audio research
DSi200

Description
Integrated solid state stereo amplifier.

From the ARC website

The DSi200 is our first product in the "Definition Series" showcasing a new technology that offers extremely high performance and value. Based on an advanced new design created entirely from the ground up by our engineering team, the DSi200 is built in-house by our own craftspeople.

The Definition Series of amplifiers represents an unusual type of "solid-state hybrid" design in which a massive, highly regulated, linear analog power supply is combined with a truly "green" discrete analog switching-MOSFET output stage for highly efficient power conversion and low power consumption. The analog power supply and all-discrete MOSFET output stage are pure Audio Research expressions and do not rely on prepackaged modules or other "OEM" solutions common to amplifiers from other manufacturers.

Many music lovers have not favored efficient switching amplifier designs because their sonics have been disappointing on an absolute basis. Class-D amplifiers could sound good but they did not possess the level of refinement found in the best discrete analog class-AB designs. The DSi200 is not a typical switching amplifier with a switching power supply, and it doesn't sound like one – it will surprise you with its musical purity, low noise floor, uncanny resolution and startling dynamics.

The DSi200 delivers 200 WPC continuously into an 8-ohm load, 400+ WPC dynamically into 8 ohms, and 800+ dynamically into 4 ohms. In the real world, this allows the DSi200 to control large, power-hungry speakers with remarkable ease. All this is generated with almost no heat from a moderately sized enclosure – the DSi200 has earned an Energy Star rating.

The DSi200 is a fully balanced design offering two sets of balanced inputs and three sets of single-ended inputs. One set of single-ended inputs can be used as a normal line-level input or it can be converted into a home-theater passthrough. This is important because the preamplifier section of the DSi200 is passive, so its preamplifier and amplifier sections cannot be separated. The DSi200's appearance is a modern evolutionary step for Audio Research that is both contemporary and familiar. The heavy front panel features Volume and Input selectors flanking a vacuum-flourescent display. The brightness of the display can be adjusted to one of six levels, plus off-nine small pixels remain lit as a discreet reminder that the unit is powered on.

Control functions under the display are actuated via four small, round aluminum buttons; functions include Power, Mono, Invert, and Mute. The supplied remote control accesses these functions, plus a Left-Right balance control, and Display Up and Display Down controls. Silver handles are standard, but the most striking visual update may be the silver chassis that matches the handles and knobs. The DSi200 is also available with a black front panel, handles and knobs, but the chassis and wraparound cover will only be available in silver.

Connect the DSi200 to any speaker you have on hand and prepare to be amazed by how fluently this amplifier conveys the music from a soundstage that is wide and deep. It is rare to hear this level of articulation and purity from a single component, but the DSi200 has them both. Resolution is exceptional, with a presentation wonderfully relaxed because of its lack of grain and the absence of electronic artifacts. Fed by a high quality source, the DSi200 will have you playing recording after recording, revealing a captivating new level of performance from your speakers. It will not matter if you have inefficient or low impedance speakers because they will be controlled effortlessly. If an amplifier anywhere near its price ever deserves the overused accolade of "breakthrough," it should be the DSi200. Contact your authorized Audio Research dealer to hear the sound of the future, the DSi200.

Introduced
2009

Discontinued
Current

Revisions
-

Options
-

MSRP (US new retail)
$5,995

Specifications

Power output 200 watts per channel into 8 ohms. 300 watts per channel into 4 ohms, both channels driven, 1% THD.
Power bandwidth  
Frequency response (-3dB points at 1 W) 5Hz to 55 kHz.
Input sensitivity 0.93V RMS for rated output. (32.7 dB Gain) single-ended or balanced.
Input impedance 60K ohms single-ended, 120k ohms balanced differential.
Output taps  
Output regulation 0.06dB 8 ohm load to open circuit
Overall negative feedback  
Damping factor 167
Distortion  
Slew rate  
Rise time  
Hum & noise 800 microvolts RMS (94dB below rated output IHF A-weighted.)
Power supply energy storage 160,000 uF total.
Power requirements 100-125VAC 60Hz (200-250VAC 50 Hz) 445 watts at rated output (200WPC 8 ohms) 735 watts at 300WPC 4 ohms, 38 watts idle. Standby 1 watt.
Other

Maximum input: 20V RMS BALANCED, 10V RMS SE
Output polarity: Non-inverting from single-ended inputs. Balanced pin 2+ (IEC-268).
Inputs: (5): BAL 1, BAL 2, CD(SE), Tuner(SE), Aux(SE).
Controls: Volume (104 steps), Select Input. Push Buttons: Power, BAL/SE, Mono, Mute.

Dimensions 19" (48 cm) W(standard rack panel) x 5.25" (13.3 cm) H x 14.25" (36.2 cm) D (front back panel). Optional handles extend 1.5" (3.8 cm) forward of the 1/4" thick front panel. Output connectors extend 0.9" behind rear panel.
Weight 37.2 lbs. (16.9 kg) Net; 43.3 lbs. (19.7 kg) Shipping.

Reviews

Issue 204
August 2010

Pictures

Prototype: