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Seymour AV ICE Block Monoblocks

ICE, ICE Baby!

ICE, ICE Baby!


  • Product Name: ICE Block Monoblocks
  • Manufacturer: Seymour AV
  • Review Date: October 30, 2008 09:15
  • MSRP: $999-$1399
  • First Impression: Gotta Have It!
  • Buy Now
  • Rated Power, Channels: 1000w x 1
  • Max Output Power (0.1% THD+N, 1kHz, AES17 filter): 1100w (4.0Ω) 600w (8.0Ω)
  • Max Current Output: 40A
  • Dynamic Range: 119dBA
  • THD+N (f=1kHz, Po=1w): 0.007% (4Ω)
  • Frequency Response: 5.3Hz-38kHz (8Ω) 5.3Hz-31kHz (4Ω)
  • Output Idle Noise: 80µV
  • Output Impedance (f=1kHz): 5mΩ
  • Nominal Voltage Gain: 27.2dB
  • Damping Factor (f=100Hz, R=8Ω): 2000
  • Minimum Load Impedance: 2.0Ω
  • Intermodulation (CCIF) f=14kHz, 15kHz, Po=10w: 0.002%
  • Transient Intermodulation (TIM) f1=3.15kHz square, f2=15kHz, Po=10w: 0.003%
  • Signal Polarity Inversion: No
  • Total Efficiency: 83% @ 500w, 8Ω
  • Voltage Range: 90-132.5 Vac (115V, 55-65Hz)
  • Idle Power: 15.8w
  • Fuse Rating: 10A (115V)
  • ICEpower Module: 1000ASP
  • Approvals: EMI, Safety EN55103-1, EN55103-2, FCC part 15, UL6500, ROHS compliant
  • Full Protection: Thermal, Over current, HF, Zobel network
  • Dimensions (in) (H x W x D): (3.2 x 8.5 x 15.1)
  • Weight (lb, w/o cord): 10.5

Executive Overview

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 currently retail for $1299) in the brushed stainless steel and black pearl blue five-coat glossy paint. The latter look black (with aluminum sides) until you get up close and notice the slight blue sparkle to them. Running up the sides (following the top plate) is a thin layer of what looks to be Plexiglas that glows blue when the amp is powered on. A very cool effect. The amps are heavy for their size and look to be very well constructed.

On the back they sport a balanced and a RCA style input, very nice looking 5-way binding posts, and switch to indicate which input type you are using. You can actually order the RCA input in different colors. Of course the standard red and white are available. Also available is black, green, blue, and yellow. This should help all you organized types keep your amps straight when you buy a monoblock for each channel.

The bottom had Vibrapod isolator feet for "horizontal and vertical vibration isolation." While it may be gimmicky, they were pretty cool. What didn't look so hot was the "audiophile" power cord. Correction - it looked great - thick, heavy, a real statement piece. What it also looked was unwieldy. Perhaps they just needed to be broken in. We'll have to see how they perform when we get a unit in for formal review.

The ICE Blocks were not hooked up to other equipment (unfortunately) so they were more like booth babes drawing you in to Seymour AV's display. Well, it worked for me! The monoblocks come in 200w, 500w, or 1000w models and run from $999 to $1399 (currently $100 off in the Audioholics store). 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 greater than 80% versus ~20% for a Class A and ~50% for A/B) so you can stack them if needed. Their idle power requirement is something like 15 watts for the big amp down to 7.5 for the small one so they don't even have a standby mode.

Overall, I was really impressed with the looks and design of these amps. Pricing is competitive for the class (many ICEpower amps cost a lot more) and the lower priced alternatives for the most part don't have 1/4 of the looks of the ICE Blocks from Seymour AV. With the 1000 watt amps only $400 more than the 200 watt for 5x's the wattage, I can see a lot of people bumping up for the extra headroom. For more information, please visit www.seymourav.com.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

chriscmore posts on November 03, 2008 17:42
Cavediver, post: 477076
Wattage output is one example.

It depends on what wattage output you're referring to, which is why we put “rated power” as the general power classification that we would like the product compared with, and “max output power” right out of the ASP data sheets.

For example, the following amps all use the same 1000ASP module and thus have identical specifications but are classified and/or named so that they are positioned however the company sees fit.

Jeff Roland 501 ($7000/pr), Output Power: Continuous RMS @ 8 ohms - 500 watts, @ 4 ohms - 1000 watts
Bel Canto REF1000 ($4000/pr), Power Output: >1000W into 4 ohms, >500W into 8 ohms
Seymour AV Ice Block 10001 ($2800/pr), Rated Power, Channels, 1000w x 1

Because wattage output is more complexed than one number, I also publish the exact ASP max output power specs for different loads:
Max Output Power, 0.1% THD+N, 1kHz (AES17 filter), 1100w (4.0?)
600w (8.0?)

Their 1kHz power specs in the 2-page spec sheets are a different test than their 10-20k specs in their 27-page papers. If you want even finer resolution (P vs. THD vs. I), check out their charts.
chriscmore posts on November 03, 2008 17:14
focker, post: 476839
How do your Ice Blocks run speakers that run in the 3ohm range (THD, power, ect.), in this case B&W 800 series?

They handle 2.7 ohms nominal continuously, and can dip below 2 as long as it's not average. Genesis, for example, dip to around 1.6 and they handle them just fine.

In listening tests on the B&W 800D, a former sales manager at a blue-chip audio dealer found that in comparison to the Ayre MX-D ($20k/pr), the 5001 Ice Blocks toned down some of the harshness that the 800Ds can exhibit and sounded a bit more natural. In comparison to the Classe CAM-400s (~$10k/pr?), he thought they sounded more similarly smooth on the top end, but the Classe had a bit more extension in the bottom. While the 5001 are my general favorite Ice Block, the 10001 are more dynamic with deeper extension in the bottom octave, so if you're trying not to use a sub, then I'd recommend the 10001. If you do have them crossed over, I'd recommend the 5001.

The 800Ds are typically pretty easy to drive compared to others in their price class, but they soak up the power when you have it. Maggies are similar: pretty benign load, but hardly ever enough power in reserve.

There are a lot of charts that you could be asking for. I've pasted the 5001 THD chart below, but for all of them you can access the module data sheets here: https://www.icepower.bang-olufsen.com/en/solutions/speaker/ASP_SERIES


Cavediver posts on November 03, 2008 01:08
chriscmore, post: 476736
Which specs don't match where on their website? I need specifics to address.

Wattage output is one example.
focker posts on November 02, 2008 16:05
How do your Ice Blocks run speakers that run in the 3ohm range (THD, power, ect.), in this case B&W 800 series?
chriscmore posts on November 02, 2008 13:24
Cavediver, post: 476360
Your website indicates you are using the ASP modules. However, your specs don't match those on B&O's website.

Which specs don't match where on their website? I need specifics to address.
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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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