2018 Editors’ Choice Awards: Power Amplifiers Under $1,000

Equipment report
Solid-state power amplifiers,
Tubed power amplifiers
NuPrime Audio STA-9,
Odyssey Audio Khartago,
Parasound Halo A23
2018 Editors’ Choice Awards: Power Amplifiers Under $1,000

NuPrime STA-9
Producing 120Wpc and weighing just under 10.5 pounds, the STA-9 uses a Class A input circuit along with a Class D output circuit. NuPrime’s website says it “is designed with enhanced even-order harmonic circuitry that mimics the most attractive features of tube-amp sound without incurring tubes’ drawbacks and limitations.” It’s easily bridgeable into 290Wpc monoblocks, and its 47k-ohm input impedance should work with virtually any preamplifier. In monoblock mode, the STA-9 produced powerful bass, even with small KEF speakers.

Odyssey Audio Khartago
Shockingly similar in tonal balance to certain high-priced solid-state amps, this 130Wpc stereo amp has no discernible grain, high resolution, and a deep, wide soundstage. Positively, the best budget amp JV has heard.

Parasound Halo A23
Parasound’s A23 isn’t the last word in low-end authority, and it’s a bit cool in the midrange, but what it lacks in oomph it makes up for in finesse and pitch definition. Moreover, this reasonably priced amp is musically quite involving.