Secrets Product Review

AudioControl Savoy Seven-Channel Power Amplifier

Part II

November, 2005

John E. Johnson, Jr.


The Setup

I tested the Savoy using a Yamaha Universal DVD Player, Lexicon MC-12 SSP, and Carver Amazing Ribbon Speakers. Cables were Nordost.

The Sound

First and foremost, the Savoy is a home theater amplifier, so of course, I put on an action film.

Batman & Robin (1997) is not a new movie, but this disc came from a new set called "Batman: The Motion Picture Anthology; 1989 - 1997".

This version is a two-disc set which has an additional scene, music videos, some other features, and of course . . . the movie.

Whatever you might think of Schwarzenegger as an actor, you can always count on the sound tracks in his movies being challenging, and the Savoy handled everything the disc threw at it. Bass was intense (for the test, I did not cross over the low frequencies), and highs were crisp and clear. Dialog was intelligible with or without accompanying sound effects.


Never think for a moment that old mono sound tracks won't benefit from a fine amplifier.

In fact, such films as this new digital transfer of the family classic The Wizard of Oz really do need an amplifier with low distortion to allow the voices to be intelligible.

This movie never sounded better than when I watched it using the Savoy.


Many home theaters are used for listening to music, as well as for watching movies.

For me, music usually means classical, and I listen to chamber music, such as this disc, at low volume.

Setting the processor to 7.1 lets me enjoy two-channel CDs in surround sound.

The levels at which I listened to this disc did not push the Savoy to its limits by any means, but the sound quality at low volume is just as important as what happens when you crank it up.

In this case, strings and piano were lively, musical, and yet gentle, never strident.


Vivaldi is one of my favorite composers, and this disc suited me just fine for the Savoy tests.

The music here consists mostly of strings: violin, viola, and cello.

With stringed instruments, it is very easy to create a mushy sound if the amplifier (preamplifier too) is not up to the task.

However, the Savoy passed muster here with flying colors. It was so peaceful, I fell asleep somewhere in the middle of the disc.


Click Here to Go to Part III. 

Copyright 2005 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity

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