Kenwood Basic M2A
Stereo Power Amplifier (1985-90)
Power output: 220 watts per channel into 8Ω (stereo)
Frequency response: 1Hz to 300kHz
Total harmonic distortion: 0.004%
Damping factor: 1000
Input sensitivity: 1V
Signal to noise ratio: 120dB
Dimensions: 440 x 158 x 373mm
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Reviewed Jul 31st, 2015 by mobay
I've had a M2A for ten years and like others here have said it is powerful, dead reliable, and attractive. Different from the M2 in that it does not have Sigma Drive ( which may be a blessing) , it is one of those amps that are still available , but whose value is very much underrated. 220 watts ( it puts out more ) and a incredible damping factor of 1000! , how can these sell for in most cases under $350 dollars, maybe less? The red LED power meters look gorgeous at night. So ...., how does it sound? Well, with a dampning factor of 1000 bass is very tight , effortless , and CONTROLLED. Mids and highs to my ears are airy and pleasant. I like the independent volume knobs . Try to spray them with electrical contact cleaner, if buying amp used and them rotate them several times ( while amp is off of course ) to preventcure any scratchiness
As with any powerful, clean amp , you might play it at levels that can damage tweeters due to lack of distortion in the sound. Always have a 3 amp fast-blow fuse on the + terminal line of the speaker you use with this amp. Very cheap, but effective protection. I once got carried away with the Telarc digital recording of the 1812 Overture that has digitally recorded howitzer cannons. When they fired, my ADS L-810s immediately cut out. Why? . because the 3 amp fuses I had wisely connected on them had blown as fast as a $20 hooker.
Kenwood really designed a unique ( some say it's a cross between a Class G and Class H ) powerful, and capable amplifier. Kenwood will never return to it's glory days , and if you can find and buy the M2A or even its brother , the M2, you will not regret it. We shall never go this way again ( the samurai mentality of quality and engineering overkill ) in terms of stereo components, where pride in workmanship and style ruled the audio hi-fi world.
This is an amp to be enjoyed and appreciated.
Reviewed Jul 23rd, 2015 by kenshiro
I have two of these amps and I will take them to the grave with me. Clean, distortion free big power has never let me down. I've purchased amps costing twice as much that were less reliable and did not perform as well as the M2A.
Reviewed May 19th, 2015 by vlavalle
This is one of the best power amps ever made, ESPECIALLY for its price. I have used this amp for over 20 years, and it has been flawless. It delivers 220 RMS w/ch at .004% distortion with both channels driven from 20-20K Hz! Considering that this is a mid 80's electronics, this is hard to beat today (2015) at just about any price. The front plate has two meters, which can be set in either the average mode, or instantaneous mode (shows peaks).
But an even more outstanding feature of this amp is its damping factor - the ability to shut down the bass speakers quickly, which makes the bass very tight, with the higher damping factor, the faster the bass speaker stops. Most amps are rated around 50, some at 100 or even 200, but this amp is rated at a damping factor of 1,000!
So, I use this amp in a bi-amp mode to drive the bass in my Legacy Focus speakers. I use Kenwood MX-1000/5000 amps to drive the highs. (And before you laugh or snicker, these were made when Kenwood made VERY good hi-fi equipment.) The MX-1000/5000 amps deliver only 130 RMS w/ch in stereo mode, but they can be bridged, which is how I use them - as mono amps in the bridge mode delivering 270 RMS w/ch at .03% distortion! These are used to drive the mids & highs on the Focus speakers.
So, the Kenwood M2A amp drives the bass in both of the Focus speakers since it is a stereo amp (and is not bridgeable). The sound is amazing, with the bass being tight, tight, tight, and the rest driven by 270 w/ch is utterly stunning.
Reviewed May 09th, 2014 by wallshaker