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.
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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 training from THX, the Home Acoustics Alliance, Control4 and Sencore. His latest book is Necessary Myths
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.