Amped America AMP 2400 Amplifier Reviewed

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From my latest experiences, it is high time we stop discounting Class D amplification as a serious high-fidelity  option. Like the screaming metal-dome tweeters used in loudspeakers from the 1980s era that have been turned into refined resolution machines by technological advancements, Class D has matured into a refined, viable, efficient amplifier technology when properly implemented, as it is in the Amped America AMP 2400. I remember the days of selling high-end audio in the late 1990s and explaining what “digital amplifiers” were (a misnomer, since Class D amps are wholly analog in design) and how they could not reproduce high frequencies, but gave subwoofers the power they badly needed. 

Today, this technology that was birthed in the 1950’s by British Scientist Alec Reeves is reaching its full potential, and is employed by companies like Amped America, whose AMP 2400 delivers a bone-crunching 400 watts per channel into eight Ohms, and 800 watts per channel into four Ohms, without generating a lot of heat as a result of the fact that it doesn’t waste nearly as much energy as traditional audiophile amp topologies. Time to find out what all that power is truly made of, and if the AMP 2400 can compete with amplifiers at its above-average price-point.

The Amped America AMP 2400 Class D audiophile power amp reviewed by Michael Zisserson
The Amped America AMP 2400 Class D audiophile power amp reviewed by Michael Zisserson

What Makes Amped America AMP 2400 Audiophile Amplifier Special?

  • Monstrous power without a big sonic signature is a start. In my eyes, there is nothing that legitimizes a company more than being transparent with the measured performance of their equipment. The total distortion, including noise, at the full rated output of the AMP 2400 is 1 percent. This is a tremendously good measurement and means the AMP 2400 can deliver its 800 watts per channel into four ohms before the distortion rises to unreasonable levels. At typical listening levels, the distortion and noise fall to 0.003 percent, which is in the class of the best amplification out there. Rating an amplifier like this is the correct way to allow numbers to tell the story of an amplifier’s performance. 0.003 percent is magnitudes better than the Class A power of the Pass Labs XA 25, which is rated at 0.1 percent into its maximum power of 50 watts. 
  • That comparison is a bit apples-to-oranges but stick with me here. The Pass Labs XA25 is a tremendous power amplifier (our publisher just bought one and will review it soon), and is Class A, which is considered to be the among the elite best. Yet with Class D’s maturation, and the performance of amplifiers like the AMP 2400, there is an argument starting to form over who is the best. A major advantage of Class D is something that supposedly makes Class A so great: no crossover distortion. Class D manages this while also delivering staggeringly higher power.  
  • The AMP 2400 is built with the same technologies present in well-known $40,000 audiophile amplifiers. There are only two companies that are authorized to use the Pascal amplification platform in the United States, and Amped America is one of them. They then take the platform and make modifications to get the performance where they want it. This story goes deeper than just a chip on a board and all the way to the founder of Amped America, Boris Meltsner. He happens to be one of the people behind the curtain of high-end audio for decades. His résumé includes working with companies such as McIntosh and Adcom. Needless to say, Boris knows his way around an audiophile power amp. 
  • Boris is a no-nonsense, straight-shooter that wants nothing more than to bring affordable audio to everyone’s lives that competes with the best. Give him a call and he will be eager to tell you he is as frustrated with the state of high-end audio and its unnecessarily bloated pricing for good, but not great, gear as we are here at Future Audiophile. This frustration helps fuel Boris’ inspiration. At his boiling point, Boris has emerged from behind the curtain, and is coming out swinging with the AMP 2400. 
  • The AMP 2400 contains all the benefits of modern amplifier technology. The high efficiency power supply automatically detects the input voltage so the AMP 2400 can be used anywhere. The high efficiency of this power supply, along with Amped America’s sophisticated Class D architecture, drives the efficiency of the amplifier so high that all its clean power comes from a box that weighs just 18 pounds and runs very cool even during intense listening sessions. 
  • The Amp 2400 is capable of delivering is full power across its entire, wide bandwidth, from 5Hz to 70 kHz. Another world-class rating for the AMP 2400. You will only see this capability in true, high-end amplification. 
  • The Amp 2400 is proudly designed, built, and tested in the USA. 
The Amped America 2400 Class D audiophile power amp reviewed by Michael Zisserson
The Amped America AMP 2400 is a fancy amp in the inside (think: expensive Pascal chip) but pretty normal looking on the outside

Why Should You Care About the Amped America AMP 2400 Amplifier?

