The Phoenix takes advantage of premier modern components to implement an old fashioned AB design that has been well established in the audiophile community. Phoenix amplifiers deliver the all immersive sound you have dreamed of for your home theater.
List Price $2,100 Mono $1,975 Stereo
Great amplifiers are a combination of science and art. The Professor and Golden Ears worked together for many years to manifest the Phoenix design. Like a winning golf swing, some things in amp design are well known and some are unexplainable. The Phoenix has all the known great amplifier elements like having no fans and a low impedance power supply. Then there were things that seemed unexplainable, but were repeatable and made it sound better.
Cost considerations come up in every design. With the Phoenix, they did not eliminate anything that improved sound in order to reduce costs. The volume controls are custom made Bourn's potentiometers instead of a digital IC. They are turned by grounded brass shafts so hum does not pass through the amp.
In over 18 areas of the design they listened to the results and maximized performance - see Phoenix Details
The Phoenix Mono amps have twice the power of the Stereo for each channel they run. Usually they are used for the front speakers - right, left and center. If your speakers are capable of handling the power and you are willing to invest in additional amps, you will have the ability to generate truly dramtic sound effects.
The Phoenix Mono also has better detail than the Stereo. Used on a center speaker, dialogue becomes even clearer than with the already excellent Stereo.
Each channel has its own transformer. Thus cross talk between channels, which is virtually eliminated in the Stereo model, is totally eliminated with mono amps.
Class D amps weigh less and cost less, so they are often chosen to keep costs down. However, though both Class D and the Phoenix may say they put out the same Watts, the listening experience will be vastly different. Just like having a V8 engine does not necessarily give you race car performance, all 300 Watt amplifiers do not give the same performance.
The most obvious difference is weight - 3 pounds versus the Phoenix 38 pounds. In a 7.1 installation you are looking at 30 pounds versus over 300 pounds. The additional weight comes mainly from the transformers and heatsinks. These, along with the 28 extra storage capacitors in each amp, give the ability to provide great dynamics and stability of sound over an entire movie.
Class D amps do not have that temperature and power stability. Thus their performance will not be consistent over time. This explains why amps with similar specifications can sound so different once they have warmed up.
Without the large transformer, it is unlikely for the sound to have a convincing image. Class D amps are notorious for being two dimensional and having no feeling of space or depth. If you want totally immersive sound effects, always choose an amp with a large transformer.
Class D amps use a digital process and thus have all the problems of digital. Yes, blu ray is digital, but it has no power. It only has a couple of volts with almost no current. When a digital power amp tries to change 9 amps of current at high frequency, it has the ability to change a well recorded Blu-ray concert into the quality of an 128 kbps downloadable song.
Class D amps also are not isolated from noise. Ideally you want no noise in the speakers when the source is turned off but the amplifier is still on. See "Perform the hum test yourself" on Fanatics Only.
Load Impedance: Rated for 3 to 16 ohms in Stereo mode
Output Power per Channel: 300 Watts at 8 ohms RMS Mono
150 Watts at 4 ohms RMS Stereo
Input Level: 1-4 volts RMS Required AC Mains: 60Hz 120VAC
Weight: 38 pounds Watts: 6 plugged in; 60 on-idling; 500 full power
Frequency Response: -3dB from 0.1 Hz to 400 kHz at 1 watt
Hum: Typically over 120dB below peak output (Over a 100 times
quieter than the noise floor of a CD.)
Grounding: Double insulated. Premium parts used so a third wire
ground is not needed. This eliminates the possibility of ground loops,
making the background quieter and preventing hum.
Options: Rack mount faceplate
Click here for a pdf of the Phoenix manual. Phoenix Manual