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Behringer A800 Stereo Amplifier Review

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#41
Here is the bridged mono measurement:

View attachment 43291

Would be good to drive subs this way. Are there cheaper options for half a killowatt of power?
After my plate AMP capacitors died a second time in my pair of Velodyne 10" subs a couple years ago (The Subs are 20 years old and I replaced all Caps in 2010)
I replaced with 2 x 450W RMS bridged 8ohms AMPs.

These are from Jaycar in Australia and no longer available. I paid $280 each. ;) But yes the A800 is a great buy for Sub applications for the price.

Power output: 2 x 200W RMS @ 4ohms, 2 x 150W @ 8 ohms and 450W RMS bridged @ 8 ohms

THD+N: <0.1% 20Hz-20KHz
Slew: 20V/us
Damping: >300
Voltage Gain: 39.8dB into 8ohms @ 0.775V
SNR >90dB
Class A/B
Switchable input gain: 0.775V, 1.0V, 1.4V
Input Impedance: 20K balance/10K unbalanced
Weight: 7.4Kg


I replaced the stock fans with much quieter 2000RPM fans.

Amp fans
by Hilton, on Flickr

Amps
by Hilton, on Flickr

Done!
by Hilton, on Flickr

Sub
by Hilton, on Flickr

Amps
by Hilton, on Flickr
 
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M00ndancer

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#42
I paid $360 for my 1502 at Guitar Center. The A800 is a deal if you don't want the DSP in the Crown. It could become a cult favorite.
It's even priced right in EU, less than €200 including tax and postage.
 

pma

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#43
Another very bad amplifier got a "recommended" verdict. And the speaker dummy load used is to easy, it should fall at least to 4ohm, not to 8ohm as now. As used, it is close to useless.
 
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#46
Right, then why does this thing have volume controls?

If one uses a control amplifier (preamp) with this thing, then what level are you supposed to leave this unit's volume controls at?

I had the exact same problem with my studio monitors. Eventually I set the volume control on my monitors to a level where I could get a decently usable range with the volume knob of my USB interface (essentially a control amplifier).

Not sure if that's the "optimal" way to go, though.
Step away from the pro-audio amplifier... ;) Most people don't understand the purpose of those front knob thingies... :) They are for gain matching components and sensitivity matching of speakers for unity gain. They are certainly not volume controls though most people mistake them for that.

https://www.proaudioland.com/news/unity-gain-explained-why-important/
 

LTig

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#47
WRT impedance the stereophile graph is not the same as the one shown by Douglas Self in his book (Audio Power Ampfier Design Handbook, 1996/reprint 1997, page 165). The latter might be a simulation using the values of the circuit. A real circuit will have other values though as the inductors have their own resistance.
I simulated the circuit by Douglas Self. I also played a bit with real values for the inductors in the woofer part, and came up with values which lead to an impedance curve quite close to what @amirm measured:
ds_2-way_speaker.png
 

pma

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#48
My post
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ax-396-integrated-amplifier.10410/post-290083

explains that even if impedance of the dummy complex speaker load is higher than that of the test resistor, distortion of the amplifier under test into the dummy load may be higher at some frequency intervals than distortion into resistive load. This is due to imaginary part of the complex impedance, in other words impedance phase. Not only magnitude is important, but phase as well.
 

LTig

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#49
I'm don't want to step on Dougs feet (who am I compared to him?) but I think this does not look like a realistic model. It seems to simulate two chassis (tweeter to the left, woofer in closed housing to the right) and then connect them in parallel without any crossover. One should add a typical crossover (e.g. 2nd order) and recalculate the impedance. If it does not differ significantly I'd stand corrected.
I simulated Dougs circuit with and without a 2nd order crossover (calculated here for 2.5 kHz and 8 Ohm resistive loads). I also simulated the load of the crossover with 8 ohm resistive loads:
ds_2-way_speaker_with_xover2.png
The difference between the green line (crossover with resistive loads) and the blue line is big (and shows that the crossover would be a constant resistive load if the chassis would be resistive as well). But also the difference between the speaker load with and without crossover is quite drastic, with a dip down to 2 Ohm compared to 7 Ohm without crossover.

Beware though that the values of the crossover components (L = 0.72 mH, C = 5.625 uF) are theoretical values! Using real values for the inductor would certainly change the picture once more.
 

peng

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#50
@amirm , thank you very much for another such detailed review. I know we all should contribute more, but it would be great if you can get some sort of government grants too for providing such great service to the consumers who otherwise would have to rely heavily on information provided by manufacturers marketing information.

Is it too much to ask that you include the simulated speaker load for future amps and avrs?
 

oog747

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#51
What makes you "lean" towards the A800?
My use case is completely unprofessional, residential, with "full" range speakers. While switching between A800 and XLS1502 on a fly (I use 2 amps to 1 set of speakers switcher), I don't hear much difference, with small hint, that A800 is little smoother at high frequencies. It's in my head, but un-switchable ADC on XLS1502 at 48kHz "bugs" me enough to outweigh more power, "official" support of lower impedance loads, and DSP on XLS1502 so far.
 

