AUDIO CONTROL SAVOY G3 amp review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 13 Old 09-08-2010, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Just a tease to start.

I began with a two channel test against the McIntosh MC402 [400 wpc x 2 @ $6000].

Was the Audio Control better? No. Did it hold its own? Yes!

More details to come.

I hope to test the amp in the same system for surround sound and then latter in my own theater system.

Stay tuned!

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post #2 of 13 Old 09-09-2010, 04:38 PM - Thread Starter
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First the system set up.
Meridian G68 ADV processor
Meridian G98DH DVD/CD player
Dali Helicon 400 Mark I front channel speakers.

First track was from Nickel Creek, Why should the fire die? Track 7

The MC402 was superb just made the Dali's sing! Extremely natural and effortless sounded not quite live concert sounding but very good none the less. Now the Audio Control's Savoy turn. Both myself and the dealer agreed the Savoy may have bested the MC in mid to upper base and the male vocal was more forward if you will. "Placement" was center to left cente just like the MC. Overall the MC may have been more refined and smoother responding the upper treble but not by much. This was a close race to our ears

Second track was from Edie Brickell, Volcano Track 14
The MC402 had a wonderful and spacious sound stage. Imaging was spot on. The AC Savoy had a more "directional" presence as if you knew speakers were in the room and that was were the sound was coming from. Tonal quality and dynamics believe it or not were close. True the MC was fuller [warmer I guess]. Its not one was better but both are different if that makes sense to you folks.

Last we played some Nine Inch Nails, Halo Fourteen, Track 2

This was a very demanding track and the MC stung the AC SAVOY in that regard. The synthezized and reverb elements were harsh on the AC SAVOY and the dynamics not quite there. Now keep in mind the MC is 400wpc so it had 3db headroom compared to the AC SAVOY at 200wpc. With all that said the MC was the true winner on this track.

To keep this in perspective the MC402 is $6000 for two channels and has the McIntosh patented autoformer for impedance matching [Dali's were connected to the 4 ohm taps] were the AUDIO CONTROL SAVOY is $3500 for seven channels.

The SAVOY was right out of the box as well and perhaps the caps and output transistors need to get some ebb and flow of current through them so they would "form" if you will.

In short both I and the Mac dealer were quite impressed considering the price delta and the SAVOY had zero break in time.

We hope in the near future to place the amp in another surrond system were Bryston amps are being used. Stay tuned more to come in the near future!

Mike Miles
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post #3 of 13 Old 07-21-2012, 09:53 AM
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So you never told us what happened with your further tests. I'm interested in this amp and would like to know more about your experience with it.

The Tyrant, the Rebel, and the Hero share the same creed...."TO LIVE IS TO ACT"
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post #4 of 13 Old 07-21-2012, 03:10 PM - Thread Starter
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The amp was compared to both a Bryston 9B SST (model # ?) and smoked it. Next up was a McIntosh MC205. This was more of a "fair fight" IMHO. Both had unique qualities but not much difference for HT use.

I did not follow up since there seemed to be a lack of overall interest.

The AC SAVOY is a good value in a 7 channel amp.

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post #5 of 13 Old 07-21-2012, 08:22 PM
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Did you get a chance to look at the back of the Savoy?

One feather in its slightly less powerful predecessor's cap was that it had NRTL safety certification.
audio-control-savoy-amplifier-rear-panel.jpg
(Note ETL badge next to right speaker output)

The images online for the Mk. III version do not, unfortunately, indicate that the newer ones are properly safety-certified by an NRTL.
image_preview

If that is unfortunately the case, then similarly priced and similarly powerful amps with proper electrical safety certification from NAD
1271921822.jpg
M25 - note CSA badge,

Arcam
P777rear-500x500.jpg
P777 - note ETL badge

or, if only 5 channels are needed, Anthem
2011388012181.jpg
MCA 50 - note entela badge

Are simply better choices. As is the previous-gen Savoy, compared to the newest one.

But if the online pictures of the Savoy G3 are just airbrushed for whatever reason, and it does have NRTL safety certification, then IMO the Savoy is a worthy competitor. I've always liked AudioControl. Still have an old Phase Coupled Activator Series-3 subharmonic synthesizer in a closet somewhere.

