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Audio Control Rialto 600 Review (DAC & Amplifier)

amirm

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Audio Control Rialto 600 DAC and integrated amplifier with remote control. It is on kind loan from a member and (I think) costs US $849.

NOTE: our company, Madrona Digital, is a dealer for Audio Control. Our business is custom integration of electronics and Audio Control is a regular supplier of electronics to that market. Feel free to read as much bias as you like into my commentary and review. I should add that we have had incredibly positive relationship with Audio Control with their support being first class.

This is a compact amplifier with rich set of features especially for the CI (Custom Install) market:

Audio Control Rialto 600 Review Amplifier DAC Custom.jpg


I was most impressed by the back side of Rialto 600 amp:

Audio Control Rialto 600 Review Toslink Amplifier DAC Custom.jpg


In the CI market, this amp would be buried some place that no one would see. So to have those beefy speaker terminals was a pleasant surprise. Even more so was the thought that has gone into this for the intended market. Flip the high pass filter dip switch and a nice green LED lights up telling you that this is happening. A life saver in custom situations where mistakes can be costly to cure.

Inclusion of Toslink means a common application is to take the sound from a TV and drive proper set of speakers instead of a soundbar.

A small fan underneath quietly recirculates air which again, is a key needed feature in custom installs where these boxes are buried some place with no air flow. The fan kept the unit cool with the bottom getting somewhat warm. Without it, it would be cooking.

Overall impressions at this point were very positive for the intended market.

Audio Control Rialto 600 Measurements
Using the supplied remote, I set the volume to max and adjusted the analog input drive to get 5 watts out into 4 ohm as I normally do:
Audio Control Rialto 600 Measurements Analog In Amplifier DAC Custom.png


Ah, those are quite elevated distortion bars, pushing the ranking for Rialto 600 pretty low in all amplifiers tested to date:
Best CI amplifier reviewed 2021.png


Next, I switched to digital input to see if that is better:
Audio Control Rialto 600 Measurements Toslink digital In Amplifier DAC Custom.png


It is not. I thought I change things around and set the input to maximum digital and use the volume control on the amp to reduce power and see what happens:

Audio Control Rialto 600 Measurements Toslink digital In Volume Adjusted Amplifier DAC Custom.png


Shoot, this is even worse. However volume control is implemented, it is not a high fidelity design. So for the rest of the tests I will stick with analog input.

Let's get the other bit of bad news out of the way:
Audio Control Rialto 600 Frequency Response Measurements Analog In Amplifier DAC Custom.png


Even with filters disabled, there is that high pass filter with ringing. Turning on the 80 Hz filter just pushes the frequency up. Good news is that the response is load independent as seen with 4 and 8 ohm loads producing the same response.

Crosstalk was strange in the way the bleed was constant with frequency:

Audio Control Rialto 600 Measurements crosstalk Analog In Amplifier DAC Custom.png


We hardly ever see this.

SNR is decent:

Audio Control Rialto 600 SNR Measurements Analog In Amplifier DAC Custom.png


Good news is the copious amount of power in this small package:
Audio Control Rialto 600 Power into 4 ohm Measurements Analog In Amplifier DAC Custom.png


Specifications are exceeded:

Audio Control Rialto 600 Max and Burst Power into 4 ohm Measurements Analog In Amplifier DAC C...png


And 8 ohm:

Audio Control Rialto 600 Power into 8 ohm Measurements Analog In Amplifier DAC Custom.png


Conclusions
Clearly this amplifier doesn't have the performance we aspire for in this forum and for non-custom applications. Frequency response needs to be flat, and distortion much lower. For custom install, the feature set is very nice although that frequency response error may be a problem there as well. Positives are good cooling with a lot of power.

For our readers, the Rialto 600 is not something I can recommend. Shame, as the feature set is great to have even in our situations.

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

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Rottmannash

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I assume there's a class D module powering this?
 

Helicopter

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Thanks Amir. I was not expecting so much power. Interesting to see that without better transparency. Do we know the amp implementation?
 

Beershaun

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Interesting, panther is a bit more generous nowadays :p
I think the pathers are power hungry. As they say in automotive world "an extra hundred horsepower cures a lot of sins!"
 
OP
amirm

amirm

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Interesting, panther is a bit more generous nowadays :p
This panther is just a half step above headless one. It is that due to high power and flexibility of the unit.
 

restorer-john

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Why on earth would you place the headphone jack on the rear of a custom install type product?

And what is the bridged mono RCA out, all about?

It's a neat little thing, and would probably be a suitable setup for a non-critical listening family room, where just a pair of speakers was needed (no full blown multi ch surround).
 

GWolfman

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Thanks! Nice to see the some extra connectivity.
 

vkvedam

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This panther is just a half step above headless one. It is that due to high power and flexibility of the unit.
Agreed, I meant in general. It did let go the iFi Hip as well :)
 

Harmonie

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Lucky panther keeps his head.
I wonder how many pages will this thread have.

PS- How is the member's reaction that has lent it?
 

MZKM

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Power is nice to see; since it’s a CI product I assume subwoofer use is rare, so that may explain the frequency response (though not when the HP filter is active). I would wager the distortion levels are fine given the application. Maybe $600 instead of $850 though.
 

Matias

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In Portuguese "ri alto" means "laughed loudly". Very fitting. This amp had a good potential but just failed to deliver.
 

Helicopter

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In Portuguese "ri alto" means "laughed loudly". Very fitting. This amp had a good potential but just failed to deliver.
:D
Yeah. If only they had used a Hypex NC252MP... I'm sure whatever they actually used was a lot cheaper.
 

Kachda

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Thanks..will be good to see some HTD, Niles, Russound CI amps also on the bench for comparison. Stereo amps seem like a solved problem between Hypex and Purifi.
 

Ismapics

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Audio Control is big on Car Audio with lots of innovation and are known for their SQ. Well so that world says. Could it be that they could be using a similar stage as in their car audio products, where these frequency response irregularities and distortion are masked by the environment. It does hav similarities in packaging, toggle switches and jacks.
 
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