AudioSource Amp 5.3 Monoblock
Review Part 1
Just received the amps,packaged very well.Unpacked them and noticed they seem to be built very solid,front panel consists of volume control, power switch(this unit comes with an auto sensing curcuit to power up the amps when a signal is applied to the inputs)a phase inverter switch,low cut switch in case one is using a seperate amp for subwoofers.Three LED's to indicate power on,short curcuit protection and overload protection,and signal input. The rear panel has both balanced and unbalanced inputs,gold plated RCA jacks,cooling fan,IEC power connection,and heavy duty gold plated binding post. Upon opening the case one first notices the very large toroidal transformer and large filter capacitors,curcuit construction seems pretty strait forward,as I can tell there are four large output devices that are thermally coupled to the case itself,the fan in the rear provides cooling(I will talk about the fan a little further in the review).
The IEC cord provided with the amp is very thick probably utilizing 12 gauge wiring.I let the amps warm-up for a considerable time,the amps stay relatively cool,considering the use of the fan.
Equipment Used in the review are the following:
Ashcraft Loudspeakers- Piano Forte
utilizing a 6.5" Dynavox woofer,and Dayton Audio's PT2-B8 Planar Tweeter
Apple iPod (30 GB model)used as both the source and pre-amp.
Note: in my next review I will be using the Prima Luna ProLogue Three Pre-amp,as soon as it arrives.
My first impressions were "wow" the ipod drove the inputs of the amps very well,the bass was extended and tight,not as deep and punchy,listening to the Reference Recordings "Simply Sousa" playing "the Thunderer" the Concert Bass Drum was felt throughout the entire room,using a separate pre-amp would probably solve this issue,giving the amps more voltage to work with.
I put in some Alison Krauss playing "the Lucky One" her voice was very natural, the planars were able to bring this out.The sound stage was a little muddled,the use of the ProLogue Three pre-amp would probably give me the sound staging I want.Union Station shows their talent as musicians,and their voices blend well with Alison.
The next recording I used was RR'ings "Felix Hell" I was very impressed with this recording, his skills as an organist are brought to the forefront,and the sound of the organ was marvelous,the shudder of the larger stops are very evident,and the loudspeakers brought this out.
The next recording I used was a choral arrangment by Cappella Romana "Lay Aside All Earthy Cares" ,its Russian Orthodox music sung in English,the acoustics of this magnificent church are truly captured in this recording.One of my favorites "the Great Doxology" shows the dynamic range of this small choral group. Their voices blend very well and their diction is very pronounced,and well understood.
My conclusion at this point was that the amps performed well even with the small amount of output by the iPod.And the fans were not even heard,the noise floor of this amp is speced at -95db,which could be improved with the use of the balanced inputs and good cables.