Price: $7000 per pair
Jeff said: What I can unequivocally say is that the Anthem Statement M1 is darn near the ideal of a straight wire with gain, and at 1000W, that gain is almost unlimited. Is that enough for you? I suspect that, for many listeners, the answer will be an emphatic yes.
The gist: Awesome power, great sound quality, reasonable price.
Roger said: It’s a great-sounding amplifier. I was impressed by the sound quality of this budget-friendly amp, and was more than happy to have it in my reference multichannel system for an extended period.
The gist: Watts-per-dollar champ that sounds good, too.
Price: $1950 each
Tim said: The Calyx Femti does a whole lot right and very little wrong, and does it in a neat, tidy, power- and space-efficient package at a price within reach of many audiophiles. In the world of power amplifiers, less indeed seems to be becoming more.
The gist: Class D continues its impressive evolution.
Doug said: The Copland CTA 506 is a modern-day implementation of tube technology with a thoroughly enjoyable sound that retains the best aspects of tubed designs while doing an admirable job of avoiding the technology’s weaknesses.
The gist: A solid value in the tube-amplification arena.
Jeff said: I’ve never heard the equal of the Gryphon Mephisto. It combines qualities that seem clearly contradictory: It had the best bass I could imagine, yet could image as precisely as anything I’ve heard. It expanded the soundstage in every direction, yet perfectly retained the midrange purity of a single performer standing dead center in the soundstage. It resolved the finest details of hi-rez recordings, and at the same time presented music in a cohesive, musically enjoyable manner at all times.
The gist: Best solid-state amp Jeff has heard.
Michael said: JE Audio’s Dyad S400 showed itself to be an excellent performer in all respects. I put it through its paces and compared it to some excellent-sounding amplifiers, and it more than held its own.
The gist: Solid-state excellence from a company normally associated with tubes.
Price: $6400 per pair
Doug said: I can strongly recommend the VM60 to those who desire a bit of tube magic, and whose speakers will mate well with them. What I heard from the VM60s was extraordinarily good sound for the price.
The gist: Good-sounding, high-value tube monos from Asia.
Price: $16,500 per pair
Michael said: The KR Audio VA910 sounds wonderful and looks great. Its build quality -- which should create great pride of ownership -- its refinement of appearance, and its exceptional sound make for a very compelling amplifier. There’s a lot of competition at the VA910’s price, but it’s definitely worthy of your consideration for all that it might bring to your listening room.
The gist: Made in Prague, and very competitive in the tube-amp marketplace.