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Amplifiers Which Test Well, Under $1,000 USD

Ron Texas

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#1
It might be useful to collect some test results on amplifiers from various sources around the web. It might save Amir from reinventing the wheel, so to speak.

This one has only 60W @ 8 ohms, costs under $500, or less if you like building kits:

https://www.stereophile.com/content/akitika-gt-102-power-amplifier-measurements

The graph looks pretty good:



Perhaps other members can find some more things like this.

[I looked at the Outlaw Audio RR-2160 review on Stereophile but distortion wasn't all that different from the Crown XLS 1502.
 
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#2
The Cambridge 651W can still be had for about $700 online, and performed rather well when tested with an AP meter here: http://www.htguide.com/forum/showth...xpensive-Cambridge-Audio-651W-Power-Amplifier

At the same site, the Benchmark AHB and the Halcro monoblocks ($$$$$$$) tested better, but THD+N of 0.0007 @100W is pretty good, with the first distortion product being at -110dB (1kHz, 20W). This is getting fairly close to the Hypex NC400 level that amir measured.
 

Ron Texas

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#3
The Cambridge 651W can still be had for about $700 online, and performed rather well when tested with an AP meter here: http://www.htguide.com/forum/showth...xpensive-Cambridge-Audio-651W-Power-Amplifier

At the same site, the Benchmark AHB and the Halcro monoblocks ($$$$$$$) tested better, but THD+N of 0.0007 @100W is pretty good, with the first distortion product being at -110dB (1kHz, 20W). This is getting fairly close to the Hypex NC400 level that amir measured.
That Cambridge unit looks like true hi-fi. I have no idea what the control bus does...
 

jhaider

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#4
While it is probably not as good as the Hypex, the Parasound Zamp v.3 has served me well as a desktop amp, zone amp, and speaker measurement amp. It often gets ignored because it's not from a hype-seeking "internet direct" company, has a middle class price, and has been out for a while. But it's a fundamentally fine medium-power Class AB amp. Peter Azcel reported on it in the old Audio Critic blog.

http://www.biline.ca/audio_critic/audio_critic_web3.htm#pm

Build quality is also subjectively excellent.
 
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#6
It might be useful to collect some test results on amplifiers from various sources around the web. It might save Amir from reinventing the wheel, so to speak.

This one has only 60W @ 8 ohms, costs under $500, or less if you like building kits:

https://www.stereophile.com/content/akitika-gt-102-power-amplifier-measurements

The graph looks pretty good:



Perhaps other members can find some more things like this.

[I looked at the Outlaw Audio RR-2160 review on Stereophile but distortion wasn't all that different from the Crown XLS 1502.


Possibly https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Finished...=item3f923ea77f:g:q0AAAOSwusdaZgrk:rk:21:pf:0

Uses the same LM3886FT chips but has 2 per channel .
 

FrantzM

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#7
Hi

I am mightlily interested in Class D amps...

I favor power and where I live efficiency is paramount: We have about 4 hours of commercial AC a day, then we call that "plentiful"because we go at times, days without any commercial AC power. We store some electricity on batteries and some (I included) run AC Generators which require gas of some sort ... Solar too but for serious power we run generators .. These days there is a gas issue and it is difficult to get gas .. :confused: so ..

Class D , Class D...
For my subwoofer I have a Pro Class AB amp and running it reduces dramatically our batteries running time ... So I am using Headphones to listen to music and there won't be movies on the HT tonight :( ...

Class D all the way. Powerful and inexpensive Class D all the way :D
 

Ron Texas

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#8
I favor power and where I live efficiency is paramount: We have about 4 hours of commercial AC a day, then we call that "plentiful"because we go at times, days without any commercial AC power. We store some electricity on batteries and some (I included) run AC Generators which require gas of some sort ... Solar too but for serious power we run generators .. These days there is a gas issue and it is difficult to get gas .. :confused: so ..
Wow, almost off the grid. That sounds a little like Paupa New Guinea where electricity is generated with diesel and they got cut off because they did not pay their bills.
 
