Citation 7.1 Amplifiers

Citation 7.1 Amplifiers 

DESCRIPTION

High current, multichannel audio power amplifier, configurable for four, three or two-channel output. THX Certified.

Power Output:
4 x 150 watts @ 8 Ohms
4 x 240 watts @ 4 Ohms
2 x 150 watts + 1 x 450 watts @ 8 Ohms
2 x 450 watts @ 8 Ohms bridged

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 26  
[Jul 22, 2016]
Doug
AudioPhile

I have used this amp a couple of times in my system over the past 20 years and it never ceases to amaze me. First let me say if you have issues with bass, it's not this amp. I use Platinum Audio Solos that have 4" aluminum bass drivers and the bass is deep, tight, fast and well controlled with the amp in bridge mode. (450 wpc) . In any system, if your front end is mid fi, then your end sound will be mid fi or worse. Even with the advances in technology, I've yet to hear an all in one box CD player under 5k that will sound better than a 2k outboard dac and mediocre CD player combo. Cheap cabling also results in less than stellar sound.
I find this amp paired with a PS Audio DirectStream Dac, Classe CP 60 pre and a Bel Canto CD 2 with Transparent music link cables to sound outstanding and on par with the Levinson 300 series amps. This amp is above average in 4 channel, but when switched to bridge mode, it's sonic charrsteristics really begin to bloom. It has some of the sweetest midrange and top end of heard in any SS amp regardless of price. Reminds me a lot of the Proceed Amp 2 which is a phenomenal amp for the money as well. At 600.00 - 800.00 on the used market, you'll be hard pressed to find anything under 4K new that will touch it, providing you are using good front end equipment and cabling. In my system, out of all the amps I have owned, ive only heard 2 amps that bettered this citation in terms of resolution and overall transparency and those 2 are the Krell KSA 80 and the ARC 200.2. My only complaints are: (1) this amp weighs over 85lbs and is not easy to move because of no handles and (2) no balanced XLR inputs.
In summary, there is nothing on the used market under 2k that will produce the sonic signature this Citation does. One of my top 3 all time favorite amps.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Sep 30, 2010]
pjonall
Audio Enthusiast

Very clear and extended frequency response, vocals sound very lifelike, and the upper end is very smooth and sweet, splashy in a good way and very accurate. No glare or listening fatigue whatsoever. Makes those CDs I have that always sounded "hard" very enjoyable to listen to now. Always thought it might have been a speaker issue or maybe cables, but the glare was from the Rotel 1080 I was using. Very nice soundstage. Basically I feel the Citation 7.1 does everything right from about 1kH and up. The bass is deep and powerful, but nowhere near as tight and evenly controlled as the bass response of the Rotel RB-1080 I intended to replace. Plus, it seems like the bass is kind of emphasized around the 100Hz mark, and the lower midrange @300-800Hz seems a little scooped, losing some of the grunt and body of electric guitars. Almost makes rock music sound thin and "polite" when combined with the very smooth upper end. I am running Paradigm Ref 100's (v2) and everything including the powercord was the same between the two comparisons. I have loved the Rotel 1080 since day one, but it has always been a little edgy and fatiguing for me particularly at very high volumes on less then perfectly recorded/mastered material. The 7.1 definitely took care of the glare problem and showed me what the paradigms were truly capable of from the upper midrange to the very top of their frequency response, and ended my idea of needing a speaker upgrade. Now I need to find an amp that combines the 1kH and below of the Rotel 1080 (which is perfectly balanced, tight, gutsy, and authoritative in that region) with the 1kh and above of the 7.1 which is very smooth and detailed. Sure I could biamp with both and might just play around with it, but would much rather have a one-box solution that can do it all.

Long story short, if you have very capable full range floor standing speakers, you may be missing out on their true bass potential by using the 7.1. (By the way, I am using the CItation in UNBRIDGED mode).
I never thought I could be the guy who could "hear" differences in amplifiers, but I think this is more a testament to the neutrality of the paradigms which will pretty much give right to you what they are given. I owned a Citation 7.0 processor for many years and was enamored with it, and always wondered about the 7.1 amplifier, and only just recently thought about doing the speaker/amp upgrade thing to see if I can get better sound. Now I am on a mission to get the best of both the 7.1 and 1080's worlds in the same amp. (I currently use a Cary Cinema 11 for a Pre/Pro).

