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538 of 550 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2007
I've owned one of these amps now for about six months. All the complaints I've read in the reviews have come from people who obviously can't be bothered to read, pay attention, or think things through. I'm specifically referring to Auto Input Switching/Power, lack of features, and output power.

First, this is NOT an integrated amp. Nor is it designed to be used primarily as a standalone system. It is intended to be used as a node on a distributed music system. The feature set for this unit has this use in mind.

It can function as a standalone unit but if you are going to use it as such you need to use it with a pre-amp or with an input source that provides adequate line in, input selection and the tone/equalization control you want.

Second, the auto input switching. The manual isn't clear on this and the feature can't be switched off, which is why I docked it a star. But some reading and thought will provide the solution. The auto input feature is only on input 1. If you run your primary input to input 2 you will have no problem with auto switching cutting off your music during quiet passages or after the track has started. If you need to use multiple sources without the auto switch cutting the input then you need to use external input switching (see pre-amp above) and make sure the switch/pre-amp is fed to input 2 on the amp.

Auto-power on issues: This feature can be turned on or off by way of a selector switch on the rear panel of the amp. Default is on. This is in the manual.

"It doesn't have a sub out": No, but it does have a line out/pass-through for input 2 which can be used for a sub out.

"It isn't loud enough": One of two things is happening here; 1. The line in isn't sufficient to properly drive the amp. 2. The speakers aren't efficient enough. If you are running speakers with less than 90db sensitivity you won't get decent performance from this or any other "low power" amp. I'm using Athena AS-B1.2's and I'm getting more than adequate volume and bass response. I recommend these (under $100 if you shop around) or the Athena AS-B2.2. Klipsch, Infinity, JBL, and Yamaha all make some nice bookshelf units with 90db sensitivity or better that would work nicely with this unit. Just because this is an inexpensive amp doesn't mean you can get away with cheap speakers.

"There isn't enough bass": 1. Make sure the source is providing enough bass input. If the source doesn't have a tone control for bass you may need to use a pre-amp. 2. Use better speakers. When I first got my amp the speakers I had ordered for it were delayed, so I used some old early 80's bookshelf speakers to test the amp out.

Those speakers had no bass at all, or treble, or much midrange. Basically it sounded like an AM pocket radio. When the Athenas came in and were properly broken in the sound improved greatly. It also helps to have the speakers placed properly. If your speakers are rear vented they don't need to be in an enclosed space or pushed up against a wall (I see this all the time, even on store displays).

My experiences with this Amp: I ordered this amp with a pair of Athena AS-B1.2 bookshelf speakers for use in my home office. Inputs are from my PC (by USB DAC) and an iPod dock. Both inputs run through an audio switch to input 2 on the amp. The files played through it are a mix of OGG, FLAC, AAC, ALAC, WAV, and MP3. Mostly FLAC.

I was impressed by the fit and finish of the unit out of the box. I've seen many allegedly high end products that don't have this level of finish (Cameras, turntables, TV, PC Cases, Cars, etc.). The weight is substantial. As near as I can tell by looking through the vent slots the transformer takes up at least half the case. The power lines in my house aren't very clean and I have hum issues with most A/V equipment I own, but I have yet to hear any hum (in normal conditions) from this amp when turned all the way up, even when it's been plugged into outlets that give other equipment fits. The only way to get hum is to touch an input with a finger. In normal use the background is dead silent. Good power supply.

The design is minimalist and clean. The only panel controls are power, speakers, volume and balance. It is low profile and unobtrusive and gives off very little heat, even when left on (with the volume turned down). Mine doubles as a monitor stand, LCDs only.

There are two inputs but they are auto switched. The first input is the auto switch input, as stated above. This means that if an input is detected it will switch to input 1 over input 2. It is fairly sensitive and will switch back and forth during pauses or quieter passages in the music. If you listen to a lot of Jazz, classical, or chamber music with pauses and quiet bits you will definitely want to use input 2 to prevent it from dropping out during those passages.

There is an autopower feature as well. If left on it will cause the same problems with the amp cutting out during quiet passages as the autoinput switching. However it can be disabled by a selector switch on the back of the unit. This is clearly explained in the manual. The intent is to allow the unit to be powered on remotely when used with a distributed music system. If you want a standalone system disable this feature and turn it on and off manually.

