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#165118 - 05/18/07 11:21 PM Re: Release date of the A1400-8 [Re: Wid]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16268
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
The main point people should take from the amp discussions is that power is the most important variable. Buying a McIntosh or a Krell won't give you a richer sound or a wider soundstage than a Denon or H/K unless your speakers, room, and listening habits conspire to exceed the capabilities of these less expensive receivers.
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#165119 - 05/18/07 11:41 PM Re: Release date of the A1400-8 [Re: Wid]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13325
Loc: Iowa
current and capacitance could play a role as well.
_________________________
M80s-VP180-QS8s-EP600-2xEP350 Denon3808 Outlaw7700
M22-OWM22-VP100-Denon2805
Audio Nirvana

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#165120 - 05/18/07 11:55 PM Re: Release date of the A1400-8 [Re: pmbuko]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10379
Yes, and relevant to Alan's comment about Mr. Aczel and the questions about the "sound" of an amplifier is the brief article he wrote in last month's Audio Critic, "Electronic Signal Paths Do Not Have a Personality!" .
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Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#165121 - 05/19/07 06:09 AM Re: Release date of the A1400-8 [Re: pmbuko]
Wid Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/22/03
Posts: 6720
Loc: The Peoples Republic of Il.
Quote:

The main point people should take from the amp discussions is that power is the most important variable. Buying a McIntosh or a Krell won't give you a richer sound or a wider soundstage than a Denon or H/K unless your speakers, room, and listening habits conspire to exceed the capabilities of these less expensive receivers.




I agree 100%. There is also the build quality aspect too. There is no denying those aforementioned amps are of superior build quality compared to most receivers.
_________________________
Rick


"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity." Sigmund Freud


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#165122 - 05/19/07 09:21 AM Re: Release date of the A1400-8 [Re: Wid]
Ian Offline
President
aficionado

Registered: 03/13/01
Posts: 797
Over the years I have always found the sound differences between amplifiers to be subtle when compared to the differences found in speakers. Hence if budget is a concern you are probably better to cut a little deeper on the amp side. The main reason for this is that amplifiers (with the exception of some bizarre designs out there) do not colour the tonal balance of the performance nor have any bearing on the off axis response. This does not mean that all amplifiers sound the same but that different factors come into play. Without question the big one is the amount of power available to play dynamic peaks. Wid was commenting earlier about the statement that at normal listening levels you do not need more than a watt or two and I agree with him that this statement is, in practical terms, false; though granted in mathematical terms under certain conditions it can be proved true. The power required to bring home a great performance can get pretty large if you want even just moderate listening levels in a large space without any clipping in the dynamics. The reality is that when most people want to crank up their system they rarely achieve the volume level they truly want; instead they go to the level of clipping distortion in the dynamics that they can put up with (which sounds painfully harsh and loud even if it isn’t).

So, in the past at least, if you wanted to achieve loud and clean the reality was you were faced with a big spend on the amp side to achieve this. A stack of mono blocks was really the only solution and this came at enormous cost. In my case I had over 2 times the money invested in the amplifiers compared to the speakers. Central to the design goals of the A1400 series amps was to be able to solve this problem for a fraction of the cost. I have been living with one of the 2 prototypes of our new amp (JC has the other one) for a few months now and it far exceeds the quality of this stack of mono blocks and does it for $3,850. Now I have more power and better sound for an investment in the amplification less than half the cost of the speakers.
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#165123 - 05/19/07 12:55 PM Re: Release date of the A1400-8 [Re: Ian]
Jc Offline
aficionado

Registered: 06/27/06
Posts: 500
Loc: Sherbrooke, QC, Canada
I am one of the very few privileged ones to have extensively listened to the new A1400-8 at will. And I am reporting my impressions and findings.

First of all, the sample which I audition is very close to the final version except for the casing, output jacks, power cord receptacle location and some internal wiring. The few minor remaining modifications to bring it to its final version will not affect negatively its performance; if it was possible, chances are it would improve it.

During several days, I auditioned the A1400-8 several days in stereo mode only and I still do it regularly. In stereo mode, it is powering a pair of Axiom M80v2s. For comparison, I am using a Mark Levinson Dual Monaural Power Amplifier No 23.5 model. It is rated at 400 watts minimum per channel both channels driven simultaneously with not more than 0.2% THD and it weights 105 pounds. It has been my pride and my joy for many years. You can read reviews from different owners at http://www.audioreview.com/cat/amplification/amplifiers/mark-levinson/PRD_115909_1583crx.aspx. As you will read; it is a very good amplifier and even when being bought used is still quite expensive. I bought mine new, may years ago.

My hope was that the new Axiom A1400-8 amplifier would not be put to shame by a reference amplifier model from one of the best amplifier designer and builder of the audio industry. If it could almost be as good and even rival it in some aspects; it would be quite an accomplishment. Fingers crossed, I turned on the music and . . .
I was floored. I could not believe my own ears. Just within a few seconds I discovered and experienced a new musical dimension !

