Enlightened Audio Designs PowerMaster 500 Amplifiers

PowerMaster 500

100 watt x5 into 8 ohms.

User Reviews (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10  
Duane   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 17, 2002]
Strength:

Huge soudstage,airy and articulate.Runs very cool.Smart looks.

Weakness:

Lack of balanced inputs.

Bought this amp for several reasons.Due to a purchase of a new furniture grade audio cabinet,the need to "scale down" on equipment I had,meaning to replace multiple amplifiers with a multichannel one.Front channels were being driven by a Krell KAV-150A,others by two Adcoms. Prior to this addition,I had purchased a demo EAD Ovation,which totally changed the my system.Airy,liquid,spacious and dynamic was my first impression.With the Krell,the front soundstage was bigger and more articulate.I was skeptical in making the change.I loved this Krell. Well,there was an immediate change to the sound.Clear and articulate best described my initial impression.Lost a bit in the bass region,but adjustments in the sub compensated for the loss.This is such a wonderfull amp.It obviously mates well with the preamp in sound and in looks.In two channel,it just sounds better than the Krell.In my smallish room,the power is more than adequate.Runs super cool and shuts down via the 12v trigger.About the only shortcoming I can think of,is the lack of balanced inputs,at least for two of the five channels,since the Ovation provide for two outputs for the mains. I'm using Aerials for the three front channels and a pair of Thiels for the rear.The soudstage is huge.This is a remarkable amp for the price.Good sound and looks...

Similar Products Used: Krell,Adcom,Sony,Classe
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
jimmyrod   AudioPhile [Mar 28, 2002]
Strength:

Sweet Midrange, sligtly laid back highs, Good bass for the power.Looks great! Great over all performer for the $$.

Weakness:

No longer avaialable, speaker binding post are OK.

Why am I writing this review? Well I have upgraded several times within the years. In doing so I ran across some fine amps. I had owned the PM500 for 8 months before moving up to it''s big brother. I sold the amp and I regret not keeping it for the sae of another system or to sell it to a friend. It''s that good of an amp. It delivers a sweet midrange with descent bass for a 100 watt amp. I don''t know about the dynamic steering technolgy, btu it kepted up with more powerful amps like my old Rotel 990BX. I have since moved up, but felt I should give others out there something to think about when searching for a used 5 channel amp. You wil not find any new ones. If you can find one for $700-900 get it. Don''t mess with Acurus, Smaller Rotels 5 cahnnels. These is truly a rare find for the money and performance. This is a Giant killer for the $$. That''s why I rate it a 5 for value and performance.

Similar Products Used: Audio Research, PM1000, PM2000, Classe CAV150, Rotel 990 and 991.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Roy Packadip   Casual Listener [Jun 28, 2000]
Strength:

Very powerful amp can drive my NHT Super 2's with ease. Very transparant with a soft, lush and refined top end. Mids are full with tons of low level detail. Looks better than my wife and I'd tell her that too.

Weakness:

NONE

My first real amp so I will make this short. I bought this because my brother recommended it. I love this amplifier - it sounds agreat even when I'm blastin the "old lady" out of the house. I think this is the best purchase I've ever had other than when my daddy bought me my first truck back when I was 16.

People say to take the top off the EAD and look at the qaulity but I don't think so - I just take EAD's word for it. Got a good deal at $1495 too.

NHT Super 2
Super Center
Super 1
HK AVR-65
Monster Cable M series wire

Similar Products Used: HK AVR-65
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Stephan Jacksonburg   Casual Listener [Jun 27, 2000]
Strength:

Very underated power rating. Imaging, transparancy, detail is amazing! This amp can drive a 4ohm speaker with ease, and runs EXTREMELY COOL!

Weakness:

Maybe not quite as authoritive in the low end as some more powerful amplifiers.

Compared to the 2 amps above, the EAD Pm500 is not quite as ALL OUT powerful but it is much, much smoother in the top end, the mid range is more seductive, and voice rendition sounds a little more NATURAL.

The Pm500 is very warm and laid back sounding so it will probably pair best with a neutral or bright set of speakers. I feel it's a notch above other amps in it's price class, although it's 100 per channel power rating will probably scare some audio consumers off or just lead them to a more powerful amp like the Pm1000 that is due out soon.

Anyway, you can't go wrong with this amp unless you demand an amp that is very heavy and more expensive!

Asscociated Equip.

Pm500
Marantz SR-8000(as pre-pro) sometimes bi-ampoed with Pm500
Harmonic Technologies
Definitive Tech. BP-2002's
BPX surrounds

Similar Products Used: Outlaw 750 and ATI 1505.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
terry mcalister   Audiophile [Jun 26, 2000]
Strength:

with use of one ty transformer balances quite nicely. very smooth quite warm for a solid state. detailed images well large sound stage not too bright. fairly solid bass. a great improvement over the b&k 4420. not even in the same league. well priced performance. Mine was "broken in" (used). really like what it brings to my system. Parasound avc 1800, kimber hero, harmonic technologies, dynaudio contour 1.3, kimber focus x, ead pm 500. great home theater surprising for two channel as well. great amp for stereophiles and hometheater buffs who like performance but don't want to shell out $40,000+.

