High-end audio amplifiers, born in the U.S.A.

Indy Audio Labs is reviving two famed American brands, Aragon and Acurus, and still builds them here in the U.S.A.

The Aragon Iridium power amplifier Indy Audio Labs

I have fond memories of the original Aragon 4004 power amplifier from my days when I worked as a high-end audio salesman. That was in the late 1980s and the big 200 watt amp sold for a lot less money than the reigning high-end amps of the period. The distinctive styling, with a "V" cutout in the 4004's chassis, made it stand out from rows of lookalike designs at the store. While the Aragon amps sold for a couple of thousand dollars, they were more affordable than most high-end amps. A few years after the 4004 arrived on the scene, Aragon's parent company, Mondial, introduced the Acurus series of electronics that sold for a fraction of Aragon's MSRPs. Both brands are back, and according to a recent Tone Audio magazine review, the new Acurus A2002 amp sounds great.

Acurus and Aragon products are now being manufactured by Indy Audio Labs. The company is readying an all-new home theater surround processor that should become available later this year.

The amplifiers can be controlled by your iPhone or iPad. With the five- and seven-channel amplifiers, you can turn off the unused channels when you play stereo recordings, so the amps run cooler and use less electricity. You can also monitor each channel's temperature on your phone. The amplifiers feature fully discrete circuits with resistors an capacitors, and don't use chips or op amps in the audio signal path. Most parts are sourced from the same U.S. suppliers that were used in the original designs. The current versions are designed in Indianapolis and built elsewhere in Indiana. Software engineering is also handled in Indiana.

The Acurus A2002 stereo amp is $2,499 and the A2007 seven-channel amp is $3,999. The ACT 4 home theater processor will be available later this year for around $3,499. The Aragon Iridium and 8008 MkIII power amps are $4,000 each.

About the author

Ex-movie theater projectionist Steve Guttenberg has also worked as a high-end audio salesman, and as a record producer. Steve currently reviews audio products for CNET and works as a freelance writer for Home Theater, Inner Fidelity, Tone Audio, and Stereophile.

 

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