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post #6 of 13 Old 10-27-2012, 03:09 AM
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Hey guys,

Just to share with you my experience with AudioControl.
I bought a Pantages G3 (1y ago) to dirve my PSB S1 & Center speakers (load impedance : 4 ohm (down to 2,6 ohm at 70 Hz)).

I was very, very impressed by this Class H amp !!! Which price is here 3000 € (VAT IN).
I was running before with Nuforce (MCH300SE), ClassDAudio, ....

I opened a thread on a french forum regarding this brand : http://www.homecinema-fr.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1080&t=30018427&start=30

In brief, I tested it with a NAD M25 and a MC402 --> test done in 2 channel stereo.

I put the following notes about my listening experience.

MC402 : 9,5 /10
Audiocontrol Pantages G3 : 8,75 / 10
NAD M25 : not rated, I was very disappointed by him...


I really don't understand why Audiocontrol amps are not more known in the market !! The value for money is incredible !!

Regards





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post #7 of 13 Old 03-06-2013, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
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S&L I agree 100%

Sorry I started this thread but have not been on AVS for some time due to being involved in a business opportunity [not AV related mad.gif]

But I could not help the shameless plug!

Presently I have the Savoy 7ch amp and it sounds great. Local McIntosh, Bryston and Arcam dealer is happy we are friends and not bitter rivals...

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post #8 of 13 Old 09-01-2014, 08:56 AM
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I have owned a Pantages amp since around 2006. There really is not anything it can't do for me in my system, it just turns on on every day and sounds great be it 2-ch, multi- channel, music, Blu-ray, DVD or just TV. The Pantages has been paired with my JBL AV-1 for the same time, IMO they make quite a pair. (I have no data to back this up). My version is the original version 5 x 200 w/ch, not very fancy on the outside (rather utilitarian), the new version has a bit more power (5 x 230 w/ch) & seems to have undergone some exterior cosmetic surgery for the better.

Steve
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post #9 of 13 Old 01-05-2016, 09:38 PM
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I don't see a ton of info out there about these amps, but they generally sounds like they are pretty decent. I was reading a bi ton their website, and it sounds like they are a good match for their own line of AV receivers/processors (of course.....), but I would want to think they would be fine paired with other higher-end receivers like Anthem, Marantz, and so on? I understand that companies might "optimize" their own lines to work best with each other, but I'd prefer components that just simply worked with anything from anybody without too much fuss!
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post #10 of 13 Old 01-05-2016, 11:02 PM - Thread Starter
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^^^

Not necessarily.

You can use most any amp with most any pre pro or AVR (must have pre outs).

Somewhere there is an early WideScreen Review article. I also think Secrets of Home Theater did a write up too.

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post #11 of 13 Old 01-06-2016, 09:25 PM
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Well, they do have a clean, no-nonsense look to them. I do like the fact that they are USA-Made as well.

In comparing the Pantages 5-channel and Savoy 7-channel, the Savoy specifically says 200 watts with all channels driven, the Pantages says 230 watts per channel, but does not specify all channels driven - but is it safe to assume this means 230w/channel all channels driven?
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post #12 of 13 Old 01-07-2016, 06:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Can verify.

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post #13 of 13 Old 01-07-2016, 09:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmiles View Post
Can verify.
Excellent!! I really don't think I need 7 channels anyway - my living arrangements would be challenging even with 5 channels, so I think the Pantages would do me fine. One thing though that I am curious about is the sensitivity selectors on the Savoy (A, B, C) - and I'm assuming the Pantages is just built as though it were "C"...?

From the Savoy manual:

4. Sensitivity Switch - The Savoy G3 provides three input sensitivity settings to level match the inputs of the Savoy G3 with the outputs of your theater processor. AudioControl recommends setting “C” because it provides the greatest protection and noise reduction. Setting “B” is the THX standard (consult your theater processor or source unit manual to determine if output volt- age is THXTM rated). Setting A is only used in situations where other manufacture’s pre-amplifiers with higher gain are a part of the system.

Is this something with which to even be concerned?

Last - you did a comparison on the Savoy vs. McIntosh vs. Bryston - could I expect similar / equal performance out of the less-expensive Pantages?

I also enjoy the light sense of humor AudioControl slips into the user's manuals!
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