None of the shortcomings traditionally associated with Class D are audible when listening to the AMP 2400. In years past, this ear-bleeding signature was described as a scrape or hash to the treble. 

The reality with the AMP 2400 rests in the fact that unless you have a direct line from the utility company, tubes or Class A amplifiers are not much of an option for 800 watts per channel, and other solid-state options become gigantic and expensive when attempting to deliver that much power with the low distortion, noise, and dynamics the AMP 2400 brings to the table. 

The Amped America AMP 2400 Class D audiophile power amp reviewed by Michael Zisserson
Here is the Amped America AMP 2400 installed in Michale Zisserson’s rack

Some Things You Might Not Like About the Amped America AMP 2400 Amplifier

  • The AMP 2400 is not a pretty amplifier. It comes in a plain black box with a slightly thicker front face, adorned with a color-changing LED that provides the amplifier’s status. It does not look the part of a $5,000 amplifier, let alone a $5,000 amplifier that can compete at a much higher level. 
  • The binding posts are a little difficult to access compared to other amps in its class. The binding posts are so close together I had to be careful the spades terminating my speaker cables did not touch, since they have an extended, angled neck. If you are the type who loves those wide, flat speaker cables, it will be a rough fit. Godspeed if you have large, meaty fingers. 
  • The AMP 2400 does not forgive any sins in bad or every compressed recordings, it simply resolves them. This concept took me a while to get used to, and while this neutrality is a positive characteristic of a great system, it is not often that equipment is good enough to do it at the AMP 2400’s selling price. Be prepared to find that some of your favorite records don’t sound as good as you thought they did. The upside to this, of course, is that the best-recorded music sounds even better. 
  • The Amp 2400 is not stable with 2-ohm loads. Big amps can sometimes be dedicated to large subwoofer duty. Beware if considering the Amped America 2400 to do so, since it is not rated to handle the ultra-low impedance of behemoth-level subwoofer drivers.

Listening to the Amped America AMP 2400 Amplifier…

Despite a little binding-post frustration, the quality and attention to detail where it counts shows on the AMP 2400’s rear panel. As I was hooking it up, I was impressed by the quality of all the connections and components on the rear panel. Certainly on-par with what would be expected of a high-end amplifier. After connecting the Sonus Faber Lumina V loudspeakers, I went right for something that would test the fidelity of the AMP 2400. If it did not possess good fidelity, who cares about all those watts? 

It may be clichéd as hell, but Diana Krall’s Love Scenes has been an audiophile reference for me, as well as many others that will no longer admit it, since its release in 1997. I love the bounce of the opening track, “All or Nothing At All.” Within three notes of the upright-bass opening, I knew the AMP 2400 was going to cut the mustard. Attack, space in the notes, and the sonic integrity of the instrument were all immediately obvious. Krall’s voice was locked in and presented with such breathy texture that I almost could feel her warmth. The jazzy guitar had that magical close-mic’ed feel versus being plugged directly into a mixer, which brought the silky tones of it right into the room. Finally, the piano was dynamic, resolute, and harmonically true to the recording. The AMP 2400 performed well beyond the limits of the $3,500 Parasound Halo A21+ (buy at Crutchfield) as it should be for $2,000 more, however it was even better than that, and I knew I had to step up the loudspeakers to see just how far up the ladder the AMP 2400 would go. 

Next up for the AMP 2400 were the Tekton Design Pendragon Loudspeakers (review pending). They are price point competition for the Sonus faber Lumina V, except a whole lot larger, and an even better value in some ways. My brother ended up purchasing my review sample Pendragons to replace a pair of Focal Chora 826’s he has been using for the past couple of years. With the outright power handling capabilities of the Pendragon, its patented midrange array, and first-octave bass-extension, it was time to turn to a more modern musical female I enjoy: Billie Ellish. 

“Everything I Wanted” was a single released in 2019 that was later added to Billie’s debut album, When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? This moderate-tempo dance tune has a huge driving beat, along with deep, grungy bass. On top of that, it has extremely well-recorded vocals, upper-bass/lower-midrange effects, ambient effects, drops to near-silence, and a choral background. It is a power amplifier’s worst nightmare, as the track is asking for resolution of very difficult ranges to control. The AMP 2400 did not fail to deliver. I guess you can say it was everything I wanted? If it was not everything, it was extremely close to it. 

