Monday, 6 August 2012

XTV A-800 Quick Review

XTV A-800 Quick Review

Thanks to Audio Sanctum for the sample.

Brief:  Teeny tiny amp from Sweden

Price:  £140

Specification:  2x40W Class D amplifier, Headphone output, Subwoofer-output/Line-output, Banana connections, USB input DAC 16bit / 44 , 48kHz, RCA input

Accessories:  USB cable, speaker cable and power cable. (I think not sure what came with the amp as opposed to the speakers)

Build Quality:  It looks and feels solid.  The body is metal and even the volume knob I believe!   

Comfort/Fit:  It’s a dinky little thing and it fits nicely on my desk.  So I’m going to say it fits in very well.  It’s a real desktop amp, I just wish it had a little stand so it could go on its side too.

Aesthetics:  It’s reasonable on the eye but it’s not an exciting thing to behold.  Maybe the silver one is more eye catching but the black one is pretty discrete.  Even the back lit volume knob, it’s quite dim and unobtrusive.

Sound:  Love it.  I must confess I’ve been putting off this review so that I don’t have to send it back.  It’s got a warm, smooth sound that’s very surprisingly full bodied for its dinky size.  Personally I think that was a mistake to choose given you have a line out, yes you can plug u sub into this!  Yes that means there is a T-amp (please don’t correct me I know it’s technically a trade name but we all know what is meant by the term) that actually has a sub out connector.  Why is single feature not being plugged to hell?  So while it was happy to drive my big Acoustic Energy Radiance 1’s I could hook up the pretty much spare rear rear satellite speakers I don’t use.  Naturally tiny speakers do little bass so run a cable to the sub and KAPOW!  Before me I have a minuscule system, real speakers, a real amp both on my desk and a home cinema sub below the desk.  Yes that means a desktop set up that can shake the building if I let it.  Yes, yes I know that the sub alone starts the budget heading skyward but no one says you have to get an expensive one or have a sub at all.  It’s that with the A-800 you have the option and it sounds terrific too.  Well mostly terrific, it’s not the most refined in the highs despite it being not very treble heavy either.  So if you really, really loves you those sweet, delicate, shimmering highs then accept a £140 amp can’t quite manage it all. 

Value:  Tremendously good, DAC, amp and can do a sub out, what’s not to like.

Pro’s:   Tiny, cheap, stupidly versatile, warm rich sound.

Con’s:  Treble, lighter in quantity and a bit gritty and unrefined

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