22 September 2010|
|ORION XTR15001 Amplifier|
My setup was simple. I set the crossover for about 80Hz, and used the -24dB slope. I left the bass boost flat and left the subsonic filter off, as I planned to use a sealed subwoofer system. I never get tired of having a lot of power in my listening system. When you have enough power to get all the volume you want without ever getting near the amplifiers (or speakers) limits, listening to music can be a completely different experience. And with the Orion XTR amp driving a pair of 12’s in a sealed enclosure wired to for a 2 ohm impedance, I can tell you this amplifier has power to spare. Even at really loud levels I never came close to overdriving the XRT15001, although I think my 750 watt woofers had all they could handle. Bass was tight, well defined and generally sounded great, with any music, at any volume. Kick drum beats had the sort of impact you expect at a concert, and with what seemed like an unlimited supply of clean power available, the listening experience was almost intoxicating. Unless you are a serious SPL competitor, I can’t imagine anyone needing more power than the XTR15001 provides.
After being fairly blown away with the sonic performance, I was really curious to see what kind of numbers the Orion amp would turn out on the test bench. Twenty years ago, it was pretty common for a good quality amplifier to produce 30% more power than it was rated for. Then in the late 90’s things became ultra-competitive, and prices dropped by as much as 50%. And when that happened, much of the power headroom in many amplifiers went away. Well, not with this Orion amp. Not surprisingly, as the tech specs section shows, the XTR15001 blew away its rated power numbers with ease. Over 1900 watts into 1 ohm! In fact the amp measured very good in every aspect. Efficiency was very good, although at full chat into 1 ohm, you should realize that this amp can draw almost 200A of current. Signal to noise was good, all the protection circuits (over and under voltage, thermal, and short circuit) worked perfectly. The crossovers performed as expected and everything just flat works – and works well.
Wow. The Orion XTR15001 far exceeded even my expectations of it, and I’ve been measuring and testing Orion amplifiers for almost 20 years. If you are thinking about a new subwoofer amplifier, and you’re willing to step up to a high quality product, this could be the perfect choice. The power is addicting, it’s cool looking, it’s priced appropriately for the performance delivered, and it sounds great. Just be prepared to match the big power to appropriate woofers, or you’ll be in trouble. This amplifier has great performance and good value. And for the majority of people, it may be the last subwoofer amplifier you’d need for a long time.