build quality is simply superb for the money.
Audionote Soro Se £1999 Mar 95 Needs the right loudspeaker but a good musical presentation is in there somewhere. 
Brinkmann Integrated £2000 Dec 01 A very tasty slice of high-end at a relatively sensible price. Great clarity and detail, but lacks a bit of clout.
Bryston B-60 £1350 Feb 02 Clean and controlled, the B-60 has an impressive way with rhythm. Lacks a bit of low end slam though.
Copland CSA 14 £1099 Apr 96 A sweet and subtle sound. Fine midrange; transparent and open with vocals.
Copland CTA-402 £1500 Mar 01 A great introduction to the joys of valves, but an all rounder it is not. Sweet, beguiling sound that lacks drive and grip. Some will find no better way of making music for the money, others may soon tire of it.
Croft Cameleon £875 Apr 02 An affordable and effective entry into the valve sound. transparent and sweet with good bass but the midrange can sometimes jar.
Densen DM 10 £1299 Jun 95 Dual mono construction gives strong stereo separation. Brutal resolution of detail but not the clearest ever.
Electrocompaniet EC1-4 £1900 Jul 01 The EC1-4 is natural sounding, powerful and transparant. Could be a tad bright and tiring in some systems and competition is tough.
Exposure Super XV £800 Oct 95 A stringy-sounding transistor amp for rock. Build and finish could be better and price lower.
Gamma Rhythm £2499 Jul 96 Partnered with sensible loudspeakers of good bass depth, the Rhythm is capable of impressive performance.
Hegel H1 £1495 Jul 02 Very transparent and coherent sound with great sound staging and detail. Well made but not one for the loudies.
Lavardin IT £3200 Apr 99 Has clarity in spades and an extremely rare tonal purity. Outclasses many transistor alternatives with ease.
Mcintosh MA6800 £3735 Sep 95 A mighty confection of power, facilities and style, and it sounds good to boot.
Moon 1-5 £2500 May 02 Extremely tight, open and authoritive sound make it a joy to listen to. Factor in superb build and brilliant ergonomics, and it's surprisingly good value.
MusicaL Fidelity A3 £850 Aug 01 A level of detail and transparency rare at the price (and higher). The A3 is a class leader in solid state design.
MusicaL Fidelity A3.2 £979 Sep 02 Another MF product that offers muscle and transparancy in abundance. Confident and detailed.
Musical Fidelity A1001 £2499 Jun 98 Awesome power and seismic bass. A very good all-rounder with super-clean sound.
Musical Fidelity A300 £1400 Oct 99 High power integrated with phono. Exquisite manners and power to spare. Sets new standards at the price
Musical Fidelity Nu-Vista M3 £2995 Jan 01 One of the best sounding amplifiers you'll ever hear, the M3 has detail and transparancy beyond comprehension. surely a future classic.
MVL Integral A2 £850 May 99 An excellent performer with any music. Adept at handling subtle details. Difficult to beat at the price.
MVL A2+ £1450 Jun 00 A controlled, powerful sound ensures that the A2+ remains well up in its price range.
Myryad MI 240 £1500 Aug 01 A powerful and detailed sound thats easy to live with, plus great flexibility and features.
Papworth MVH-200 £1200 Jun 99 Very solid, enjoyable amp but not the smoothest top end or the most open sound-staging.
Pathos Classic One £N/A Jul 01 Fantastic looking integrated with a big and lush sound. Good with orchestral and well-mixed rock and pop.
Pathos Classic One £1250 Sep 02 Re-vamped replacement for its lower priced predecessor. Great looking hybrid amp with whisper quiet backgrounds, plus detailed and sweet midrange and treble. Thin sounding with the wrong speakers though, so audition carefully.
Pink Triangle Integral £3995 Jun 02 Superbly musical with plenty of power and bass. Not the most intricate sounding of amps at the price but definitely one for music lovers.
Plinius 8100 £1450 May 01 A crisp looking, well built and powerful integrated with a commendably clean and controlled sound. Definitely one to consider if its the Krell sound you crave.
Red Rose Rosette 1 £2999 Mar 02 Beautiful looking, sweet and confident sounding, the Rosette 1 is a cracking modern solid state amp.
Shearne Phase 2 £800 Apr 97 Even-handed performer deals confidentially with music regardless of genre. Not as smooth as the best.
Sonic Frontiers Anthem £1295 May 98 A characteristically competent and musical integrated. Prefers fairly efficient loudspeakers though.
Sonneteer Alabaster £900 Oct 97 Excellent high-end integrated with a real love of music and plenty of poke.
Teac AB X10 £1000 Sep 95 Very strong all round performer with excellent build and finish. Verging on the expensive though.
Unison Research S2 £995 Sep 00 Mellifluous single ended valve integrated with meticulous manners. Excellent dynamics with the right 'speakers. Too smooth to suit everybody though.
Unison Research S2K £1295 Jan 02 A cracking looking and airy sounding valve amp, though low output means partnering with more sensitive 'speakers.
Unison Research S6 £1600 Apr 01 Beautifully built and voiced amp offering a taste of the high-end at a reasonably affordable price. Superb value for money.
Unison Research
Simply 845
£2950 Mar 98 Allied to all the right 'speakers will handle all musical genres with smoothness and power.
Unison Research Unico 1 £800 Nov 01 A brilliantly musical all rounder, the Unico gives you your cake and lets you eat it, with relish.
 

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