The sound is deep and rich with excellent separation, depth, and imaging. There's plenty of bass for most of what I listen too (Jazz, folk, and classic rock), and outstanding midrange. Treble does seem to roll off a bit, but that may be the speakers. Volume is more than enough to shake the walls and floor of my office and the music can be heard clearly throughout the second floor of the house. Personally I think it's more than loud enough to use as a primary system if you have a smallish living room (but with larger speakers). I haven't heard any distortion at loud volumes, but excessive line in might change that. More importantly to me the sound doesn't get muddy at low volume levels. It remains clear and detailed. I have no problem listening to most of my collection for hours on end with this amp while I work, or kicking back on the office sofa with some whiskey.

Most of my music files on the PC are lossless, but I do have a few dogs among the MP3 and WAV files. It's no great feat for an amp to sound good with a lossless file so I ran a few of the nastier files through it to see how it did. For the most part it took the edginess off most of the rougher files and made them almost pleasant to listen to. There are a few bad tracks that are best left to regular PC speakers, and a few FLAC files ripped from CD where bad mastering shows up more clearly now. Win some, loose some.

Nitpicks: My amp pops when turned on and off, which has the potential to damage speakers. It's not loud, but I turn the volume down before I hit the switch. I would prefer a manual input switch. Price has changed by as much as $30 on Amazon over a relatively short time.

Before buying this I listened to a friend's office setup with a Super T-Amp and a pair of Infinity Bookshelf speakers. To my ears the Amp100 sounds just as nice at lower volumes plus it can pack more of a punch when called for. It's not as compact as the Super-T or as stylish, but it fills my needs.
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98 of 107 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2006
I had the reported switching problem ("UPDATE: This device has one annoying defect ... a "clever" feature of switching inputs automatically when it senses no input on one of the two stereo inputs ... any stretch of silence will cause it to switch"). I called AudioSource and I have to give them credit. The problem is relatively easy to solve by using Input 2 instead of Input 1 if you're only using one input.
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101 of 116 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2005
My stereo configuration is four KLH outdoor "rock" (they look like pieces of granite) speakers, an IPOD, and a ten-inch deep book shelf that I wanted to use as the location for the amplifier. I looked at Fry's, Best Buy, and Circuit City and couldn't find anything that was compact enough to fit on the bookshelf unless I went really high-end with a Bose setup. I had a spare Sony surround receiver that worked fine, except that it didn't fit the shelf, plus I wasn't really looking for all the bells and whistles of the receiver because I won't be using this setup to watch TV, my CD's are all on iTunes now, and I get crummy radio reception at my house. So, the technical requirements were to be able to drive the four speakers using a line-in level input coming from the IPOD. Pretty simple.

Anyhow, I purchased the Audiosource AMP100 amplifier on Amazon (to my consternation they dropped the price 3 bucks between the time I placed the order and when I received it) and it arrived in about a week using the free shipping option. It came well packed and sealed, and was as simple to set up as you'd expect of a unit like this. So far, I have tested it once and it worked fine, in fact it sounded a little better than the Sony. All four speakers were being driven normally in A+B mode. I haven't tested the auto-on feature, but it allows the box to power up automatically when it senses a signal on one of two audio inputs. The power plug on the back of the unit is unswitched (always powered). If I have any problems with the unit I'll update this post, but so far, so good.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on April 23, 2011
6 pairs of Theater Solution in-ceiling HD speakers throughout the house and patio, hooked up to 4 Apple Airport Express(s) and 4 of these powerful AudioSource Amp-100(s), all controlled by our iPads and iPhones. What you have now is an awesome, powerful, clean, crisp wireless multiple-zone household media system that will impress even the novas of audio geeks. No joke! These amps are inexpensive, sleek and simple yet have the clean crisp sound of the big boys. Add the energy saving auto-on feature and you can't go wrong now. Can you tell I'm happy with my system? You will too!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2011
I think Kluutmahn "Audio Pragmatist" goes into great detail about this amp. I second his thoughts, and here are a few of my own.

I own 3 of these amps. I've owned them for about a year and a half. I didn't buy them here but wouldn't hesitate, the price here is the best i've seen. I don't have multiple inputs, i only have my computer running into them. I have an 8in/8out audio card. So i have 1 set of outs going to the first amp which is daisy-chained with the second amp using the output of amp 1 to input 2 of amp 2. I have the 3rd amp (for speakers at my bed) on a second set of outputs of my audio card.

All of my sound producing equipment (TVs, Computers, Record Player, DVD, Mutitrack, etc...) are all run into my audio card on my primary computer. All the switching between audio sources is done on the computer. The Audiosource amps receive the output from the computer.

