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Audio Amplifier Classes (A, A/B, D, G, and H): What are the Differences?

We take you through an alphabet soup of amplifier classes, going over the real meanings behind Class A, B, A/B, G, H, and D and the pros and

Audio Amplifier Classes (A, A/B, D, G, and H): What are the Differences?
AC Wall Power Considerations for Your Home Theater System

We often get asked how much AC wall power is needed to run a home theater system. This article and Youtube video answers that question to ensure

AC Wall Power Considerations for Your Home Theater System
Is the THX Standard Website Comparing AV Electronics Fairly?

THX Standard Website was recently launched to "objectively" compare products for various categories, including HDTVs, Amplifiers, and Powered

Is the THX Standard Website Comparing AV Electronics Fairly?

Recent Audio Amplifier Articles

Audio Amplifier Classes (A, A/B, D, G, and H): What are the Differences?

Audio Amplifier Classes (A, A/B, D, G, and H): What are the Differences?

Confused by the alphabet soup of amplifier classes? Do you wonder what terms like Class A or Class D mean? Long story short, these aren't grading systems with which to judge amplifier quality, but are in fact descriptions of an amplifier's topology. Understandably, each class brings something a bit different to the table, but the end goal is always the same: amplifying the input signal without introducing distortion. Curious to find out the real differences among the different classes? Keep reading to find out and be sure to watch our recently added YouTube video discussion!

We take you through an alphabet soup of amplifier classes, going over the real meanings behind Class A, B, A/B, G, H, and D and the pros and cons of each design. Check out our YouTube discussion too.

— September 14, 2018 00:00 in Audio Amplifiers

AC Wall Power Considerations for Your Home Theater System

AC Wall Power Considerations for Your Home Theater System

We often get asked how much AC wall power is needed to run a typical home theater system. There are lots of factors that determine this such as the number of AV components you have plugged into the same outlet and their associated power consumption, and whether or not that outlet is shared with other appliances or lighting on the same circuit. This article and related YouTube video discussion provides guidance on helping you decide whether you need dedicate 20A outlets for your home theater to deliver 1.21 Gigawatts!

We often get asked how much AC wall power is needed to run a home theater system. This article and Youtube video answers that question to ensure you get the best power delivery for your system.

— August 23, 2018 00:00 in Audio Amplifiers

Is the THX Standard Website Comparing AV Electronics Fairly?

Is the THX Standard Website Comparing AV Electronics Fairly?

THX Standard Website was recently launched to "objectively" compare products for various categories, including HDTVs, Amplifiers, and Powered Speakers. On the surface, this seems like a great idea. But are their measurements accurate and is their scorecard truly objective? We take a closer look at their new website and procedure on evaluating amplifier products to get the answer. Is their new website the real deal or fake news? Read on to find out.

THX Standard Website was recently launched to "objectively" compare products for various categories, including HDTVs, Amplifiers, and Powered Speakers. Is this the real deal or fake news? Read on.

— May 07, 2018 07:00 in Audio Amplifiers

My Favorite Home Theater Receivers of ALL Time

My Favorite Home Theater Receivers of ALL Time

Lately I've been reminiscing about my favorite AV receivers I've either owned, reviewed or had personal experiences with throughout the years. This includes some of the super receivers back in the golden age long gone never to be seen again. From a technology standpoint, these products are now obsolete, but the fidelity they offered is still notable, and in some models, absolutely legendary. Warning, reading this article may create a sudden urge for you to pick up one of these models second hand and bypass the video section to enjoy a modern home theater with old school quality audio.

Lately I've been reminiscing about my favorite AV receivers reviewed throughout the years including the super receivers from the golden age long gone. See which models left an everlasting impression.

— April 25, 2018 00:00 in Audio Amplifiers

Has the FTC Failed Consumer Audio Regarding Amplifier Power Claims?

Has the FTC Failed Consumer Audio Regarding Amplifier Power Claims?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) purpose is to investigate and prevent deceptive trade practices. In 1974, the FTC instituted its Amplifier Rule to combat the unrealistic power claims made by many hi-fi amplifier manufacturers. However, we've noticed a trend of grossly inflated power ratings lately with many Atmos AV receivers and Class D amplifiers. Has the FTC become too complacent with validating and enforcing amplifier power claims since their efforts to rule on multi-channel power amplifiers ceased over a decade ago? And, are manufacturers taking advantage of this? Read on to find out.