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Jun 17, 2010]
tk_stack_money
AudioPhile

I now own two Citation 7.1 amps. I was able to pick up another one used recently for around $750. They are hard to come by on the used market and for very good reason, they sound excellent, dynamic, detailed and smooth. The bass control is outstanding. I used one of each amp now as monoblocks and the gains in my system compared to using only 1 are well worth it. I have owned many high end amps from YBA, Pass Labs, Classe, B&K, etc. and while I may have sold those, I have never been willing to part with my Citation's. As is well known, they were part of Madrigal Labs which also has the Mark Levinson and Proceed brands. They are an outstanding value of high end amps and you would be hard pressed to find anything better on the used market or new. Furthermore, with their huge heat sinks they run cool and thus are built to last as heat is probably the biggest enemy of longevity.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jul 17, 2009]
Joe Snuffy
Audio Enthusiast

This is still a GREAT amp.I did some research after the initial purchase of a Parasound 855a, which was a little dissapointing.Not a baaad amplifier, just not as good as the reciever it was meant to compliment (a Harman Kardon AVR 240 which is now pretty well obsolete). While it was a little cleaner than the reciever, I felt I lost sound stage and dynamics.I am still using the 240 as a pre/pro.I finally settled on a used 7.1 from an Audiogon listing, in good condition.I powered the front 3 speakers with the Citation, back 2 with Parsound.Lived with this set up for 6 months,bought another one off Ebay.My amps averaged out to $880.00 apiece, and for that I definitely don't feel cheated.I recently acquired a Parasound HCA 2200 MkII.A good, powerful amplifier.I still prefer the sound quality of the Citation.I did an A/B and while the Citation was running I actually forgot I was running in 2 channel.This didn't happen with the 2200.I LIKE the 2200....just not as much as the Citation,fatter bass, less resolution, flatter sound stage. Still worlds apart from 855a. I did not do any bridging or bi-amping.That is pretty much all I've had for real comparison other than walking through noisy big box stores.....and a couple of strange forays into a local Magnolia before the economic downturn closed it.Take my review.......all of them for that matter with a bag of salt.I will say that these amplifiers have presented me with the biggest sonic leap forward in my system since I bought my speakers (Ascend Acoustics CMT340se/CBM 170se's).By the standards of many on this forum, my stuff is pretty modest.These amps have performed admirably in less than ideal conditions with less than 'audiophile' equipment.If you you are reading this, you may be considering buying or bidding on one, I haven't been disappointed, and my degree of satisfaction with these things is as high as it ever gets for something I've bought.BTW I've seen this things billed as 'Madrigals' ,' Baby Levinsons' and the like.I've read that these amplifiers were designed by Stephen Mantz when HK absorbed Fosgate Audionics and renamed them Citation.Evidently they are descendants of of the FA 4125.Point is, in spite of all the creative marketing, this thing can stand on it's own 4 feet.Performance was equally as good in 2 channel, as in multi.Smooth, neutral, detailed.Excellent amp.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Apr 19, 2008]
Scott Tucker
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

The power you can attain in bridged mode - 400x2. Great Bass smooth mids.
All around awesome amplifier.

Weakness:

HEAAAVVVY!!! It makes my Bryston 9B feel anorexic. If purchasing this amp and you have it shipped (and obviously you will) have it triple-boxed. My amp came from UPS dented and brused because it was single-boxed.

I am in the process of focusing back to a 2-channel system and I already own a Citation 22 that I have been using with my Paradigm Studio 100's v.2's and have been fairly satisfied until I bridged the 22 to hear what 400 watts sounded like. Well it was not comparision. I had to either find another 22 or upgrade to something else. I could not locate another 22 but I did find a Citation 7.1 and was blown away at the vast difference even between the 22 bridged and the 7.1. BASS..... Wow it was concerned that my Studio 100's could not handle that much bass but I was wrong. The mid's were also much smoother by far than my 22.
As you can determine I have never been happier with my purchase since my purchase of my Bryston 9B. If you are on a budget do yourself a favor and get this amp. You will not be sorry.

Similar Products Used:

Bryston 9B
Harmon Kardon Citation 22

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Nov 28, 2004]
ajrace
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

tight slammin bass, liquid mids, non-fatiguing highs, built like a tank and handsome

Weakness:

none that i can find yet.... hard on your back whilst moving it!

Wow, what can I say that hasnt already been said?? I have been using a carver m-500 for my mains which the carver is rated @250 ch. but man when I got the citation and bridged into 2 channels @ 450 my jaw dropped when mated to my B&W's. The bass tightened up quite a bit and the mids were liquid smooth, this amp is dead quite and the sound it produces doesnt seem colored whatsoever. I have friends who have krell and sunfire and I wouldnt trade them especially at the price I got this one at, now if I can just get 1 more for my rears/center and I will be complete. This amp gotten in excellent condition for under $1k is maybe the best bargain in hi-fi today. Where else can you get Levinson sound/quality for low end $$$$$? This truly is the ferrari that you dreamed of having for the cost of a mustang.....if you can find one get it and dont even hesitate because you havent heard it, you wont be sorry, you will just be grinning from ear to ear.

