At first glance the AudioControl lineup of amplifiers is too good to be true. It’s 230 watts per channel at 8ohms and 300 at 4 ohms. All this without any of the heat and made here in the USA!? Even from a quick unboxing you can realize the fantastic build quality and attention to detail that went into this unit. I’mgoing to give you guys the quick and dirty on the AudioControlSavoy G4 Power amplifier.
Let’s start with the unboxing experience. First, even getting this into your house, you’ll notice the raw weight of this amp. As in old school electronics, usually the heavier the unit is translatesinto better-quality components. Once you start cutting the tape and getting into the box, you’ll notice little quirky sayings or jokes on the box. This is refreshing because usually you do notsee anything like this from other companies. I think AudioControls made in Washington, USA spirit shines through. The unit is double boxed to protect your investment. In the box you get a thick power cable, a tank of an amplifier, two empty boxes for your kids to make racecars out of and the owner’s manual. The jokes and spirit of AudioControl don’t stop at the box. The owner’s manual has little jokes, references and dance moves tutorials that brightens up your amplifier experience. Now that its unboxed let’s talk about this unit.
The AudioControl Savoy is a 7 channel beast of an amplifier. This is a 3U sized amplifier that weighs in at 43 pounds. You get 7 channels by 230 at 8 ohms and 300 by 7 at 4 ohms. You can bridge this amp Mono into a 600 watts at 8 ohms too. Do it, I dare you. All of this power and accomplished at a very low total Harmonic distortion (THD). It has all that horsepower without the unwanted heat. This is a Class H amplifier and unlike the class A A/B amps this is a much cooler operating solution if you have limited ventilation to the amp. The amp also has anti-clipping technology built in. If you are not familiar with clipping, its bad news for speakers and amplifiers. Your signal is a sine wave. Once the signal starts flattening the peaks of that sine wave you are into clipping. This causes audible distortion in your speakers and can cause irreversible damage to the tweeters first and then to the drivers with time. Clipping isn’t ideal for amps either, so It stands to reason to have a safety measures in place when you want to blast the tunes through your system. The AudioControl amplifiers have LightDrive anti-clipping circuitry. This makes sure your Speakers and amplifier are protected and will perform perfectly and distortion free every time you fire it up. You have triggers ins and outs to turn the amp on when your processor or AVR comes on. Another cool feature is that you have a ground isolation switch. This helps if you have pesky ground loop problems like a hum coming from your speakers. This Switch has 3 positions that will help get rid of unwanted hum or grounding noises. The only other thing that is specifically unique to this amp are the 7 individual level controls to boost or cut your speaker gain. Unless you are advanced in-home audio calibration, I would leave these in the standard 3 to 9 position or east and west. Things can get dicey quick if you don’t know what you are doing. All of these quick points round how the AudioControl power amplifiers are different from the rest.
Build quality is amplifier is top notch. The tolerances on the chassis are tight and fit as they should. All faces are coated in a nice black finish. The rear is the opposite with a white panel and black print. All of the lighting on the amplifier are a stunning blue LEDs from the indicator lights to the thin blue line on the front panel. The unbalanced connections are sturdy and have no wiggle room like I have seen from other amplifiers. You also have passthrough on each channel on the unbalanced connection allowing flexibility on how you connect your system. The balanced connections fit my Amphenol connectors nice and tight with a positive stopping point and solid connection. The 5-way binding posts are very satisfying visually as well as its strong seat to banana plugs. These binding posts don’t have the usual wiggle you see in other amplifiers too.
The amp performs flawlessly. I have heard Class A, Class A/B,Class D, Class G, and Class H amplifiers. I am a big fan of a neutral tone instead of inherent voicing that certain class amplifiers induce on the sounds amplified. The AudioControlSavoy is no different. Its very close to neutral in its sound recreation allowing the music and sound effects to be heard as the audio engineer intended. Personally, I am using this in my home theater for a heights amplifier. As you know a 6 channelamplifier with a decent amount of umpf is a tall order. There are not many choices out here in the 6-7 channel arena. This AudioControl Savoy G4 fits the position perfectly. You would be just as well using this for your 7.0 non atmos speakers and it can do so without the strained effort. Going “separates” as most people call it, is an easy way to boost the performance of your home theater system. I went to separates for the front stage when I had a polular AVR for the front stage. This takes the heavy lifting off your AVR and gives the bulk of the dialogue and effects delivering a clearer and more detailed sound stage. If you haven’t tried this yet, then I highly recommend it. If you are a madman, you can repurpose the Savoy G4 for monoblock use.You can grab two for a serious critical listening Hifi system. If 7 channels are too much then I would look into the 5 Channel Pantages or even the 4/3/2 channel Avalon from AudioControl. These amps serve to give you all the benefits of the savoy like I discussed today but in smaller amplification packages that will help best fit your system.
I was introduced to AudioControl about a year ago at CEDIA and as I get my hands on these, the more I have a respect and admiration for the brand. The made in America vibe is strong with this amplifier from the quirks in the owner’s manual to the “Yes, Mr. Wayne, it does comes in black” chassis. I’m excited to start reviewing the Pantages and Avalon like I previously mentioned. I’m sure you will see all of AudioControls lineup reviewed here in print sooner than later. Buy with confidence guys. These are the real deal.