Rja4000

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#52
You have to see the context. The target are professional speakers (PA) and here you will not find such exotic loads as in highend audio. AFAIK almost all passive PA speakers have 8 Ohm impedance spec and the amp maker has to expect that the user connects 2 of those in parallel, resulting in a 4 Ohm load spec. The pro user takes the spec into account and acts accordingly.
For PA use, what's more important is electrical, thermal... and mechanical resistance.
When used on tour, those things get used and abused. Directly or via the components connected to them.
Shit happens.
Of course, this is less likely for fixed PA in small venues (with low income). This is typically the use case for those, I think.
 
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A800

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#54
At the moment it's at Thomann.de 143€. For the power and measurements that's fu**ing cheap..Add to this the Beringer Audiointerface and you are under 250€ for a good measuring Dac and amp with a lot of Power.
Hi.
I had to sign up to tell you that you want to stay away from the Behringer U-Phoria.
Although the measurements are somewhat good it has its "issues".

First of all the max. output level is very low much lower than other devices.
Second it will compress the output signal.
Third the output will be muddy and lifeless all over, highs, mids, lows you name it.

If you compare it to the inbuilt soundcard of a 370 EUR HP laptop (Realtek ALC 3227) the laptop soundcard will have at least 3 times the clarity, punch, liveliness, ... at the same output level.
Sad but true.

I have been shocked when I compared the 2 against each other.
The difference is HUGE.
Better stay away.

EDIT:
The Behringer A800 is nothing short of amazing for the price.
 
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sergeauckland

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#55
Firstly thanks to Amir for the comprehensive test report, and to our member who's name I now can't remember for lending the unit.

I've been waiting for this report for some time, as I've been a fan of Behringer equipment for a long time as being just so 'adequate' for the job they need to do. No overkill specs or manufacturing, just good honest basic value engineering.

Having three A500s driving my active B&W 801s, I don't see how A800s would give me any sonic improvement, but I'm tempted to change just because the A800 has a SMPS and no large toroid that always have some slight mechanical hum.

It's nice to see a product that works well and doesn't ovrecharge.

S
 

JJB70

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#56
There is an honesty about Behringer, they make good equipment which serves it's intended purpose at down to earth prices. It is all about substance rather than form. Yes,it often feels a bit low rent but it's not pretending to be anything other than value engineered equipment.
 

Rja4000

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#57
Hi.
I had to sign up to tell you that you want to stay away from the Behringer U-Phoria.
Although the measurements are somewhat good it has its "issues".

First of all the max. output level is very low much lower than other devices.
Second it will compress the output signal.
Third the output will be muddy and lifeless all over, highs, mids, lows you name it.

If you compare it to the inbuilt soundcard of a 370 EUR HP laptop (Realtek ALC 3227) the laptop soundcard will have at least 3 times the clarity, punch, liveliness, ... at the same output level.
Sad but true.

I have been shocked when I compared the 2 against each other.
The difference is HUGE.
Better stay away.

EDIT:
The Behringer A800 is nothing short of amazing for the price.
:D I like it ! :D
;)
 
OP
amirm

amirm

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Thread Starter #58
I do question the skyrocketing high frequency impedance in that Stereophile simulated load, but I applaud you building it for adding to reviews.

My impedance sweeps of many 2 way bookshelf speakers do not show anything like the rise in impedance at HF they suggest as typical. Many 2 way speakers use shunt resistors over the tweeters to bring down levels which prevent such high impedances.
We need to decide this soon before I measure a bunch of amplifiers with this load. It is appealing to have the same load as Stereophile so measurements can be compared. But I am open to fixing issues with it and having our own as I will likely review a lot more amps than Stereophile will ever do.
 

MZKM

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#59
I do question the skyrocketing high frequency impedance in that Stereophile simulated load, but I applaud you building it for adding to reviews.

My impedance sweeps of many 2 way bookshelf speakers do not show anything like the rise in impedance at HF they suggest as typical. Many 2 way speakers use shunt resistors over the tweeters to bring down levels which prevent such high impedances.
Looking at a dozen or so measurements from Stereophile, most indeed don’t have high impedance >10kHz (many do at ~1-3kHz due to the crossover); in that dozen, the one with the highest impedance >10kHz I have seen is the Klipsch RP-600M:

It’s still lower than what @amirm is using though.
 

LTig

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#60
We need to decide this soon before I measure a bunch of amplifiers with this load. It is appealing to have the same load as Stereophile so measurements can be compared. But I am open to fixing issues with it and having our own as I will likely review a lot more amps than Stereophile will ever do.
Then you should use the same load as stereophile (see here). If one looks sharp one can see that this circuit contains real world components:



All inductors have an additional series resistor (not shown as an internal resistance though)
  • Inductor 0.5 mH with 0.7 Ohm resistor
  • Inductor 0.3 mH with 0.5 Ohm resistor
  • Inductor 1 mH with 0.9 Ohm resistor
  • Inductor 10 mH with 0.6 Ohm resistor
To assemble this load you have to get inductors with said inductance and same or lower internal resistance. Any missing internal resistance can be added easily with a matching additional external resistor.

I don't know whether Visaton sells to the US but here is the link to their crossover parts. For the 10 mH inductor refer to the FC series. FOr the smaller ones the core less SP series should suffice. You may need to buy a larger inductor and remove a few windings to reach the proper value.
 

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