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Audio-gd Master 10 w/ Magnepan MMG (6Moons)

Ask any Magnepan loudspeaker owner about amplifier choices and they’ll tell you that you need three things: power, power and more power. This is the premise upon which I hooked my search for budget integrateds to partner withe MMG. Class D is a fast-track to more watts per channel but what about Class A/B? Surely there must be a manufacturer or two doing it keen with the double whammy of low pricing and high output? Indeed there are: Emotiva in Tennessee are perhaps the goto budget brand in the USA. They have an almost cult-like fan base, continually nailing their value for money colours to the mast with high power amplifier designs.  Their XPR-2 offers 1000 wpc into 4 ohms.  Holy smokes.

For Australians, the sucker punch is high shipping costs. It really puts a sting in the tail of an Emotiva purchase.

audio-gd_master_10_1

Closer to home – and transportation costs easier on the wallet – Chinese manufacturer Audio-gd are the goto guys when maximising bang-for-buck. Their line of R-2R and Delta-Sigma DACs are second to none. I’ve covered the NFB-2.1, the Reference 7.1 and the Reference 10.2 in these pages. I’m a BIG fan of Kingwa’s extreme value approach (despite his products not having the same high quality aesthetics of the Emotiva range). In review land, his (power) amplifiers are less of a know quantity.  I did spend considerable time with an Audio-gd pre-power combo in 2011 at which one of my audiophile buddies levelled the accusation of ‘light-sabre audio’. I called it out as dead neutral – ‘bleached, hospital clean’.

audio-gd_master_10_2

The Master 10 (US$1880) is a 38kg behemoth – so shipping costs are still likely to sting – but you get 500 watts per channel of Class A/B performance.  In the context of Magnepan’s MMG, I didn’t hear the same polished window effect as the ACSS-connected separates.. This integrated sounded warmer, more humid.  Read the full coverage here.

Further information: Audio-gd

Written by John H. Darko

John H. Darko

John is the editor of DAR, from whose ad revenues he derives an income. He is also an occasional contributor to 6moons and AudioStream and currently resides in Berlin, Germany.

Twitter: DarkoAudio
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3 Comments

  1. How about the IRD MB-100 power amps at $500 a pair, does it match well with the Magnepan MMG?

  2. Thats a shame that you Aussies have to get wacked on the shipping for the Emotiva. I mean the amps are made in China after all. Free shipping here in the US.

    I do like the class A/B sound of the XPA-2 with my MMG’s. I would be curious to hear the new class D offerings from Emotiva and Audio-gd. They must have got it right, because, from what I remember (Emotiva) did not go class D from the get go because they were getting better results from A/B.

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