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ATI AT3000 Series Power Amplifier Review

Home Theater
by Daniel Jerry Del Colliano

ATI is the house brand of a Southern California amplifier manufacturer (the one that just bought Theta - hint, hint) that makes many other very high-end companies' power amplifiers for them. Led by Morris Kessler, a person whose has a passion, much like Dan D'agostino at Krell, for building incredibly powerful, real-world amplifiers, ATI is something of an industry secret. On more than one occasion, when you look in the rack of an industry executive's high-performance theater at home, you will see an ATI amp at the bottom of the rack. ATI is like that little winery in Rutherford that you don't want to really tell anybody about, because you are afraid that you might somehow never get any more of their Reserve Chardonnay. But worry not, ATI can make as many amps as the worldwide market can drink up.

The ATI AT3000 Series amps are modular and start as a two-channel model for a very modest $1,995 and range to up to $3,995 for the ATI AT3007 seven-channel amp. You can also add 300-watt cards to an ATI AT3000 amp to grow your power system, as demand arises. This is a very smart way to sell an amp, as it gives the client flexibility and cost advantages to buy only what is needed when it is needed.

ATI's amps have a traditional design and are specifically noted for two things: very high power output and quiet operation. While digital amps get all the hype these days, because they are scary-quiet and have spec sheets that look like some Fortune 500 CEO's resume, do not be fooled by the specs alone. A traditional, bad-ass Class-AB amp like an ATI has a different, beefier, weightier, more meaningful sound. Bass has authority. At 300 watts per channel, you never run out of headroom, no matter what the source material. Snare shots have a snap to them that you don't get from a digital amp.

ati at3000 audio power amplifier review home theater

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Consider the ATI AT3007 to be a secret that is no longer kept under wraps. The amp is capable if incredible power, dynamics and overall headroom in ways that other amps - especially the oh-so trendy digital amps - simply can't replicate. Created by a man who lives to make great amplifiers, the ATI AT3007 is a steal at $3,995. Now you know the secret that the AV business has known for decades.