Trinnov Amplitude16 Class D Power Amplifier Review

hccrefstatusbadgeTrinnov's new 16-channel Amplitude model is all the amplifier you'll ever need, argues Steve Withers

Trinnov has forged a reputation when it comes to object-based home cinema sound, its Altitude32 and Altitude16 (HCC #287/#322) processors setting a high bar. But given a processor is only as good as the amp it's partnered with, it figured it had better build some.

The brand currently offers three power amps: the Amplitude8, the Amplitude8m, and the new Amplitude16 reviewed here. As the nomenclature suggests, the first two are eight-channel models, while the latter crams a staggering 16 channels of grunt into its stylish chassis.

The Amplitude8 is actually the big daddy in terms of its size, which matches the Altitude32, and ability to drive all eight channels at 225W into 8ohm loads Alternatively, the more svelte Amplitude8m is intended for use with the Altitude16, but can still push its eight channels at 200W.

Yet neither of those are a one-box solution for the expansive speaker systems Trinnov's processors are designed to feed. So in comes the Amplitude16, with its 16 channels, to partner the Altitude16 without requiring any additional amplification. Yes, Altitude32 owners may need more than one, but if you're rocking 32 channels I'm guessing space isn't an issue. The idea of a tidy solution certainly appeals to me, and the fact the Amplitude16 is styled to match the Altitude16 doesn't hurt either.


The Amplitude16 uses Class D modules designed in collaboration with ICEpower

The amp has LEDs on the front to indicate the status of each of the 16 channels, including any that are bridged, and there's also an illuminated Trinnov logo that shows whether the amp is in standby (red), booting up (green) or full power (white). These LEDs look cool, but can be turned off if you're trying to keep your cinema as dark as possible.

Unlike the Amplitude8 and 8m, which both use Hypex Ncore Class D amplifiers, the Amplitude16 takes a different approach. This power-pusher was developed to Trinnov's specifications in partnership with Danish brand ICEpower (formerly owned by Bang & Olufsen), and maximises the performance of its ICEpower Class D modules with a custom dual power supply and heat dissipation design.

That dual power supply explains why the Altitude16 comes with two power cables – it's basically two eight-channel amplifiers in a single chassis that's three rack units high (13.2cm), which is quite an achievement. The build quality is also very high, with a full-metal chassis and thick aluminium front-plate, so you won't be surprised to discover it weighs 20.5kg.

Class Warfare
To build a 16-channel amplifier this compact but also this powerful you have to use Class D – anything else wouldn't be practical. There's no need for a massive toroidal transformer, and if you tried to cram 16 channels of any other type of juice into a single chassis, the resulting unit could double as an AGA oven. Of course, while Class D is more efficient, it does generate some heat. Trinnov's heat dissipation is based around a pair of fans built into the left-hand-side of the chassis, and the good news is these are very quiet and only kick in when needed.