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Recent Audio Amplifier Reviews

Integra DTA-70.1 THX Certified Amplifier First Look

Integra DTA-70.1 THX Certified Amplifier First Look

While speakers, receivers, and transports come and go, a good amp is virtually forever. With 150 watts of power for nine channels, and outstanding build quality, the Integra DTA-70.1 THX Certified Amplifier certainly looks good to us. When you consider that the Integra DTA-70.1 has received THX's Ultra2 rating, its a sure bet there are loyal Integra/Onkyo fans that can't wait to get their hands (and ears) on this 50 lbs beast.

When you consider that the Integra DTA-70.1 has received THX's Ultra2 rating, its a sure bet there are loyal Integra/Onkyo fans that can't wait to get their hands (and ears) on this 50 lbs beast.

— April 12, 2010 13:00 in Audio Amplifier Reviews

NAD M2 Direct Digital Amplifier Preview

NAD M2 Direct Digital Amplifier Preview

The NAD M2 Direct Digital Amplifier is really sort of a hybrid. It is a traditional amp with non-traditional inputs. It is an integrated amp in spirit but doesn't have all the functionality that a traditional integrated would have. In addition to balanced and RCA analogue inputs the M2 has dual coax and dual optical inputs, a single optical and coaxial output, 12 volt and IR inputs, and a 12 volt output. At $6k, you would do well to consider using the internal DACs of the M2 as you certainly are paying for them.

The NAD M2 Direct Digital Amplifier is really sort of a hybrid. It is a traditional amp with non-traditional inputs. It is an integrated amp in spirit but doesn't have all the functionality.

— May 26, 2009 10:00 in Audio Amplifier Reviews

Seymour AV Ice Block 5001 500watt Monoblock Amplifier Review

Seymour AV Ice Block 5001 500watt Monoblock Amplifier Review

It's not hard to see that I'm impressed with the Seymour AV Ice Block 5001 500watt Monoblock Amplifier. It has plenty of power, great aesthetics, and near perfect functionality. Most of all, they provide esoteric components, looks, and construction at near enthusiast prices. That alone should be a huge selling point for those with smaller wallets but refined tastes. Plus, you'll have an amp that is not only a show piece for the uninitiated but also sports all the "extras" that will impress your esoteric friends. What more could you ask for?

It's not hard to see that I'm impressed with the Seymour AV Ice Block 5001 500watt Monoblock Amplifier. It has plenty of power, great aesthetics, and near perfect functionality.

— April 23, 2009 07:15 in Audio Amplifier Reviews

Emotiva UPA-2 Stereo Amplifier Review

Emotiva UPA-2 Stereo Amplifier Review

The Emotiva UPA-2 Stereo Amplifier is an incredible solution to turn a $500 AV receiver into a real powerhouse - and for FAR less money than it would cost to buy a comparable quality flagship product. How? By combining 125 watts per channel with a price tag of less that $300. Pair it with a $500 receiver, and you've got the features you want with the power your speakers need. All for far less than you'd pay to get a receiver with the same power. The Emotiva UPA-2. If you need a 2 channel amplifier, you're going to have a hard time finding something better for the same price.

The Emotiva UPA-2 Stereo Amplifier is an incredible solution to turn a $500 AV receiver into a real powerhouse - and for FAR less money than it would cost to buy a comparable quality flagship product.

— April 16, 2009 08:05 in Audio Amplifier Reviews

Axiom Audio A1400-8 Digital Multi-Channel Amplifier Review

Axiom Audio A1400-8 Digital Multi-Channel Amplifier Review

Axiom Audio has redefined performance expectations of Class D amplifiers with their A1400-8. They have proven that a highly efficient space saving digital amplifier design like this can not only hang with some of the best traditional linear amplifier designs, but also surpass them in some aspects such as dynamics, bass accuracy and power delivery. If you’re assembling an upscale home theater system with the design goals of uncompromised fidelity and dynamics, and your speakers are capable of handling its mighty power, you should definitely add the A1400-8 to your shortlist of high power multi-channel amplifiers for consideration.

