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Recent Audio Amplifier Reviews

Emotiva UPA-7 Seven Channel Power Amplifier Review

Emotiva UPA-7 Seven Channel Power Amplifier Review

The Emotiva UPA-7 Seven Channel Amplifier in my mind is an embarrassment - not to itself, mind you, but to the industry. What I mean by this bold statement is, it's built too robustly, measures too pristinely and performs too well for a seven channel amplifier selling for even twice its price. Whether you're looking for a new multi-channel amplifier to update your system or to cure the common receiver with a power boost, the UPA-7 will do so exceedingly well in all but the largest most power hungry installations. In the meantime, you can rest assured that dollar for dollar, pound for pound, a better multi-channel amplifier does NOT exist on the market. This is a safe purchase and a highly recommended one!

Dollar for dollar, pound for pound, a better seven channel amplifier than the Emotiva UPA-7 does NOT exist on the market. This is a safe purchase and a highly recommended one!

— September 15, 2010 21:55 in Audio Amplifier Reviews

Onkyo PA-MC5500 9 Channel THX Amplifier First Look

Onkyo PA-MC5500 9 Channel THX Amplifier First Look

When Onkyo released their PR-SC5508 THX Certified Processor, they didn't have to ask someone to build them an amp, they just ported over the THX Certified PA-MC5500 from the UK. The PA-MC5500 has nine channels of amplification rated at 150 watts each at 8 ohms driving a single channel into 1kHz. It may easy for some to dismiss the PA-MC5500 based on its less-than-rigorous power ratings. Don't be dissuaded. At a paltry $1699 MSRP (and a street price sure to be less), the PA-MC5500 has plenty of power for most systems. Add to that the convenience of having all nine channels in a single box, the piece of mind that THX certification brings and the matching aesthetics to the new PR-SC5508 and you've got more than one consumer interested.

The THX Certified PA-MC5500 has 9 channels of amplification rated at 150 watts at 8 ohms driving a single channel into 1kHz. At a paltry $1699 MSRP, the PA-MC5500 has plenty of power for most systems.

— September 12, 2010 20:00 in Audio Amplifier Reviews

AudioControl Savoy G3 Amplifier First Look

AudioControl Savoy G3 Amplifier First Look

AudioControl has recently released their Maestro M3 Pre/Pro - a well featured pre-amp aimed toward the high-end crowd and integrators. The Savoy G3 is the mate to this processor providing the power that all processors need. The Savoy G3 is a bit of a beast at 54 pounds which is even more impressive when you consider it employs a class H design. AudioControl claims over 200 Watts per channel into 8 ohms, all seven channels driven for the Savoy G3. It only needs around a half inch of space around it for normal operation (which isn't much and attests to how cool the Savoy G3 runs). In addition, the Savoy has an output RCA on each channel making it tailor-made for bi-amping.

The Savoy G3 amp is a beast at 54 pounds which is even more impressive when you consider it employs a class H design. AudioControl claims over 200 Watts per channel into 8 ohms, all 7 channels driven.

— August 19, 2010 19:00 in 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