NEWS: Advance Acoustic crosses the Channel

This is where the hi-fi section of this website becomes the 'ee-fee' section, with the arrival of a whole range of products from Toulouse-based Advance Acoustic. The line-up, distributed in the UK for the first time, includes CD players and amplifiers and some novel products, such as a stereo amp with five digital inputs, and this novel tuner/amp with built in-iPod dock, the EZY-7 (above).

And the pricing seems very competitive indeed: the company's most affordable amp is just £350, while the EZY-7 is yours for £50 more.

Founded in 1995, Advance Acoustic at first made speakers and powered subwoofers, branching out into amplification and source components in 2002. The launch line-up for the UK comprises three integrated amps, two preamps, a 2x150W power amp, 120W monoblocs, a CD player with valve output stage, and iPod preamp and the EZY-7, as well as the company's range of speakers. A separate CD transport and DAC are on the way.

The entry-level amp, the MAP105 (above), sells for £350 and has five inputs, a phono stage, remote control and a 2x70W output. For those after more power the MAP305II offers 2x100W for £500, or you can buy it as the MAP305DA II (below) at £600, adding four electrical digital inputs and one optical to the standard four line-ins and a phono stage.

The two preamps are the £300 MPP206 and the £550 MPP505, the latter again adding those digital inputs, and these can be used with the £500 MAA406 stereo power amp or the massive 20kg MAA705 monoblocs, which are £600 apiece.

The MCD-203II CD player (above) offers Analog Devices 24-bit/192kHz conversion, HDCD decoding and a valve output stage for £400, and the electronics range is rounded out by two iPod devices.

The £400 EZY-7 at the top of this piece combines a four-input 50W per channel amp with an FM/AM tuner, iPod dock and remote control, while the £250 MIP Station II (below) is a full-width remote-control iPod dock and valve preamp, designed for use with other amplifiers.

The whole range, including the speakers, is handled in the UK by Transparent Distribution.

Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.