This is the Mystere ia21, one of two new valve amplifiers now available from Pistol Music, a division of Absolute Sounds. The Mystere amps are designed in the Netherlands by a sister company of Prima Luna, and built-in China, which probably explains the combination of high-gloss piano black finish and sensible pricing.

The two amps in the range are the 40W per channel ia11 (£1250) and the 50W per channel ia21 (£1850), and both are designed with a fully-hardwired layout and a high-quality 24-step volume control.

As well as performance, the amps are designed to take the drama out of valve amp ownership: they have adaptive auto-biasing, and tube plate fusing to protect the output stage should a valve fail. The idea is that when the valves do eventually go, you can simply plug in a replacement, while a soft-start circuit is also used to prolong valve life.

Both amps use four 6SN7 and four EL34 valves, with the option of upgrading the ia21 with the use of KT88s, and each offers four line-level inputs. They're available now.

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