This “Italian stallion” brings “more to the stable than just outright power,” says reviewer Chris Ward in the March issue of Hi-Fi Choice. Think emotional intelligence, artisan build quality and extremely good value for money – all of which adds up to “a highly addictive proposition.”
Tuscany-based Audio Analogue “has quietly built a growing reputation for refined, well-built products,” writes Ward, while at the same time earning respect for “creating artisan products at sensible prices.”
The company recently celebrated its twentieth birthday with Anniversary editions of earlier classic integrated amplifiers, the Puccini and Maestro. Now the Italian brand has launched its new PureAA line, drawing on several key ideas and features of the Anniversary amplifiers (think classically simple design, reference-quality sonic performance and excellent value for money) and 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 seeking a wider range of functions and connections in a single product.
The AAcento integrated amp is the first product in the line and is a zero global feedback design – a term more commonly seen in specialist valve designs but rarely seen in solid-state amplifiers such as this. 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.
“While the amp has serious drive, this power isn’t held in a vice-like grip,” notes Ward. “Instead it has a lithe, visceral, almost organic drama… the naturalness of [Gary Numan’s] voice is remarkable.”
The soundstage, meanwhile “has a very natural, rounded depth. Instead of instruments strung along a notional washing line between and beyond the speakers, I get a real sense of three-dimensionality.”
Coming back to vocals, The Staves “are simply sumptuous. The AAcento’s midband mastery allows each voice to be distinct, yet the subtle blend of the three together is richly textured yet entirely cohesive… the AAcento reveals subtle acoustic atmospheres that other amplifiers can only hint at.”
“The AAcento is an emotionally intelligent amplifier that gets the musical big picture spot on… It absolutely doesn’t miss any detail, but instead majors on getting the meaning, drama and emotional story of your music correct.”
“A really moreish amplifier that just keeps on giving.”
Read Chris Ward’s full review in the March 2018 issue of Hi-Fi Choice