Thursday, May 25, 2017
High End 2017
in Munich
Brand New
Video Series
NAD C 368
New Integrated
Anthem STR
Model Seven Mk.II
Ayre Acoustics
Paradigm's Flagship
Persona 9H
Merging NADAC ST-2 on SoundStage! Ultra ... Read the review
Onkyo's A-9010 on SoundStage! Access ... Read the review


All amplifier measurements are performed independently by BHK Labs. All measurement data and graphical information displayed below are the property of the SoundStage! Network and Schneider Publishing Inc. Reproduction in any format is not permitted.

Note: Measurements were made at 120V AC line voltage with both channels being driven. Measurements made on left channel through the balanced inputs unless otherwise noted.

Power output

  • Output power at 1% THD+N: 224.8W @ 8 ohms, 372.2W @ 4 ohms
  • Output power at 10% THD+N (est., see text): 250W @ 8 ohms, 400W @ 4 ohms

Additional data

  • This amplifier does not invert polarity.
  • AC-line current draw at idle: 1.52A, 0.75PF, 137W
  • AC-line current draw at standby: 0.4A, 0.77PF, 37W
  • Gain: output voltage divided by input voltage for balanced inputs: 18.61X, 25.4dB 
  • Input sensitivity for 1W output into 8 ohms, balanced inputs: 152.0mV
  • Output impedance @ 50Hz: 0.15 ohm
  • Input impedance @ 1kHz: 1M ohm
  • Output noise, 8-ohm load, balanced inputs, termination 600 ohms, Lch/Rch
    •      Wideband: 0.369mV/0.363mV, -77.7 dBW/-77.8dBW
    •      A weighted: 0.078mV/0.076mV, -91.2dBW/-91.4dBW

Measurements summary

The VX-R, one of Ayre Acoustics’ newest models, is a medium-power solid-state stereo power amplifier. Though of relatively small size, this dual-mono design, milled from a solid block of aluminum, is one heavy beast of an amp: It weighs almost 80 pounds.

Chart 1 shows the VX-R’s frequency response with varying loads. The high-frequency response is quite wide, with an approximate 3dB down point in excess of 200kHz.

The frequency response varies a small amount with load; therefore, the VX-R’s output impedance is reasonably low. The effect of the NHT dummy load is hard to see at the resolution at which this chart is usually shown; it amounts to a frequency-response deviation of about ±0.2dB.

Chart 2A illustrates how the VX-R’s total harmonic distortion plus noise (THD+N) vs. power varies for 1kHz and SMPTE IM test signals and amplifier output for 8- and 4-ohm loads. The protection fuses in the “front end” of the VX-R blew repeatedly when I attempted to drive it to 10% THD+N, so the values listed in the Additional Data are estimates. The amount of distortion is reasonable for what is claimed to be a no-overall-feedback design.

Chart 3 plots the THD+N as a function of frequency at several different power levels. The amount of increase in distortion at high frequencies is admirably low up to 150W. Attempts to get data at the 200W level blew the front-end fuses.

The VX-R’s plot of damping factor vs. frequency (Chart 4) is unusually flat. I have seen only a few amps with this characteristic. This usually goes along with flat distortion amount with changing frequency, as is the case with this design.

A spectrum of the harmonic distortion and noise residue of a 10W, 1kHz test signal is plotted in Chart 5. The magnitudes of the AC-line harmonics are very low, and the signal harmonics are predominantly the second and third; all higher harmonics are an order of magnitude lower.

Chart 1 - Frequency response of output voltage as a function of output loading

Chart 1

Red line = open circuit
Magenta line = 8-ohm load
Blue line = 4-ohm load
Cyan line = NHT dummy load

Chart 2 - Distortion as a function of power output and output loading

Chart 2 

(Line up at 10W to determine lines)
Top line = 4-ohm SMPTE IM distortion
Second line = 8-ohm SMPTE IM distortion
Third line = 4-ohm THD+N
Bottom line = 8-ohm THD+N

Chart 3 - Distortion as a function of power output and frequency

Chart 3

(8-ohm loading)
Red line = 1W
Magenta line = 10W
Blue line = 70W
Cyan line = 150W

Chart 4 - Damping factor as a function of frequency

Chart 4

Damping factor = output impedance divided into 8

Chart 5 - Distortion and noise spectrum

Chart 5

1kHz signal at 10W into an 8-ohm load

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