POWER AMPLIFIER REVIEWS

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Ultimate AV Staff Posted: Jul 10, 2006 0 comments

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<LI>Price: $2,299/pr.</LI>
<LI>Channels/Power: Monoblock; 200-Watts per channel into 8 ohms/325-Watts into 4 ohms </LI>
<LI>Inputs: Single-ended or balanced</LI>
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Ultimate AV Staff Posted: Jul 10, 2006 0 comments

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<LI>Price: $995-$1,995 (stereo unit $995, plus $200 per additional channel module)</LI>
<LI>Channels/Power: 2-7 channels; 180-Watts per channel into 8 ohms/270-Watts into 4 ohms</LI>
<LI>Inputs: Single-ended</LI>
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Posted: Jul 07, 2006 0 comments

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<LI>Price: $15,800/pr.</LI>
<LI>Channels/Power: Monoblock; 400-Watts per channel into 8 ohms/650-Watts into 4 ohms</LI>
<LI>Inputs: Single-ended and balanced</LI>
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Posted: Jul 07, 2006 0 comments

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<LI>Price: $1,499</LI>
<LI>Channels/Power: Seven channels; 105-Watts per channel into 8 ohms (all channels driven)/140-Watts per channel into 4 ohms (all channels driven) </LI>
<LI>Inputs: Single-ended</LI>
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: May 07, 2006 0 comments

When we think of a power amp today, we think of that large, heavy, hot-running, often ugly block of metal we hide away so we don't have to look at it. Or, if it's impressively large or expensive we proudly display it on the floor&mdash;an amp that's large, impressive, and expensive enough to show off is too heavy to put anywhere else! There, we willingly subject our ankles and shins to its sharp heat sinks on the sacrificial altar of great sound.

Mark Fleischmann Posted: Apr 09, 2006 1 comments
Trendy yet rebellious.

The audio industry seems about to leap off a cliff. Permit me to suggest that this may be a rash decision. True, component audio sales have diminished, but that's no excuse for the industry to abandon its principles and give up on sound quality. What consumers are rebelling against is not good sound but bad design. They've had enough of big, dumb, room-hogging speakers. "It doesn't suit the room, but it sounds good" doesn't cut it anymore. "It looks as good as it sounds" is the winning combination.

Steven Stone Posted: Apr 02, 2006 0 comments

The concept of "investing" in a rapidly depreciating commodity strikes me as patently stupid. Just look at EBay and Audiomart. They are chockablock full of yesterday's stratospherically priced audio components now available for ten cents on the dollar. I believe the best values in audio or video components come from companies that refine bleeding-edge, hyper-expensive technology into attractively priced products.

Jerry Kindela Posted: Feb 14, 2006 Published: Feb 15, 2006 0 comments
A combination that hits all the right notes (and sounds).

There's a compelling magic that has kept my butt on the sofa— it's the enthralling And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself. It was for no small reason that this HBO film earned an Emmy for sound editing. The width and depth of the soundscape, the detailed sound bits, the way the dialogue comes through, and the score's ability to underscore the power and poignancy of scene after scene are remarkable. Each of these turns a made-for-TV movie into a film that transcends the limitations of the home venue for which it was created. And the system I've been using—an Epos M Series 5.1 speaker setup powered by the Butler Audio TDB 5150 vacuum-tube power amplifier—reveals such wonderful nuances in Pancho Villa that I have been completely glued to the couch.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Feb 05, 2006 0 comments

Power amps get little respect in the home theater world. They're the heavy, black (or silver) boxes that sit somewhere in the dark, serving your speakers with a generous supply of power.

Posted: Dec 24, 2005 0 comments

A few years and a publication ago, I reviewed Arcam's FMJ AV8 controller and was frankly bowled over. At $5k I thought the AV8's detailed and dynamic sound made more expensive controllers a much harder bargain than before, and I recommended and continue to recommend that controller to anyone shopping in that price range. Enter Moore's law.

Chris Lewis Posted: Dec 12, 2005 0 comments
This time, it's all English.

After the parade of international system mates that we've had in every other installment of this column recently, we finally settle into a system whose parts share their nation of origin. Don't be too quick to assume that it is the United States or Japan I speak of—this month's system hails entirely from merry old England. This isn't terribly surprising, but it does give me an opportunity to say a few things to our friends across the pond that I've been meaning to say for a while, such as: Sorry about that whole revolution thing (although I don't really mean that sincerely), and thanks for the Rolling Stones, Lord Stanley (who gave us the Stanley Cup), and Elizabeth Hurley—in no particular order, of course.

Chris Lewis Posted: Sep 30, 2005 0 comments
Power that will surely register on your Richter scale.

Earthquake is not a bad moniker to have attached to an amplifier that can crank out some 300 watts across each of its seven channels. That kind of power, with the right speakers in front of it, can certainly set your listening room to rolling and rumbling. The name also applies well to the minor seismic event that will result when you drop this 122-pound behemoth into your equipment rack—assuming that you have an equipment rack that can hold it. But, as endearing as weight and power are in an amplifier, they don't tell the whole story of an amplifier's potential. Finesse and athleticism are just as important in a big, bulky amplifier as they are in a big, bulky linebacker.

Chris Lewis Posted: Aug 30, 2005 Published: Aug 31, 2005 0 comments
Performance and value never go out of style.

My curiosity was naturally piqued a few years ago when I heard that Parasound was going upscale with their look. This was a company that had become virtually synonymous with performance plus value, facilitated somewhat by forgoing aesthetic flair, and I wondered where the decision to go uptown with the finish in the Halo line would lead. The first good sign was the Halos' higher price tags. It costs a lot more to make boxes look that good, and this told me that they weren't taking resources away from performance to do so. What ultimately satisfied my curiosity, though, was how good the Halo models sounded. Yet, there are still those who want Parasound performance, have less to spend, and don't mind—or maybe even appreciate—Parasound's rugged, utilitarian old style. The New Classic line is exactly what they're looking for.

Steven Stone Posted: Aug 08, 2005 0 comments

Throughout his career, Mark Schifter has created affordable, high-fidelity products that compete with price-is-no-object high-end gear. His resum&#233; includes stints with Audio Alchemy and Genesis Speakers.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: May 22, 2005 0 comments

In today's hotly contested home theater market, the big consumer-electronics manufacturers are grabbing an increasingly important slice of the pie. Their new, big-boned receivers&mdash;with prices to match&mdash;approach (or sometimes exceed) the performance of most separates. The competition is fierce, with those mega-corporations using their marketing clout, engineering expertise, and production efficiency to built better products, but smaller companies can still compete. They're fighting back with separate pre-pros and power amps that trade on their traditional strength: sound quality.

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