Secrets Product Review

AudioControl Savoy Seven-Channel Power Amplifier

Part I

November, 2005

John E. Johnson, Jr.




● Power: 150 Watts RMS x 7 into 8 Ohms

● H-Class
● MFR: 2 Hz - 50 kHz 0.2 dB
● THD: 0.05%
● S/N: 105 dB A-Weighted
● Dimensions: 5.75" H x 17" W x 17.5" D
● Weight: 41 Pounds
● MSRP: $2,495 USA



AudioControl started out 30 years ago building sound measurement and correction products, such as spectrum analyzers and equalizers.

They have come a long way since then, and now make processors and power amplifiers, but still market the spectrum analyzer too, the SA-3052 being their current model.

They serve three markets: Car, Home, and Professional. The AudioControl Savoy Seven-Channel Power Amplifier, reviewed here, is labeled "Professional Installer's Guide" on the instruction manual cover.

The Design

The Savoy has seven channels, delivering 150 watts RMS into 8 ohms. AudioControl has two other models, the Pantages, which has 200 watts x 5, and the Avalon, which has 200 watts x 2.

All of the AudioControl power amplifiers, including the Savoy, use H-Class topology. This means that the voltage rail supplying the output stage has more than one level. It is not a continuously varying rail, but has several fixed voltages. This allows the amplifier to run cooler than otherwise, setting the rail voltage to only the relative level that is required. As a result, the Savoy does not need heat sinks.

The Savoy has balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA inputs, and from the circuit diagram, it appears that pins 1 and 3 are not simply shorted, meaning that a balanced cable connecting the preamp to the Savoy can be beneficial, reducing noise that is picked up along the way. However, the internal amplifier circuit is not balanced.

Clip protection circuitry, called "LightDrive" keeps the amplifier out of dangerous distortion levels by reducing the output if the volume is turned up too high.

The amplifier uses a single toroidal transformer rated at 0.8 kVA (800 watts), and a total of 60,000 μF of power supply capacitance, with 70 volts on the capacitors. This represents 147 joules of energy storage for the Savoy.

The front panel has a button for Standby Power (the main power on/off toggle is on the rear panel), and a button to change the range that the channel level indicators will show. So, if you are playing soft music, you can still read the relative output levels which show up as red lights above the name for each channel.

The rear panel shows that the amplifier is a modular design. Each connection board has an RCA input, an RCA output (for daisy chaining, such as bi-amping), an XLR input, and a pair of five-way speaker binding posts.

The main on/off toggle can be seen in the upper right corner, with the fuse and grounded AC receptacle underneath.

Click Here to Go to Part II.

Copyright 2005 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity

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