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 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. 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. See all our preamp Best Buys Follow whathifi.com on Twitter Join whathifi.com on Facebook Related News Luxman celebrates its anniversary with special edition valve amplifiers Thu, 16 Mar 2017, 05:19pm Tibo's new product line aims to make your hi-fi smarter Thu, 23 Feb 2017, 12:15pm Exposure Electronics launches new XM series amplifier and phono stage Fri, 13 Jan 2017, 01:04pm User review of the month, December – Roksan K3 Wed, 11 Jan 2017, 11:20am CES 2017 day 3 highlights – Arcam, Chord, Samsung Q9 review, Pioneer hi-res headphones and more Fri, 06 Jan 2017, 12:03pm Advance Acoustic Hi-Fi MPP202 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.