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Tiny Amplifier Delivers Smooth Sound

Brent Butterworth

Firestone Audio conceived the Little Country III for private communing with your favorite music. This tiny amplifier is designed specifically for use with headphones. Connect it to a CD player or an iPod, hook up your favorite set of ’phones, and you have perhaps the simplest high-end audio system one can assemble. Vacuum-tube amplification assures a smooth, satisfying sound. The power supply is kept separate in order to protect the audio circuitry from electromagnetic interference. A cable in the back joins the two components electrically, and a whimsical, Zen-inspired graphic on the front joins them visually. The tubes, which can be seen emerging from the amplifier’s top panel, can be changed to adjust the sound to the user’s taste. Other than the stepped volume control on the front, the only adjustment provided is a gain switch that optimizes the sound for different types of headphones. The $447 Little Country III may also be used as a preamplifier. (888.283.4631, www.audiophileproducts.com)

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