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#10
Would be interested in seeing how a NC500MP or NC250MP-based amp fares. Not only are they cheaper, apples-for-apples, in a stereo configuration (and far more available in finished form than NC400-based amps), but there's speculation that the integrated -MP versions (which have matched on-board switching PSUs) are actually *better* than the non-MP versions.
 

Rollingsound514

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#11
The Cambridge 651W can still be had for about $700 online, and performed rather well when tested with an AP meter here: http://www.htguide.com/forum/showth...xpensive-Cambridge-Audio-651W-Power-Amplifier

At the same site, the Benchmark AHB and the Halcro monoblocks ($$$$$$$) tested better, but THD+N of 0.0007 @100W is pretty good, with the first distortion product being at -110dB (1kHz, 20W). This is getting fairly close to the Hypex NC400 level that amir measured.
Want.
 

Ron Texas

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#13

GoMrPickles

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#14
https://www.soundandvision.com/cont...r-and-kef-kht-9000-ace-speaker-system-ht-labs

I own an Anthem MCA-50 and MCA-20, mostly because I got good deals on them. The MCA-50 looks great up until about 150 W output, then distortion starts to rise; the MCA-20 is probably identical but obviously only has 2 ch. Both have XLR inputs. As they are older models from Anthem, they're available for < $1000 online. Multi-channel (> 2) amps aren't the normal flavor around here, but if you want a 5 ch amp with XLRs, it fits the bill.
 

Nusse

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#16
This is just screenshots from icepower datasheets. You sould not trust them.
1) This graphs can be marketing crap
2) This graphs for OEM modules and not for complete solution ftom XTZ
Thanks for pointing that out. I was getting a little bit too excited when I found that review, with measurement. It clearly says "(Diagramm: ICEpower)"

Maybe I will buy one anyway and maybe ship it to Amir for some real test, if he has the time.
 
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#17
The Cambridge 651W can still be had for about $700 online, and performed rather well when tested with an AP meter here: http://www.htguide.com/forum/showth...xpensive-Cambridge-Audio-651W-Power-Amplifier

At the same site, the Benchmark AHB and the Halcro monoblocks ($$$$$$$) tested better, but THD+N of 0.0007 @100W is pretty good, with the first distortion product being at -110dB (1kHz, 20W). This is getting fairly close to the Hypex NC400 level that amir measured.
Thanks for this. Looks like it was discontinued recently which is too bad as doesn't look like a replacement has been released. Managed to find a demo/floor model.
 

Ron Texas

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#18
This is just screenshots from icepower datasheets. You sould not trust them.
1) This graphs can be marketing crap
2) This graphs for OEM modules and not for complete solution ftom XTZ
There appears to be a lot of variation in how well Icepower amplifiers measure. The Peachtree 150 is far below average, but PS Monoblocks measure very well, but cost $3000 for the pair, or $4000 when purchased with a nice DAC/preamp.
 

vitalii427

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#19
The Cambridge 651W can still be had for about $700 online, and performed rather well when tested with an AP meter here: http://www.htguide.com/forum/showth...xpensive-Cambridge-Audio-651W-Power-Amplifier

At the same site, the Benchmark AHB and the Halcro monoblocks ($$$$$$$) tested better, but THD+N of 0.0007 @100W is pretty good, with the first distortion product being at -110dB (1kHz, 20W). This is getting fairly close to the Hypex NC400 level that amir measured.
Wow! Looks like really great amp for the money. Definitely worth trying to find. Too bad it’s discontinued.

851W still current with same THD but has different proprietary topology Class XD (more like AB, not D)
 
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#20
Wow! Looks like really great amp for the money. Definitely worth trying to find. Too bad it’s disconnected.

851W still current with same THD but has different proprietary topology Class XD (more like AB, not D)
It's not really "proprietary" in any meaningful sense. It's just some imaginary letters they made up to describe a Class B amp with an optimized bias setting. It's a textbook Doug Self "Blameless" design, which I assume is essentially the exact same topology he spells out in his power amplifier book, which is focused on identifying sources of distortion and eliminating them. No secret sauce, just a solid, well-engineered design.
 
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