by Nick Mandara
The Stealth PA-1 Monoblock Amplifier: Massive Monoblock Performance from an Ultra-compact Chassis
Eric Gaalaas of Analog Devices said that the job of the audio amplifier is: “...to reproduce input audio signals at sound-producing output elements, with desired volume and power levels—faithfully, efficiently, and at low distortion.”*
All true, if a little dry. What’s also true is that too often, electronics manufacturers skimp when it comes to the amplifier sections of their products; in particular, smartphones, laptops, tablets, and gaming systems can be counted on to be seriously lacking in the audio department.
It’s a shame, because all four product types are audio sources for the world at large – casual listeners and audiophiles alike.
To be fair, nobody buys a laptop for the audio section, even if it is used to stream music and movie soundtracks to a listener parked in front of the screen, or as part of a larger, more traditional audio rig. At these times, it’s important to incorporate an amplifier section that elevates the listening experience to a suitably high and exacting level.
Cue the Emotiva Stealth PA-1 monoblock power amplifier, featuring specs and a chassis that is designed to adapt equally well to a compact home A/V system, secondary audio system, desktop system, or studio environment. Measuring a diminutive 1 7/8” H x 8 1/2” W x 9” D, making it the perfect fit for any application that benefits from a powerful compact amp that can do all the heavy lifting you need it to.
But, why a monoblock? Wouldn’t a two-channel or multi-channel model serve the purpose? No doubt, especially if it’s an Emotiva amp. (Yay, team!) However, monoblock amps are famous for tons of benefits, including flexibility (use to power any individual channel/speaker in your system), immense power (typically designed to produce higher power than stereo amps of the same size), and it can be more sonically effective because the circuitry all adds up to powering a single speaker.
The challenge with monoblocks, however, is the typically large size of familiar models, Emotiva products included. In designing a compact solution, Emotiva’s engineers incorporated a high-efficiency Class D amplifier that delivers 140 watts RMS into 8 ohms, or 300 watts RMS into 4 ohms, giving it the muscle to drive the most power-hungry speakers, yet its size allows it to conveniently fit wherever it is needed, from a shelf to a desktop, or mounted on or behind an audio rack. Its single 1U rack space makes it easy to place two amplifiers side by side in a single rack space.
As much as the PA-1 will power a killer desktop system, let alone two- and multichannel rigs, it is just as suited to heavy lifting in pro settings, including podcasts, home studios, and commercial facilities. The PA1 runs on any line voltage ranging from 100 - 264 VAC (volts alternating current), and accepts a balanced input using either an XLR or balanced ¼” connector. The amplifier runs cool and efficiently, even when left on 24/7, or it can be switched on when it detects an incoming audio signal.
From traditional rack arrays to custom installed entertainment centers and performance desktop audio systems, there is no audio application too big or small for the PA-1.
* “Class D Audio Amplifiers: What, Why, and How” – Eric Gaalaas, Analog Devices, June 2006
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