Axiom Audio has redefined performance expectations of Class D amplifiers with their A1400-8. Sporting 200 watts per channel all channels driver, this amp is a real space saver.

— April 14, 2009 21:40 in Audio Amplifier Reviews

Bryston SST² Series Amplifiers

Bryston SST² Series Amplifiers

Bryston, LTD showed off their SST² squared series amplifiers at CES, incorporating several upgrades to all eight models of the hand-built award-winning Bryston SST amplifier topology. Despite the “Squared Series” upgrades, pricing remains unchanged throughout the lineup. Bryston’s SST amplifier line begins with the 2B SST (100 watts per channel 8-ohms, 180 per channel 4-ohms at $2650 US) to the 28B SST (1000 watts mono into 8-ohms at $8000 US).

Bryston’s SST amplifier line begins with the 2B SST (100 watts per channel 8-ohms, 180 per channel 4-ohms at $2650 US) to the 28B SST (1000 watts mono into 8-ohms at $8000 US).

— January 09, 2009 00:15 in Audio Amplifier Reviews

Seymour AV ICE Block Monoblocks

Seymour AV ICE Block Monoblocks

Seymour AV was showing off their ICE Block amps at the Audioholics State of the CE Union event. They had two of their new Ice Block amplifiers on display. Both were the 1000w models (which retail for $1299) in the brushed stainless steel and black pearl blue five-coat glossy paint. The monoblocks come in 200w, 500w, or 1000w models and run from $999 to $1399. They are exactly half-standard width, allowing for a pair to fit on a standard shelf. Because they are ICEpower amps, they run extremely cool (and efficiently around 80% versus ~20% for a Class A and ~50% for A/B) so you can stack them if needed.

Seymour AV was showing off their ICE Block amps at the Audioholics State of the CE Union event. They had two of their new Ice Block amplifiers on display. Both were the $1299 1000w models.

— October 30, 2008 09:15 in Audio Amplifier Reviews

Emotiva XPA-2 Two Channel Amplifier Review

Emotiva XPA-2 Two Channel Amplifier Review

Not only does Emotiva have a winner on their hands with the XPA-2 two channel amplifier, but they’ve literally hit the ball out of the park with this creation rewriting the rule book on high performance amplifiers on the cheap. The XPA-2 is not only one of the most powerful amplifiers that has come across my test bench, but it represents one of the best values in consumer two-channel amplification that I’ve ever seen. The XPA-2 was able to exceed manufacturer power specifications and our testing revealed generally excellent measurements in every category. Quite frankly, when I think about it, the XPA-2 is a lone wolf in a pasture of sheepish amplifiers.

The Emotiva XPA-2 is a two-channel amplifier is one of the most powerful, highest value amplifiers we've reviewed to date. It is a lone wolf in a pasture of sheepish amplifiers.

— October 15, 2008 18:25 in Audio Amplifier Reviews

Rotel RMB-1085 Power Amplifier Review

Rotel RMB-1085 Power Amplifier Review

At only 100 watts, I couldn't say that the RMB-1085 was a huge improvement over the internal amps of my receiver with my 8 ohm speakers. It does have an undeniable cool factor and plenty of power if your current amplification needs are inadequate or your speakers have lower impedance and are giving your current amp/receiver trouble. If you are looking to beef up your home theater or just have a touch of the upgrade bug, the RMB-1085 is a little firecracker of an amp that might be what you've been looking for.

At only 100 watts, I couldn't say that the RMB-1085 was a huge improvement over the internal amps of my receiver with my 8 ohm speakers. It does have an undeniable cool factor and plenty of power.

