The recently launched DIA-250 and DIA-400 integrated power amplifiers from the Danish manufacturer Gato Audio are both equally well suited to serve as the centerpiece for a home stereo system whose owner values aesthetics as much as performance. Priced at $4,500 and $6,000, respectively, the DIA-250 and DIA-400 share the same compact and curvy form combining stainless steel and wood, while delivering different peaks of pure class-D power. The DIA-250 has a lower power output of 250 watts per channel—plenty of juice for most systems. The DIA-400 produces 400 watts per channel, ideal for those pairing the amp with power-hungry or inefficient speakers.
Beyond their power outputs, both amps are essentially identical. Both models feature an onboard digital-to-analog converter, which allows users to take full advantage of today’s highest-resolution music downloads from HDtracks (www.hdtracks.com) and other online vendors offering music files as large as 24 bits/192 kHz. Both have identical digital front-end circuitry, with inputs for a variety of sources, from a hi-fi music server to an iPod, via USB, TOSLINK, S/PDIF, and RCA and balanced connectors. No matter what the music source, these all-in-one Gato amps marvelously combine an understated design and prodigious power. (www.gatoaudio.com; available in the U.S. through Aerial Acoustics, www.aerialacoustics.com)