Hovland has just launched a high-end mono block power amp for discerning audiophiles. The result of 20 years of research, the Stratos promises power, poise and precision - and costs an eye-watering £26,000 per pair.

The US hi-fi company justifies the price by the effort its made with the Stratos' internals, which enable the amp to deliver balanced audio with a staggering 400W of power into 8 ohms, 625W into 4 ohms and 800W into 2 ohms.

Not surprisingly with all that power on tap, the Stratos is a meaty beast. It measures 356mm wide x 244mm high and 476mm deep. It weighs in at an impressive 41kg per channel.

You can find out more out the amp - including a list of dealers where you'll be able to hear the Stratos in action - by visiting the website of UK distributor Metropolis Music . You can also give them a call on 01435 867438