11 July 2011
From the folks at Audiobahn comes this behemoth of an amplifier, the A2300HCJ. As the flagship amplifier in their High Current Series, the A2300HCJ features an advanced power supply design that allows the big Class AB amplifier to operate at 1 Ohm per channel, or even 1 Ohm bridged! The amp is very large and quite heavy, measuring approximately 25.7” long, 12 inches wide and 2.5” tall, and weighs in at a hefty 30 pounds. And with a retail price of US$1,199.99, that works out to about 40 bucks a pound!
The A2300HCJ is all about the bling, baby. It’s slathered in rich, deep chrome plating with raised three dimensional flames bolted solidly to the top, and illuminated by enough blue LEDs to make the Las Vegas strip envious. Adding to the bling and techno dazzle is a large three digit voltmeter that also lights up in a matching blue color. If it’s just as important for you to be seen as heard, the Audiobahn High Current series may be right up your alley. The big shiny chromed out amp is rated at 450 watts per channel into 4 ohms, and according to the manual, can manage 2,400 watts when bridged into a 1 ohm load. THD is not specified. We didn’t have the opportunity to do a full tech review of this amplifier, but if it performs even half as good as it looks, it should be remarkable.
On the technical side, I pulled the heavy chromed steel top off and had a look inside. What I saw was a nicely made, symmetrical and large circuit board, with a total of 24 high current Sanken bipolar output transistors, and 16 IRF Z44 high current MOSFETs doing the switching for the dual toroid power supply. A bank of eight 2200µF 35V 105° capacitors store energy for the primary side, while six 4700µF caps take care of the secondary energy reserves. Small signal components are typically 1% tolerance through-hole parts, and the PCB itself is double sided glass-filled epoxy. There is no doubt that the amplifier is designed for high current operation. Twin 3” fans pull excess heat from the inside of the amplifier, and there are no less than four separate protection systems to ensure that the amp lives through your most “sonically enthusiastic” road trips. Connections are made on one end of the amp, the power and ground terminals will accept 4 gauge input cables, and the speaker terminals handle up to 10 gauge wire. To prevent damage from over current, there are no less than four 40A ATC style fuses mounted between the terminal blocks. On the opposite end of the amp is where you’ll find the signal control and connections, with nice panel mount style RCA input and outputs, as well as variable pots for gain, high and low pass filters, a defeatable subsonic filter and a bass boost control with variable frequency and boost. Also included is a wired remote level control that also illuminates in blue, of course!
Definitely designed to blend performance and high style, the A2300HCJ from Audiobahn isn’t for wallflowers. As they say in the manual, “We make you look as good as you sound.” .