With the latest trend of inflated power ratings in many Atmos AV receivers and Class D amplifiers, has the FTC become too complacent to validate and enforce their ruling on power claims?

— April 02, 2018 00:00 in Audio Amplifiers

Power Manipulation in Dolby Atmos AV Receivers

Power Manipulation in Dolby Atmos AV Receivers

We've noticed a recent trend with the latest Dolby Atmos/DTS:X AV Receiver releases. Instead of publishing unclipped full bandwidth power with at least 2CH driven into 8 ohm loads per FTC mandate, many of the major AV receiver manufacturers are now touting power with only one-channel driven, at 1kHz, into a 6 ohm load at up to 10% distortion. What does this mean? Are you really getting more power with these new receivers or more clever specsmanship? Read on to find out and be sure to watch our related YouTube video discussion for further insights.

We've noticed a trend in the recent crop of Dolby Atmos receivers that are no longer rating full bandwidth power with 2CH driven. Are you really getting more power or just clever specsmanship?

— October 12, 2016 16:00 in Audio Amplifiers

Trading Amplifier Quality for Features in AV Receivers - A New Trend?

Trading Amplifier Quality for Features in AV Receivers - A New Trend?

With new A/V receiver models being released by the major manufacturers every 8 months or so, consumers flock to them for promised improved performance and features. But are you really getting better performance with the newer models? Or are you trading amplifier quality for features? Stop and think if the model you currently have meets the performance vs feature balance that is right for your needs and how the newer so called “improved” model fits into that equation. All the features in the world can’t replace clean undistorted dynamics which we believe makes up most of the WOW and magic in the newer HD audio formats. We added a recent YouTube Video discussing the latest trends in the AV receiver power rating game. This is a must watch!

Is there a new trend for trading audio amplifier quality for features in AV receivers. We explore some of the newer AV Receivers and compare their amplifier quality to their predecessors to find out.

— July 18, 2015 08:00 in Audio Amplifiers

AV Receiver and Amplifier Power Ratings Trends: Manipulating Wattage Ratings

AV Receiver and Amplifier Power Ratings Trends: Manipulating Wattage Ratings

Over the years, AV receiver manufacturers found ways to rate power less conservatively to give the illusion of more. Stereo reproduction in the fifties morphed from separates built by small high-end manufacturers like Saul Marantz to entrepreneurs like Sidney Harman who is credited with marketing the first receiver. Throughout the early sixties Harman-Kardon was joined by other American companies like H.H. Scott, Lafayette and Fisher until, toward the end of the decade, the Japanese joined the receiver category with lower cost receivers touting "innovations" like my (first receiver) JVC with a 5-band equalizer built-in. A recent YouTube Video discussion has been added and is a must watch for anyone on the market buying a new Dolby Atmos / DTS:X AV Receiver!

Ever wonder how receiver and amplifier power ratings are measured? How "accurate" are they really? This article and YouTube video explores the trends in wattage ratings and how its changed over time.

Patrick Hart — July 11, 2015 07:00 in Audio Amplifiers

Setting the A/V Receiver Impedance Selector Switch

Setting the A/V Receiver Impedance Selector Switch

This article explores why the impedance switch exists on some A/V receivers and its intended purpose, including tradeoffs when following the manufacturers recommended settings. Know the facts when purchasing and setting up home theater equipment. Most importantly, step back and evaluate how you are using your system and make adjustments accordingly to avoid robbing your speakers of power. Check out our recently added YouTube Video on how you should set the switch to get the best performance.

This article explores the purpose and function of the impedance switch found on some A/V receivers. Tradeoffs of following manufacturers recommended settings are also discussed. YouTube video inside.

— June 21, 2015 08:00 in Audio Amplifiers

Can Good Amplifier Design Mitigate Sonic Differences Between Cables?

Can Good Amplifier Design Mitigate Sonic Differences Between Cables?

