Review: Sunfire Cinema Grand Sig Multichamp
Sunfire Cinema Grand Seven Signature Amplifier (Architectural 17" model)
The Cinema Seven Signature (hereinafter referred to C7-S for brevity) was Sunfire's flagship amplifier. It still is in this reviewer's opinion, despite the arrival of the TGA-7400. In fact, the rear is unchanged between the two:
C7-S Rear: http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_10_4/images/sunfire-cinema-seven-amp-rear-panel-large.jpg
TGA-7400 Rear: http://www.sunfire.com/images/TGA7400_Rear.jpg
I doubt there are any internal changes to the amp, either.
Music used during this review ranged from Jazz (Spyro Gyra, Yellowjackets, etc.) to Hard Rock (Primus) to Classical (1812 Overture) to Ska (No Doubt) to Light Rock & Blues (Steely Dan, Donald Fagen, Norah Jones, John Mayer) and everything in between. I've owned this amplifier for just over one year. It replaced a Sunfire 300 x 2 amplifier--the only real difference being much more headroom & expanded number of channels. Otherwise, they seem to be sonically the same.
This is a SERIOUSLY powerful amplifier! 400 watts into 8 ohms, 800 watts into 4 ohms, and 1600 watts into a 2 ohm load for limited periods of time (Sunfire doesn't say what the limited time is, but my experience with these amps is you could drive them wide open all day long into less than 4 ohms with no overheating or adverse effects). I would guess you could drive a 1 ohm or less load for thousands of watts (I think I read somewhere it would put out 4,000 watts into 1R), but that's a lot of $$$ to subject to that kind of pressure! However, the manual states it is capable of DRIVING a direct short (zero ohms!) for a limited time (good luck finding speaker cables that would withstand THAT)....Unbelievable!
Add to all that power one of the cleanest sounds you have ever heard from ANY amplifier. This beast is truly an astounding achievement in sonic clarity & uncolored sound. It must be heard to be believed. In my opinion, this is the best amplifier value on the planet!
When I first got this amp, I hooked up a pair of Klipsch KLF-10s I'd had for about 9 years, and they CAME ALIVE. I heard clean bass for the first time; they were like different speakers! Until then, I'd only driven them with Pioneer/Sony/etc. receivers. The prodigidous volume & impact of the low register & clear highs was nothing less than amazing; I mean I was truly ASTOUNDED.
The gold binding posts/nuts on the back panel reek of quality. They are heavy duty & you can snug them down with a socket wrench without fear of harming them. In fact, it's not difficult to cut entirely through many of the copper strands if you're hooking your cables up directly with no banana or other type plugs. The binders were "borrowed" from the Carver Lightstar amp (exactly the same).
For the main right & left channels, there are binding posts allowing you to choose between current (tube style sound) or voltage (solid state sound) source outputs, a very useful feature if you want to bi-wire/bi-amp your Amazing loudspeakers woofer/ribbon or planar/electrostatic speakers (which I do). This affords double the headroom/output. In particular, I'm driving my 4-ohm Carver AL-IIIs with 800 watts into each of the ribbons & woofers, INDEPENDENTLY.
I particular like the XLR balanced inputs & the dual gold-plated unbalanced inputs. The dual unbalanced RCA inputs are a useful option for running multiple speakers from this amp. You simply plug your incoming cable into one of the RCA connectors & an output cable from the other one into an adjacent channel. There are several options available at that point, from daisy-chaining the inputs, to running crossovers in between each & bi or even tri-amping all within the same amp! A VERY useful option. It is actually possible to run one of these amps for each channel, running one mono unbalanced input & daisy-chaining the rest of the channels to run a total of 7 internal amps for EACH side of a stereo system (conceivably, a power-mad audio megalomaniac could run 14 eight-ohm speakers from one amp on each side of a stereo system, resulting in driving 28 speakers for both channels with a total output capability of over 11,000 watts!!)! Now THAT would be impressive! The only thing missing is the ability to bridge (entirely unnecessary with this kind of reserve power!).
Here's a quick rundown of the specs from http://www.sunfire.com:
-400 watts rms continuous per channel, all channels driven into eight ohms from 20Hz to 20kHz with no more than 0.5% T.H.D.
-800 watts rms per channel into four ohms
-1600 watts rms per channel into two ohms -- time-limited basis
-Two output options for the main left and right channels: current source for a warmer, more open tube sound or voltage source for all the tight response this awesome solid state amplifier can deliver
-Intrinsic frequency response one Hz to 80 kHz
-Signal present auto-on switch senses input signal on any channel and automatically powers up
-12VDC trigger input with 1/8" mini jacks as well as plug-in screw-terminal strip
-Balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA inputs
-High-quality five-way binding posts
-Dimensions: 19" wide, 6.5" high, 15.75" deep
-Five-year parts and labor warranty
-Standard 17" width allows installation in standard rack systems
-17" wide, 5.9" high (including feet), 16.7" deep (to tips of connectors).
-Sunfire Theater Grand IV Processor
-Carver Amazing Loudspeakers-III
-Carver SD/A-360 5-disc changer
-Benchmark DAC-1 Digital-to-Analog Converter
Sunfire 300 x 2 amplifier