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Review of the Audia Flight Pre 50

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This article originally featured in January 2009’s Hi-Fi News’ magazine.

With ‘green’ issues and highly efficient Class D amplifiers in the ascendant, true Class A designs are thin on the ground. Audia Flight bucks the trend with a hot 50-watter.

Review: Richard Stevenson - Lab Report: Paul Miller

There is something about the Italian high-end that gets my juices flowing. It’s the style, the grace, the sheer passion that goes into the design – and the absolute certainty that there will be flaws of epic, forehead slapping proportion.>

Exhibit A – the Audia Flight Pre remote control. Utterly gorgeous. CNC-machined from an aluminium billet and offering an innovative multifunction interface that keeps the button count to a luxurious minimum. Flip it over and the brushed aluminium base plate sits on four feet – well, ultra cheap stick-on plastic blobs that you can buy from B&Q in a sheet of a thousand for sixpence. Clearly ‘don’t spoil the ship for a hapeth of tar’ doesn’t translate into Italian.

The Flight Pre is a beautifully crafted piece of equipment, exuding high-end kudos with its 25mm thick milled aluminium fascia and subtle blue lighting. It’s a dual-mono, balanced design with microprocessor control affording such trick features such as individual input gain and the ability to name each source.  Connectivity is excellent with twin sets of balanced XLR inputs and an array of solid-feeling RCAs for in, out, record and monitor.

COME THE REVOLUTION

The operation is a little quirky as you set the mode (source/volume/balance etc) and then use the main fascia knob or remote’s +/- keys to adjust accordingly. On the downside, switch to a source with the volume racked up high and you have to wait five seconds before the main knob becomes a volume control again to turn it down. Favourite flaw is the volume knob itself – requiring a hilarious 17 (yes, seventeen) complete revolutions from minimum to maximum volume.

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