This is the MkII version of the prosaically-named Stereo 40 amplifier from British company Icon Audio.

The new £899 model draws on the features and developments involved in the upmarket Stereo 60, to create what the company calls "a truly outstanding and stunningly beautiful budget integrated valve amplifier".

The amplifier uses a circuit inspired by H J Leak's designs of the 1950s, and uses 6SN7 and 6SL7 valves first produced in the 1940s, along with custom-made hand-wound transformers and massive choke power supplies.

More after the break

The output stage uses Mullard EL34 valves, and can be run in 40w 'Ultralinear' mode or 20w triode working, depending on the sensitivity of the speakers with which the amp's to be used.

There's a warm-up/standby switch to extend valve life, and all internal wiring is point-to-point, not on printed circuitboards.

The use of new hand-wound copper output transformers and a larger power supply increases the weight of the amp to 23kg, against the 16kg of the original Stereo 40i, and the finish is high-gloss white metalflake, with a removable valve-cover.

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