Axiom A1400-8 Amp - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 87 Old 10-11-2007, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Now that the initial production is sold out, I'm surprised that no one has posted a review here yet

http://www.axiomaudio.com/A1400-8.html


And here's a first for you Canadians:
List $3850 usd
$3773 cdn
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post #2 of 87 Old 02-02-2008, 02:49 PM
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I agree it is surprising.

I ordered an A1400-8 yesterday and should have it in a week or so. I have a Sunfire 400/5 amp that I have been very pleased with but I'm going to a 7.1 system and need the additional channels.

The preliminary reports are very good for this amp. I will be interested in how it compares to the Sunfire. It will be paired with an Integra DCT 9.8 and Revel Ultima speakers. The Revels are low impedance (<6 Ohm) so should be a good test for the little Axiom.

Any owners out there?

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post #3 of 87 Old 02-03-2008, 07:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Will be interested in hearing your review
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post #4 of 87 Old 02-03-2008, 10:23 AM
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Here are some interesting comments from a reliable source from the Axiom Audio Forum.

http://www.axiomaudio.com/boards/ubb...189008&fpart=1

HToM

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post #5 of 87 Old 02-03-2008, 11:53 AM
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Looks interesting, I assume it uses IcePower modules?
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post #6 of 87 Old 02-03-2008, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UWDawg View Post

Looks interesting, I assume it uses IcePower modules?

Here is a June 07 response to that question from Axiom's Alan Lofft and Tom Cumberland
Quote:


To clarify the differences between ICEPower modules and the new Axiom A1400-8 amplifier, I went to the source--Tom Cumberland, Axiom's chief R&D engineer and the Axiom A1400's designer. Here is Tom's response to my question on the ICEPower modules and our Axiom A1400-8:

"The ICEPower amplifier modules were developed at Bang & Olufsen in Denmark by a friend of mine. We even have two of the 250-Watt modules in our lab. They were developed in the late 1990s and early 2000 as a very efficient substitute for Class AB amplifiers. Bang & Olufsen recognized, as we did at Axiom, that the real benefit of Class D amplification is in high-power applications. They developed a 250-Watt and later a 500-Watt module. The design of the module itself was exceptional in its day. By today’s standards, it is still up there with the best of them. I have a great deal of respect for these modules. They make great ‘plug & play’ amps for companies that do not want to invest in the costly R&D needed to start from scratch, so to speak, in building a truly high-powered hi-fi amplifier.

"The B & O design has similarities to Axiom's in that it is really designed for high-fidelity applications, and not just for raw power output with no regard for high-fidelity criteria. However, here at Axiom we were looking to exceed what was available-- and what will be available--anytime soon. By using new silicon devices that were not available two years ago, we are able to exceed the power limits that even the ICEPower modules have. They stop at the 500-Watt mark due to the voltage and current requirements. But because of the newer parts we are using, we are able to exceed the voltage and current limits of older MOSFETs, thereby gaining incredible instantaneous power into any channel that needs it. This allows the music to dynamically peak without clipping into one or several of the loudspeakers without distortion. As testing our prototype amplifier has demonstrated, the limitations only then come in speaker compression, not in amplifier clipping. The sonic differences are quite noticeable. Clipping is very irritating, while compression is very livable."


HToM

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post #7 of 87 Old 02-03-2008, 08:58 PM
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Here is one of the early reviews on the amp. http://www.canadahifi.com/review85.php

John
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post #8 of 87 Old 02-10-2008, 08:59 PM
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I have this amp and concur with the reflections posted by John (jakeman) in the Axiom forums. It is a phenomenal amp that I am sure will not disappoint you, RMK. Please post your impressions when you had a chance to test it in your system.

John
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post #9 of 87 Old 02-14-2008, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ihifi View Post

I have this amp and concur with the reflections posted by John (jakeman) in the Axiom forums. It is a phenomenal amp that I am sure will not disappoint you, RMK. Please post your impressions when you had a chance to test it in your system.

John

Thanks John, I received the A1400-8 this week but headed out for a much needed vacation in Hawaii. I'll be setting it up in a couple of weeks and have high hopes.

