Class AD – aka Advanced Class D – is how Hifi Rose is pitching its all-new RA180 integrated amplifier. The South Korean manufacturer made a name for itself last year with its RS201E streaming amplifier and RS250 streaming DAC, both of which offered a full-width touchscreen on the front panel. And those are nothing like this…
The RA180’s ‘advance’ in Class D operation comes from the use of GaNFET devices in its output stage – as previously seen with Peachtree Audio and soon to come from Mytek Audio – that switch on and off at faster speeds than the previously-favoured MOSFETs. Into a pair of standard loudspeakers, the RA180 will push 400wpc into 8 and 4 Ohms, when operating in BTL mode…
…because there aren’t two GaNFET-based amplifier modules under the hood but four, each one promising 200wpc into 8 and 4 Ohms. Why four? The answer resides on the back panel where we note two separate sets of binding posts that permit bi-amping possibilities and super-tweeter crossover design from 600Hz to 6kHz in order to support frequencies up to 100kHz.
More traditional tone controls, powered by an op-amp instead of passive components, are also accessible from the RA180’s front panel. As is the tuning of its internal MM/MC-capable phono stage where low-frequency ‘bassturnover’ and high-frequency ‘roll-off’ rotaries do the talking. Also on/off switchable from the front panel is HT Bypass mode that effectively turns analogue input number three into a power amplifier input. And according to Hifi Rose, remote control operation will cause the (geared) volume rotary and source selector to physically turn.
As is obvious from even a quick glance, the RA180’s front panel doesn’t look like those found on other integrated amplifiers. Its appearance sits somewhere between the all-silver Japanese receivers of the 1980s and the pseudo steampunk’d imaginations of Jules Verne and H.G Wells. It makes you wanna reach out and touch it. With permission from its owner, of course. Woof!
Are you ready for pricing? £5499.
Further information: Hifi Rose