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TagMclaren  100x5R 5 Channel Amplifier
2 Reviews
rating  3.5 of 5
Description: TAG McLaren Audio's 100x5R amplifier provides five true monobloc amplifier modules in a single chassis. Each power amplifier module contains its own mains transformer, bridge rectifier and energy storage capacitors, so it can drive each loudspeaker totally independently of any of the other four modules. This means that if a movie soundtrack places heavy power demands on your main front speakers, the other speakers in your full surround set-up will not suffer. The result is uncompromised sound quality, stylishly packaged.


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Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by airwise a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: April 14, 2002

Bottom Line:   
Just a note to warn readers that TAG have a very active web forum which must explain the perfect ratings their products receive.Their owners are more like diciples!!
This amp is well constructed and powerful but totally lacking in musicality with an unpleasent hardness in the upper midrange.Better buys include the Bryston 9B, Classe CAV180 and the likes of Theta offer vastly superior product musically.
Like all things AV this amp assumes that movie soundtracks require little or no subtlty and therefore provide none.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Liam a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: January 3, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I could sum up this amp in one word - FANTASTIC

I crossed over into Home Theatre from Hifi, so my perspective is more about musical quality than loudness, effects and raw power. Before buying I was able to borrow may dealers demo model for 2 weekends to use at home, I find it much better to do this than try to hear something new in a system and room your not used to hearing.

This amp uses 5 identical 100Watt amplifier cards each contains its own separate power supply, so I think it’s true to call it a 5 channel monoblock though they share the same case. The nominal 100W rating is deceptive, it can deliver a LOT of power into tough loads over 500W@2R and over +/- 25A peak current on every channel simultaneously, low impedance speakers are handled without any problems.

The sound quality is quite shockingly excellent, after years of using lesser amplifiers I simply was not prepared for the clarity and precision available from this black magic box. Music old and new was brought into sharp focus with amazing transparency, this amp has stunning speed when required, plays tunefully without harshness/hardness and can keep you glued to your seat for hours at a time without listener fatigue when using good quality recordings.

Running in took several weeks of intermittent use, but initially I experienced quite a hard slightly abrasive sound which faded to leave a natural smoothness, no artificial rolled off highs just neutral superbly balanced sound. Highs like cymbals are now very clear with superior definition. Lows are truly tuneful but not lean or fat, just very well balanced with precision in attack and decay when demanded by the music. Vocals are very clear without being recessed or forward, male and female vocals are both presented with a natural balance and no synthetic sibilance.

Sound staging and imaging are top class, this amp clearly shows real and artificial acoustic, has excellent lateral placement precision and focus, depth is above average and music has many more layers front to back, very impressive.

Many times when listening to well known music, I'm surprised when something previously unnoticed is heard for the first time, things like the difference between natural and applied reverb are trivially easy to spot. Changing the pre-power interconnect leads has an obvious effect, this amp lets you hear right through back to the source. I use TAGs own leads, they're costly but better than anything else I've tried up to now.

This is not an amplifier that is best with any particular type of music or sound, it handles every musical genre with equal quality, film effects are strikingly clear, gun fire, aliens and car chases are always shown with great honesty and no hype, indeed on many films you can notice the acoustic of the room the actors were speaking in, overdubs are SO easy to spot.

Since buying the TAG I've heard the Bryston 9B, Krell KAV500, and Rotel RMB1095 and although they all sound good for the money, the Bryston was clearly better than the Rotel and the Krell, but they're not as transparent as the TAG. The Krell especially had poor bass considering the Krell reputation and price (in UK remember), it was less articulate than I expected, also the highs were a little shrill (as was the Bryston), the Rotel is outclassed but is much less money and also a bargain given its low cost, also alarmingly better than my old A370.2 amp.

TAG build quality is very good, this amp weighs in at 26.5Kg or 59Lbs, so it’s no light weight, the front panel design is visual striking and the finish is excellent. The system integration with TAGs own AV32 processor is very nice, the AV32 can tell the amp to turn on and off channels as required and also control the front panel LEDs, to offer total blackout for home cinema, a nice touch. TAGs own website has new control firmware for owners to download and reprogram into the amp which appears as and when modifications are needed to support new features, another nice touch. The CEO Dr. Zucker frequently answers posts in the discussion forum on the company’s website, customer support and service is excellent. Also you can order the amp with 2 to 5 channels factory fitted and have the others added in as needed later.

Will I be buying another for my upgrade to 7.1? You bet! Nothing else comes close at anywhere near the same money.

I've given these 5 stars for value because here in UK, the TAG is less money than a Bryston 9B and outperforms the Krell KAV500 convincingly making it something of a giant killer.

Equipment used-

Listening room 36ft x 23ft x 12ft
TAGMcLaren AV32R processor (AWESOME!)
KEF 105/3 (very good but getting dated)
KEF 200C and various rears
Dynaudio Contour 1.3SE (almost too good)
Toshiba SD9000E (excellent picture)
Pioneer CLD925E (good but dated)
Marantz DR6000 (vastly underated used digitally)
Paradigm Servo15a (WOW! at £499 from Richersounds)

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $4000.00

Purchased At:   Frank Harvey HiFi Excellence, Coventry

Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

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