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HiFi Rose’s RA180 boldly goes where no amplifier has gone before

South Korean audio brand HiFi Rose has detailed its latest amplifier, and it certainly looks unlike any other we’ve seen recently.

HiFi Rose has been making its mark in the world of audio with its premium-level streaming products and this effort is especially premium with its £5499 asking price. For that you get an amplifier that’s said to be based around a new concept Class AD amplifier technology. The Class D component provides higher efficiency and output, along with improved noise and distortion measurements compared to Class AB designs.

Class D designs have, according to HiFi Rose, fallen short in the sound department, so they intend to remedy this by using “innovative new materials”. This includes Gallium Nitride FETs as an alternative to the more common Silicon FET, enabling high speed and “perfectly accurate amplification stage” with nearly no dead time, allowing it in HiFi Rose’s words, to perform like a pure analogue amplifier.

HiFi Rose RA180 front face

Its appearance will draw plenty of attention with its semi-exposed, “retro-industrial aesthetic” that features dimmable VU meters, and a chassis constructed from high-purity aluminium that gives it a premium look. Tucked inside are two 200W amplifier modules per-channel, with one optimised for stable mid-bass and balance, and the other for smooth, clean power delivery to the high frequencies. The result of this split is that the driving force sent to the speaker is clean and “directed without interference.”

The performance of the amplifier can also be customised with bass and treble controls alongside a finely adjustable balance slider to set the signal split between the two channels. The BYPASS.POWER AMP mode links the source connected to the Line 3 input directly to the power amp stage, bypassing the pre-amplifier, helpful for home theatre applications in allowing the RA180 to drive the front speakers without having to manage multiple volume dials.

HiFi Rose RA180 connections

Connections include one balanced and three unbalanced inputs alongside a built-in phono stage. A subwoofer output, trigger connection, and two grounding points as well as a 16 speaker output terminals that can support two different sets of stereo speakers.

Exclusively distributed in the UK by Henley Audio, the HiFi Rose is available this month (May 2022) for £5499. Better have a look under your couch if you want to afford it.

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