Our Verdict 
A cheap preamp, but beset with a multitude of sonic flaws
For 
Low price
colourful power meters
relatively open sound
Against 
Dynamically deficient
messy presentation
lack of finesse and resolution
Reviewed on

There’s something quite traditional and ‘hi-fi’ about owning a preamp/power amp combination. 

And, French company Advance Acoustic gives you the chance for relatively little money in the shape of the MPP202/MAA402 pair.

The cost is reflected in the build quality, though: the front panel of the MAA402 power amp feels relatively sturdy but the rest of the chassis is a little flimsy. 

The MPP202 preamp is equipped reasonably well, and features five sets of analogue inputs together with a 3.5mm input for hooking up a digital music player.

We’re a sucker for power-level meters, and those equipped on the MAA402 emit a subtle blue glow, each one pierced by a bright red needle.

More after the break

It’s satisfying seeing them bobbing away to a beat.

A severe lack of finesseUnfortunately, there’s something deeply unsatisfying about the sound. 

To be fair, you’re greeted with nice spaciousness – but within that space there’s little order given to instrument and vocal placement. 

Tunes are tainted with coarseness and a serious lack of refinement; music sounds flat and dynamically deficient, and it isn’t long before the amp loses your attention. 

The preamp’s Boost EQ button provides a subtle boost to low frequencies for standmount speakers, but it doesn’t improve on the overall quality of sound.

The harsh reality is that a good integrated amp at this level such as a Roksan Kandy K2 or Naim Nait 5i tramples all over the Advance Acoustic pairing. And our star rating has to reflect this.

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