Since listening to the Moor Amps Angel 4 a few weeks ago I have been wondering if I can build my ongoing HiFi experience around it in combination with the Angel preamplifier. But quite simply I cannot. The reason is that I have now the bigger Angel 6 so whilst the Angel 4 is absolutely amazing at its price point, the Angel 6 has changed my thinking on where I may go. It is a hard life.
The Moor Amps Angel 6 is a power amplifier with a claimed output of 150W/channel into 8 Ohms or double that into 4 Ohms. It is powerful, twice the output of the amazing Angel 4 and its size and weight bear this out.
The Moor Amps Angel 6 shares the design philosophy with its sibling. That being very low feedback, thereby low noise, and high current delivery. The Angel 6 has three discrete and separate islands to manage the power and ensure the cleanest current to the speakers is delivered. These three islands manage incoming mains frequency stabilisation, the input regulators, and the output regulators, using 200,000 µF of capacitance to satisfy their objective. Once the incoming power is under control the amplifier is designed with high current DC rails that supply the current to the amplification stage.
Like Angel 4 the Moor Amps Angel 6 has a claimed frequency response of 5Hz to 50kHz +/- 1dB. The quoted THD is less than 0.01% with the IMD also quoted less than 0.01%, this being the Intermodulation Distortion (IMD) in the amplifier, this is something Tim Narramore the designer of Moor Amps believes is of particular importance. It is IMD that can cause ‘muddying’ of sound when several frequencies are present and why it needs to be properly managed. The Angel amplifiers are designed to be linear which, combined with low feedback, produces a very low IMD. This low IMD delivers exceptional transparency which I am fortunate to experience with the setup I have, see below. [This paragraph is taken from the Angel 4 review because it was so well put the first time!]
The perfect partner to the Moor Amps Angel 6 is the sibling Angel preamplifier. For a description of the preamplifier, take a look at the design section in the Angel 4 review. It is a passive design with active buffers to drive the cables to the amplifier. Suffice to say it is passive, pure analogue and joyous in its functionality.
…sheer physical weight of the Moor Amps Angel 6 gives you that feel of excitement, energy, and anticipation
The sheer physical weight of the Moor Amps Angel 6 with the substantial carry handle on the rear panel gives you that feeling of excitement, energy, and anticipation. The Moor Amps Angel 6 is not styled, and this is to its credit, the focus is on the stuff on the inside, but there is a presence about the size and bulk with this power amplifier. The brushed finish on the front facia has nothing on it save for a very cool Moor Amps Blue LED to tell you it is awake and the on/off button (this picture is the first model with the on/off at the back but it is now on the front, same internals, of course). The facia, top (base presumably) and rear are substantial and are part of the damping process to avoid vibration reaching the amplifier components.
The cooling fins to the side a milled to a curve to avoid injury, I gather the prototype versions of the Moor Amps had a more angular finish and that they were lethal!
The rear of the amplifier is sparse, save for the handle and the well-spaced WBT gold binding posts that take a 4mm speaker plug. The two input options are RCA or XLR and a convenient button next to them toggles the two. This makes for an interesting experiment in testing inputs, and I have confirmed I prefer XLR balanced inputs as a rule.
The Moor Amps Angel 6 amplifier dimensions are width 575mm x depth 367mm x height 172mm. It weighs in at 31kg (from the site). Therefore, this is a non-standard piece of equipment rack wise. The Moor Amps Angel 6 is retailing at £8495.00 and the Angel-pre is £2,795.00
In anticipation of receiving the new 30th Anniversary Pro-Ject Debut PRO I’m using a Carbon EVO turntable with a Musical Fidelity Phono stage into the Angel preamplifier (the preamplifier does not have a phone stage built-in). I am also using the iFi PRO iDSD DAC which, if you don’t tell Auralic, I may prefer with its input flexibility, including a Micro SD slot and its stunning resolution. I’m using Tellurium Q Ultra Black II speaker cables and XLRs between the preamplifier and the Angel 6 and I have used several speaker combinations, including Jern 15, Kudos C10 standmounts and the crunching Paradigm Founder 100F speakers that may be a perfect partner.
The Angel 6 is physically heavy and is cumbersome, despite the carry handle. I gather it can be slipped into a standard-sized rack like the one I have if you have the right gap between the pillars on your rack (330mm, that being the depth of the fins so they’d stick out the sides and that could work). That would make the Angel 6 less obtrusive if that’s an issue with partners, etc.