How could my Mark Levinson Dual Monaural Power Amplifier No 23.5 amplifier which is unanimously and universally praised for its power, fantastic bass control, frequency extension, transparency, dynamics, speed, naturalness, timbre and tonal balance be bettered on each and everyone of these aspects ? And for most of them it is not even close: it is obvious and it does not take hours of listening. I had many visitors who expressed the same feeling.

Here are a few brief examples of how it translates in a real world situation:

Bass: Each of my Axiom M80v2 is paired with an EP500v2 subwoofer, for my evaluation I had turned the subwoofers off. When I replaced the ML for the Axiom A1400-8 in my setup I had to walk to the both subwoofers to be sure that they were off because of the additional tight and solid bass I was feeling.

Voices: I have discovered nuances, intonations and subtleties in the voice of signers which I have listened time over time. It applies to both male and female singers from Kenny Rodgers to Céline Dion, from Willie Nelson to Norah Jones, from Pavarotti to Madeleine Peyroux. I still have goose bumps thinking about it. The voices are more life like.

Details, clarity and extension: I hear more and more and discover new things. Someone might think that it would become more clinical and analytical far from it. It always stays highly musical, adding perspective and rendering the contour of different instruments and voices precisely. You easily follow the individual voices and instruments. Another benefit is it removes haze or layers of veils bringing you closer to the artist.

Timbre, naturalness, tonal balance: Every instrument and voice sound as they should; again making it easier to distinguish them and adding life.

An indispensable quality for me, is ability to convey emotion and the Axiom A1400-8 surely does as I could witness listening to Angele Dubeau’s violin or Dave Brubeck “Take five”; chills down my spine and raised hair.


How all this reflects when watching movies ? What about a significant increase in intelligibility and subtleties from the center speaker (dual VP150v2) and deeper immersion feeling from the surround speakers ( 4 – QS8v2). From the main speakers (M80v2) and all speakers a net gain in details, dynamics and speed.

Owners of Axiom M80 have no idea how much better their audio speakers can sound when driven by an Axiom A1400-8 amplifier. I personally discovered a new dimension to music listening. Owners of Axiom Epic Home Theatre Ensemble will be adding value, satisfaction and enjoyment to their DVD collection.

On another note, based on my last April expedition to Montréal’s Festival du Son et de l’Image, manufacturers of megabucks amplifier are better to get ready for a rude awaking once the Axiom A1400-8 will hit the market and the reviews will be published. I really can’t comprehend how and why someone would buy a pair of Tenor mono-block tube amps at $90,000.00 CAD after listening to the Axiom A1400-8.

Finally, I would like to give you an advice and a warning.

Advice: In a few months, the Axiom A1400-8 will be available. You will rapidly see proud owners inviting fellow audiophiles on “Auditioning Axioms in your area”. Accept the invitation even if you have to drive several hundred miles; it is well worth it.

Warning: Once you have listened to the Axiom A1400-8, you will never be satisfied with anything else.

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#165124 - 05/19/07 01:02 PM Re: Release date of the A1400-8 [Re: Jc]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13325
Loc: Iowa
Thanks JC,

It will be interesting to hear from those who say all amps sound the same.

I can tell you that I easily hear a difference when comparing my Denon 2805 to the amps I've tested to this point. Not all internal guts are created equally, no matter what some paper article says.

I should have my Odyssey Mono's early next week per Klaus.
_________________________
M80s-VP180-QS8s-EP600-2xEP350 Denon3808 Outlaw7700
M22-OWM22-VP100-Denon2805
Audio Nirvana

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#165125 - 05/19/07 01:14 PM Re: Release date of the A1400-8 [Re: Ian]
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3889
Loc: Up yonder
Ian,

Is that $3850 Canadian or US?? And where's the Pre/Pro to go with it??
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#165126 - 05/19/07 01:17 PM Re: Release date of the A1400-8 [Re: SirQuack]
Ajax Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6250
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Quote:

It will be interesting to hear from those who say all amps sound the same.



Personally, I'll wait for the results of some double blind testing, and I'll prefer to trust those results rather than sighted, andecotal testimony. YMMV
_________________________
Jack

"People generally quarrel because they cannot argue." - G. K. Chesterton

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#165127 - 05/19/07 01:30 PM Re: Release date of the A1400-8 [Re: Ajax]
Spoiler Offline
aficionado

Registered: 01/03/06
Posts: 680
Loc: South Florida
Ya beat me to it Ajax... if this amp somehow breaks the mold and comes out favorably in double blind testing, I'll one of the first to convert and click that 'Buy' button.
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Epic 80 / SVS PB13 Ultra
Denon 3805 / M2200 Outlaw Monos /
Sammy 55" LED

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