Have I ever told you about my friend Boris Meltsner? I ran into Boris unexpectedly while I was darting around the hallways at AXPONA 2019, and he quickly pulled me into his room where he was showing new products from companies called Amped and Acoustique Quality loudspeakers, and much more. For many years, Boris was the main tech we used to service all our brands at Colleen Cardas Imports, and he did an incredible job. He fixed everything that landed on his test bench, did it quickly, and knew exactly what caused the problem in the first place. His prices were always fair. He’s also an authorized technician for such companies as McIntosh and Adcom. He’s good at what he does.
Boris does more in high-end audio than just service components. Over the last few years he’s been distributing some brands from Russia and Eastern Europe and elsewhere, brands that aren’t commonly known in North America. Years ago I walked into one of his rooms, and he had a fuzzy spherical speaker with a distinctly ’70s aura that sounded very, very nice. (He said he’s going to send me a pair now just for fun.) At AXPONA 2019 he participated in three rooms with a few of his associates, most notably Karel Svoboda who makes Acoustique Quality speakers in the Czech Republic. One common denominator in all three locations was a rather nondescript metal box of an amp called the Amped 2400.
An amp for all seasons
The Amped 2400, which retails for $4000, is one of those Class D muscle amps you need when you want to throw a big party, or drive an exceptionally insensitive pair of loudspeakers. Power rating is 400wpc into 8 ohms, or 800 into 4 ohms, and yet it only weighs 18 pounds. In my SET days, it was one of those Class D amps I used to balk at while muttering “watts are cheap.” But as I started listening to the Amped 2400 in a wide variety of systems, I starting thinking of another mantra, one said more recently by folks more open-minded than me: “Class D is starting to get really good.”
Indeed, this is one of the first times I’ve listened to one of these latest generation Class D amps. I knew that much of the trademark dryness and grain through the mids and treble were supposed to be gone, and it was. I kept trying to hear that trace of electrical mischief that always seems to permeate the background of these types of amps, but the Amped always sounded airy, spacious, quiet and in control. While the systems themselves ranged in quality from a basic system with an Adcom preamp, LA Audio CD player and KEF speakers, to some of the more ambitious systems (including a beautiful tube amp from KR Audio, as you see), and some of those Acoustique Quality (which are quite superb, by the way.)
Fortunately, Boris is going to send me an Amped 2400 to try out at home. Hopefully he’ll send me both Amped and Acoustique Quality–that was a great-sounding combo. 800 watts per channel seems a little scary to a modestly-powered tube amp guy like me, but who knows–I might dig the power!