Top 10 Most Expensive Audio Amplifiers in the World
Modest power audio amplifiers for driving small speakers or other light loads can be constructed in a number of ways. The first choice is usually an integrated circuit designed for the purpose. A typical assortment can be seen on this National Semiconductor page. Discrete designs can also be built with readily available transistors or op-amps and many designs are featured in manufacturers’ application notes. Older designs employed audio interstage and output transformers but the cost and size of these parts has made them all but disappear. Below is 10 Most Expensive Audio Amplifiers in the World:
10. FM Acoustics 2011 – $245,000
FM ACOUSTICS power amplifiers drive speakers effortlessly to higher levels. Actual SPL (Sound Pressure Level) differences of between 2 and 8 dB have been documented. This astounding distortion-free dynamic increase is one of the remarkable characteristics of FM ACOUSTICS’ power amplifiers.
9. Goldmund Telos 3500 monoblock amps – $250,000
Delivering 3500 Watts RMS with the lowest distortion figure ever measured, the Goldmund Telos 3500 is the best and most spectacular power amplifier currently delivered by Goldmund, directly inspired by the famous limited series Telos 5000. Like its illustrious predecessor, it can drive any loudspeaker with true ease, providing an incredibly powerful sound. But with a few more years of refinement, its improved sonic delicacy makes it totally unique.
8. WAVAC H-833 Mk II monoblock amps – $250,000
WAVAC Audio Labs come into being in 1994 when Yasuo Yoshizawa, the executive director of the former Yoshiki Industry Co., stumbled upon the book “Production of Single Amplifier” written by the late Nobu Shisido. Mr. Yoshizawa was so taken by the read that he sought out Mr. Shisido at his home, and the two rapidly developed a friendship, one that blossomed into a project to develop and produce tube amplifiers.
7. Audio Note GakuON monoblock amps – $250,000
The direct-heated triodes provide these amplifiers with 45W each of pure Class A power. No feedback whatsoever is used. Other designer goodies contributing to the six-figure sticker price include pure copper chassis, non-magnetic tantalum film resistors, hand-made silver foil resistors and a choke power supply employing Cerafine electrolytic caps throughout. At the back are decent binding posts for bare wire or bananas, while the front contains a rotary on-off switch and a level control, which means that you can feed this with a line source straight in if you don’t mind using volume controls which could be spaced quite a few feet apart in certain installations.
6. Audio Consulting Mita – $265,000
Specialists in very high quality audio, Designs Amplifiers, Preamplifier, Phono Preamplifier and R-evolution Turntable etc. Adapting New Technologies into Classic Hi-Fi systems, without compromising on Decades of Audio tradition. Stereo SE 15w / Channel, Three Silver Rock transformers per channel, Fully Lithium battery powered, All silver internal wiring, Veneer to customer’s request.
5. WAVAC SH-833 monoblock amps – $350,000
In short, the SH-833 crawls with expensive, ultra-high-quality, custom-wound transformers. An ALPS potentiometer mounted on the amp’s front panel lets you attenuate the volume if necessary. Through his translator, Yuzuru Ito assured me that the pot did not affect the sound, and that I could set it anywhere in its adjustment range and get equally fine sound.
4. Goldmund Telos 5000 monoblock amps – $375,000
The Telos 5000 is a 37-inch tall monster, sports a claimed THD+Noise rating of 0.0005%. There are some fantastic amps on the market that don’t do better than 0.005%. Frequency response is a claimed 0 Hz to 300,000 Hz, +/- 0.1 dB. At +/- 3 dB (what most “normal” products spec out), the range is a claimed 0 to 2.5 megahertz. This is so far beyond what any mortal speaker or ear can produce or hear it is stunning.
3. Ultrasound Parsec Stereo amp – $400,000
The revolution goes on with the PARSEC, which with his megaohm output impedance constitutes an ideal current generator, able to handle 30 amperes on every load. In this amplifier the signal crosses only 3 components (volume control included) between input and output, for a musical result incomparable for transparency, speed and harmonic structure.
Supply transformers separated for each of the components crossed by the signal, stabilised power supply, a 6 position adjustable polarisation, a cabinet entirely in wood to avoid electromagnetic distortions, control of the vibrations produced by the components, minimisation of the mechanical and acoustic feedback, wiring entirely made of copper bars: these characteristics make it a unique piece in the world.
2. Ultrasound Otello Stereo amp – $600,000
The first, concrete result of this new technology is represented by the fabulous OTELLO, a dream machine in which the charm of the thermionic tubes is married with the most modern technologies; an OTL with 6 transformers, with adjustable polarisation, without any type of feedback an amplifier with zero damping factor that has the fastest and articulated bass that anyone could hear. An amplifier with a cabinet entirely in solid walnut wood, completely hand-wired, in which practically everything has been built ad hoc by three engineers who have worked for almost 5 years on it: an unique piece for a dreaming musical result.
1. Pivetta Opera One 20,000 watt amp – $650,000
The Pivetta Opera One is a six-foot-tall, half-ton behemoth of an amplifier that’s capable of delivering 20,000 watts of unadulterated power. It’s hand-built in Italy and needless to say, it’s the most expensive power amplifier that you would ever encounter. Thundering sounds and crystal clear beats, all 20 kilowatts of it at your disposal, thanks to Pivetta Andrea and his Opera One.