10 of the world’s most expensive stereo amplifiers

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An amplifier is a key element of any hi-fi set-up, and so you don’t want to scrimp. There are limits, however – limits that these amps all breach quite decisively…

How much would you pay for an amplifier? £500/$650? A grand, even, if your system warrants it? The Onkyo A-9010 shows you can get a lovely performer for just £200/$260 – so you don’t have to spend big to get plenty out of your system.

But if you do want to splash out, you’ve come to the right place. These are the most expensive amps ever made, with one model nearly £2m/$2.6m – roughly 10,000 times more expensive than the A-9010.

Don’t worry if your budget doesn’t stretch that far, we’ve selected an amp that can be yours for as little as £200,000/$260,000. Bargain.

Pivetta Opera Only – $2.2m

Image via Beverely Hills Magazine

Italian designer Andrea Pivetta’s ludicrous amp stands a whopping 2.4m tall and weighs a colossal 1.5 tonnes – that’s as much as a caravan. Though this is sure to give you much better sound.

Pivetta Opera One – $650,000

Image via hjemmekino.no

Yes, Pivetta is at it again. Though this model is a mere 1.8m tall, and only weighs a tonne. Hence the knock-down price.

Ultrasound Otello – $600,000

Image via ultrasound-hifi.com

The Otello packs six transformers with adjustable polarisation, meaning zero feedback. Three engineers spent five years working on this – if they sell just one, it will have been worth it.

Rike Audio Edzard – $490,000

Image via monoandstereo.com

This four-piece, 50W amp weighs a total of 200kg. As you’d expect, the performance is suitably heavyweight.

Ether Audio Abbssolute Intuition – $406,000

Image via Ether Audio

This amp weighs a whopping 398kg and packs the biggest vacuum tube ever made for an audio application. Which makes it too important for the correct spelling of ‘Absolute’.

Ultrasound Parsec – $400,000

Image via ultrasound-hifi.com

In the Parsec, the signal only crosses three components – which Ultrasound claims produces unparalleled transparency, speed and harmonic structure. Weighing 70kg, it’s a relative lightweight in the world of insanely pricey stereo amplifiers.

Goldmund Telos 5000 – $375,000

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Five thousand watts? That’s not the only insane stat about this amp – it stands nearly one metre tall, and its frequency response runs up to 300,000Hz. Which is more than any sane person could ever need. Which is exactly why we love it.

Wavac SH-833 – $350,000

Image via highendaudio.nl

Direct-heated triodes combine with single-ended, class-A tube monoblock power to make this amp an absolute beast. There’s also a budget version that costs a mere $70,000, in case you’re a bit strapped for cash this month.

Audio Note Japan Ongaku – $250,000

Image via monoandstereo.com

Created in 1989 – like Taylor Swift – this uses pure silver for its conductors. But if you listen to Taylor Swift with it, it’s wasted on you.

FM Acoustics 2011 – $245,000

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FM Acoustics has some pedigree. Its units are handmade in Switzerland, with an attention to detail – and price – that rivals Swiss watchmakers.

(whathifi.com, https://goo.gl/X7JeSV)

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