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Categories in section: Home Theater Power Amplifiers
Integrated Amplifiers (27) Mono Amplifiers (17) Multi-Channel Amplifiers (28)
Stereo Amplifiers (27)

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Friday, 01 February 2008 ,  Written by Jim Swantko
NuForce Reference 9 V2 Special Edition Mono Power Amplifier
Introduction In all my time as an audio enthusiast, I have never seen anything quite as polarizing as the words “switching amplifier.” In my experience, the overwhelming majority of audiophiles politely (or not so politely) dismiss them as a gimmick used to separate fools from their money. They firmly believe that bulk and heat generation are all indicators, which can be used to predict the competence of an amplifier’s performance. This idea is not as foolish as it may seem, as some of the most highly regarded amplifiers are behemoths, weighing in at over 100 pounds and producing enough heat to require a dedicated air-conditioning system. There is, however, a burgeoning group who are singing the praises of some new switching amplifiers, calling them “giant killers.” But which side is correct? Switching amplification is nothing new; in fact, it’s been around for ...
Tuesday, 01 January 2008 ,  Written by Andrew Robinson
McIntosh MC207 Multi-channel Power Amplifier
Introduction There are some products and/or brands that seemingly need no introduction. McIntosh is at the top of the list. Throughout the 1970s, McIntosh was the iconic symbol of all things good and high-end when it came to two-channel music. Today, little has changed with the brand and their loyal customers. Well, at least on the surface, as no other brand has deviated less from its original appearance than McIntosh, with their signature watt meters glowing pale blue, and large, almost aircraft-style control knobs. It’s enough to make a man want to don a smoking jacket and pipe, yet even in today’s iPod world, McIntosh is supremely retro-cool. While McIntosh is still dedicated to the two-channel enthusiast, they have ventured into the multi-channel audio and home theater markets as well, hence my interest in the MC207 seven-channel amplifier reviewed here. Clad ...
Thursday, 01 November 2007 ,  Written by Andrew Robinson
Bel Canto e.One S300iu Integrated Amplifier
Introduction While the debates rage on over the newest HD formats and the subsequent gear and accessories needed to render beautiful images, I decided to detour my attention for a bit to focus on something that makes a bit more sense: two-channel audio. It’s been a while since I’ve sat down with a strictly two-channel component in my otherwise home theater and multi-channel audio-dominated home. While the Bel Canto e.One S300iu integrated amp is far from being just another two-channel component, my return to seeming simplicity was not only welcome, but eye-opening. My last foray into strictly two-channel fare was a few years ago, when my system comsisted of a series of boutique-style SET tube amps and a pair of incredibly efficient loudspeakers. Since then, I’ve gone on to build not one but three dedicated home theater spaces in my house, all but eliminating not just my investment in stereo, but my need for ...
Sunday, 01 July 2007 ,  Written by Brian Kahn
Monster MPA 5150 Multi-channel Power Amplifier
Introduction The ever-present Monster Cable brand is expanding. Not a company to rest on its laurels, Monster’s vast portfolio of products will now include power amplifiers to go along with a robust offering of cables, accessories, furniture, speakers and beyond. Monster power amplifiers, like their recently reviewed loudspeakers, are not being prominently promoted on their own, but rather as part of an entire Monster products solution. One day you will be able to walk into a Monster Cable M Design dealer and purchase an entire Monster system. The Signature MPA 5150 five-channel reference power amplifier ($3,500) is one of three amplifiers in the Monster Power amplifier lineup. The MPA 5150 is a five-channel amplifier rated at 150 watts per channel into eight ohms and 250 watts per channel into four ohms. The MPA 5150 chassis is anything but your ordinary black box amplifier. The styling is consistent with Monster’s line of power conditioners. The 75-pound, 17-inch-wide ...
Friday, 01 June 2007 ,  Written by Jerry Del Colliano
Krell Evolution 900 Monaural Power Amplifier
Introduction I have owned various Krell amplifiers in my reference systems over the years, each providing hours upon hours of listening joy. Recently, Krell has released a new top-of-the-line lineup of gear under the Evolution moniker that speaks to those for a need for the best of the best and a willingness to pay for it. The review system under evaluation is comprised of a $10,000 Krell Evolution 505 SACD player with 24-bit 192 DACs, a $15,000 Krell Evolution 202 two-chassis stereo preamp and the monstrous Krell Evolution 900 monaural amplifiers at $20,000 each, or $40,000 for the stereo pair as reviewed. My review samples are done in Krell’s signature silver finish, which is breathtakingly beautiful out of the rack and poised on a simple table as it is installed in my reference system. Set-up To start, it is important to note that the Krell Evolution 900 power amps are nothing short of huge. With a travel ...
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