Introduction to Power Amplifier Reviews

There was a time when there weren't that many choices to be made when purchasing power amplifiers. You had mono and stereo amps that were either tube or solid state. If choosing tube amps, you could select single ended or push-pull and then refine your choice based on the tube complement. For solid state, your choices were typically limited to either Class A or Class A/B. That pretty much summed up the possibilities. Of course, different amps from various manufacturers would sound unique and they varied in terms of their power output and other measured performance (such as maximum power, THD, IMD, etc.)

Now there are many new amplifier classes on the market – Class D, Class G and Class H are a few of the solid state choices. And you can find amps that have anywhere from one to seven channels or more. With the advent of multi-channel amps, many manufacturers make performance claims that are not always consistent with the FTC standards for amplifier ratings. So we at Secrets do our own bench tests that provide you an independent verification of the amplifiers' performance. We also break down the inherent technology so you know exactly what you are getting before you plunk down your hard earned greenbacks on that new amp.

Power Amplifiers

D-Sonic M3a-600M Mono Amplifier Review

Dennis Deacon, a mechanical engineer, designs and builds Class D mono, stereo, and home theater amplifiers that can produce prodigious amounts of power. They are all relatively small, run cool, and produce an amount of power that belies their size. There are no fans, no heat sinks, and not much else to get in the way of the sound.

Audio Research VT80SE Tube Power Amplifier Review

The Audio Research VT80SE Special Edition Tube Power Amplifier provides a spectacular soundstage and a natural sounding presentation. There is no solid-state glare. The VT80SE tubed power amplifier is built to last a lifetime, and its quality is evident both on the inside and the outside. If you want Audio Research sound without the price of their Reference series, this amplifier delivers!

McIntosh Reviews: MVP901 A/V Disc Player, MX122 A/V Processor, MC205 Five-Channel Power Amplifier

The McIntosh MVP901 Audio Video Player, the McIntosh MX122 A/V Processor, and the McIntosh MC205 Five-Channel Solid-State Amplifier are some of the brand’s coolest home theater components. Iconic McIntosh meets the 21st Century! The McIntosh MVP901, MX122 and MC205 have some surprises up their sleeves. McIntosh fans will definitely want to check them out!

Vacuum Tube Audio M-125 Mono-Tube Power Amplifier Review

The Vacuum Tube Audio (VTA) M-125 Mono-Tube Power Amplifiers offer performance rivaling products up to five times their price. But to get that performance, one has to give away some features. So how hair-shirt an audiophile are you? For those willing to read the owner’s manual, the Vacuum Tube Audio M-125 mono-tube power amplifiers offer amazing sound for the money – but are you up to the challenges?

Audio by Van Alstine DVA 850 Mono-Block Amplifiers Review

Audio by Van Alstine DVA 850 Mono-Block Amplifiers Review

The Audio by Van Alstine DVA 850 Mono-Block amplifiers offer the highest performance and technology currently available from their extensive lineup. With a mas -0sive power output of 850 watts, this hybrid tube/transistor design provides an extremely accurate reproduction, with virtually none coloration found in some all-tube or all solid-state designs.

MartinLogan Forte Amp

MartinLogan Forte Amp Review

High resolution wireless playback using DTS Play-Fi and Apple AirPlay is combined with high-power in the MartinLogan Forte amp. Wireless streaming is easy to set up and use with the Forte amp. Compatibility with other manufacturer’s components and speakers allows the Forte amp to be used in any situation and home wi-fi. Superb sonics round out the Forte amp’s strengths.

Emotiva XPA Gen3 Power Amplifier

Emotiva XPA Gen3 Power Amplifier Review (Benchtests Added)

The high end’s high value champ, Emotiva, just released the newest version of their highly regarded power amplifiers. It is the XPA Gen3 and it is a modular design that is available in two to seven channels depending on the number of amp modules installed. The power supply is a high tech Class H design which promises high power, cool operation and low energy consumption.