Pivetta Opera One Multichannel Power Amp

There are power amps, and there are power amps—and then there's the Pivetta Opera One. Standing six feet tall and weighing over half a ton, this monster is designed by Pivetta Andrea (pictured here with his creation), built by the Italian company bearing his given name, and distributed worldwide exclusively by HigherFi.

The class AB Opera One provides 12 channels of 1600 watts each into 8Ω, for a total of 19,200W with a THD of 0.05% from 20Hz to 20kHz. It can also drive 4Ω loads with even higher power levels. Obviously, that requires a serious power supply, shown here, which must be connected to a 230/400VAC mono or triphase circuit.

With balanced and unbalanced inputs for each channel, the amp can be used to drive a surround system with up to 12 speakers. Alternatively, it can drive a 2-channel rig in a single-, bi-, tri-, or quad-amped configuration. Pivetta is working on a bridging option to combine channels for more power that could be available in future versions.

In terms of raw cost, this is the most expensive power amp I know of at $650,000. But the cost per watt is under $34, a mere pittance compared with the Wavac SH-833 ($350,000 for two channels of 150W each, or $1167 per watt). Even better, HigherFi offers the Opera One for the discounted price of $490,000, and it can be put on layaway. Let's see, at $1000/month, it'll take nearly 41 years to pay off—sign me up!