I use input 2 for the auto power off feature, which is the reason i chose this amp. Auto power off works great. Once in a great while i'll run across something that is very quiet and won't trigger the amps to turn on, but that is very rare. Normal audio will trigger the amp in a second or two. Before i bought these amps i was concerned that the amps might switch on switch off (quick switching) during quiet passages of a song but that is not the case. It doesn't switch immediately off. I'm not sure how long it takes for it to decide to switch off but i'm guessing at least 30 seconds or a minute (maybe when i get home tonight i'll time it).

As for the volume and bass, i have 16 Polk audio Monitor30 series speakers distributed throughout my small apartment. 8 speakers on each amp (series/parallel), except the third amp is only powering 2 JBL speakers. I don't have all these speakers to play it loud, i wanted sound wherever i walk (bathroom, kitchen, living room, bedroom) which i have. The sound will get very loud if i turn it up. I have a special EQ configuration to knock out some bass (Mr Icarus Jones's fault) to prevent bothering the neighbors. Now i'm not one of those guys who needs bass like some of these cars you can hear a block away. I just need even sound which i have with this setup. If i were to add a sub woofer i'm sure these amps will power it just fine, but i'm content with the bass i have.

I haven't had any buzz problems. I do some amateur audio recording and am very sensitive to slight noise. A slight noise/buzz would drive me crazy, especially all over the apartment (i have speakers everywhere). I can confirm that there is 0 noise/buzz. These are quiet.

I have these amps rack mounted on a standard 19 inch rack. i used 3 sets of 1U mounting brackets for open post rack SA-3201 to mount the amps. I had to add 1/4 inch of wood to each side to fit it correctly and this works well. I also picked up some longer screws from the hardware store to put this together.

In conclusion, i needed a basic amp, inexpensive, clean sound and an auto on/off feature, this amp was the perfect solution. I never concern myself with turning the amps on or off, when i turn on/off my source of audio, everything else is automatic.

---------------UPDATE September 27th 2012--------------------

I think i bought my first one of these amps 2 or 3 years ago, i currently have 3. I'm extremely satisfied with these amps. I will not hesitate buying more of these.

---------------UPDATE April 7th, 2014-------------------------
I've been running 3 of these for about 4 or 5 years. Tonight i turned one on and immediately smelled an electrical burn. I looked through the rack and spotted smoke coming out of one of the AudioSource AMPs.

I didn't hesitate ordering another tonight. It's been a great AMP.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon February 19, 2009
This amp works great as the center of my computer based system. The sound is incredibly clean and spacious.

A few things to consider when using this amp:

(1) By itself it isn't that powerful. The speakers I am using are not that efficient, 87db. Thus the system is not that loud. This is just fine for me, but I use this for near field listening, and I am more concerned with music sounding full at low volume - which this system does beautifully. If I plug the analog ouput of my digital audio converter into a preamp - I have used a Little Dot tube amp for this - the amplified signal into the Amp 100 is enough that the amp, even into inefficient speakers is very loud. If you need a loud volume you don't have to get efficient speakers just use some kind of active preamp. However, I don't need it that loud, and I felt that the preamped signal lost a smidgen off the highs and added a bit of noise. I prefer it straight from the digital audio converter.

2. If you use the lineout to run to a subwoofer, the subwoofer will only work from Input 2. Similarly, the amp has a switch that detects what is plugged into one and two. You won't have any problem with the switching if you use only input two, and if you are only using one source you should use input two.

3. I don't need or want tone controls - my computer through which my sound is routed has the capability to equalize the sound if I want.

4. The small size of this amp makes it great for a desktop.

5. If you use a subwoofer, the output line is a pure lineout signal. Hence it is also not controlled by the volume knob. If you are not controlling volume with a preamp, the volume of the subwoofer will be fixed. Warning, if you use an active subwoofer, you need to put an attenuator in the line between the output and the subwoofer. Otherwise it will be really loud. I bought someone's homemade passive preamp, which is really just a stepped attenuator, off of Ebay and put it between the amp and the subwoofer. This both enables attenuation of the overly powerful signal and volume control - although I do a lot of the volume control from the digital audio converter so both will change at once.

5. A simple A/B switch will enable you to put in two inputs and share the lineout - I got a used one for $15.

6. I had a much more expensive NAD receiver with the preamp disabled that I was using before I got this amp. It was more powerful. However,it took up way too much space. The output from this Amp 100 is much cleaner; there is more "space" in the music, and the highs are clearer. The detail with my PSB Alpa LR 1 speakers is awesome. This makes for an amazing (and cheap) near field listening setup.