Weakness:

there are none

strong 5 ch , can't beat in the same price range and higher

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Abdul   Audiophile [Feb 29, 2000]
Strength:

liquid and smooth mids and high. no sign of harsness. wide soundstage and beautiful precise imaging. excellent
low level resolution.

Weakness:

bass is not as "full" and powerfull as the ATI 1506 bridged and slightly weaker than the ATI1505. tiny holes at the binding post for those who use bare wire for speaker Connection.

Well, EAD has come up with a new product. the little brother of the highly rated Powermaster 2000.
After waiting about a month due to the production delay, i finally got my unit, the very first production of the powermaster 500. in silver faceplate to match my EAD Encore.
as today is already 2 month that i've been living with this amp, and i can say that it has made me happy eversince i've got it.
The design of this amp mirrors the big brother, PM2000. in other words, it is a scaled down version of PM2000 for those who does not require a mammoth power for their aplication.
It has the typical 5 ways gold plated binding post. but the tightener nut is plastic. it also does not come with balance input like the PM2000 but EAD retain the 12V DC trigger to be used with the Theatermaster or whatever component that has DC output. from the manual, the power in RMS is listed as 100Wx5 into 8 Ohms and 150Wx5 into 4ohm. the peak current is only 25Amps. however , this amp has the dynamic energy steering which will turn the amp into 300W x2 into 4 ohms load for stereo listening. this is one advantage of the single power supply where other channels can always tap the power from others during peak level.looking under the hood of the amp reveals one big toroidal power supply, and 2 soda can size capacitor bank with heavy gauge wire.
the first time i look at this amp, i doubted this little 40lb amp can drive my big paradigm s-100 as good
ss my old ATI 1506 Bridge which gave me 450W x3. with a little hope, i connected the speaker cable to the amp, biwiring the fronts with cardas quadlink 5c. then i fisrt try the DC trigger features with my EAD theatermaster encore. everthing works fine, but there is a few second delay after you turn it on before it's fully "operational."
no click, no thump no nothing. may be the delay is caused by the protection circuitry to eliminate the thump etc.

then i began my listening session. first of all, i figured i wanna watch a dynamic movie with this amp driving all my speakers in all "large" setting. so, the amp will handle the bass w/o the help of a sub. this will break in the amp quickly i guess. i wanna see if this amp has the capability.
i ran an auto setup with my EAD encore and check the level of each speaker. the setting for each speaker is a little higher than the one with ATI driving the speaker. about 3 steps higher.then , i pop in my DTS version of Saving Private ryan which is my favourite for the very first 30 scene and the last scene. Surprisingly, this little amp has enough juice to give the same level of performance of my ATI w/o any sense of distress or distortion. the sound was very clean with alot of headroom for dynami passage like explosion and plane hovering above my head. the dialog was clear and easy to understand. Voices sound less mechanical, and soundtrack are more musical making me watching the whole movie this time. and at the end, i check the amp if it has been overheat by the 3 hour movie and i found that it was barely warm.!!!
then i watched a couple of other movies like Fifth Element, Matrix, Dancing With Wolves etc for another few hours and leave the amp on all the time until i'm ready for music listening. after a few days, i feel that the amp is broken in and warm up, i started to listed to my favorites cd's collection. i spend the whole sunday evening listening to my system without noticing the time pass by.
after comparing with my friend's ATI 1505, i found that this amp has its weakness in bass area. the ATi has better controll in the lower bass region but very bright on the top end, which why i prefer the sound of the PM500. the 500 has more laid back sound, with better imaging and focus. deeper and wider soundstage with lots of low level resolution. i notice my speaker was not as bright as it was with the ATI and the background noise is significanty lower with the 500.
with the 500, music float freely in my room with the singer's vocal located exactly between the speaker. The 500 also does a superb job of preserving high-frequency air without sounding dull or whitening the music's highs. Upper frequencies are so slightly sweet. There's no hint of the sound of ear-biting cymbals. but when it come to a bass heavy music, the 500 show its weakness, the bass is not as tight as it was with ATI 1506 brigde, but adequate and still have the power to shake the room with authority. pretty good for a 100W amp.
Accoustic instrument like string really sound goods with the 500, no sign of sibilance to my ears. i can listen to the music at loud level for long period of time w/o getting tired/fatique. the sound is so relaxing.this amp is a keeper for me. or may be until the new powermaster 1000 come out with more power. I just can't believe that this powerful amp is only rated at 100W per channel. for some reason, i feel like EAD has underrated this amp, may be for marketing purposes. no idea. but i don't believe that an amp this small can drive my speaker with ease, w/o distortion and most important, it sound better than ATI (IMHO). i'm not gonna miss the ATI with this amp in my setup. and i can always make use of my big subwoofer when it comes to big bass task which i feel the 500 couldn't handle, ( which BTW, it could!!). if this little baby could do as much, wait until you listen to PM2000. anyway, i plan to get another pair of amp to power my rear speaker and biamp the front with the PM500.
Well, this amp will keep me quite and away from upgrade bugs for a while, even though i do like a big, heavy behemoth Amplifier. perhaps i will get the powemaster 2000 or 1000 when i'm ready. this amp has done its job pretty well and has made me happy.
i just wanna share my experience about this beautiful sounding amp and spread the words to those potential buyer who are in the market of multichannel amplifer. i believe this amp is as good if not better as any other sub $2k range of commercial HT amp.
it will stand up well against other amps like rotel, marantz, Outlaw, Sherboun, parasound, NAD and even ATI.
IMO, it will be a perfect match for speakers that has bright and forward characteristic like paradigms, NHT,PSB, Monitor Audio etc etc. i will make a comparison with a new Marantz SR-18 next week and also acurus act3 replacing my Encore to see if the current big receiver can really competes with avarage separates.

