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With our ongoing syndicated translations of original reviews, it's time to catch up with our German colleagues' favorite discoveries of 2008. We'll go by alphabet and category. The images link to our review translations.

Abacus Rider Ampino

Amplifier with volume control to act as purist integrated. Unorthodox miniature design with high performance/price ratio.

Retail price: €530

Reviewed: August 2008
Funk Lap-2.V2 & MTX-Monitor.V3a

The big and small preamps from pro supplier Funk aren't identical twins sonically but prove why they enjoy underground cult status...

Retail price: €886.55 and €2623.95

Reviewed: May 2008
SAC il piccolo

SAC's big monos clean up on all counts - tremendously resolved, tonally neutral, spatially accurate and blessed with infamous bass control...

Retail price: 4.800/pr

Reviewed: May 2008
Esoteric SA-10

The entry machine into Esoteric's SACD/CD player universe. Walks the path of neutrality without real shortcomings. Deep bass fanatics are catered to and soundstaging is utterly holographic...

Retail price: €3.299

Reviewed: January 2008
Fonel Simplicté

Perfectly balanced, natural and spatially tangible CD player with analytical and rhythmical chops, realistic tone colors and unconditional long-term listening friendliness.

Retail price: €2.850

Reviewed: March 2008
Quadral Phonologue C Rondo

This compact monitor loves speed, openness, directness and neutrality and soundstages well sorted. Those not looking for the soft touch will enjoy an excellent price/performance ratio...

Retail price: €1.200/pr

Reviewed: January 2008
WLM La Scala

Tonally balanced, with impressive class-leading bass plus wonderful macro dynamics, unfettered staging, easy to drive and non-critical to set up... great fun and music for the money.

Retail price: €2.990/pr

Reviewed:June 2008