A new review just appeared and the reviewer has the same Sunfire amp I have so although it was a little light on details and data, it was very interesting to me. Here is a link:
http://www.audio-ideas.com/canadian/...amplifier.html

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post #10 of 87 Old 02-22-2008, 03:47 AM
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RMK! - how do you like your A1400-8? I have one and have been very pleased with its performance overall. My first couple amps had cosmetic issues, and the third ended up having a channel go out due to heat issues. Each time Axiom, directly after I notified them, sent another amp to me allowing me to keep the prior amp in commission until the new amp arrived. Further, Axiom paid for shipping both ways on everything. Someone please tell me where they've had better customer service.

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post #11 of 87 Old 02-22-2008, 05:10 AM
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Can't wait to get one, hope that tax money gets back soon.

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post #12 of 87 Old 02-22-2008, 05:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haylo75 View Post

RMK! - how do you like your A1400-8? I have one and have been very pleased with its performance overall. My first couple amps had cosmetic issues, and the third ended up having a channel go out due to heat issues. Each time Axiom, directly after I notified them, sent another amp to me allowing me to keep the prior amp in commission until the new amp arrived. Further, Axiom paid for shipping both ways on everything. Someone please tell me where they've had better customer service.

Several of the early units had a relay switch in one of the eight channels that occasionally did not operate properly. They changed that part last year and all current amps no longer have that problem Axiom customer service was exceptional as usual.

John
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post #13 of 87 Old 02-22-2008, 06:12 AM
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Are there fans in these amps and if so when do they come on?

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post #14 of 87 Old 02-22-2008, 07:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RMK! View Post

Here is a June 07 response to that question from Axiom's Alan Lofft and Tom Cumberland

Actually he never answered the question, though I think he implied that it uses a variation of IcePower. So why not come right out and say that? Maybe he doesn't want to admit that Axiom really did what everyone else has done - use Icepower off the shelf modules but with newer and better parts. I am all for more power, which is why I bought an Innersound ESL, but high power without high quality sound is no bargain, IMO. I would like to audiiton this amp but IMO it is overpriced considering how cheap it is to make amps using that technology.

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post #15 of 87 Old 02-22-2008, 07:22 AM
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Because of the technology employed, the 1400-8 is the most heat efficient amp I have experieced, something in the order of 95% of the power is retained as acoustical energy. After several hours of playing it at Dolby reference it was only slightly warm to touch. No need for a fan.

John
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post #16 of 87 Old 02-22-2008, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakeman View Post

Because of the technology employed, the 1400-8 is the most heat efficient amp I have experieced, something in the order of 95% of the power is retained as acoustical energy. After several hours of playing it at Dolby reference it was only slightly warm to touch. No need for a fan.

Ergo the name "Ice" Power!

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post #17 of 87 Old 02-22-2008, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsmith901 View Post

Actually he never answered the question, though I think he implied that it uses a variation of IcePower. So why not come right out and say that? Maybe he doesn't want to admit that Axiom really did what everyone else has done - use Icepower off the shelf modules but with newer and better parts. I am all for more power, which is why I bought an Innersound ESL, but high power without high quality sound is no bargain, IMO. I would like to audiiton this amp but IMO it is overpriced considering how cheap it is to make amps using that technology.

No they didn't build a variation of Ice Power modules, the main model for their R & D was the much more capable Bryston 7BSST mono bloc. In order to get higher power and dynamic power handling they spent two years developing new MOSFETs and circuits using new materials capable of handling much higher voltages than used by ICE Power. ICE power make great amps however its not in the same league as the 1400-8.

I presume you have heard the 1400-8 and compared it to other amps to make such bold statements regarding sound quality.

John
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post #18 of 87 Old 02-23-2008, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsmith901 View Post

Actually he never answered the question, though I think he implied that it uses a variation of IcePower. So why not come right out and say that? Maybe he doesn't want to admit that Axiom really did what everyone else has done - use Icepower off the shelf modules but with newer and better parts. I am all for more power, which is why I bought an Innersound ESL, but high power without high quality sound is no bargain, IMO. I would like to audiiton this amp but IMO it is overpriced considering how cheap it is to make amps using that technology.

