|Sunfire Theater Grand 7400 Multi-channel Amplifier|
|Home Theater Power Amplifiers Multi-Channel Amplifiers|
|Written by Ken Taraszka, MD|
|Thursday, 01 February 2007|
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Though it is tough to find fault with this amplifier, as it does so much well, it is my job to find areas where there is room for improvement. Bass, though clearly extended to the lowest of registers, lacked some of the authority of higher-end amps, and separation during complicated passages was less than with my much more expensive reference gear. This is not unexpected, as the amps I am using cost more for two channels of amplification than the Sunfire does for all seven. Given the price difference, the Sunfire did an amazing job.
The binding posts are pretty close together, again not unexpected on a seven-channel amplifier. I was able to easily connect all my wires, but had I used some others I keep around, this might not have been the case. The new look of the Sunfire gear appeals to me, but aesthetics are user-dependent and you will need to make your own judgment. I did all my listening to this amp on its own dedicated 20-amp line, and due to its power supply’s ability to deliver on an as-needed basis, and the massive dimming I witnessed when initially plugging this into a already loaded power circuit, I would provide this amp a solid power feed to get it to perform at its best.
I often found myself listening to this amp at higher than normal levels, due to the ease with which it reproduced volume and its ability to maintain its sonics at the highest of levels. At one point, I turned it down, as it was becoming painfully loud. Yes, this amp will play that loud if your speakers, and ears, can handle it, with seemingly absent heat production. While the TGA lacked some of the separation and air of some of the big boy amps, like Mark Levinson and Krell, it absolutely held its own and, in terms of absolute value, may be even better than the big boys when you consider dollar per performance. This Sunfire has power to spare and affords user adjustment of sonics to match your specific system needs with its two different types of outputs for the front speakers. Its slightly forward presentation worked extremely well for movies, giving a true theater-like experience, and it did a solid job with music as well. I found the TGA 7400 a solid performer offering flexibility and power not found in most amps, let alone seven-channel amps.
This amp can rock, which it proved to me, blowing me away during my extreme listening sessions to the point I found myself checking my speaker’s drivers for fear of damage. Thankfully, there was none, which is yet another testament to the clean power offered by the TGA 7400. This amp has amazing dynamic capability, and can run full-bore for hours on end without generating significant heat. I know some will find its $4,449 price tag high, but in the amplifier world, I assure you it is not. Factor in this amp’s amazing power production, flexible connectivity, small size, weight and the near absence of heat production, and you have one exceptional piece of gear that I am sure home theater enthusiasts as well as custom installer will love. While it weighs less than some speaker cables I own, it out-powered my expectations and made for fantastically real theater dynamics rarely seen in midrange, let alone high-end, home theater amplifiers. If you are looking for an amplifier to power your theater that can blow off your doors, and possibly your ears as well, this is an amp you need to hear.