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Legacy iV7 600 Watt 7CH Amplifier Most Powerful Multi-CH Amplifier Ever?

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Legacy Audio iV7 Amplifier

Legacy Audio iV7 Amplifier

Summary

  • Product Name: iV7
  • Manufacturer: Legacy Audio
  • Review Date: September 06, 2019 03:00
  • MSRP: $7,950
  • First Impression: Gotta Have It!
  • Buy Now

Power rating and Specifications

  • 660 watts per channel @ 4ohms, all channels driven
  • 600 watts per channel @ 8ohms, all channels driven
Driven individually, each channel meets the following specifications:
    • Peak output                   1000 watts peak 4 Ohm/1kHz with less than 1% distortion
    • Distortion                         0.005% at rated output into 4 or 8 ohms, 1kHz
    • Dynamic Range           127 dB, A-weighted
    • Voltage gain               25.8 dB
    • Inputs                         Fully balanced XLR ,single-end RCA
    • Input Sensitivity          5.0 Vp @ 1000 watts/4 Ohm
    • Input impedance        38 kOhm for both pin 2+ and pin3-
    • Damping factor:             750 from 20 Hz to 1kHz
    • Channel separation:  120 dB at 1kHz
  • Weight:   31 lbs.

Features:

  • Short circuit protection
  • Thermal protection
  • Triggered on/off
  • Standby switch
  • Front panel status indicator with bi-color LED
  • Rear panel reset switch defends against accidents  

Executive Overview

One thing Legacy Audio has been known for is their high dynamic range loudspeakers with gut wrenching bass. OK, that's two things, but they do go hand in hand with each other.  In order to make their speakers sing, they need a solid power foundation; wimpy AV receivers need not apply. Legacy used to offer some solid linear amplifiers back in the day and once they were discontinued, we wondered what would be their next move. Enter the PowerBloc series of amplifiers. Legacy Audio decided to go BIG while going green. This time, they switched from linear amplifier technology to the latest in Class D and their Powerbloc2 2CH and Powerbloc4 4CH amplifiers were born. When I visited Legacy back in 2017, I planted a seed in Bill Dudleston's ear that they would do well to produce a 7 or 8CH amplifier to address the need for high efficient, high power amplification for Dolby Atmos. Bill took my request to heart and here we are announcing these exciting new 7CH and 8CH Legacy amplifiers.

According to Legacy, removing dynamic limitations while preserving detail is paramount to the listening experience and home theater demands both high current and high voltage output. 

Legacy iV7 back

Legacy’s claims their new iV 7 (aptly named as I*V = Power) is most powerful home theater amplifier in consumer audio to date. Featuring state of the art ICEedge® technology, the elegant amplifier operates at nearly 80% efficiency at rated output and is said to deliver > *600 watts into 4 ohms (all channels driven) and remains stable into impedances as low as 2.7 ohms with 1kwatt of peak power per channel. The amplifier supports 12VDC triggered on/off and is available in a rack mount 8 channel version for Atmos® installations. 

ICE amplification has come a long way since their introduction into powered subwoofers and some Pioneer AV receivers over a decade ago. Their newest module is said to be load invariant, meaning the frequency response does NOT change depending on load impedance. This was often a problem with earlier Class D amplifier designs and why they often sounded inconsistent depending on what type of loudspeaker they were driving. The fact that Legacy chose this amplifier topology in their $80k/pair Valor speakers speaks volumes for how confident they are in this new amplifier topology. I got to hear these speakers first hand at a factory tour and was blown away by the system, never once thinking the speakers were starving for power. Instead, I just heard effortless sound that one would expect from a flagship speaker system from Legacy Audio.

 *600 watt power figure is based on using a single 230V, 20A line or dual 120V, 20A lines.

Power Utilization:

Music reproduction can demand high peak wattage requirements yet is still highly transient by nature.  The iV7 amplifier boast four very capable power supplies, each shared by two channels.

PS1:  output channels 1, 2             PS2:  output channels 3, 4

PS3: output channels 5, 6              PS4:  output channels 7, 8

While each channel output is identical in capability, it is logical to pair a higher demand front channel with a lower demand surround channel to maximize performance from a given power supply. Consult the user manual for suggested connection templates.

