In 2016, Audio Analogue celebrated its twentieth birthday with two bang-up-to-date ‘Anniversary’ editions of the company’s earlier classic integrated amplifiers, the Puccini and the Maestro. Now, the Italian brand has launched its ‘PureAA’ line of products, drawing on key ideas from the Anniversary amps and adding a raft of further features.
Audio Analogue may be in its twenty-second year but the brand’s philosophy remains resolutely the same as when the company first started out: to marry classically simple design with reference-quality sonic performance and excellent value for money.
The recent Anniversary duo of products achieved just that, as well as earning a healthy stack of complimentary reviews and awards. Now, the brand’s new PureAA line aims to draw on some of the key ideas and features of the Anniversary amplifiers but to apply them in a slightly different way. While the Anniversary amps are masters of minimalist focus, the PureAA line sports a set of added features designed to appeal to music lovers who seek a wider range of functions and connections in a single product.
First to come to market in the PureAA line is the AAcento integrated amplifier. Hand-made in Italy, like the Maestro Anniversary amp it’s a zero global feedback design – with no global feedback in both the preamp and the power amp stage.
The elimination of global feedback with a view to optimizing authenticity and musicality is not an easy thing to achieve and certain technical aspects of the design have to be uniquely created to achieve peak performance. As a result, the AAcento’s 480W toroidal transformer has been specifically designed for this amp and delivers a gutsy 100W per channel. There’s one balanced and three unbalanced line inputs, a built-in MM/MC phono stage with switchable subsonic filter and a high-performance, class A, zero feedback headphone amplifier. All of the AAcento’s internal functions are controlled by a microprocessor, using relays to select inputs so as to keep the signal path as clean as possible.
The AAcento’s remote control is a well-appointed, substantial-feeling unit and the volume control, while digital, uses no operational amplifiers in its circuitry. A direct mode bypasses the volume control thus allowing the AAcento to be incorporated into a multi-channel home theatre system.
The amplifier’s high quality casework is resonance-damped and beautifully finished, in keeping with the brand’s classically simple design philosophy.
The AAcento will shortly be partnered by the second release in the PureAA line, the AAphono phono stage. Watch this space, as they say.