Similar Products Used:

carver, phase linear, crown

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Apr 17, 2003]
hapyshapy
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Incredible sound for two channel music. not into home theater yet

Weakness:

can't think of anything..mine's never run hot

I've used the 7.1 for about four years strictly for two channel CD stereo play. Originally, it was hooked up to some 80's-era, low-end three way speakers (Sound Research). Bridged mode was too much for them. Things sounded pushed and muddy. Then came my used Silverline Audio Sonatinas (original versions)rated 93db efficient. I stuck with the 150watt mode using only two of the four channels. 3 years later I was talking with an audio shop techie about soundstage collapse at higher volumes. He suggested I was "running out of amplifier." I lusted for late model high end solid state monsters..Krell..Bryston and the like. Lazy mess that I was, it never dawned on me to try the bridged mode after my dismal initial experience with the inferior speaks (450watts per channel) After a quick check with Allan Yun at Silverline Audio, I was on the floor fiddling with jumpers and interconnects...turned the thing on and my jaw dropped. The Sonatina's, I'd so come to love for their mids and highs, were singing a whole new tune. Notes appeared where no notes had been before...everything was cleaner and even more effortless and the bass was outstanding...the speakers were simply rocking beyond my wildest dreams. Volume was different..hard to put into words..it was louder but more in full range detail rather than blasting. VERY IMPRESSED. After checking the reviews HERE..I felt the need to add an updated version as it's spring of 2003. I'm a believer now in high watts for efficient speakers. I still see the Citations offered at under a thousand dollars. GRAB ONE if you can. With confidence, now, I can forget about a new amp and concentrate on other weak points...namely playback. But still, my system is awesome right now. We're talking about 5-grand total...and nothing i've heard under 20K at audio shops can compete. They always sound better at home. system: Rotel RCD-991 (cd) Morrison ELAD (pre-amp) can't recommend highly enough..blew away previous high end tube job. Price unbeatable..check out reviews. Citation 7.1 (bridged mode) Silverline Audio Sonatina's (speakers) Taralabs by-wire cables Wireworld interconnects

Similar Products Used:

Luxman Classe Rotel

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Oct 18, 2002]
The Defiler
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

The Citation is a powerful subwoofer amplifier and performs extremely well as a full range amplifier producing clear and transparent music.

Weakness:

Compared to more powerful amplifiers the Citation 7.1 isn't the best amplifier for two way biamplification involving one tweeter and two midrange speakers. Vocals seemed subdued and the overall sonic presentation can be a bit harsh and compressed compared to more powerful amplifiers.

I intially purchased the Citation for the purposes of bi amplification. Using the citation to bi amplify a two tower with two 5-1/4" woofers and a tweeter I was initially disappointed. Vocals seemed to be muted and subdued and the Citation sounded a bit harsh compared to my reference bi-amplification system: One Adcom GFA 5800 (250 Watts x2) One Hafler 9500 (250 Watts x2) Disappointed but unduanted I set the 7.1 up as a stereo plus subwoofer system. Powering two small satelites and a big car audio subwoofer the citation has proven to be a substantial improvement over my Parasound HCA 855 and 12" powered subwoofer. Highs especially seem to be clear and transparent and and vocal information seems to be more detailed. Of course it goes without saying that the bass has greatly improved ,this amplifer certainly has excellent dynamic power. If I had to ascribe a character to this amplifier I would call it clear and transparent and powerful. In addition being rated for frequencies up to 200 K by Harman makes the Citation 7.1 the perfect amplifier for DVD audio and SACD. However used to bi-amplify mids and a tweeter alone I think it still falls short of more powerful amplifiers. Note that if this amplifier is used to biamplify and three way system I think it would probably sound quite good because of its excellent qualities as a full range and subwoofer amplifier. Despite my initial misgivings I will probably keep the Citation and not trade in in for a more powerful stereo amplifier. The Citation has proven itself to be an excellent fullrange and subwoofer amplifier.

Similar Products Used:

Hafler 9500 Adcom GFA 5800 Rotel RMB 1095, Rotel RB 1090, Parasound HCA 855

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Oct 08, 2002]
Bob
AudioPhile

Strength:

Very musical, controlled. Great soundstage with both KEF and Martin Logans. Great looking as well Built like tanks Bridgeable Would have to consider these real classics good enough for a lifetime of use

Weakness:

Odd that they are 4 channels (not 5). It seems Citation was advocating a multiamp setup (two 7.1s and one 5.1), with some bridging anticipated in a typical home theater setup. A little too complicated and expensive for most people to go that route. If they were 5 channels, they would have been worldbeaters even at their $2800 list price No balanced inputs

Was going back and forth debating whether to upgrade a current system with separates or a top of the line receiver (Elite 49tx, Denon 4802,etc). Have gone down both paths in the past. I came across a good deal on these 7.1s as final factory (Madrigal) clearances, so I bought two. As such, they were new, but would be classified as B stk. They are very musical and controlled. These are absolutely great amps. Get one if you can, and configure as needed for number of channels in your system. Show much less harshness/sibilance than my audition of the receivers I currently have or even my Yamaha M85 amp.

Similar Products Used:

Yamaha, B&K, Denon, too many to list all

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Sep 30, 2002]
swong
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Clean powerful sound

Weakness:

Only 4 channels, 5 would have been better.

This is an excellent multi-channel amplifier with sound to die for. Absolutely blown away when I first got it. I loved it so much that I had to find a second one. Now, I am a proud owner of two.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 26  

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