— June 12, 2008 09:55 in Audio Amplifier Reviews

Denon POA-A1HDCI 10 Channel Power Amplifier Review

Denon POA-A1HDCI 10 Channel Power Amplifier Review

The POA-A1HDCI 10 channel amplifier revitalizes Denon’s high end stigma that it earned over the years and puts their name back on the map for high end cost no object audio. This amplifier delivers respectable high and most importantly clean dynamic power and provides enough channels to handle even the largest scale home theater installations with a few to spare for specialized needs and installations. Coupled with the matching AVP-A1HDCI processor, you’ve got a state of the art A/V separates solution that can run toe to toe with any of its peers in this price class.

Review: The Denon POA-A1HDCI 10 channel audio amplifier offers a slew of connectivity features and power few multi-channel amps can match. Its rated at 150wpx x 10 but can be bridged for double power.

— May 22, 2008 16:50 in Audio Amplifier Reviews

Emotiva XPA-2 Stereo Power Amplifier

Emotiva XPA-2 Stereo Power Amplifier

Emotiva has given new meaning to the words high end, high power, high value amplifier with the introduction of their new XPA-2. This baby is armed to the teeth with electronic goodies, weighing in at around 75lbs and boasting a 1600VA transformer and over 60,000 uF of power supply capacitance. The Emotiva, XPA-2 is specified to deliver 250wpc into 8 ohms / 500wpc into 4 ohms with both channels driven and a whopping 1000 watts bridged. All of this comes at a meager asking price of $799! This appears to be the real deal folks and we are simply dying to do a formal review. In the meantime, check our our initial impressions.

The Emotiva XPA-2 is specified to deliver 250wpc into 8 ohms / 500wpc into 4 ohms with both channels driven and a whopping 1000 watts bridged. All of this comes at a meager asking price of $799!

— February 04, 2008 11:50 in Audio Amplifier Reviews

Genesis Reference Amplifier

Genesis Reference Amplifier

Genesis Advanced Technologies showed off their Reference-series Amplifiers finally in production. The solid state Reference Amplifiiers are touted to have a "tube-like" sound and are upgradable. The Genesis Reference Amplifier is custom-configured and built to order.

Genesis Advanced Technologies showed off their Reference-series Amplifiers finally in production. The solid state Reference Amplifiiers are touted to have a "tube-like" sound and are upgradable.

— January 06, 2008 23:05 in Audio Amplifier Reviews

Pass Labs XA.5 Series Amps

Pass Labs XA.5 Series Amps

Sometimes you just see a very cool-looking product - or suite of products. We focused in on Pass Laboratories who introduced the impressive-looking XA.5 Series Power Amplifiers at the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show, next month in Las Vegas. Their motto is "Designed for audiophiles by lifelong audiophiles". It's a good tagline, and the prices are unquestionably targeted towards audiophiles.

Pass Laboratories introduced the impressive-looking XA.5 Series Power Amplifiers at the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show, next month in Las Vegas.

— January 06, 2008 23:00 in Audio Amplifier Reviews

Axiom Audio A-1400-8 Power Amplifier First Look

Axiom Audio A-1400-8 Power Amplifier First Look

Axiom Audio unveiled their new 8 channel A-1400-8 1400 watt power amplifier at the Audioholics State of the CE Union Event in Clearwater Beach Florida on October 6th, 2007. With the release of this new proprietary switching amplifier, they are attempting to reach out to a new segment of the consumer audio field. According to Axiom Audio, the A1400-8 digital amp assigns power when and where required, regardless of how many channels (up to eight) are connected to the system, making it an ideal amplifier for dynamic sources encoded in Dolby TrueHD and other high definition entertainment standards. We certainly heard no dynamic limitations caused by the amplifier in their demo room despite the enormous SPL levels that were being produced.

Axiom Audio unveiled their new 8 channel A-1400-8 1400 watt power amplifier at the Audioholics State of the CE Union Event in Clearwater Beach Florida on October 6th, 2007.

— October 10, 2007 16:55 in Audio Amplifier Reviews