Interesting thought process, thanks for sharing

Comparable D-Sonic and Wyred Ice based units not to mention Bel Canto are much more expensive than the A1400-8.

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post #19 of 87 Old 02-28-2008, 04:43 PM
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I really regret having to make this post but as they say, it is what it is. I received my first A1400-8 just before leaving on vacation and did not get a chance to set it up until last weekend. After un-boxing it and doing all the connections it was DOA. No power no nothing. I called Axiom and at first I was going to return and get a refund but I thought it over and decided to give it a second try.

Axiom sent the second unit out 2 day air as we were both concerned that rough treatment by there shipper (Puralator) may have been the cause of the failure. Well I received the replacement amp today and it powered up fine so I unhooked my existing amp and was running through the setup (Audyssey EQ) when there was a loud pop and left main and surround channels of the amp blew. It was not a very happy moment but luckily, it didn’t take anything else with it when it blew.

Perhaps I was just really un-lucky but for me this experiment is over. That said, it is a brand new product and I'm sure that Axiom will get any issues that may exist with early units worked out quickly.

HToM

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post #20 of 87 Old 02-28-2008, 05:11 PM
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RMK, it is unfortunate that you had these issues with the 1400. I know your the first of about 20 people I know who own the 1400 that has had any issues. Everyone else is in awe of this amp and its performance. For startes I'd forget about the Audyssey stuff, but that is juse me.

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post #21 of 87 Old 02-28-2008, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sirquack View Post

RMK, it is unfortunate that you had these issues with the 1400. I know your the first of about 20 people I know who own the 1400 that has had any issues. Everyone else is in awe of this amp and its performance. For startes I'd forget about the Audyssey stuff, but that is juse me.

I know you are a big Axiom supporter and I like the company and people myself but I am certainly not the only one with a problem. One of the posters in this thread has had 4 units although admittedly only one had a non-cosmetic issue. I received a nice phone call from Tom Cumberland as he was interested in what might have happened with my amp(s). There is a lot of new technology in the A1400-8 box (that’s why I bought it) and it might take a while to work out all the details. Axioms support in this has been exemplary but adding to my frustration is the fact that I just installed an extra set of surrounds and really want to hear how my system sounds in 7.1. Were this old hat for me, I might be more patient.

Regarding " Audyssey Stuff", I won't be forgetting it any time soon. It's capabilities in optomizing a system are well documented.

HToM

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post #22 of 87 Old 02-28-2008, 08:17 PM
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Don't get me wrong, Audyssey is leading the way for auto calibration, I've studied it greatly. However, first a person needs to focus on room bass traps and treatments, multiple subs, followed by EQ as a last resort.

Sorry to change the subject, now back to talking about this great amp.

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post #23 of 87 Old 03-02-2008, 11:47 PM
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Just doing some quick research on amps when I came across this and checked it out on Axioms website.

$3800 is still $3800 - it's a lot of money. These problems concern me as well. Not that other amps don't, but if 20 amps have been sold, and two have had problems, that's 10%. Doesn't bode well so far. Good thing Axioms CS is second to no one.

Question though - what is the difference between a digital amp and an analog amp? Do they both use the same amount of power, or is a digital amp more efficient? What about sound quality between the two?

Why did the HK DPR digital amp not do well? Different company I know, but I don't see many digitial amps out there so there must be a reason.

For sound quality (and I know everyone has their preference) if you could buy any technology out there for the same price, which would you pick:

1. Tube
2. Analog Class A/B
3. Digital

For power consumption, which is the most efficient?

Sorry, I know it's a lot of questions, but I will need an amp (probaby 7 channel) when I build my h/t and there's no time like the present to start my research.

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post #24 of 87 Old 03-03-2008, 04:50 AM
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I was sorry to hear about Rob's (RMK) problem with the new amp. Sometimes these things happen and as can be seen just about every thread here, all new products seem to have a glitch or two upon introduction. That's why its important to have great followup service. Most people have been very happy with this terrific amp.

