$1,099.00 – $1,149.00
No Trigger (Default), 12V Trigger, SPEAKON output with 12V Trigger
(verified owner) – August 10, 2020
(Copied from another review site) I received notification on Sunday that the unit was complete and ready for shipping. I received tracking information from My UPS stating that it would arrive today (Wednesday) and it did. The unit was single-boxed but wrapped in small cell bubble wrap and well packed between two closed-cell custom foam inserts that would have protected the unit even if the box suffered pretty severe damage. It did not, and the unit was perfect inside. The box had no paperwork or manual inside. It’s only an amp, but I am surprised there was no documentation.
Fit and finish look very good. Looks like high quality connections on the back, but I’m not an expert on these. The speaker connections look similar to my high end Polk speakers. I was able to connect spades and banana plugs to the speaker connections, and XLR cables from converter units from my Denon receiver.
I noticed some initial hum out of the L and R speakers. I turned the gain on the converter units from 75% down to 50% and that fixed it. I could hear the hum with my ear against the speaker, but about a foot away I would not hear it. This seems normal. The hum was still there when I turned the receiver off (but left the amp on).
There is a hidden switch under the front to dim or turn off the blue LED on the front. I switched that to dim which seams about right for now.
I ran the Audessey calibration using my Denon receiver and there were no surprises there.
Early listening to music at low to medium levels sounds great, as expected. I’ll give it a further challenge this evening when I’m able to turn it up without bothering others in the house who are working.
I completed my listening of two channel music and some TV at medium levels. Haven’t seen a movie yet at reference level. That will be this weekend.
To my untrained ear, it sounds superb. I didn’t do a true A – B comparison (switching back and forth) to the B&K AVR 505 receiver I was using as an amp, but this seems an improvement in two key areas: dynamics, and clarity, especially in the mids and highs.
Everything is more sudden. Punches are stronger, impacts are greater and quicker. It’s harder to describe, but the mids just seem a little cleaner with this amp. More precise. From a volume point of view, it seemed a little louder when pushed fully than the B&K, but not by much. At the highest levels it was a bit cleaner and not strained, although the B&K barely felt strained when fully pushed.
There were a few issues, but none that will lead me to return it.
The first issue I noticed was the heat. The top was hot to the touch; I could only leave my hand on it a few seconds before I had to remove it. This heat was there after running full out AND even when the receiver was off. I thought it could be the Rolls units sending a signal, but even with those unplugged the unit was just as hot. I contacted VTV and they shared the unit consumes about 28 watts even with no signal. This is creating the constant heat. I thought I would do without a 12v trigger by leaving it on all the time since Class D units run so cool, but not this unit. Switching it off and on in the back is a pain, so I plugged it in to a surge protector with a conveniently located switch so I could turn it off when not in use. I will also make sure I have at least 1.5 inches of clearance on top of the unit in my shelves. At least 1″ was recommended.
The other issues are simply part of the design of the amp. It only accepts balanced inputs so I purchased a converter unit to convert my unbalanced signals to the balanced ones required.
Overall, outstanding value in an amplifier. I’m not sure I could get any type of similar amp of this quality at this price point.
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