July 26, 2012
| by Grant Clauser
In an industry dominated by integrated home theater audio products (and even those are dominated by their networking and wireless features) it’s nice to see a company going all-out on audio separates.
This week Emotiva—a company that has a reputation for offer a little more for a little less than some of the better-known brands—came out with three new audio amps. One’s a two-channel amp for stereo listening, and the other two are 5 channel home theater amps.
First up, the 2-channel UPA-200 ($350).You can match it with one of Emotiva’s 5-channel amps for use in a 7.1 home theater. It powers 200 Watts per channel (into 4 ohms) with gold-plated RCA inputs and gold-plated five-way binding posts. Includes automatic detection and switching and integrated protection against hazards like high temperature, shorts and ground faults.
For home theaters, the Emotiva UPA-500 ($399) offers 80 Watts per channel into the typical 8 ohm speaker (120 Watts into 4 ohms). It includes a heavy-duty power supply, oversized toroidal tansformer, flat frequency response and low distortion. The manufacturer says it’s a perfect match for the UMC-1, a 7.1 preamp/processor.
For real power-brokers, Emotiva let loose the XPR-5, a five-channel amp for bigger theater rooms and people who want to really move some air with their speakers. The XPR-5 is built like a safe with solid-billet aluminum, but includes 60 dual-color LEDs and a smoked polycarbonate window for a sophisticated look.
For power it offers 400 Watts per channel (all channels driven) into 8 ohms (600 watts into 4 ohms) with five high-efficiency Class AB power amplifier modules powered by a 3.3 kVA Optimized Class H toroidal power supply. All of the internal electronics are controlled, monitored, and protected by an ARM-7 microprocessor with a custom operating system.
Decorating the back panel are five independently switchable balanced (XLR) and unbalanced ( solid machine, audiophile quality, gold plated RCA) inputs; heavy duty audiophile speaker binding posts with clear acrylic insulators and gold-plated contacts, designed to accept heavy-gauge bare cables, lugs, or banana plugs; 12V trigger inputs and outputs; an input voltage switch; and an IEC receptacle for the amp’s requisite 20A power cable
This system will run you $1,999. By the way, all of the new systems are just a little bit cheaper online at the company’s web site now.
Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had audio training from Home Acoustics Alliance and Sencore. He's also the author of the book The Trouble with Rivers
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.