AV Quick Takes: Dayton Audio HTA Series Amps and ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ Deluxe Box Set
Dayton Audio HTA Series
Dayton Audio has launched a new line of affordable hybrid tube integrated amplifiers. The HTA Series comprises three models: the HTA20, HTA100, and HTA200. The company claims to have solved the decades-old debate about whether solid-state or tube amplifiers produce a better listening experience. Dayton’s answer? Use both. All three HTA Series integrated amplifiers use tubes in their preamps, but the (Class A/B) power amps are solid-state. While hybrid amps of this type are not new, it is rare to find them at prices anywhere near this low. Dayton claims to have harnessed the best qualities of both amplifier technologies for these new, super-affordable models.
The HTA20 is a tiny thing, measuring just 6.5 by 11 by 8.5 inches, and weighing a mere 5.7 pounds. Packed inside its compact chassis, you’ll find a preamp with “amber-toned (vacuum) tubes that provide a warm sound” and a Class A/B power amplifier rated to deliver 20 watts per channel at 4 ohms. (An 8-ohm rating is not specified.) Designed for smaller spaces and/or highly sensitive loudspeakers, the HTA20 is “perfect for college dorms or bedrooms,” according to Dayton Audio. For such an affordable piece, the HTA20 has a number of useful features, including a built-in USB DAC (though it maxes out at 16-bit/48kHz), two analog inputs, a subwoofer output, a headphone jack for private listening, and Bluetooth 5.0 for streaming audio from a smartphone or tablet.
The HTA100 offers more power and more features, but it’s only slightly larger at 6.6 by 11.5 by 10.6 inches. The HTA100 is rated to deliver 50 watts per channel at 4 ohms. It has all of the features of its less expensive sibling, but adds backlit VU meters, a large volume knob, and input selection buttons on the brushed aluminum front panel. Other additions include coaxial and optical digital inputs, and a preamp output for connecting a separate power amplifier. The built-in phono preamp and ground connection make it easy to connect a turntable to the HTA100’s dedicated phono input. Finally, the HTA100 offers tone controls for adjusting bass and treble.
The flagship HTA200 offers all of the HTA100’s features, but once again there’s more power on tap. The HTA200 is rated to deliver 100 watts per channel at 4 ohms. Unlike the less expensive HTA amps, the HTA200 also has an 8-ohm power rating (50 watts per channel RMS). Dayton Audio says the HTA200 is “perfect for large listening environments” and/or more demanding loudspeakers. In addition to the backlit VU meters, the HTA200’s front panel includes a digital display. The motorized volume knob is controllable by the included infrared remote control — another handy feature that’s exclusive to this (slightly) more expensive unit. The HTA200 is the largest of the bunch, measuring 13.1 by 6.6 by 12.5 inches.
All three HTA Series amplifiers are backed by an 5-Year warranty, which is very impressive at these prices. The HTA Series is available at www.parts-express.com.
The Dark Side Of The Moon 50th Anniversary Deluxe Box Set
It may be total overkill for most, but the forthcoming 50th Anniversary Deluxe Box Set of The Dark Side Of The Moon ($310.85) has a lot to offer the diehard Pink Floyd fan. The most exciting element in my opinion is the new Dolby Atmos mix, delivered via Blu-ray disc. The set also includes CD and gatefold vinyl versions of the newly-remastered studio album, plus Blu-ray and DVD versions of the original 5.1 mix and remastered stereo mix, in various resolutions. Also included are CD and LP versions of The Dark Side Of The Moon — Live At Wembley Empire Pool, London, 1974.
Here’s a rundown of everything in this massive box set:
CD1 – The Dark Side Of The Moon (50th Anniversary) 2023 remaster. Original studio album remastered by James Guthrie in gatefold sleeve with 12-page booklet.
CD2 – The Dark Side Of The Moon Live At Wembley Empire Pool, London, 1974. Mixed by Andy Jackson in gatefold sleeve with 12-page booklet. Cover design by Aubrey Powell/Hipgnosis and Peter Curzon/StormStudios. Original 1973 line-drawn cover artwork by George Hardie.
LP1 – The Dark Side Of The Moon (50th Anniversary) 2023 remaster. Remastered original studio album on 180G Heavyweight LP in gatefold sleeve, with original posters and stickers.
LP2 – The Dark Side Of The Moon Live At Wembley Empire Pool, London, 1974 (2023 Master). 180G Heavyweight LP in gatefold, with 2 posters featuring designs by Ian Emes and Gerald Scarfe. Cover design by Aubrey Powell/Hipgnosis and Peter Curzon/StormStudios. Original 1973 line-drawn cover artwork by George Hardie.
Blu-ray 1 (Audio only) – Original album in 5.1 and high-resolution remastered stereo mixes:
- 5.1 Surround Mix – 24bit/96kHz Uncompressed
- Stereo Mix – 24bit/192kHz Uncompressed
- 5.1 Surround Mix – DTS-HD Master Audio
- Stereo Mix – DTS-HD MA Master Audio
Blu-ray 2 (Audio only) – Original album in Atmos and high-resolution stereo mixes:
- Dolby Atmos Mix
- Stereo Mix – 24-bit/192kHz Uncompressed
- Stereo Mix – DTS-HD MA Master Audio
DVD (Audio only) - Original album in 5.1 and remastered stereo mixes:
- 5.1 Surround Mix – Dolby Digital @448 kbps
- 5.1 Surround Mix – Dolby Digital @640 kbps
- Stereo Mix (LPCM) – 24-bit/48 kHz Uncompressed
Also included in the box set:
- 160-Page Thames & Hudson Hardcover Book with rare black-and-white photographs from the 1973-1974 tours of the UK and the USA, taken by Jill Furmanovsky, Peter Christopherson, Aubrey Powell, Storm Thorgerson.
- 76-Page Music Book: The complete songbook of the original album.
- Replicas of two 7” singles (Money/Any Colour You Like; Us and Them/Time), plus replicas of a pamphlet and invitation to the preview of The Dark Side of The Moon at the London Planetarium on 27th February 1973.
The Dark Side Of The Moon 50th Anniversary Deluxe Box Set was released on April 5th, and is available now from the official Pink Floyd website.
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