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AVM Ovation SA 6.2 stereo amplifier Review

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High current

The SA 6.2 is a MOSFET high current design capable of producing a maximum of 180 Amps per channel. Compare that to the Red Dragon S500 (reviewed) at a maximum 30 Amps per channel, or the Legacy Powerbloc4 (four channel), a dual mono class D at 30 Amps shared by two channels 1 and 2, and the same for channels 3 and 4. Maximum current capacity is far greater with the Ovation SA 6.2 than these others. The Australian designed and built Redgum RGi120ENR Integrated Amplifier (under review) also has high current capacity at 150 Amps per channel, and it has a similar characteristic of vastness to the soundstage that is so appealing with the Ovation SA 6.2.

When both of these features are found together they mean the SA 6.2 is an amp ideally suited for electrostatic speakers. Whereas these others are constrained when driving the King III, the SA 6.2 is comfortable. The influence of the Impedance control is easily heard; as I adjusted the Impedance downward on the SA 6.2 the speakers became increasingly muscular, resulting in a thicker, more extended, more potent and tonally deeper-colored result. The Red Dragon S500 when bridged has 1,000 Watts, but that alone does not mean a superior sound. Even though the Ovation is rated lower strictly in terms of power it more than makes up for it in current delivery.

What this means for listening is the King III carries a more “mature,” weightier character with the SA 6.2. It had an edge overall in performance with the King III over the Pass Labs X600.5 Monos. The SA 6.2 is more controlled and with less ambiguity in terms of the microdynamics.


What kind of “Collector” are you?

Audio system enthusiasts might be compared to auto collectors; both are looking for a special experience not attained by a typical product. Just as auto collectors fall generally into two groups, classic and performance, so also audiophiles fall into two groups that could be labeled the same, classic and performance. Those in the classic car cadre realize they are giving up quite a bit in terms of performance, i.e., zero to 60mph time, but they don’t care. The aesthetics are as important to them as performance. Conversely, those who are all about performance cannot tolerate the loss of performance. They appreciate the aesthetics, but prefer to focus on the best performance attainable at current standards.

This analogy also extends to motorcycles. I recently had a discussion with a man who is fan of classic motorcycles. He owns three bikes from the 1970s and 1980s, but all three are in storage and in need of maintenance. It reminds me of the audiophile who has multiple pieces of gear that sit and collect dust. I do not find unused used gear to sound that good, if you understand my point! As a motorcycle rider I do not wish to spend my time maintaining a bike (though scheduled maintenance is necessary), and I want the best performance per dollar. In North America one sees many men in their 50s riding classic motorcycles, ones that are larger, outfitted with bags, hence the term “bagger,” and as expected designed more for comfort and cruising (which begets the term “cruiser”) than sharp handling. Riding an older bike with compromised performance is not exciting to me. In my price category, my two cycles, the Kawasaki Versys and the Yamaha Stryker, are trimmer and serve my purposes for shorter, more energetic rides. The same is true in my audio systems. I want audio systems to perform, to take me on an exciting ride where my enjoyment is at an extreme. If I only have an hour to listen, I want that hour to be exciting, an energizing event rather than one that lulls me to sleep.

It is foolish to tell audiophiles of one stripe or the other that they are wrong. You will not change the perspective of the person whose life and experiences develop a passion for one or the other expression of vehicles, or audiophilia. Both are legitimate, but – here’s the point – they yield highly different results in terms of performance. Sure, there are audio systems built with nostalgia or budget gear and they sound great for not focusing on the music, despite protestations that it is “all about the music.” Those systems are built for a general emotional enjoyment of music, and that is one’s prerogative. However, typically those systems have surrendered a great deal of performance as judged by current state of the art sound in order to achieve other goals.

Summarizing, the “Classic” audiophile tends to encompass those who insist the big thing is the music, who tend to be thriftier and less concerned about continuous development of their rig, and seek nostalgia gear. The “Performance” group seeks new developments in technology appearing in products, rotates their gear more often, and must get a “thrill ride” fix when they listen. Reviewers tend to be associated with one group or the other, and I tend to fall into the second group.

I do not care to build such systems that are compromised by nostalgia, aesthetics or thriftiness. My systems are chiefly about performance as measured by current state of the art sound. To that end most amps do not have the capacity to achieve that goal. The Ovation line of amps seemingly does, and the Ovation SA 6.2 has that potential. Therefore, I recommend it as a proper amp for those performance enthusiasts in the audiophile community.

I like the AVM Ovation SA 6.2 because it is a high performance amplifier. I do not recommend it for persons who want a compromised sound, just as one would not recommend the BMW i8 for someone who wants a nostalgia ride with all its performance compromises. However, if you like the idea of a supercar and want an audio system that performs like a supercar, then you want to familiarize yourself with the AVM Ovation SA 6.2 amplifier.


Copy editor: Dan Rubin

2 Responses to AVM Ovation SA 6.2 stereo amplifier Review

  1. Symphony says:

    Is AVM Ovation SA 6.2 a good match for Pure Audio project Quintet 15 OB speakers to enhance the scale of sound? Or it’s power is an overkill

  2. Symphony,
    God’s Peace,

    I do like the combination of higher power and more efficient speakers. It makes the speakers impactful, vibrant in a way that does not happen with lower power, tube or SS. I operate from the perspective that with clean power, more is always better. While speakers are often rated far lower in terms of power than what I use, I find that there is a lack of macrodynamic impact when using an amp much less than 100 wpc, and I usually seek a solid state amp of at least 200 wpc into 8 Ohms.

    I consider overkill in amp speaker matching to be when I paired 1,000 wpc with the Tannoy Glenair!
    The sense of sheer intensity of a combination like that is exhilarating! But, when you pair higher power and higher efficiency speakers, be prepared to perhaps hear more ambient noise in the background than when using lower power. If you insist on an absolute silence, then perhaps demo a higher powered amp before buying.

    I have enjoyed higher power with the PAP Trio15 Horn 1 Speakers, if that is helpful. More robust SS will most definitely improve the headroom and make the speakers sound more effortless and the soundstage more vast.

    Douglas Schroeder

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