Designed in the USA and built overseas in China...the Phoenix Gold Amp One Hundred has stood the test of time! It is a well thought out stereo design of Audiosource an acquisition by Phoenix Gold while being the logical successor to the critically acclaimed and legendary Amp One Part of its success story is due to the toroidal power supply that is used in virtually all of the company's models. This heavy large over-sized cylindrical type of transformer allows for a warm sweet naturalistic noiseless quality in an amplifier that while enabling dynamic high current capability...can only be rivaled by the best most expensive high end tube types. Other than rock steady construction and high grade internal components...the amplifier's unbelievably low street price is the other reason for this amazing amp's success story.
Recommend this product?
The fifty watt per channel 8 ohm rating is one of the most ridiculously conservative specs of its kind and take it from me...as I have owned two of them and am currently pondering a third purchase...at its meager current asking price of $80 to $130 it simply has no peer. It is the best bang for the buck giving both young and old poor audiophiles the best most powerful open spacious three-dimensional sound quality at a starving musician's price. Its black matte finished front panel is very high end along with its ability to treat high frequencies gently and liquidy without introducing harsh stringent edginess as some modern receivers do.
My first unit was purchased years ago from the company's headquarters in Portland, Oregon on the web while the second was supplied from J&R as a "B-Stock" [Blem] unit. Both are still doing extremely well as my eldest son uses the former for his gaming system and I use the latter for serious stereo-only listening.
The highs reach your ears softly and the bass along with the mids sound well defined and tight while being extremely extended. In keeping with their tradition of offering high quality sound at very reasonable prices...Dynaco was so impressed with this amp that their website was selling it along with their QDC-1 home theater adapter which will convert the amp at reasonable cost into a 5.1 home theater system. I own one of these adapters...thus my reason for considering a third unit to be used with my widescreen in the living room. They also posted the missing frequency/power bandwidth spec of 10Hz to 65KHz...AMAZING!!! I wonder how many tried and true amps can boast that...at any price point? I also wonder how many classic Dynaco A-25 lovers in the present have paired their stable 8 ohm impedance loudspeakers to this gorgeous-sounding amplifier?
The front panel is neatly laid out and very uncluttered indeed. Minimalist controls...Power On/Standby, Speaker A/B LED buttons, Balance and a main Vol/Level control.are neatly arranged in front. They are all very smooth...especially the volume and balance controls but I must warn you...if you leave the balance and level control in one position for five years as I did...they may become scratchy [oxidation!] and require a bit of working in again. The reason for my situation was because I use the Amp One Hundred as a power amp as it was intended while my well-mated slim identically weighing and styled Pyle PYP-1X serves as a control/preamplifier. All of my balancing and volume controlling is performed through the Pyle Pro.
The Owner's Manual is very well done but please read the section on signal sensing so that if you do not wish for the 100 to switch in and out on soft passages/pauses annoyingly during critical listening...it will not! This feature serves as a bonus in reality as the amplifier can be used for "Zoning". Be mindful of and become accustomed to the rear panel which sports tiny slider controls for this purpose along with "Bridging" the two channels into one so that the 100 becomes a mono block boasting over 130 watts of clean power!
Speaking of the rear...there are also four sets of female banana plug-type speaker outputs [aka 5-way binding posts]. Phoenix Gold also manufactures these nicely constructed inexpensive male gold-plated banana plugs for easy insertion here and convenient sure-fire speaker hookup. Many speaker builders used these on their classics...Vandersteen, Dynaco and Polk. The rear also sports two sets of inputs and even a set of ouitputs for supplying a stereo signal to another "zone"/amp.
Does the Amp One Hundred sound like a classic Seventies model? Nope...no way...it is very modern sounding yet much better than the majority of warm classics that tended to chop off the highs a bit. It definitely is reminiscent of stable fast clean Nineties high end solid state amps that came out of Parasound [John Curl], Adcom and NAD. Then again...it in no way resembles the harsh stringent sound of the popular modern mass cheapies. It is a slim but substantial ten pounder quite capable of revealing layers of depth in music. It is not suitable for ear-piercing sound pressure levels in large listening environments that have the capability of destroying Godzilla. It simply enables a young novice or even an older more experienced lover of the hobby to build a very reasonably high end cost effective system for a small to moderate listening room such as mine from scratch without having to settle for second rate sound from mass-produced receivers...of any era!...PJSII
Amount Paid (US$): 80