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Discussion Starter #1
Ok. So my question is... is it really a personal preference once you start looking into high end amps or is there really a difference to prefer one over the other?

Let's use the following Amps below for comparison based on 3-way front stage system (just for example) if you were to enter a sound competition which would you choose and why? How would you rank US amps listed below compared to International Amps listed below?

US Amps

Zapco
Arc Audio
Tru Technology

International Amps

Sinfoni
Brax
Audison Thesis HV Venti
 

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Personal preference...End thread.

But really...Its all personal preference.:juggle:
 

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Personal preference...End thread.

But really...Its all personal preference.:juggle:
Yes and no... Actually you're missing some some strong points in your comment.

Brax and Sinfoni have a lifetime warranty - believe the HV does too
It also depends on the installation, Audison Thesis accepts balanced input, Sinfoni is thin and Brax has a High-End amp that is 13"x13" large and puts out almost 300rms x4 @ 4 ohm (nothing close in US) : http://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/industry-shop-talk/54066-new-amp-brax.html

And those are only a few brands, there's many more pure High-End in Japan (Phass, uDimension, Musee, etc... and in Europe like Mosconi, Steg, Ground Zero, Areon, HSS, etc...

Kelvin
 

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You missed Genesis and Audiowave:

Welcome to Genesis UK - Genesis ICE Car Audio - Automotive Amplifiers - The home of pure music

Holding Page - Audio Wave

Ground Zero, whome I've dealt with for years, I wouldn't quite class as hi-end, as far as I know they don't build their own amps:

:: Ground Zero :: Amplifier / GZPA 1.6500spl

"same" as

Power Drive 5000 « InPhase Audio

I haven't had the two side by side, but the internals look near identical-only visible difference I can see from pics if the colour of the board-blue in the in Phase and red in the Ground Zero-but I don't proclaim to be any expert on that!

Some of their subs share the TC sounds chasis-not sure what else.

Not saying their products lack quality, but I'd be inclined to go for a "start to finish" brand for the money they ask-their amp is about £1k more than the In Phase
 

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You missed Genesis and Audiowave:

Welcome to Genesis UK - Genesis ICE Car Audio - Automotive Amplifiers - The home of pure music

Holding Page - Audio Wave

Ground Zero, whome I've dealt with for years, I wouldn't quite class as hi-end, as far as I know they don't build their own amps:

:: Ground Zero :: Amplifier / GZPA 1.6500spl

"same" as

Power Drive 5000 « InPhase Audio

I haven't had the two side by side, but the internals look near identical-only visible difference I can see from pics if the colour of the board-blue in the in Phase and red in the Ground Zero-but I don't proclaim to be any expert on that!

Some of their subs share the TC sounds chasis-not sure what else.

Not saying their products lack quality, but I'd be inclined to go for a "start to finish" brand for the money they ask-their amp is about £1k more than the In Phase
Regarding Ground Zero, I was talking about that one: :: Ground Zero :: Amplifier / GZPA Reference 4 (always wanted to try it)

But yeah, they don't make much of their own stuffs...

Kelvin
 

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No Zed??? I thought Zed was considered as 'high end' as any other US amp manufacturer. I say this because i was considering the new Leviathan as my next amp.
 

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Of the amps you have listed, I would pick the one that will give you the most support in competition. Unless your competing in EMMA, I would stick to ones that are working in the US as far as support...

I won't get into a pissing match about origin, but of the amps you have listed, I would say Arc then probably Zapco. I don't know where they stand since staff have went different ways (zapco)...but in the past few years, you couldn't get better support from those 2
 

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Small comparo from a german magazine, feel free to draw your own conclusion:



Klang = SQ (details in the music)
Leistung = Performance (power)
Ausstattung = Settings (Xover, EQ)
Verarbeitung = Quality (Construction, reliability)
48 is really good - 20 is not so good

Kelvin

PS: Zapco Zar = Zapco Ref
 

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I really like the US Amp I just bought. Its a Merlin 4 channel . I understand its a Zed design. It sure is more than 4x90 watts. Its very strong & clean.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm starting to lean towards Brax after reading the comparison from the German magazine. I'm learning more and more everyday about high end amps. I know there is a lot of strong points to picking an amp. How important is the quality of RCA's? for example.. Stinger HPM1 their lowest end or HPM3 being their highest grade? Is the difference really big?
 

