December 16, 2009 by Robert Archer
Within the worlds of pro and enthusiast consumer audio, California-based Manley Labs has developed a loyal following of users that appreciate its design approach, including its implementation of tubes in modern electronics products.
The company’s newly released Stingray iTube Integrated Amplifier ($3,400) is the latest example of how the company is able to combine old and new technologies.
Building upon the concepts of the original Stingray Integrated Amplifier, which was released approximately 12 years ago, the company updated the integrated amp to include Apple-certified provisions for iPod and iPhone docking capabilities.
In addition to its iPod/iPhone capabilities, which includes options such as an S-video output, a headphone input, iPod controls for play, pause, track forward, track back, Manley has also improved the amp’s tube energy storage that it says enables the amp to produce better low-frequency response and impact.
From a technical perspective the amp incorporates 12AT7 input stage tubes, a 6414 driver/phase splitter tube and EL84 tubes in the output stage that can set to operate at 20-watts per channel in triode mode or 40-watts per channel in ultralinear mode.
Other features offered in the integrated amp include a subwoofer output, a record out and a total of three other inputs beyond the iPod/iPhone dock, to allow users to utilize their legacy components such as CD and DVD players, radio tuners and other gear.
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Bob is a dedicated audiophile who has been writing about A/V for Electronic House sister publication CE Pro since 2000.
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