Amplifiers

Emotiva XPA Gen3 Amplifier

Emotiva XPA Gen3 Amplifier Preview

Throughout their history, Emotiva has been widely recognized as the world’s best value in high-end audio. They have earned this reputation by offering amazing products that rival the best money can buy at unbelievably low prices.

Mark Levinson No585 Integrated Amplifier Review

Mark Levinson is beginning to roll out new products that are being developed at their new state of the art R & D facility located in Shelton, Conn. The No585 integrated amplifier is among the first of those products. It is a large and quite powerful integrated amplifier with a built-in DAC capable of decoding LPCM signals up to 32-bit/192 kHz or DSD signals up to 5.6 MHz. It is also compatible with asynchronous USB data from your Mac or PC.

Pass Labs X600.8 600 Watt Monoblock Power Amplifier Review

With the success of the Pass Labs Xs series, Nelson Pass set out to create a line of additional power amplifiers that have most of what the Xs series has, but at much more affordable prices. The model under current review is the X600.8, which is a monoblock specified at 600 watts RMS output, with the first 50 watts in Pure Class A, and the rest in AB. Do they sound close to the Xs amplifiers? Read on.

Krell S-550i Integrated Amplifier

The S-550i is the larger of two new integrated amps from Krell. Both of these amps feature circuit boards that utilize surface mount components. This means they can pack more power into smaller chassis than ever before. The S-550i is rated at 275 watts per channel into 8 ohms, and that doubles to 550 wpc into a 4 ohm load. This being from a box that is less than 6 inches tall. So now you can get tons of Krell goodness in a small package and at a very affordable price.

NAD D 3020 Hybrid Digital Stereo Amplifier

When I left home for college in 1984, I brought my stereo system along. It consisted of a Kenwood receiver, Technics turntable, and a pair of Fisher 3-way speakers. After discovering a few high-end stereo shops in Boston, and having my turntable set up properly; I started shopping for a better amp. My meager funding ruled out separates but the proprietor of a small hi-fi shop pointed me to that now-familiar brown box. I returned to my dorm room clutching a brand-new NAD 3020, for which I believe I paid around $220. My reward was the cleanest sound I'd ever heard, bar none. I used that amp all through college and probably for another 10 years after. Today, NAD has recreated this amazing product for the digital age. Where we once relied on vinyl and ferrous tape, now it's all about bits and bytes. The timeless philosophy of clean high-quality sound, versatile operation, and a low price has now given birth to the all-new D 3020 Hybrid Digital Amplifier.

Pass Labs INT-150 Integrated Stereo Amplifier

Pass Labs is renown for their high end preamplifiers and power amplifiers, but they also have integrated amplifiers as well, which include the INT-30A and the INT-150. Here, we review the INT-150, which, as you can imagine from the model number, outputs 150 watts x 2 (into 8 ohms). It has the same massive build quality as the other Pass components I have reviewed, and also, its own distinctive sound, as I have found with the others.

Funk LAP-2.V3 Preamplifier

It is becoming increasingly popular for high end audio buffs to use pro studio gear in their home systems. This preamp from a German manufacturer that makes pro gear is in keeping with this trend. As a matter of fact...

Emotiva X-Ref 12 Subwoofer

Emotiva is a U.S. based Internet-direct manufacturer, known primarily for their high-power solid-state amplifiers. However, Emotiva makes other products, including three different lines of speakers, and several subwoofers. In this case, we review the X-Ref subwoofer, which has a 12" driver and 600 watts of amplifier power, all at a very reasonable price.

Energy

Energy has been a leader in audio research and development as well as in the engineering and manufacturing of speakers since 1973.

Optoma HD33 3D DLP Projector

In the two years since 3D displays first became commonplace, I've seen many demos; and only a few of them really impressed me. When you watch for a few minutes and you get that "gotta have it" feeling, you know you've seen something special. So far I've seen exactly zero flat panels that affected me that way. They just don't immerse the viewer the way a projector does. I've found for the 3D effect to be truly convincing, the edges of the screen have to be outside my peripheral vision. Front projection is, of course, the answer; but 3D capable models are only just now trickling down to the affordable level. The Optoma HD33 is a DLP projector with 3D capabilities and has full 1920x1080p native resolution. All for less than $1,500.