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I really like the US Amp I just bought. Its a Merlin 4 channel . I understand its a Zed design. It sure is more than 4x90 watts. Its very strong & clean.
I might be mistaken but I'm pretty sure the new US Amps aren't a Zed design.

Kelvin
 

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Regarding Ground Zero, I was talking about that one: :: Ground Zero :: Amplifier / GZPA Reference 4 (always wanted to try it)

But yeah, they don't make much of their own stuffs...

Kelvin
Nice looking amp, but for $2500 I'd still be looking at an amp built from start to finish "in house".

If I was in the States I'd buy American for some simple reasons:

Support from manuafcturer
Cost, got to be cheaper for amp of equivalent spec/quality
Supporting my local industry
 

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Small comparo from a german magazine, feel free to draw your own conclusion:



Klang = SQ (details in the music)
Leistung = Performance (power)
Ausstattung = Settings (Xover, EQ)
Verarbeitung = Quality (Construction, reliability)
48 is really good - 20 is not so good

Kelvin

PS: Zapco Zar = Zapco Ref
Not sure when the chart was compiled or whether anyone in the States knows/cares about it-but there are two Hifonics in Europe; one the Maxxsonics product as distributed in the US and UK and the other owned by Audio Design GmbH. There appears to be some of the Maxxsonics product on the Audio Design website, but I believe most of Audio Design's Hifonics range is custom made.

Google Translate
 

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Nice looking amp, but for $2500 I'd still be looking at an amp built from start to finish "in house".

If I was in the States I'd buy American for some simple reasons:

Support from manuafcturer
Cost, got to be cheaper for amp of equivalent spec/quality
Supporting my local industry
Yeah... For that price, I'd buy a Brax X4. However, if it sounds good then why not even if it's not made "In house" from start to finish? I also like the Bias setting - not many High-End dual mono 4 channel amps around either. Reading and seems like it's built like a tank too.

Kelvin
 

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Not sure when the chart was compiled or whether anyone in the States knows/cares about it-but there are two Hifonics in Europe; one the Maxxsonics product as distributed in the US and UK and the other owned by Audio Design GmbH. There appears to be some of the Maxxsonics product on the Audio Design website, but I believe most of Audio Design's Hifonics range is custom made.

Google Translate
Always wondered about that actually. They have some High-End components that do well in the tests: SQ wise the MX is supposed to bring more details than a Focal KRX2 set and be close to the KRX3 and the SR6500 for example (same magazine).

Kelvin
 

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However, if it sounds good then why not even if it's not made "In house" from start to finish?

Kelvin
Partly out of snobbery, but mainly because I'm not buying a product off a car audio manufacturer, I'm buying a very expensive amp from what is essentially a marketing company.

As said before G-Z do have some great products, but how much is designed and engineered by them and how much by what ever build house they went to? I don't object to paying good money for a good product, but $2500 for a product that "could" have been found on alibaba.com and had a huge margin banged on top!

Check this product from Monacor:
MONACOR INTERNATIONAL:product detail page

I 1st saw this about 10yrs ago in a straight from China catalogue, doesn't mean there's anything wrong with it, but to me it's just a box for Monacor to shift, not something they've invested love, blood, sweat and tears into. For me the "design process" should not be ordering samples from the far east and working out which to stick your name on...
 

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Partly out of snobbery, but mainly because I'm not buying a product off a car audio manufacturer, I'm buying a very expensive amp from what is essentially a marketing company.

As said before G-Z do have some great products, but how much is designed and engineered by them and how much by what ever build house they went to? I don't object to paying good money for a good product, but $2500 for a product that "could" have been found on alibaba.com and had a huge margin banged on top!

Check this product from Monacor:
MONACOR INTERNATIONAL:product detail page

I 1st saw this about 10yrs ago in a straight from China catalogue, doesn't mean there's anything wrong with it, but to me it's just a box for Monacor to shift, not something they've invested love, blood, sweat and tears into. For me the "design process" should not be ordering samples from the far east and working out which to stick your name on...
I guess I should begin to check ebay.com.hk :p

Kelvin
 

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My US Amp is a older model built in the USA.
 
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