DVA 850 monoblocks get great review in Absolute Sound Issue 273

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avahifi

Regarding upgrading 400R or 600R to current shipping version, not economical to do, nearly complete new board set and major rewiring. 

How to tell the newest design?  Remove cover.  If there is a large vertical circuit board with several heat fins between the horizontal main power supply board and the audio boards on left side of chassis, it is the older design.  All newer units have all regulators directly on audio boards.

We can’t hear any difference between RCAs and XLRs with DCA 850 amps as long as a high quality preamp is used too.  If your preamp actually has four independent channels (few do), then using XLR connections at both ends may have an advantage by canceling common mode distortion and noise. 

In any event a pair of DVA 850s provide awesome uncompressed sound.

Frank

Tone Depth

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One feature of AVA amps are speaker output fuses. By selecting an appropriate fuse amperage, the continuous power output can be matched to the maximum continuous power requirement to protect the speaker. Although not yet shown on the website, the following article has a photo showing the speaker output fuses on the back panel of the monoblock amplifier:  http://hometheaterhifi.com/reviews/amplifier/power-amplifier/audio-van-alstine-dva-850-mono-block-amplifiers-review/

... From your development of the DVA 850, are there any "trickle down" upgrades in current production of your 600 and 400R amps?  I haven't the need and my speakers wouldn't tolerate 850 wpc.

Pryso

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Thanks for commenting on my situation Tone Depth.  However, as I said I don't have the need for the power in the DVA 850 as well as my speakers not tolerating it.

Since Frank kindly replied with some detail, I will assume the sonics may be quite similar between the DVA 850 and the 400/600R other than headroom.

My speakers are not recommended for amps with greater than 250 watts into 8 ohms, so considering the cost differential between under $3K compared to more than $7K, that becomes an easy choice.