Before I took ownership of my Bricasti Design M30 Amplifiers, I had their little sibling, the two-channel M15. At $15,000, the M15 sets the bar for top-tier stereo amplification and it was quite a surprised when I felt the AMP 2400 approached its performance in a few aspects. First, the all-out drive and ability to control the loudspeakers at room-compressing volumes was on-par with the Bricasti M15. At these volumes, the dynamic impact and tonal neutrality remained intact as well, which shows the AMP 2400 will not lose its composure through its power bandwidth. Yet another signature of a top-tier amplifier the AMP 2400 has, just like the M15. 

Where the AMP 2400 yielded to the M15 was in the spatial imaging and decay of the reverb effects in the music. The AMP 2400 may also have a little less information during the attack of each note in Billie’s vocals as well; however, the fact I even need to compare to a $15,000 amplifier to have a fair sonic competitor is remarkable at the AMP 2400’s $5,000 selling price. 

Peter Gabriel’s “Mercy Street,” off his album So, is a melodic sea-faring ballad set to an underlying Brazilian beat. Peter Gabriel, at this stage in his career, was only just getting started with his infatuation with world music. Toning it back down in intensity, there is much to be listened to in this track, especially his haunting vocals, background vocals, and delicate instrumentation. Sure, I used the Tekton Pendragons, but I also ran through the gamut of loudspeakers I had on hand, including the Polk Audio R200 Reserve loudspeakers and the SVS Prime Pinnacle loudspeakers (Review Pending). I was fortunate to have such a wide range of loudspeakers to test the AMP 2400 with, and it deserved the attention. 

From the air on the top-end to the subtle octave-deep vocals during the verse, which can easily get buried in the background, I found myself listening more to the difference in the loudspeakers than assessing the AMP 2400’s capabilities. Impressive, since it showed its ability to be transparent regardless of the loudspeaker loading.  The bass was controlled across all loudspeakers used, and the fingertips on the talking drums were resolved with a subtle pop that gets rounded off with lesser amplification. Through all this nimble work, the AMP 2400 had a very neutral tonal balance from top to bottom that was one-click on the cool side of neutral. 

Does the Amped America AMP 2400 Amplifier Have Any Resale Value?

The AMP 2400 may struggle a little bit here. While its performance is well beyond expectations, seeing it in the listings of an audio marketplace may cause it to get glossed over due to its utilitarian looks. I would recommend keeping an eye out in case one pops up, because it may be an easy grab for an amplifier you will likely never have to replace.  

The rear of the Amped America AMP 2400 audiophile power amp
The rear of the Amped America AMP 2400 audiophile power amp

Who Is the Competition For the Amped America AMP 2400 Audiophile Amplifier?

This is where it gets interesting, because the AMP 2400 performs in the realm of the $18,000 per pair AGD Productions Gallium Nitride (GaN)-powered Class D monoblock amplifiers called the Gran Vivace. Yet the Amped America offering is nearly four times less expensive. 

  • At $5,000, one can get a very different Pass Labs XA-25, which is some of the best pure Class A power you will find. Although much better looking in terms of industrial design, the XA25 skips the super-cool gauge found on higher-level Pass Labs amps, allowing people to get into a Pass-designed amp at a uniquely low price. 
  • Bryston offers the 3B 3 Cubed amplifier for $5,995. Don’t be fooled by the wattage rating that falls shy of the AMP 2400. Bryston amplifiers are very capable and can drive just about any speaker. They also have incredible support and a very long warranty as compared to some other audiophile amplifiers.
  • Spend just a little more at $6,500 and an Anthem STR Power Amplifier (buy at Crutchfield) can land in your system. This Canadian powerhouse will drive just about anything, including 2-Ohm loads. 
Another view of the back of the Amped America Amp 2400 audiophile power amp
Another view of the back of the Amped America Amp 2400 audiophile power amp

Final Thoughts on the Amped America AMP 2400 Amplifier

The Amped America AMP 2400 amplifier is a monster of a power amplifier whose performance belies its compact and lightweight packaging. The amp proves that Class D amp technology is maturing to the point of being an affordable alternative to the normally expensive, heavy, large format amplifiers required to get 800 watts per channel into 4 ohms with extremely low distortion. This performance is somewhat unsurprising since Amped America is owned by a legendary behind-the-scenes master of audio electronics, Boris Meltsner. If extremely honest, powerful, yet neutral sound sans the audio jewelry is the desire for your system, it would be hard to beat the AMP 2400 without spending at least three-times its asking price.

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Nice review (as usual). It would be interesting to see a comparison to something like the Orchard Audio Starkrimson Ultra DMC 2.0, as these would seem to be at least “in the same neighborhood.”

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