We uncovered an audio myth on our YouTube channel I didn’t even know was being perpetuated by some esoteric amplifier companies. Apparently there is a belief that designing an amplifier to be too stable and protected to prevent damage or fire during misuse or short circuiting will result in sound degradation. Really? And how will designing an amp to allow RF ingress or oscillation not do the same or worse? Read on to find out.

Designing an amplifier to be too stable and protected to prevent damage or fire during misuse or short circuiting will result in sound degradation. Is this true or yet another audio myth we uncovered?

— June 04, 2015 00:00 in Audio Amplifiers

Why Audio Amplifiers Can Sound Different

Why Audio Amplifiers Can Sound Different

Amplifier "sound" is a divisive topic in the audiophile community. Some would claim that amplifiers have a sonic signature, while others state that all "well designed" amplifiers will sound the same when operating within their limits. However, even within the latter camp, it is accepted that amplifiers *can* sound different from one another. Why might that be the case? We've gotten some thoughts from Paul Ceurvels, Senior Electrical Engineer at Atlantic Technology. Be sure to check out our YouTube discussion on this topic as well and let us know what you think in our forum.

Paul Ceurvels, Senior EE at Atlantic Technology discusses his experiences behind the scenes to explain how amplifiers can sound different from one another. Do you think amplifiers sound different?

Steve Feinstein — March 10, 2015 08:00 in Audio Amplifiers

The Most Memorable Audio Receivers of the Last 50 Years

The Most Memorable Audio Receivers of the Last 50 Years

In this editorial we examine 10 of the most memorable audio receivers from the last 50 years. We cover everything from vintage two-channel to the more recent multi-channel surround AV receivers. We discuss the evolution from tubes to transistors, power ratings and the FTC, social, economic, and demographic changes that have occurred in America since the 1960’s and how this has impacted the receiver market. Our listing doesn’t necessarily reflect the “best” of the best but there is no arguing these selections certainly left a lasting impression. We look forward to hearing your comments and alternatives that you feel should have been included.

This article highlights the most memorable audio receivers for the last 50 years ranging from vintage two-channel to the latest in multi-channel surround sound. What are your favorite receivers?

Steve Feinstein — February 20, 2015 08:00 in Audio Amplifiers

The Sound of Audio Amplifiers: Can you hear a difference between Amps?

The Sound of Audio Amplifiers: Can you hear a difference between Amps?

Whether or not amplifiers sound different is a subject of ongoing controversy. There are sensible, well-informed enthusiasts and magazine reviewers who will swear to their many, obvious differences, differences that are—to them, anyway—almost as obvious and important as the differences between speakers. There are also just as many well-informed enthusiasts and reviewers who say that there are no meaningful differences in the sound of two properly-functioning, properly-performing amplifiers operating within their undistorted performance envelope. And there is a third contingent that opines that the in-situ application of different amplifiers with different speakers and other associated equipment and connectors can produce differences in the sound even though nothing in the system is misbehaving per se. We explore the technical reasons with Rod Elliot of ESP and also debate this topic on our YouTube channel as to why amplifiers can sound different. We’ll open up the discussion, put forward some factual information, relate a few anecdotal experiences and look forward to your responses.

This article explores the technical reasons why audio amplifiers can sound different. Audio measurements can help explain why things look different but audibility isn't always so cut and dry.

Rod Elliot,Steve Feinstein — February 18, 2015 08:00 in Audio Amplifiers

Audioholics Amplifier Measurement Standard

Audioholics Amplifier Measurement Standard

There has been much discussion on the major audio forums lately regarding A/V receivers and multi channel amplifier power output capabilities as well as their abilities to drive low impedance loads. Much of the controversy steams around the infamous "All Channels Driven Test" which simulates a best case test load in a worst case environment and by all intents and purposes an unrealistic real world scenario. As a result, we have come up with a standard for measuring amplifier performance that deals with various types of power tests as well as other metrics that directly affect sonic performance and how the amplifier can sound powering various types of speaker loads. Check out our new Youtube Video Amplifier Interview for some great insights!

This article discusses the Audioholics testing methodology for measuring amplifier performance in receivers and power amps. We discuss the relevancy of the measurements and how they can affect sound.

— June 05, 2014 15:00 in Audio Amplifiers