|Aragon 2007 Multi-channel Power Amplifier|
|Home Theater Power Amplifiers Multi-Channel Amplifiers|
|Written by Ed Masterson|
|Sunday, 01 December 2002|
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The name Aragon has long been synonymous with performance and value. Eons ago, Aragon was put on the high-end audio map with the introduction of the critically acclaimed Aragon 4004MKII amplifier. Today, the Aragon brand name is owned by Klipsch, who have recently introduced an entirely new line of Aragon products with the same lofty goals in mind: to supply products that compete with the very best, at a price that doesn’t require a second mortgage. The Aragon 2007 fits that description as a seven-channel amplifier that measures nine-and-one-quarter inches tall, 15 inches deep, and 17-and-one-quarter inches wide. The 2007 weighs 49 pounds and sells for $3,000, a competitive price as compared with other high-performance multi-channel power amps.
Each of the 2007’s amplifier channels is capable of supplying 200 watts of power into eight ohms, and 300 watts into four ohms. This is a whopping total of 1400 watts at eight ohms and 2100 watts into four ohms. Each channel has a single RCA jack for its input and a pair of insulated binding posts for speaker connections. Other than the rocker-type power-switch on the front, the only other feature is a three-position dimmer switch on the rear of the chassis, which allows the user to select two different brightness levels or turn off the light on the front panel altogether.
Aragon has a reputation for implementing simple cost-effective approaches to amplifier designs with good results. In order to save weight, size and cost, the 2007 uses a single power supply, referred to as “SmartPower,” to provide the power for all seven channels. A quick peak inside the chassis of the 2007 revealed the simplicity of the design. The single large power supply is connected to seven individual, identical amplifier boards. The enclosure has heat sinks on the rear and side panels. The front panel is a simple flat plate with a power switch and the same Aragon logo and machined groove that adorned the Stage One A/V pre-amp. My review unit was silver, although it is also available in black. The combination of excellent build quality and overall style is certain to make a statement in any system.
Music and Movies
To start, I connected the 2007 through Revel F30s and the Aragon Stage One processor. I used my Muse Model 2 DAC and Theta Data transport combo on the front end and put the Stage One in two-channel direct mode. To get rolling, I put in an old blues favorite, B. B. King Anthology (MCA). This two-disc Greatest Hits recording has a wide variety of music styles. In the song “Lucille,” one of my favorites by King and likely the best known of his hits, the instruments were well outside the speakers. The walls in my room seem to disappear, leaving only the stage in front and around me. The instruments remained separated and well defined in the stage, even at very loud listening levels. In the next track, “Why I Sing the Blues,” the bass line was well defined and separated from the kick drum. The vocals were clean and clear with no noticeable grain. The highs were crisp and clean but not quite as extended as the best that I have heard from some of the more expensive amps from the likes of Proceed and Krell.
Next, I dialed in John Mellencamp’s The Best That I Could Do 1978-1988 (Mercury). This Greatest Hits CD has most of his older hits, including my two favorites, “Pink Houses” and “Authority Song.” Although I love the music, this CD tends to reveal some of the weaknesses of digital recording systems from that era. With the 2007/Stage One combo, the best of this music was revealed without putting emphasis on the somewhat grainy highs associated with this recording. In my experience, this is a rare quality for a cost-driven solid-state design. The 2007 was able to deliver the drive and dynamics in “The Authority Song,” and had my legs bouncing and feet tapping. Mellencamp’s voice in “Pink Houses” was well defined, providing lots of detail without being overly aggressive.
Next, I moved on to Shady Grove by Jerry Garcia and David Grisman (Acoustic Disc). I love this disc because it really sounds like these guys are just hanging out and having fun jamming their favorite music. Track Four, ”The Sweet Sunny South,” starts out with a single banjo playing off to the left in the stage. I immediately noticed how real the banjo sounded. It seemed to be physically present in the room. I did notice that when compared to much more expensive gear, the air in the studio surrounding the instrument was less apparent. However, I was still impressed with this aspect of the 2007’s performance, considering its price. The next track, “Louis Collins,” made me remember what I like about this style of music. It just makes me smile and relax – it’s what music is truly all about. With the 2007, I reached this point frequently.
For a final two-channel test, I put in Neil Young Unplugged (MTV Unplugged). During “Harvest Moon,” I noticed again the huge stage that was present in my room. I was also impressed with the 2007’s ability to maintain separation between all of the instruments and most notably the chorus vocals. The 2007 performed this way, all the way up to very loud listening levels.