I relate to Tim Allen in more ways than one. 🙂 But I certainly agree that everything could use more power. 🙂 I'm doing things to our cars right now that give them more power, and it takes lots of power to drive a media room, so this will be my new "engine" that I'll be using for my power.
I've always owned high power amplifiers from early on. The speakers that I've owned have been inherently inefficient do to their design and required a lot of power to drive them, and their low impedance made that even more difficult, so having a stable high power amp was very important. I also like having "headroom" or a reserve of amplifier power. There is nothing worse you can do to a speaker than to drive an amplifier into clipping. Speakers are generally forgiving of amps that can drive clean power into them for musically brief time periods, but when an amp starts to clip the music, the severe distortion that it generates can destroy a speaker in a heartbeat.
I'm going to be using two amplifiers, one for the front three channels, and one for the other 6-8 channels. The main amp is going to be the ATI flagship model AT-6003 designed by Morris Kessler. I'll do a little copy and paste so you can read more about the amps.
This image shows a 7 channel AT-6007, mine will be a three channel AT-6003, otherwise no different.
The 6000 series amplifiers, available with 2 to 7 channels, are the company’s flagship power amplifiers for over a decade. Furthermore, their “signature series” designation with a facsimile of Kessler’s signature on the main panel acknowledges the special nature of these designs.
Beyond Kessler’s personal identification, these amplifiers are new in more significant ways.
- As in Kessler’s previous top-of-the-line designs, these amplifiers are fully balanced, differential amps, but unlike his earlier balanced designs which were essentially balanced bridged amplifiers, the 6000 series uses only a single input stage with dual-differential output stages. The reason: the advantages of balanced designs are retained and noise is reduced by 50%.
- The design uses current feedback instead of the more common voltage feedback. The reason: current feedback amplifiers are faster with virtually unlimited slew rate and are better able to reproduce today’s best music and film sound.
- Kessler used Thermaltrak output devices for the 6000 series. Unlike traditional designs where external diodes or transistors attached to the heat sinks track the amplifiers operating conditions and use the details to adjust bias, Thermaltrak devices have the temperature sensing device in the same package as the output transistor. The results: bias is optimized in real-time.
- The 6000 series use dual DC servos to track and maintain DC offset. The result: DC in the amplifier’s output is reduced to insignificant levels.
- These amplifiers use a revised PCB layout. They are still modular with the complete amplifier including the power supply parts on a single card, but now the AC components are on one edge of the board and away from the signal input. The result: improved signal-to-noise performance.
- All of the amplifiers in the series use dual toroidal transformers, dual power switches and dual line cords. The results: the AT6002 is now a complete dual-mono design and the amplifiers with many channels, as in the 7-channel AT6007, can be hooked-up to two independent 20 amp circuits for greater sustained output power than is possible from a single AC circuit.
- All the amplifiers in the 6000 series are rated at 300 Watts RMS from 20 Hz to 20 kHz with no more that 0.03% THD at 8 ohms with all channels driven and 450 Watts RMS at 4 ohms under the same conditions. Signal-to-noise ratio is typically 128 dB referenced to full output so each amplifier in the series is capable of playing back the full dynamic range available on today’s lossless recordings.
- AC Power Connector - The AC input connector provides power to the unit with the supplied power cords. The 120VAC version of the 6000 series amplifiers is supplied with two 15 Amp power cords with standard NEMA-5-15P plugs on one end. The 230VAC versions are supplied with Schuko IEC 60320 with C19 plug. Some 230VAC versions are supplied with a different plug.
Here are some reviews of the amp:
The rea and surround amplifier will be an ATI 5000 series amps. The exact amp will depend on the final number of channels it will need to drive as they have models from 2 to 8 channels of power.
The AT500NC Series amplifiers use Hypex N-Core Class D output modules with ATI designed input buffers and linear power supplies and are available with two power configurations. The AT52XNC amps are rated at 200W RMS per channel at 8 ohms with 300W RMS at 4 ohms and are available with 2 to 8 channels. The AT54XNC amplifiers use two N-Core modules per channel in a differential bridged output configuration delivering 500W RMS per channel at 8 ohms and 900W RMS at 4 ohms. The AT54XNC amplifiers are available with 2, 3 or 4 channels.
These AT5XXNC series amplifiers break new ground in other ways. They are the first ATI amplifiers to use micro-processor control for turn-on delay and feature automatic AC power recognition and configuration. The amplifiers not only recognize whether they are hooked up to 117V or 230V nominal power, they automatically self-configure. The amplifiers also incorporate a new and novel “sleep” circuit. When the amplifier receives no input signal for a period of 10 minutes, power is removed from the output modules and a front-panel LED begins to flash. As soon as an input signal is detected on any channel, normal playback operation resumes instantaneously.
Per Morris Kessler, ATI’s president and chief engineer, “We are excited to offer amplifiers with ATI’s legendary high performance and reliability in designs that reduce amplifier weight by up to 50%.”
With rated distortion below 0.05% and signal-to-noise ratio of 123 dB (minimum, referenced to rated output), each amplifier in the series is capable of playing back the full dynamic range available on today’s lossless recordings.