Our Verdict A cheap power amp, 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 4th May 2011 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. It’s satisfying seeing them bobbing away to a beat. More after the break 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 pre-amp’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. See all our preamp Best Buys Follow whathifi.com on Twitter Join whathifi.com on Facebook Related News UPDATED: Rotel launches 'affordable high-end' 15 Series electronics Thu, 20 Jul 2017, 05:50pm Meet MA9000, the most powerful McIntosh integrated amp ever Thu, 06 Jul 2017, 05:46pm Exposure adds two amps to compact XM series Mon, 26 Jun 2017, 03:22pm New Qualcomm chipsets for smart speakers, amps, and noise-cancelling cans Wed, 14 Jun 2017, 03:55pm PMC launches its first non-pro integrated amp Thu, 18 May 2017, 12:30pm Advance Acoustic Hi-Fi MAA402 Stereo amplifiers Stay on top of your sound with What Hi-Fi? in your inbox every week Thank you for registering for our Newsletter We will send you relevant emails and updates.