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.
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.
The Emotiva XPA-1 Gen 2 is an update to Emotiva's XPA-1 500 watt monoblock amplifier. Improvements include more power (600 watts RMS into 8 ohms), and 60 watts of Class A bias.
The ATI 6002 and Emotiva XPA-1 represent a major advance in amplifier designers. To my knowledge these are the first, high power, full balanced amplifiers with feedback from the input to the speaker terminal in high volume production. These amplifiers have significantly better performance when compared...
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?
Pass Labs recently introduced their new Xs Preamplifier and XS 300 Pure Class A (300 watts) monoblock power amplifiers. They are a completely new design compared to their previous components, and have a sound that is almost beyond description in words.
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 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.
Audiophiles the world over know the name Mark Levinson. For some, it's one of Harman International's high-end brands. But long before that, it was—and still is—the name of a multitalented man with an unswerving vision of what audio recording and reproduction can and should be.
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!
After releasing a 500 watt monoblock power amplifier, the XPA-1, Emotiva didn't stop there. The newest addition to their monoblock power amplifier line is the XPR-1, which delivers 1,000 watts RMS into 8 Ohms. It may strain your back to move it, but it will set you back only $1,500.
Noted Austrian audiophile, Heinz Lichtenegger, founded Pro-ject Audio Systems in the 1990's as a way...