Kpt_Krunch, someone asked me to compare another amp to the A-1400-8 last week and I thought I would repost it here to give you a sense of the difference between AB and D amp types and the technology in this Axiom piece.

" Firstly let me say the Sherbourn 7/2100a is a fine example of a terrific class AB HT amp. Its the kind of powerful 7 x 200W@8ohm monoblock amp that should form the foundation for any HT, in my opinion. I've always been a fan of monoblock designs and before the A-1400-8, it was the type of amp I would recommend to my friends who were looking for the best HT amplification. I've never owned the 2100/7 but did have a Bryston 9BSST for a while which I really enjoyed, a 5 x 140w monobloc design with gain controls to boot.

To put your question into perspective, the A-1400-8 design embraces the monobloc phylosophy and takes it a step further. If you check out the video on the amp you'll hear Tom and Ian talk about how they set out to replace a stack of 7 monos with one unit that was more dynamic, didn't clip and provided much more power than available with monos.

To get the 2100/7 to output at its max you need to plug both cables into separate outlets otherwise your limited to 1440W total or 205w max over the seven channels. Setting aside the 8th channel and dynamic handling for now, the axiom design will actually output more than the 205w max because of its ability to draw more power out of the line, supposedly up to 285w per channel all driven.

It is rare though that all channels are driven simultaneously at the same power levels and that is where the Axiom really shows its technological advantage. If needed the Axiom can direct over a kilowatt of energy into any channel. It achieves that because of how its switching circuits can route power from its 85v+ powerrails and single massive (over 1600kva !) transformer. With that much power on tap this amp will clip under only the most massive loads and demands. Despite all my attempts one afternoon with no one home, I could not get the 1400-8 to clip. One thing about monos the size of Sherbourne is that they will clip in demanding scenes or in complex musical passages.

Another main difference, aside from the Axiom being half the size and weight and running much cooler, arises from the much faster response time of the a-1400-8. AB designs take longer to ramp up and down whereby a fast switching type D amp will respond much faster to power demands. What also helps make it so fast, is the way the 1400-8 has 4 x 33000 mfd caps repowering smaller 4 x 2000 mfd caps as they drain.

Slew rate can be measured several ways but the Axiom weighs in at around 8V/ms while the Sherbourne is a bit over half that rate or 4-5V/ms. I know some folks think that its inconsequential but amp designers sweat for months trying to get amps to respond as quickly as possible since it impacts dynamic presentation and how loud and sharp transients will sound.

Where I believe the Sherbourne and monos in general have an advantage is that there is zero crosstalk associated with them. Any amp with a single transformer will have some level of channel crosstalk though in the Axiom it is well in the inaudible region. Some would argue that there is more crosstalk in the DSP circuits of a processor but the less the better. The other stat I pay close attention to is signal to noise and both amps have great specs. "

John
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post #25 of 87 Old 03-03-2008, 06:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakeman View Post

Slew rate can be measured several ways but the Axiom weighs in at around 8V/ms while the Sherbourne is a bit over half that rate or 4-5V/ms. I know some folks think that its inconsequential but amp designers sweat for months trying to get amps to respond as quickly as possible since it impacts dynamic presentation and how loud and sharp transients will sound.

I thought the Axiom as higher than 8V? My Sunfire is 14 v/usec. What is required to produce accurate transients?

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post #26 of 87 Old 03-03-2008, 07:03 AM
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That depends on the overall parameters and design of the amp of which the slew rate is just one measurement. You'll get different answers but my rule of thumb is to have at least 6V/us for an AB amp. The higher the amplifier power, the higher the slew rate must be to obtain the same power bandwidth.

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post #27 of 87 Old 03-03-2008, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakeman View Post


I presume you have heard the 1400-8 and compared it to other amps to make such bold statements regarding sound quality.

If you will re-read my post you will see I said zero about the Axiom amp sound quality. I said a high powered amp that does not also have high quality sound is no bargain, and how can anyone interested in good sound disagree?

