Ok, watched Avatar and listened to a couple good multi-channel SACD's on my new Sunfire TGA-7401. There are very few reviews on this amp, professionally or in this forum, so I thought I would post my impressions. As well, I got a lot of mixed feedback when talking to audiophiles regarding Sunfire amps, particularly in combination with my speakers - Paradigm Signatures. Love/hate relationship for many with Sunfire amps it seems. So I was hesitant to make the leap since it was a non-returnable special order from my dealer. But I am SO glad I did since I am 100% satisfied.
First, this amp is dead SILENT. I had to return an outlaw 200x7 amp I had in the past because it had hum issues. My Onkyo 875 receiver is dead silent and that is what I want from any amp I put in my system. Music simply comes out of silence at all volumes, awesome. I don't think I can stress how much that means to immersion when listening in a VERY quiet environment. It runs fairly cool, but got pretty warm to the touch after several hours of Avatar at reference volume. It is, however, in a small space with no side clearance, about an inch clearance across the top, and closed in the back aside from a slit in the bottom for the cables. I don't believe there is another class AB amp on the planet that could survive there. Even so, I plan on adding some vent holes to the back to give it at least some
All I will say is there is nothing like amplifier headroom
My speakers are finally at their full potential. I can drive my speakers into audible distress with this amp, but of course I immediately back off. I have a little learning curve before I figure out what my speakers can handle without distress. It is, however, a different stress than what I heard from my receiver. With the receiver, the speakers got harsh from distortion long before my speakers were at their limits. With this amp the sound is absolutely smooth
, right up until my speakers cry uncle. Avatar at reference volume was just awesome! My Onkyo 875 simply could not deliver those kinds of dynamics. I attribute this to the headroom of the amp. I have very revealing speakers and Pink Floyd: The Dark Side of the Moon sacd 5.1 mix blew me away. The soundstage is awesome and the clarity is incredible. By far the best I've ever heard it. I liked that sacd before, but until now I was not blown away by it. Lets just say I'll be listening to that one more often now
I'm of the camp that believes that amongst quality built amps, they will all basically sound the same when not driven to clipping. So avoidance of clipping is the holy grail I seek. For my speakers, I think a found the holy grail.
I rate this amp as exceptional.
400x7 class AB channels in a compact enclosure. Reasonably priced. Quiet. Excellent dynamic headroom....I'm a very happy camper.