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POWER AMPLIFIER REVIEWS

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uavGary Altunian Posted: Oct 17, 2008 0 comments
I love big, beefy power amplifiers for the same reason I enjoy high-performance automobiles. An economy car will get me to my destination, but it's just not as much fun.
Michael Fremer Posted: Oct 13, 2008 0 comments
An Antidote to the AVR

With flagship A/V receivers approaching apartment building size and black-hole heft, there’s a great deal to be said about separating the brains of the operation from the brawn. If you choose separates, it means you never have to borrow a construction crane to hoist a feature-laden, mega-watt seven- or eight-channel receiver onto a tall equipment rack.

Fred Manteghian Posted: Oct 06, 2008 0 comments
Separates Are What Keep Us Apart

Back in the days when CRT front projectors roamed the earth, any serious home theater required a separate surround processor and amplifier. In fact, it wasn’t uncommon to find a Tri-Amplisauri from Parasound, Proceed, and others covering those three all-important front channels. Of course, technology has advanced significantly in the past decade. These days, unless you have some very special needs, you can’t go wrong with today’s powerful and reasonably priced one-piece receivers. Many have more amplified channels than Hillary Clinton has pant suits. Rotel makes a number of A/V receivers. I even reviewed one for UltimateAVmag.com a few years ago. But the separates I reviewed here are not simply a case of cutting the baby in half. This here is a new species.

uavGary Altunian Posted: Sep 22, 2008 0 comments
A power amplifier is the last electronic component in the audio chain—well, next-to-last if you count the speakers—and it has several important tasks. It must amplify a very small audio signal without changing the signal's characteristics, it must precisely control each speaker in the system, and it must instantaneously deliver adequate voltage and current to each speaker on demand. As such, the power amp is where the rubber meets the road.
uavKim Wilson Posted: Aug 20, 2008 0 comments

In the world of cars, any make and model will get you where you need to go. Some will get you there faster, and others will get you there in style. However, only a select few exude an air of sophistication and grace.

David Vaughn Posted: Aug 01, 2008 0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
You've probably never heard of a company called Wyred 4 Sound. Neither had I until I was offered the opportunity to review one of its multichannel power amps for UAV. W4S is a California-based company whose goal is to design, engineer, and manufacture high-end audio products with audiophile performance at affordable prices.
Jerry Kindela Posted: Jul 23, 2007 0 comments
Pushing the technology envelope.

Founded in early 1972 by Ivor Tiefenbrun, Scottish manufacturer Linn Products has consistently been on the cutting edge of audio development and delivered products that have enamored many audiophiles. Just think of the Linn Sondek LP12 turntable, the Sondek CD12 compact-disc player, or even the Komponent speaker system that Michael Trei reviewed in these pages (in the March 2006 issue). Linn has routinely pushed the boundaries and treaded ahead of the manufacturing pack. Case in point: the Chakra range of amplifiers, which rely on switch-mode power supplies, plus other proprietary developments on the audio-circuit side.

Michael Fremer Posted: Mar 25, 2007 0 comments

It starts with the box. These components are packaged in boxes that appear to be built with greater precision and care than most of the mainstream home theater <I>electronics</I> you're likely to encounter. A miniature homeless person's mansion, I imagined, lifting these two solid jewels from their form fitting enclosures.

Mark Fleischmann Posted: Mar 22, 2007 Published: Feb 22, 2007 0 comments
Multinational speakers meet American amps.

On the battlefield of speaker design, I am the triage nurse. I walk into speaker demo rooms at trade shows, my badge sometimes inadvertently turned inward, listen for a moment, and quietly mutter to myself, "This one's a keeper," or, "He's dead, Jim." Or occasionally just, "Hmmm," because good speakers may sound iffy under bad conditions, and I respect the potential buried within an ambiguous first take. But, if my instincts tell me to pursue a review, I whip out a business card and start making arrangements on the spot.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Feb 03, 2007 0 comments

NAD has long been a leading player in the audio, and now audio-video, electronics business. Although NAD once took a leap and marketed speakers in some parts of the planet, it's made its name by offering amps, preamps, receivers, CD and DVD players, and surround processors that delivered more performance than the prices and often-plain cosmetics might suggest. Unlike most of its peers, NAD has avoided the temptation to move sharply up market and produce products that only the well healed can afford.

Steve Guttenberg Posted: Jan 26, 2007 0 comments
They want to take you higher.

The component that put NAD on the map in the mid 1970s—the 3020 integrated stereo amplifier—didn't look like a giant killer. Finished in an indeterminate shade of grayish-brown and devoid of gee-whiz features, the 3020 nevertheless became one of the best-selling audiophile amplifiers of all time—and not just because it sounded better than anything going for two or three times its humble MSRP. The 3020 had that special something that made it, well, lovable. Over the decades, the engineers squeezed a bit of the 3020's magic into every NAD product, but they've pulled out all the stops with the new Masters Series components. They had to, as the ultimate NADs are competing with the likes of Anthem, Arcam, B&K, and Rotel. They're playing with the big boys now.

Steve Guttenberg Posted: Dec 31, 2006 0 comments
Close to the edge.

I'm constantly amazed by the steadily improving sound of real-world-priced components, but it's fun to see how far mind-bogglingly fantastic high-end electronics have come. Yes, I have to admit that there's a certain amount of poseur gear that sports nosebleed pricing but doesn't really deliver sound that's much better than everyday good stuff. Have no such worries here, though. Anthem's Statement D2 surround processor and P5 amplifier are the real deal. Even by high-end standards, their capabilities are inspired.

Steve Guttenberg Posted: Dec 04, 2006 Published: Nov 04, 2006 0 comments
Grander than ever.

While Sunfire's Bob Carver isn't quite the household name that Apple's Steve Jobs is, he absolutely qualifies as a bona fide audio legend. Carver's greatest hits range from his early high-power amplifier, the 350-watt-per-channel Phase Linear 700, to Sonic Holography, Bob's virtual-surround generator. Carver also did much to inspire the new breed of super-potent, ultracompact subwoofers with his much-copied Sunfire True. His knack for audio innovation pumped my expectations for a couple of his latest creations, Sunfire's Theater Grand TGP-5 pre/pro and the TGA-5400, a 400-watt-per-channel amplifier.

Posted: Sep 07, 2006 0 comments

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Posted: Sep 07, 2006 0 comments

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