Initial Thoughts

iV MeterThe age of Class D amplification is fully upon us and if done properly, has advantages over traditional linear amplifiers in efficiency, power delivery and weight. The latest generation of ICE amplifiers are said to be among the most powerful and reliable Class D designs in the industry. A quick peer through the data sheet confirms this very impressive design is stable down to low impedance, has a high damping factor (indication of low output impedance assuring a linear load invariant frequency response) and low noise floor ( >97dB at 1 watt, A-wt).

The front panel of the amp contains a large meter which serves as an indicator of all modules on in the center position.  When the power it switched to standby the blue LED turns amber. There is a master power switch in the front panel and bottom as well.  The amp is well protected against thermal overload or short circuit and also includes inrush limiting to eliminate on/off pop sounds typical in some high power amplifier designs.

At a projected price of under $8k, this amplifier certainly isn't inexpensive but it has the potential to be among the most powerful multi-channel amplifiers in consumer audio. We are looking forward to getting in an 8CH version of this amplifier to put on our test bench and integrate into the Audioholics Showcase reference system to see just how powerful and refined in really is. This is a very cool product (pun intended) that we can't wait to test.

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About the author:

Gene manages this organization, establishes relations with manufacturers and keeps Audioholics a well oiled machine. His goal is to educate about home theater and develop more standards in the industry to eliminate consumer confusion clouded by industry snake oil.

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Recent Forum Posts:

Verdinut posts on September 12, 2019 11:09
FOMOontech, post: 1339086, member: 89620
Trying to start a war I see! I'll bite. Amps of all things are truly a reflection of their measurements, don't you think? Whether distortion or damping, their ultimate resolution and ceiling is most accurately reflected by their measurements. With that in mind, if an ICE amp measures better than an Class A/B, isn't it more likely than not that the ICE amp sounds better. And if it doesn't, what measurement are we missing that does not capture this final criteria?

If an amp measures better than another one which already has excellent specs, it wouldn't necessarily provide a superior audible sound quality provided they both are operating within their power rating. It may be different for someone who has golden ears.
AcuDefTechGuy posts on September 11, 2019 22:23
FOMOontech, post: 1339086, member: 89620
Trying to start a war I see! I'll bite. Amps of all things are truly a reflection of their measurements, don't you think? Whether distortion or damping, their ultimate resolution and ceiling is most accurately reflected by their measurements. With that in mind, if an ICE amp measures better than an Class A/B, isn't it more likely than not that the ICE amp sounds better. And if it doesn't, what measurement are we missing that does not capture this final criteria?
Do ICE amps have better SNR, XT, THD, FR than A/B amps?

If ICE amps have better SNR, XT, THD, FR, then that would help their case greatly.

Do you have these measurements?
FOMOontech posts on September 11, 2019 22:17
AcuDefTechGuy, post: 1338206, member: 26997
Yeah, I was hoping the price (for a Legacy 200x7 amp) would be less than ATI, which has a 220W x 7Ch Solid State amp that retails $4K.

The reason is because I consider ATI amps higher-end than any ICE amps from any company.

I think they are good quality, but does anyone consider ICE amps higher quality?
Trying to start a war I see! I'll bite. Amps of all things are truly a reflection of their measurements, don't you think? Whether distortion or damping, their ultimate resolution and ceiling is most accurately reflected by their measurements. With that in mind, if an ICE amp measures better than an Class A/B, isn't it more likely than not that the ICE amp sounds better. And if it doesn't, what measurement are we missing that does not capture this final criteria?
mtrycrafts posts on September 08, 2019 14:59
Verdinut, post: 1338402, member: 80194
I would think that if a single phase 120V line is available, the double phase voltage would be twice that 120V figure which is 240V.
Yes, that is what it will be and is in my house.
Verdinut posts on September 08, 2019 11:48
mtrycrafts, post: 1338351, member: 5380
This is in genes writeup:

*600 watt power figure is based on using a single 230V, 20A line or dual 120V, 20A lines.

I would think that if a single phase 120V line is available, the double phase voltage would be twice that 120V figure which is 240V.
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