Power Amplifiers

Raven Audio Nighthawk MK2 Integrated Amplifier Review

Raven Audio is a relatively new company that makes high-end tube preamps, integrated amps, and power amps. They sell them direct, through their website. In this review, we take a look at the Nighthawk MK2, which is an integrated amplifier. It comes in a silver colored baked enamel. With solid aluminum handles, a folded carbon steel chassis and solid aluminum remote, the overall solid feel of quality construction was undeniable. The sound was a tubeophile’s dream.

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.

NewClear Audio NC1000L Class D Stereo Power Amplifier

Class D (i.e., "Switching") amplifiers have been around for quite a while now. What's clear from models produced so far is they all sound different, even when using the same core technology. Like many amplifiers of the type, the NewClear NC1000L uses the Bang and Olufsen ICEPower module. What makes the NC1000L different isn't this module; it's how that module is implemented. NewClear Audio was started by Sean Brady to improve upon the sound of existing switching amplifiers. Sean had heard some very good amps based on ICEPower technology, but thought he could do even better. The question is, does the NC1000L deliver the goods compared to similarly priced, traditional Class A/B amplifiers?

Bryston 28BSST2 Monoblock Power Amplifier

Lately I had been sampling the Bryston Mini T Bookshelf speakers with my reference amp, a modest Marantz Integrated, and though they matched well I wondered how they would fare with some serious Bryston power behind them. So when Bryston offered up some 28BSST2 's for review I had one stipulation: let me try them with the Mini T's.

D-Sonic M3-5400-7 Class D Seven-Channel Power Amplifier

D-Sonic is a company that I had been tangentially aware of for many years due to their direct marketing efforts on websites like Audiogon. The brainchild of Dennis Deacon, D-Sonic was founded in 2006 to make high quality Class D based amplifiers marketed directly to consumers. I had the pleasure of having D?Sonic's new top of the line 7-channel multi-channel amp in house for a few weeks and am excited to pass on my thoughts.

Axiom LFR1100 Omnidirectional Speakers and ADA-1500 Power Amplifier

About a year ago, Ian Colquhoun, founder of Axiom Audio, contacted me to talk about an exciting new design he was working on. It was the LFR1100 omnidirectional tower speaker and it represented a radical departure from not only their other products, but from traditional speaker construction. Needless to say I jumped at the chance to review them, but tremendous customer demand prevented me from getting a pair right away. When a surprise phone call came recently asking where I'd like the speakers delivered, I couldn't help but get excited!

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.