Class AD – alias Advanced Class D – this is how Hifi Rose presents its brand 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. And it’s nothing like this…
The RA180’s advancement in Class-D operation comes from the use of GaNFET devices in its output stage – as seen previously with Peachtree Audio and soon at Mytek Audio – which turn on and off at faster speeds than previously favored MOSFETs. In a pair of standard speakers, the RA180 will push 400wpc into 8 and 4 Ohms, when operating in BTL mode…
…because there are not two GaNFET-based amplifier modules under the hood but four, each promising 200wpc into 8 and 4 Ohms. Why four? The answer lies on the rear panel where we notice two separate sets of binding posts which allow for bi-amping possibilities. and super-tweeter crossover design from 600Hz to 6kHz 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. The same applies to the setting of its internal MM/MC-compatible phono stage where the low-frequency “bassturnover” and high-frequency “roll-off” rotary do the talking. Also switchable on/off from the front panel, HT Bypass mode effectively turns analog input number three into a power amplifier input. And according to Hifi Rose, operating the remote will cause the (geared) volume wheel and source selector to physically rotate.
As is apparent from even a quick glance, the front panel of the RA180 is unlike those found on other integrated amplifiers. Its appearance falls somewhere between the all-silver Japanese receivers of the 1980s and the pseudo steampunk imaginings of Jules Verne and HG Wells. It makes you want to reach out and touch it. With the owner’s permission, of course. Weft!
Are you ready for pricing? £5499.
Further information: Hifi Rose