Kramer’s Product Of The Year for 2013

An impromptu holiday trip down South put me in a bach with no Wi-Fi or mobile broadband, so the promised pre-New Year Product of the Year announcement lapsed but it hasn’t been forgotten. I’m temporarily back on deck with lashings of high-speed Internet access, so here we go:

As detailed here, there were five contenders:

ATC CA2 preamplifier

DeVore Fidelity Gibbon 88 floorstanding speakers

Viganoni and Viganoni Sachem Pure preamplifier

Focal Chorus 816V floorstanding speakers

Rotel RA-11 integrated amplifier

I could happily live with any of them because they’re all really good at what they do. The only one that is permanently in residence in the Kramer household is the Sachem Pure preamp because it’s a) bloody marvelous and b) a perfect match for my power amps. But it’s not the winner.

WD-Rotel-RA11That award has to go to Rotel’s little RA-11 integrated amplifier. On first glance, it’d be easy to write this amp off as a ‘bells and whistles special’, so filled with features that the sound quality just has to have suffered, but this is absolutely not the case. Sonically speaking, at the price point (even the slightly higher price since the review), it’s got nothing to worry about, while the feature set, overall performance and nice price add so much to the mix that this is in fact, one of those rare killer products that should make the competition wonder…

A worthy winner of my 2013 Product of the Year Award. ASHLEY KRAMER

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