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Mark Levinson No533H Three Channel Power Amplifier

Mark Levinson No533H Three Channel Amplifier

Mark Levinson has been one of the most well know high-end audio brands for decades now. While usually associated with two-channel stereo, they also have a line of home theater amplifiers and electronics for those that want Mark Levinson with their multichannel system as well as their stereo.

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Anthem P2 Two-Channel Power Amplifier

Anthem P2 Two-Channel Power Amplifier

Anthem's statement multi-channel power amplifiers are called the P series. They come in two versions, a five-channel (P5) and a two-channel (P2). My home theater test lab has a 200 watt x 5 amplifier which works great for the majority of applications, but it is driving electrostatic speakers (ESLs), and for a handful of Blu-ray movies, the amplifier will go into protect mode when at high volume, because ESLs typically have a very low impedance (1 ohm) in the high frequency range.

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Mark Levinson Nº 531H Monoblock Power Amplifier

Mark Levinson Nº 531H Monoblock Home Theater Amplifier

Mark Levinson is one of the world's great high end audio manufacturers. They make a wide variety of electronic components, including pre amps, DACs, CD transports, SACD players as well as a surround sound processor they call a "Media Console". Levinson has also teamed with luxury auto manufacturer, Lexus so you can take their audio products on the road. Nonetheless, Mark Levinson is almost certainly best known for their very large, very powerful and very expensive power amplifiers. They enjoy a well deserved reputation for making some of the best - if not the best - solid state power amps around. The Nº 531H is the subject of the current review, and it delivers 300 watts RMS into 8 ohms.

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Pass Labs X1000.5 Monoblock Power Amplifier

Pass Labs X1000.5 Monoblock Power Amplifier

We have reviewed several Pass Labs products in the past, and I finally decided to get a pair of what they call "Room Heaters", i.e., the X1000.5. These monoblock power amplifiers are rated at 1,000 watts rms into 8 ohms. They are similar in physical design to the XA200.5, but the XA200.5's are biased into Pure Class A, while the X1000.5's are biased about 80 watts into Class A, with the rest as AB.

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Primare A30.7 Seven-Channel Class D Power Amplifier

Primare A30.7 7-Channel Class D Amplifier

This new seven-channel Class D power amplifier comes to us from the Swedish high fidelity brand, Primare. The engineers at Primare designed this amplifier from the ground up with some fresh ideas on how to optimize this burgeoning amplifier topology. Will this compact multi-channel amp be able to muster the chutzpah to power your home theater? Will it be able to deliver this power with the grace that is missing from so many other Class D amps?

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Jones Audio PA-M300 Series 2 Monoblock Power Amplifier

Jones Audio PA-M300 Series 2 Monoblock Amplifier

Imagine my surprise when Secrets' Editor-in-Chief, John Johnson, asked me if I would review a pair of Jones Audio's 300W solid-state monoblock power amplifiers. "Now that would be quite a switch," was the first thought that popped into my head.

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Pass Labs XA-100.5 Pure Class A Monoblock Power Amplifier

Pass Labs XA-100.5 Pure Class A Monoblock Power Amplifier

Most amplifier manufacturers produce power amplifiers that are biased as Class AB, meaning that they run a few watts in Class A and the rest in AB. This is usually a push-pull configuration, and the AB moniker refers to a slight overlap in the + portion of the waveform that is delivered by one section of the amplifier with the - portion handled by the other amplifier section.

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Earthquake Sound Cinenova 7 Multi-Channel Power Amplifier

Earthquake Sound Cinenova 7 Multi-Channel Power Amplifier

Earthquake Sound, besides manufacturing very powerful subwoofers, also offers very powerful amplifiers for your home theater. The massive Cinénova Grande 7 is rated at 500 watts output per channel (seven channels) into 8 ohm loads. At $6,000, it is one of the most powerful multi-channel amplifiers in the world. But, many consumers don't need that much power, either because their home theater is small, or they just don't watch movies and listen to surround sound music very loud. So, Earthquake Sound has introduced the Cinénova 7, a seven-channel power amplifier, which is rated at 150 watts output per channel into 8 ohms.

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Emotiva XPA-3 Three-Channel Power Amplifier

Emotiva XPA-3 Power Amplifier

The term "separates" was once reserved for the upper crust of the home theater world. Only those with the most discerning ears (and fattest wallets) considered purchasing a separate preamp/processor and multi-channel power amplifier. That time has long gone, thanks in part to the rise of Internet-direct firms such as Emotiva. They manufacture monoblocks (single-channel amplifiers) and multi-channel amplifiers, up to the XPA-5 which has five channels. The current review explores their three-channel amplifier, called the XPA-3.

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Parasound New Classic 5250v.2 Multi-Channel Power Amplifier

Parasound New Classic 5250v.2 Multichannel Amplifier for the Home Theater

Parasound builds many audio products such as amps, tuners, preamps, and products for custom installations. As well their products can be found in many movie studios, including Lucasfilm and Pixar, you can even see their name in the credits for Star Wars. As well they are known for their highly regarded stereo products designed by John Curl. Their New Classic line has been around for many years and Parasound has released an updated five channel amplifier from this line, named the 5250v.2 which is a powerful and rugged THX Ultra-2 Five channel amplifier.

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Classe CA-M600 Monoblock Power Amplifier

Classe CA-M600 Monoblock Power Amplifier

Classé updated their Delta power amplifier series in late 2010, including the CA-M400 which is now the CA-M600. The entire amplification signal passes on a single circuit board, and they have introduced a new cooling system called ICTunnel™, which utilizes a fan on the inside front panel of the amplifier that draws aire into the chassis and over some fins that absorb heat fromt the circuit boards. In use, I found the fan to be whisper quiet, with just a gentle breeze coming from the front amplifier port. This kept the entire chassis cool, but also, the temperature of the circuit board is electronically controlled by adjusting the fan speed, to optimize the performance, which turned out to be stellar.

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