The 099 is a refined performer, capable of being sat in front of for hours on end without fatigue. This is not code for ‘dull’; it’s detailed and dynamic, and – coupled to the right power amplifier – can handle the loud end of the volume control without introducing any kind of compression or distortion. In fact, were it not for the refinement, the effortless ability for this preamp to push any amplifier to its limits could make it a brute force design. As it is, the 099 is the archetypal ‘mail’d fist in a velvet glove’ design, with that combination of beefy grip over the rest of the system coupled with a sense of grace and charm as it stays in complete control.”


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