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Onkyo A-9010 amplifier: less is more

Onkyo A-9010 integrated amplifier


Onkyo has tweaked its A-9010 amplifier for the UK market and its efforts have been rewarded with a What Hi-Fi award, recognising the sound quality and value that the UK version delivers.

The model available elsewhere has been stripped down and souped up for the UK - an unusual move for such an affordable product. Gone are the digital inputs and internal DAC. This has allowed Onkyo to replace some of the remaining internal components with higher-grade alternatives, boosting things where it always counts: sound quality. A beneficial side-effect of reducing the feature count is that there is also less interference between components, improving the sonics even further.

Five line-level analogue inputs remain, one of which is a convenient mini-jack input on the A-9010's fascia. The amp also sports a dedicated record deck input, reflecting the resurgence in the demand for vinyl. The supplied remote control can be used to switch inputs, alter the volume, etc.

Tone controls are provided but can be bypassed for a purer sound. A large headphone jack is also present. One might expect a sub-£200 amplifier to have spring-clip speaker sockets but the A-9010 employs nice binding posts so that thicker cable or banana plugs can be used. Power output is 44 watts per channel into 8 ohms (70 watts per channel into 4 ohms).

Onkyo's back-to-basis approach has produced a fine-sounding, budget marvel. The Onkyo A-9010 would be the perfect, inexpensive introduction to hi-fi separates. It'd also be a solid replacement for an old amp that's packed in. It's in stock now at Hi-Fi Stereo.

Date of article:12/11/2015

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