Arcam A49 stereo amplifier – designed in the UK, built in the USA

Arcam has gone back to its hi-fi roots with the launch here at CES of a flagship range of stereo amplifiers, led by the 200W A49 integrated at £3250.

Due on sale in March, the A49 will be joined by the C49 preamplifier and P49 power amp a month later (prices of the last two to be confirmed).

All three models have been designed and engineered in the UK, but will be built in Rochester, upstate New York.

The firm describes the new line-up as "Arcam's highest-performing amplification ever" and Peter Kuell, Arcam's senior engineer, boasts "we considered having a volume control that goes up to 11 – it really goes that loud!"

The amps incorporate Class G amplification, a toroidal-based power supply, an acoustically damped chassis and parallel transistor output stages. Both the A49 and C49 feature dual mono volume controls and a balanced signal path all the way through the product.

Arcam claims the A49 and P49 deliver 200W per channel into 8ohms and 400W into 4ohms. They deliver 50W in pure Class A mode, while allowing for extra power reserves from the latest generation Class G topology.

There's also an onboard PSU for Arcam's range of rSeries products, and the P49 can be configured as a traditional stereo power amp, in bridged mode or dual mono mode allowing for the creation of the "ultimate" system of a C49 preamp with six bridged P49s triamping the speakers. Now that we would like to hear!

Also new from Arcam, and somewhat smaller, is its pebble-shaped miniBlink Bluetooth DAC with single analogue output (above) that goes on sale in February for £90, and a new version of the rDock with Apple Lightning connector for £180.

MORE: CES highlights - Day 1

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By Andy Clough

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Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.