7. The DAC (digital audio converter) I am using is an EMU 0404 USB which I highly recommend. It gives a number of options for control and the signal out of the computer is incredibly clean.
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41 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2008
This product had great potential and it does everything promised as long as you only use one source and you attach it to the LINE2 input. LINE2 is the default input meaning whenever there isn't any signal on LINE1 the unit instantly switches back to LINE2. The issue is with the "instant" result. When I play a DVD movie through LINE1 the AMP100 annoyingly switches back to LINE2 every time the audio goes quiet - even in between dialog. The switch makes a discernible "click" and usually does not return back to LINE1 right away so some of the audio you hope to hear is lost. Ditto during quiet music passages. And if there is anything playing on LINE2 at the same time as LINE1 the output mixes as chopped up segments. I have two AMP100's and they both operate this way. I spoke with Audio Source tech support and they acknowledged this shortcoming and tried to push me to buy the AMP200 which apparently has a time delay that prevents this undesired chopping of content. Bottom line it doesn't work as desired or expected with two inputs and unfortunately there is not a physical input switch on the front panel so you have to unplug your cables to take control or use an external device to switch inputs - just be sure to plug that into the LINE2 input. I could have purchased many alternative single input amps but I purchased this one expecting two inputs with auto switching. Consequently it fails on my primary reason for purchase so I give it 2 stars.

Otherwise a great product. It powers down nicely when no signal is sensed.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon March 29, 2007
I realy couldn't go wrong with this one. At under $100 with free shipping and Amazons return policy... I got one just to test it out. I sent the first one back because it made my speakers squeal when I turned the amp on. Audiosource said it may be a problem when bridging 4ohm speakers. It was a problem with 4ohm, 8ohm, bridged or stereo. Anyway, the second one was fine. This amp doesn't have much power, so don't expect to run much of a subwoofer with it. It will power a sub, but when pushed, it may dammage your speakers, so keep your hand on the volume control when testing. You'll know when to turn it down... trust me. This amp is great for versitillity. With two speaker sets and the ability to run one set at 4ohm or 2 sets at 8ohm. Or if your like me, bridge A and B. I use a 4ohm butkicker for quiet nightime listening on speaker A or hit speaker B for a 4ohm 12" Sony explode subwoofer. (Run 2 4ohm speaker at the same time bridged at your own risk!) This, I set up for my son's xbox360 as a perfect solution so I don't hear guns and bombs going off all night long. Bottom line is, for the price, it's great. I plan on taking it outside this summer to hook up to speakers on a gazebo. It's light enough to to carry around. It's a snap to connect. Just connect an mp3 player with a small headset to rca adapter and I'm done. Bannana connections are always a plus as well. A small complaint i have is the auto signal detector. It doesn't work at low volume. This is a bit annoying if you want good sound quality when somebody is sleeping in the next room. I'm being way to picky here. I just set it to manual. God forbid I have to push an extra button. If this thing breaks, I won't get to excited. Under $100 delivered! Amazon realy takes care of customers who buy damaged stuff "shipped and sold from Amazon". They don't pad their shipping items very well though...
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2007
My feature-laden Yamaha RX-577 receiver/amp finally gave up after 11 years of service, and since we now live in the country with little or no radio reception, I looked for a simple amplifier, with simple controls and adequate capacity (hint on the meaning of "adequate" - I am no longer 19). This amp is an understated black box, with basic minimalist styling and simple controls that adjust balance and volume, and speaker outputs to A and B. It does a fine job on my average home stereo system. I concur with other reviewers that the silly feature of automatically turning itself to a stand-by state when no input signal is present is essentially useless on any kind of music other than the constant drone of Scottish bagpipes or techno. Between tracks of a CD, or even in silent pauses in music, it dutifully and maddeningly turns itself "off", and then, oops! - back on again when the music resumes - after missing a few measures, of course. Happily this feature is only present on line 1 of the system. If you use line 2 as your primary source, it overrides line 1. As an engineer, I find this logic perplexing. Since when should a secondary line signal override the primary signal? Who thought of that? Anyway, this is the only fix that I know of to stop the automatic stand-by feature, and it does work.

Beyond that user-correctable deficiency, if you don't need 110+db sound anymore (or never did), this amp is a highly suitable piece of equipment that appears well built, is simple to use and understand, and simple to hook up. It is relatively heavy for its size, and like watermelons, heaviness potentially equals quality, especially with things that supply power.

I am overall quite satisfied with this amp.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2012
I really wanted to like this amp. It was a great price point and it had A/B channel selecting. But it started smoking and sparking after second use and was toast. Thanks to Amazon for the hassle free return. I may purchase another one hoping this was just a defective unit. There aren't any other comparable amps for this price point.

NOTE: On the A/B switching. You can only select speakers A or B. You CANNOT select both A + B. So if you have two zones (A and B) you can only play one zone at a time, not both.
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