Purity Audio Design ReferencePrice: $8895

Website: www.purityaudiodesign.com

Michael said: The Reference drew from recordings a great deal of detail and information, but it also made me want to just sit back and be entertained -- it let me connect with the music. If you’re looking for a preamplifier at or anywhere near $9000, Purity Audio Design’s Purity Reference should be on your short list.

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Read the Ultra Audio review.

The gist: A reference tube preamp from a newcomer on the scene.