Absoluta Janus Monoblock Power Amp

Among the seemingly infinite number of monoblock power amps available in the world is the Janus from Italian maker Absoluta. Its understated elegance bespeaks careful attention to looks as well as performance.

The solid-state Janus provides balanced and unbalanced inputs and pumps 150 watts into 8Ω, 300W into 4Ω, or 500W into 2Ω—and that's continuous power from 10Hz to 300kHz. Actually, there are two unbalanced inputs—one phase-inverted with respect to the other—which lets you maintain the signal's original phase with inverting or non-inverting preamps.

Another touted feature of this amp is its "infinite slew" current-transfer circuit, which is said to convert input voltage to current, thereby improving its high-power transient response. The specified slew rate—which determines how quickly the circuitry can respond to changes in voltage—is greater than 160V/µs, which is indeed very high, but hardly infinite.

The price of the Janus ranges from 4570 to 5470 euros each (about $6300 to $7500 as of this writing), depending on the finish you select. To equip a 5-channel home theater, you'd end up spending $31,500 to $37,500. That's a lot of coin, but you're getting a lot of power and style in the deal.