Alpine R-A960S 6-Channel Amplifier


dsw1204

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Nov 23, 2014
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I am in the market for a 6-channel amp. From what I've seen so far, I think I like the Alpine R-A90S. Also, looking at the Zapco ST-6X SQ. Based on the specs on the two amps (Alpine: 75w X 4 + 150W x2....Zapco: 100W X6) I am leaning towards the Alpine. I like the stagger output of the Alpine because I will use the 150W X2 to push my Morel Tempo Ultra 602 mid-bass drivers which like the 150 watts. Plus, I saw a YouTube video of the Zapco ST-6X SQ being bench tested and it only could muster 80 watts. Cannot find any bench testing of the R-A90S.

Thus, my question: Does anybody have any insights of the Alpine R-A90S 6-Channel amplifier? I think this is a relatively new amplifier for Alpine.

By the way, the amp will push the Morel Tempo Ultra 602 components up front and a couple of Focal Access 690AC 6X9 coaxials in the rear deck. Will be active.
 

hispls

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Are you still running the Arc amp in your signature? I don't expect you would hear any difference between that and either of the other two you listed.
 

dsw1204

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Are you still running the Arc amp in your signature? I don't expect you would hear any difference between that and either of the other two you listed.
Yes, I am still running the Arc KS900.6, but I am having major issues with my system and I think I may have a short in the amp. Trying to determine that, now. But, I think the amp is on it's last leg. I am looking into other 6-channel amps that have the staggered power like that of the KS900.6. The only one I've found is the Alpine. In a perfect world, I would like to have a MMats HiFi 6150D, but that is overkill and a lot more expensive. For my needs, the KS900.6 was perfect. But, now I may have to replace it. The Alpine R-A960S is very close to my KS900.6, at least in power and has the staggered power like the Arc has.

Was hoping to find someone on this forum who has first hand experience with the Alpine. Was hoping to find out what they thought of it and what their experience with it has been.
 

hispls

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Was hoping to find someone on this forum who has first hand experience with the Alpine. Was hoping to find out what they thought of it and what their experience with it has been.
I haven't seen Alpine amps in person since their first gen full range class D which were decently well built but a little noisy. Everything I've read suggests that they sorted out the noise issues in or before the second generation, so I'd have high expectations because in general Alpine has been honestly rating things pretty much their entire history. Not sure I can say the same about the entry level Zapco lines. Once you start paying the big bucks you'll get into proper Zapco but I'm pretty sure they've been sneaking in some off-the-shelf Far East catalog boards in Zapco heatsinks for a while now on their low tier lines for many years now.

Sadly, none of the 5/6 channels I'm currently running are in production so I can't really point you in another direction on this. There's really a distinct lack of good options on that front in the market these days I'm afraid.
 

dsw1204

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I haven't seen Alpine amps in person since their first gen full range class D which were decently well built but a little noisy. Everything I've read suggests that they sorted out the noise issues in or before the second generation, so I'd have high expectations because in general Alpine has been honestly rating things pretty much their entire history. Not sure I can say the same about the entry level Zapco lines. Once you start paying the big bucks you'll get into proper Zapco but I'm pretty sure they've been sneaking in some off-the-shelf Far East catalog boards in Zapco heatsinks for a while now on their low tier lines for many years now.

Sadly, none of the 5/6 channels I'm currently running are in production so I can't really point you in another direction on this. There's really a distinct lack of good options on that front in the market these days I'm afraid.
I think you are right about Zapco and their entry level amps and their high tier ones, as well. That same guy who bench tested the ST-6X SQ also bench tested a Z150.6 and that amp surpassed all specifications. I really don't want to spend what their Z line commands and I don't want to put in a larger size amp than my KS900.6. The KS900.6 is a pretty large amp as it is.

I am leaning towards the Alpine and if it is determined that my amp does have that fatal flaw, I'll probably be acquiring the R-A90S. It will be my first acquisition of a Class D amp. I really love that KS900.6. But, if it I have to get a new amp, then I will look forward with anticipation of the R-A90S purchase...I think.
 

marc2112

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I ran the KS900.6 before, i don't think the Alpine can come close to the Arc in SQ.
It may not sound the same but it wont sound bad for sure. They're more important factors than amps in SQ especially when we're talking about decent brands. If you think an amp can eq or improve your source; prepare to be disappointed.
 

Slo_Ride

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I honestly don't like big multi channel amps. Personally I'd get a 2 and a 4 chan
 

marc2112

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If i want to replace the Arc it won't be the Alpine for sure.
There's a guy from diyma selling a Mosconi One 100.6 very nice amp.
My Alpine amps wipe the floor with a Zero 3. KS amps are made in China and there's nothing special about them imo.

I honestly don't like big multi channel amps. Personally I'd get a 2 and a 4 chan
Same. Must be nice to have all in one unit but they rarely cut it for me.
 
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hispls

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I really don't want to spend what their Z line commands and I don't want to put in a larger size amp than my KS900.6.
Understandable.
There is absolutely no reason to use class A/B amps in mobile audio these days. The state of technology on full range class D is at the point where even flea market tier brands offer good sounding full range class D... with the possible exception of some of the Chinese full bridge offerings.
 

dsw1204

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I think Richard Clark, and I could be wrong here, is the gentleman who is offering $10,000 to anyone who can hear the difference between 2 different amps. You have to follow his guidelines if you want to win the $10,000, but apparently no one has been able to tell the difference.
 
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marc2112

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I think Richard Clark, and I could be wrong here, is the gentleman who is offering $10,000 to anyone who can hear the difference between 2 different amps. You have to follow his guidelines if you want to win the $10,000, but apparently no one has been able to tell the difference.
35130

That is not my post.
 

Eggs

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Try look into audio dynamic, ct Sound, digital designs (used). The DD and AD amp look like cookie cutter. Another that looks interesting but not staggered is from biketronics.
 

marc2112

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If you think all amps sound the same buy cheapest amp you can find and be happy, no need to spend money.
You do not get the point. We're not talking about crappy budget amps but about well known brands here.

If you know what you're doing; a quality amp wont color your source signal.
 

hispls

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If you think all amps sound the same buy cheapest amp you can find and be happy, no need to spend money.
There are many reasons you may want to stay away from the "cheapest possible" options, but being able to hear the difference won't be among them.

That is not my post.
Blame this site. I'm certainly not trying to put words in anybody's mouth here, I just highlight and click "reply" and expect it to function.
 

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