Originally Posted by Stymlie
I see that the D-Sonic Magnum 1000S has a significant price advantage over the Rotel-1092. Does anyone know what some of the differences might be? Build quality, connectors, add ons?
The primary difference is name brand. You will pay a lot more for Rotel and Bel Canto, and much, much more for Jeff Rowland. But the truth is that with ASP ICEPower modules, the module is a complete amplifier all the way down to the power supply. No one modifies the actual ICEPower modules. Manufacturers (assemblers?) merely attach several wires for power switch, input connectors (both single ended and balanced), and speaker terminals, and add their own enclosure. Yes, there is a difference in connector quality and attention to detail during assembly. Some people believe that such details can affect sound quality, whereas others simply do not mind paying extra for the nice looking cases.
Bel Canto dampens components on the circuit board with some viscous material, and they also attach ferrite chokes to input power leads and speaker terminals to reduce RF emissions. They use highest quality WBT and Neutrik connectors, and high quality wire. The case is also very attractive looking.
Jeff Rowland adds a Lundahl transformer to increase impedance so that some pre-amps will have an easier time driving their power amps. I don't know what effect this transformer has on sound quality (Murano Audio adds the same transformer to their ICEPower amps). Jeff Rowland also provide an absolutely drop-dead gorgeous case. It looks expensive because it is.
Rotel also has a very nice looking case but I am not sure if they do anything special inside.
Murano Audio, D-Sonic, and Wyred4Sound are leading the way with lower cost power amps based on ICEPower modules. I think they look great too (at least Murano and Wyred4Sound who have actual photographs on their Web sites).