$4500 (Current Price is now $3495!)
The combination of the C-Sharp and the Ortofon Quintet Black cartridge produced appealing sound that had rhythmic drive and made nearly everything reviewer AJ spun fun to listen to. Although the EAT lacked the ultimate resolution and neutrality of pricier analog front-ends, AJ still found its “sins” of omission more than acceptable. Indeed, he found himself spending more time listening to complete albums during the review period than what he’d originally allocated for the evaluation.
$3000 (Current Price is now $2495!)
Using Primare’s proprietary UFPD (Ultra Fast Power Device) switching technology, the Primare A34.2 delivers tremendous speed and plenty of power (150Wpc) in a relatively compact, light, and affordable package. Although the A34.2 is certainly capable of slamming hard, driving Magnepan 1.7s with ease, it is also capable of fine resolution and finesse. The stereo A34.2 can be bridged into mono operation for 550W into 8 ohms. Overall, the A34.2 handsomely meets Primare’s design goals for a powerful, ultra-fast, almost noise-free, and pretty neutral amplifier that can easily slip into essentially any stereo or multichannel application.
Dr. Feickert Woodpecker
$6500 ($8000, with ’arm package)
Incorporating a host of purposeful updates, the gorgeous looking Woodpecker proves itself capable of performance appropriate to its good design execution. While having a slightly higher noise floor than much more expensively executed designs, the Woodpecker is a very capable platform for vinyl playback that should serve its owner far into the future.