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Bryston 4B SST2 Stereo Power Amplifier

Bryston 4B SST2 C-SERIES

Bryston Ltd. is a Canadian company which has been designing and manufacturing audio equipment for over 35 Years. While there are many companies competing in their market, Bryston's gear is coveted by enthusiasts and professionals alike. They have earned the reputation of providing bullet-proof reliability, high performance and value. Byston's value is not due to a bargain basement price. It's the sound and their 20 year guarantee of high performance that can make a Bryston purchase a value. This remarkable warranty speaks to Bryston's confidence in their own quality standards, and it is definitely the exception versus the rule in the A/V industry.

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Pass Labs XA30.5 Stereo Power Amplifier

Pass Labs XA30.5 Stereo Power Amplifier

What do a 30 watt stereo solid-state amplifier and a 500 watt solid-state monoblock have in common? A lot, it turns out. The seemingly diminutive Pass Labs XA30.5 weighs 75 pounds, has an enormous toroidal power transformer, and uses 20 output transistors to deliver 30 watts of pure class A power. It turns out these specs are similar, or in some cases, better than my recently reviewed Emotiva XPA-1 monoblocks. The XA30.5 proves that rated power is by no means everything. In fact, if you have speakers of even moderately high sensitivity, the XA30.5 renders any discussion of power output irrelevant. When paired with the right speakers, this may be one of the best amplifiers there is, regardless of price.

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Rotel RMB-1085 Class D (Switching) Five-Channel Power Amplifier

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Class D switching amplifiers are here to stay. The RMB-1085 is a five channel home theater amplifier that uses ICE power modules which stay cool and deliver very efficient high power, all from a small chassis.

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Bel Canto S500 Stereo Power Amplifier

Bel Canto S500 Power Amplifier

Let me first state "I like this amp, I really do." What does "Class A, A/B, D, ICEpower" mean to the average audiophile? Will there be an audible benefit by upgrading to the newer technology? If I am making an initial purchase will this technology satisfy me? Does the amp du jour really make a difference in the listening experience for the average listener?

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Halcro MC70 Seven-Channel Power Amplifier

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Halcro's MC series amplifiers come in two, three, five and seven channel configurations (designated the MC20, MC30, MC50, and MC70). The MC70 lists for $7,000, but compared to the Halcro Reference DM88 monoblocks, which will set you back more than $40,000 per pair, the MC70 is quite the bargain. So what kind of amp do you get for a kilobuck per channel?

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Emotiva XPA-1 Monoblock Power Amplifier

Emotiva XPA-1 Monoblock Power Amplifier

ADDENDUM - 4/1/09 I (JEJ) was so impressed with Chris' review of the XPA-1 (published in January, 2009), I asked Emotiva to send me one so I could run some of my own tests. I borrowed a different power amplifier from a friend that cost more than 6 times the price of the XPA-1, which I will call Amplifier "X" here. I ran the same tests on both amplifiers. Click on the photo to see the results (go to Page 4: Emotiva XPA-1 On the Bench, and my results are down near the bottom of the page).

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Lexicon ZX-7 Multi-Channel (300 watts x 7) Power Amplifier

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The Lexicon ZX-7 is a very powerful (300 watts RMS x 7 into 8 ohms) amplifier that delivers exquisite sound for two-channel music, surround sound music, and any movie you can imagine.

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Emotiva XPA-2 Stereo Power Amplifier

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Everyone would like a "good deal" in the world of audio, but there's usually a lot of skepticism involved because of the tendency for such products to be made with cheaper components and outsourced labor.

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Rotel RB-1092 Stereo (500 Watts/Channel) Class D (Switching) Power Amplifier

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Decades ago, an amplifier with 80 watts per channel (they were all two-channel amplifiers in those days), was considered a big amplifier.

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Jaton Operetta 2300a Class A/B Amplifier - First Look

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The Jaton company has been around for over 25 years. They started with manufacturing PC video cards, and have since branched into home theater and hi-fi gear. Lyra's HD-661 DX speakers were recently reviewed at Secrets, and their interesting design and great sound made me want to try out their amplification. George from Jaton was kind enough to send me a rather large and heavy Class A/B Stereo amplifier capable of putting out 300 watts RMS per channel into 4 ohms. Initial problems with the amplifier has required Jaton to redesign it, and the revised version will be sent to me for review In the meantime, here are some initial observations on the unrevised unit.

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The Power Amplifier Review Archives

Visit the Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity Power Amplifier Review Archives.

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