As for Axiom using Bryston technology - why? AFAIK Bryston has never built a digital or switching amp, and also AFAIK has never dabbled in that technology. While I always enjoy a chance to audition new audio gear, I doubt if the Axiom amp will visit my rack anytime soon, in part because I am quite happy with my current amps (Innersound ESL and Sherwood Newcastle A-965) in terms of both power and sound quality. But I look forward to reading some professional reviews on the Axiom amp - has anyone seen one yet? BTW, here is a link to information to consider before investing in Class D amps:

http://www.audioholics.com/education...class-d-basics

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post #28 of 87 Old 03-03-2008, 08:45 AM
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Its not that Axiom used Bryston technology, rather its the standard they used to develop a new powerful fast amp with dynamic capabilities. The idea was to replace a stack of 8 monos (7BSSTs) with one amp that could transfer all the power into whatever channel(s) require it. Its the only amp I know of with that design feature.

I can tell you from my experience with this amp and based on A/B comparisons it with my other amps (dual Bryston 4BSST, McIntosh mc2102, Outlaw 770) that its sound quality is excellent. Part of its transparent sound stems from the fact that its so fast and powerful that you don't hear any clipping distortion in transients.

The most recent review that I know of was posted earlier. http://www.audio-ideas.com/canadian/...amplifier.html. He compares it favourably to one of the Sunfire HT amps.

John
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post #29 of 87 Old 03-03-2008, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsmith901 View Post

Actually he never answered the question, though I think he implied that it uses a variation of IcePower. So why not come right out and say that? Maybe he doesn't want to admit that Axiom really did what everyone else has done - use Icepower off the shelf modules but with newer and better parts. I am all for more power, which is why I bought an Innersound ESL, but high power without high quality sound is no bargain, IMO. I would like to audiiton this amp but IMO it is overpriced considering how cheap it is to make amps using that technology.

When the A1400 was still in design, I asked the question if it was going to imploy IcePower. This is the responce I got from Alan Loft, Axiom Audio Expert back in 06/27/2007.

------------------

Quote:

"To clarify the differences between ICEPower modules and the new Axiom A1400-8 amplifier, I went to the source--Tom Cumberland, Axiom's chief R&D engineer and the Axiom A1400's designer. Here is Tom's response to my question on the ICEPower modules and our Axiom A1400-8:

"The ICEPower amplifier modules were developed at Bang & Olufsen in Denmark by a friend of mine. We even have two of the 250-Watt modules in our lab. They were developed in the late 1990s and early 2000 as a very efficient substitute for Class AB amplifiers. Bang & Olufsen recognized, as we did at Axiom, that the real benefit of Class D amplification is in high-power applications. They developed a 250-Watt and later a 500-Watt module. The design of the module itself was exceptional in its day. By today's standards, it is still up there with the best of them. I have a great deal of respect for these modules. They make great plug & play' amps for companies that do not want to invest in the costly R&D needed to start from scratch, so to speak, in building a truly high-powered hi-fi amplifier.

"The B & O design has similarities to Axiom's in that it is really designed for high-fidelity applications, and not just for raw power output with no regard for high-fidelity criteria. However, here at Axiom we were looking to exceed what was available-- and what will be available--anytime soon. By using new silicon devices that were not available two years ago, we are able to exceed the power limits that even the ICEPower modules have. They stop at the 500-Watt mark due to the voltage and current requirements. But because of the newer parts we are using, we are able to exceed the voltage and current limits of older MOSFETs, thereby gaining incredible instantaneous power into any channel that needs it. This allows the music to dynamically peak without clipping into one or several of the loudspeakers without distortion. As testing our prototype amplifier has demonstrated, the limitations only then come in speaker compression, not in amplifier clipping. The sonic differences are quite noticeable. Clipping is very irritating, while compression is very livable."

Regards,
_________________________
Alan Lofft,
Axiom Resident Expert
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post #30 of 87 Old 03-03-2008, 09:31 AM
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How much power are we talking about with these dynamic peaks? The 500 watt mark is not enough?

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