Cinepro 3k6SE3 Gold Six-Channel Amplifier Page 2
As I listened to two-channel music, a couple of things became immediately evident: I'd need a more-robust subwoofer to be completely happy with this system, and the Cinepro's claim to fame is a lot more than just power. When I needed maximum oomph, I used the spare channel to power an RBH 12-inch sub at speaker level, bypassing its onboard 300-watt amp. I was stunned at the level of detail I heard. Aside from allowing me to hear Queen's Freddie Mercury breathe on A Day at the Races, the 3k6SE3 Gold's imaging and soundstage were awesome. I had to check to make sure I hadn't left the Parasound in five-channel mode because the vocals seemed to pop right out of the completely quiet center channel. Older recordings came alive. The guitar/bass punch early in Dire Straits' "Telegraph Road" (a pretty good dynamic-range test) just about shook me out of my seat.
Five-channel music was just as impressive. James Taylor's Live at the Beacon Theatre came completely alive. The detail of "Fire and Rain," both on guitar and viola, was amazing. When I switched to DVD-Audio, the amp's detail and clarity impressed me again. On Natalie Merchant's Tigerlily, I could hear every detail down to the breaths between stanzas and, at times, even the gentle tapping of piano keys during quiet passages. All sorts of details I'd never heard in the hundreds of times I'd listened to these discs suddenly became evident.
Not surprisingly, dynamic range shined with movies. Terminator 2 was nothing short of explosive, while the sometimes-sonically difficult apartment-party scene in Austin Powers 2: The Spy Who Shagged Me sounded sharp and clear. Dialogue never became muddled, while explosions and gunshots had real impact, with no loss of detail—especially in the rear channels, where the smallest sounds were reproduced well.
Even with midlevel test gear in my smallish theater (13 by 16 feet), the Cinepro was nothing short of a revelation. With one channel held behind its back (literally, in 5.1 mode), the 3k6SE3 Gold's performance was devastatingly good.
If there's a better home theater amplifier out there, it must be hiding under a rock. This amp is the gold standard. To find a better mix of power and performance, you'd need to buy vastly more-expensive pro-audio gear. Admittedly, the 3k6SE3 Gold isn't cheap, but at least you can rest assured that, if you pay less, you'll end up with a lot less performance.
With all of the flexibility, power, and clarity this amp brings to the table, it sets a new standard. Since it's ready for 6.1, just find the best Dolby EX or DTS ES pre/pro you can and strap yourself in. The Cinepro 3k6SE3 Gold is ready to blow your mind.
• Six channels of amplification for new 6.1 systems
• A mind-bending 425 watts of power per channel
• Built like a battle tank