Paradigm Founder 100F
If you have read through the review of the Paradigm Founders you will know the speakers were dynamic, articulate, and gentle by all measures. None of this was possible without the controlled delivery of power from the Angel 6 and the, essentially, inert Angel preamplifier simply offering the signal path to the power amplifier. What is clear is the Angel 6 delivers effortless performance and it stands aside from the music it is delivering offering a spacious soundstage.
I wanted to listen to other speaker combinations so with a little help from my friend I moved the Angel 6 into my ‘listening room’. I wanted to explore more, and I asked myself the following three questions with regards to performance.
Is this Power Amplifier Dynamic?
It’s a power amplifier, all it does is amplify the signal, so it must be able to deliver the quiet moments and the loud moments as effectively as possible, it must be dynamic. There are a few tracks I usually go to find this characteristic but on this occasion, 60 Feet Tall (Tidal Master, 44.1kHz) by The Dead Weather has a profound effect on my listening in this case. With waves of vocal and pulsing drums the quiet bits are silent, and the dominant bits are well articulated. Jack White’s incredibly fast drumstick flicks and cymbal at 2’20” demonstrate that the channel separation is also perfect. At this point, I’m using the Jern 15s which have great resolution with the iFi PRO iDSD DAC which has stunning clarity and resolution, and the 15s can deliver it.
What is the Soundstage like?
…the amplifier has an open feel in its delivery and it has a soft touch, there is no hint of harshness…
Building the soundstage, now with the Kudos Cardea C10s supported by a REL T/5i I am getting a wonderfully dominant and full soundstage that is full yet has space to allow the recording reproduction to come through. Dire Straits’ Telegraph Road (Tidal FLAC – 16 bit, 44.1kHz) jumps along as the story in the track unfolds. There is a good separation between the guitar and the vocal through this performance. Indeed, the following track, Private Investigations confirms my admiration for the dynamic performance of this amplifier.
Despite its muscle, I hear overall the amplifier has an open feel in its delivery and it has a soft touch, there is no hint of harshness, even with the more aggressive tracks like 60 Feet Tall.
Overall, in the soundstage, I also start to appreciate the depth in the image I have created, for example, in Lana Del Rey’s Dark, But Just a Game (Qobuz – 24 bit, 48kHz) the Angel digs the bass line out to full effect.
What about Rhythm?
There’s so much to choose from but Daft Punk’s Get Lucky (feat. Pharrell with Nile Rodgers, Tidal Master, 44.1kHz) usually gets us there in the rhythm stakes. Here the Angel 6 delivers the punchy track with ease, the Kudos C10s are fast and cope with everything with a dazzling midrange and high-end performance, again.
The foot-tapping and hand-slapping continue with an hour or so of The Stones’ Beggar’s Banquet (50th Anniversary Edition, Qobuz – 24 bit, 192kHz), particularly with Sympathy for the Devil, when all keyboard tapping ceases as the music takes over.
After a period with the C10s, I have started to notice the REL subwoofer, I should not, and I realise I do not actually need it. Presumably, this is a function of the power from the Angel 6 and the additional grip it has on the C10s, they are reaching down further. Although the C10s have more to do they are comfortable and are slightly more cohesive in their delivery.
This was the question that didn’t need asking, with the Founders, the C10s or the Jern 15s the Moor Amps Angel 6 delivery of detail is as good as I can hope to hear. Whether that is the fizzing atmosphere in the room with Nils Frahm’s Some (Qobuz – 24bit, 96kHz) or Thom Yorke’s rasping vocal in Codex (Qobuz – 24bit, 44.1kHz) nothing is left behind by this amplifier.
Here’s my Tidal Playlist for this review.
…effortless power and control…
The effortless power and control are the key take-aways for me with this stunning power amplifier, that I would like to buy (making this Editors Pick). The open nature of the soundstage offered by this amplifier is a real revelation and I have been impressed by the energetic performance and the silky delivery. I could not advocate enough the matching Angel preamplifier for its simplicity and organisation. Just remember you’re going to need a very good pair of speakers.
It is totally functional
Handle for weight training
For nothing more
Full details are on the company’s site.