|Merrill Audio THOR Mono Block Amplifiers Review|
|Home Theater Power Amplifiers Mono Amplifiers|
|Written by Andre Marc|
|Tuesday, 08 April 2014|
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Merrill Audio has made quite a few waves in the audiophile community. The company is relatively young, but has already garnered excellent reviews for their Veritas monoblock amplifiers. The firm is based in Bernardsville, NJ, and is headed up by Merrill Wettasinghe, who designs the products with a very unique vision.
I spent some time with the Veritas mono blocks last year and came away very impressed. So much so I requested for review the next generation of products when they became available. That product turned out to be the THOR mono block amplifiers, a scaled down and more affordable version of the Veritas, for lack of a better description.
The Veritas were powerhouses -- outputting 400 watts per channel into 8 Ohms -- in a bulletproof chassis. They gripped the woofers of my Thiels and exhibited tremendous bass control, top-end delicacy, and effortless dynamics. At $12,000-a-pair, they are a significant investment, but for power-hungry audiophiles with large listening spaces, they are very tough to beat.
Mr. Wettasinghe has decided to offer the smaller THOR mono blocks at $4000-a-pair. (See our interesting interview with Mr. Wettasinghe at the conclusion of this review.) It puts out 200 watts per channel into 8 Ohms, and doubles that to 400 watts per channel into 4 Ohms. Each amplifier is about the size of a phone book, and weighs 7.5 Lbs. The chassis is machined out of a solid aircraft grade aluminum billet. Merrill Audio says careful design attention is paid to controlling enclosure resonance.
The feature set and parts quality are off the charts at this price point, and far beyond, actually. First, the amps come equipped with Stillpoints Ultramini support feet. XLR input connectors are Cardas silver plated rhodium. Speaker binding posts are Cardas Patented rhodium plated copper. And gold plated Furutech IEC receptacles are used. Amazingly, Merrill has custom made power cords supplied by Triode Wire Labs, and they are cryogenically treated to their specifications.
Inside the beautiful chassis -- finished in a piano black gloss with THOR engraved across the front panel -- are unique UcD modules with some trickle down technology from the VERITAS. This Class D topology allows for high power output and efficiency, and a smaller footprint. The THORs run cool, and won’t run up your electric meter. The input stages have been completely rebuilt as well.