Audio Control LC 4.800 Amplifier Review PASMAG 4

In response to an overwhelming amount of requests from their dealers, AudioControl has introduced a new line of multi-channel amplifiers designed to make OEM integration simple and easy, as well as bringing proven AudioControl technologies like AccuBASS® and GTO signal sensing directly to the amplifiers. We wanted to have a look for ourselves, so they were kind enough to send one of the new LC-4.800 multi-channel amps for us to mess around with.

Audio Control LC 4.800 Amplifier Review PASMAG 1

 

You asked and Audiocontrol delivered. Simplifying OEM integration with the newest multi-channel amplifier.

Features and Construction

The AudioControl LC-4.800 is a four channel Class D amplifier with some innovative and unique features. It is rated at 125 watts per channel into four ohms, and 200 watts per channel into two ohms. Capable of operating in 4, 3, or 2 channel mode makes the LC-4.800 a flexible platform for many system designs.

Connections are all made on the front edge of the amplifier, and the controls and adjustments are made from the top by removing the aluminum top cover. This overall design promotes ease of installation and tuning, since the wires are easier to hide and there is no need to do a lip stand on the floor mat to find the controls. One of the features that immediately caught my attention was the connections for six high level input channels instead of the usual four. To make OEM integration simpler, the LC-4.800 has an additional pair of high level, high frequency inputs that are already internally summed to the front outputs. These are designed to be driven with the cars tweeter outputs, while the “normal” front inputs obtain signal from the front midrange channels of the OEM system. A separate level control is provided for the high frequency front inputs so getting the balance of high to mid frequencies is a piece of cake. Also internally connected to the high level inputs is the GTO signal sensing turn on circuitry, which can be used to turn the amp on and off in the absence of a dedicated remote-on wire.

Audio Control LC 4.800 Amplifier Review PASMAG 5
The following power measurements were obtained using industry standard methods. (100 HZ @ 1.0% THD+N - Battery voltages shown +/- 0.2 V)

The amp has two pairs of RCA inputs and a pair of RCA outputs to feed a second amplifier.

The amplifier is equipped with an adjustable 30-300Hz Linkwitz-Riley high pass crossover for the front channels, while the rear channels have the same frequencies and alignment, but can be set for either high or low pass. Both sets of channels can be individually set for stereo or mono operation as well, which is handy when using the amp in bridged mode. When it comes time to set the gains, AudioControl has come up with a clever assistant in the form of their MILC™ or “Maximum Input Level Control” circuit. This patent-pending circuit is designed to warn the tuner of unwanted clipping or distortion. Three LED’s provide information on the maximum levels for clean input signal and amp gain settings. Also part of the tuning process is the setup of AudioControl’s patented AccuBASS® circuit, which provides compensation for the bass roll-off in many factory systems, and restores the full rich sound of your music.

An optional ACR-1 remote control can be used as a master level control or to provide level control of the low level outputs.

Audio Control LC 4.800 Amplifier Review PASMAG 4

Listening

Always my favorite part of the review process, I connected the LC-4.800 to a twelve inch woofer and a pair of ultra high end 6.5” component speakers in custom cabinets. The internal crossovers were used to set the sub to about 80Hz, and the stereo speakers at around 50Hz. From the outset the LC-4.800 sounded transparent and offered no obvious sonic signature of its own. To quote the famous Stewart Hegeman line, it’s like “a straight wire with gain”. This is precisely what a good amplifier should do; simply amplify the signal, without adding any noise or alteration of the music.

I listened to a few favorite tracks including the complex and detailed “A Day in Tunisia” by Spies, and “Ride of the Valkyries” by The Cincinnati Pops. Both of these tracks sounded very realistic and lifelike, with all of the apparent energy and airiness in these amazing old Telarc recordings. And it was with these tracks I noted the level of detail and sense of space the AudioControl amp managed to produce. Don Dorsey’s synthesizer work and a Neil Peart drum solo proved that the LC-4.800 amp had good control of the loudspeakers. Even at high volumes there was no sign of ringing or overhang in Peart's always amazing drum work and the sound was tight and accurate, with the dry decay of Don’s synth being reproduced realistically. The stereo image was also excellent and the previously mentioned sense of space made things almost three dimensional.

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Performance/Bench Measurements

Moving to the test bench, I went through the normal battery of tests, pushing the amp to its absolute performance limits, and recording the data. Throughout my testing it measured favorably in all respects. The amp turned on and off without pops or thumps, and when I did nasty things to it, like dead shorting the outputs at high power it simply protected and then worked properly again when reset. No fuss, no drama, and best of all, no failures.

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Conclusion

The AudioControl LC-4.800 is a solidly built and well engineered product. It’s an ideal choice if you are looking to upgrade your OEM system, or as the beginnings of a full blown aftermarket system. Thanks to the added flexibility provided by the additional summable high-level inputs, the GTO signal sensing, and the AccuBASS processing, this is an amp that solves virtually all the installation issues. And just to top it off, with the MILC indicators, the always critical gain adjustment becomes simple and straightforward. It looks good and sounds good, because, well, it is good!

AudioControl.com | @AudioControlInc | @AudioControlInc | AudioControl | AudioControl

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