Similar Products Used: ATI 1506 (Bridged 450W per channel) ATI 1505. Marantz SR18, Denon 3300.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
EDDIE   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 25, 2001]
Strength:

Great all around sound.

Weakness:

none

Just recently bought this amp and it revived
my stereo system. Enough said.

Similar Products Used: Rotel 956ax , Aragon 4004 mkII
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Abdul Hamid   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 09, 2000]

this is a killer for budger hometheater amp.
I have upgraded this amp to EAD PM1000 recently and this new amp has solved the weak bottom end problem of PM500.

If you want to get more information on ead PM500, PM1000, PM2000 or other ead gear, please check out my little website dedicated to all eadusers at:
EAD Users Community Website

again, you will not be dissapointed if you buy this amp.
better yet, get the bigger brother, Pm1000 or PM2000.
they are not the same. not just more power, but they are also more refine amps.

anyway, if you have no local dealer, I can help you locating a good retailer.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Franklin Holcomb   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 13, 2000]
Strength:

Outstanding imaging, very smooth tubelike sound.

Weakness:

Doesn't quite have enough low end for me.

I really like this amp. As some of the other reviewers have mentioned, it has a very smooth sound and runs incredibly cool. This is really a fine sounding and attractive piece. What I most liked about it was the incredible imaging that came across on my Klipsch RF3 front speakers.

The only drawback I can see with this amp is that it could use a little more low end oomph. This is a minor point and I still give it a 5 star rating.

Similar Products Used: N/A
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Marcus Shockley   Audiophile [Dec 01, 2000]
Strength:

Pure, unveiled sound with a sweet and tranparent quality throught the entire range.

Weakness:

Absolute none. This is a first rate product

I have been tweaking with my HT system for several years and have had the opportunity to hear many great amps in my system thanks to my career and a terrific local hifi shop in San Jose. I have had 6 different HT amps in my system during that time, including the PM500's big brother, the PM2000.

I moved to the PM500 with reservation since 100 watts per channel didn't seem like enough to drive my speakers. I was in for a surprise. Despite it's modest rating, my 4ohm speakers were pushed to their limits with this powerhouse - a rating of 200 x 5 @ 4ohms.

Another surprise, with 2 channel music the PM500 actually sounds better than the PM2000, and amp regarded as the holy grail of HT. Music played through the PM500 is livelier. The pace and speed is a bit better, therefore sounding a tad more transparent. This is particularly noticeable when listening to live recordings that were single-mike recorded. The special cues are definitely clearer.

Something else of interest, the PM500 uses the same dynamic steering as the PM2000. In 2 channel mode, I'm actually seeing better than 300 watts per channel. I thought this was a good selling point when I was considering the PM2000 over the PM500.

This is a serious amp. A lot of buyers are gravitating towards the larger EAD amps, but do yourself a favor and listen and compare. In a 5 channel setup, you'll be using a sub to handle the bass so the burden is offloaded from the main amp. In 2 channel mode, the dynamic steering combines the power of all 5 channels to 2 channels thereby increasing the power output 3 fold. When compared back to back, and factoring in price, this amp warrants serious consideration.

I have owned this amp for 6 months now and this amp has continues to surprise me with its transparency, silence, elegance and sheer grunt. I love this amp.

Similar Products Used: Sunfire Cinema Grand, Parasound HCA-2205, EAD PM 2000
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 10  

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