When shopping for high-quality, high-output power amplifiers for your home theater the list of contenders has to include Lexicon
. Lexicon has been building some of the most powerful, best sounding and rock solid amplifiers for home theater use for years and their RX-7 amplifier, reviewed here, continues the tradition.
Retailing for $5,999.00 the RX-7 is the middle child in Lexicon's lineup of amplifiers between the mighty ZX-7 and above the GX-7. The RX-7 is a descendent of the flagship ZX-7 featuring the same fully balanced topology as the current ZX-7, but with a smaller footprint, power output and power requirement. The RX-7 is a far more manageable amplifier than the ZX-7, measuring in at eight inches high by 17 inches wide and 18 and a half inches deep and weighing a respectable but not ungodly 105 pounds. The RX-7, as its name implies, is a seven-channel amplifier churning out 200 Watts per channel into eight ohms and 300 Watts per channel into four ohms. It features both balanced (XLR) and unbalanced (RCA) input options as well as seven pairs of gold plating binding posts to connect any and all types of speaker cable.
In terms of sound I actually prefer the RX-7's sound over that of the larger, more powerful ZX-7, because I feel it's a bit more delicate, more sensible in many ways sonically. It doesn't quite have the absolute bombast the ZX-7 does but I hardly walk away feeling cheated. The RX-7's bass is solid, maybe not iron fisted like the ZX-7's but still very taut, rich and detailed. The midrange is largely the same though the RX-7 does seem to have a bit more composure and extension in the upper midrange through to the highest frequencies. High frequency performance on the RX-7, in my system, was superior to the ZX-7 in virtually every way, it was smoother, grain free and seemed to not be as recessed or subdued at the extremes. Now this could be a result of the fact that my neighborhood and home, despite my best efforts, in notorious for having somewhat poor power at times, which can kill an amp's soul, but because the RX-7 doesn't have the power requirements the ZX-7 does, it's able to shine in a wider variety of environments and systems over its big brother. The RX-7's 200 Watts of power on tap is more than enough to drive most home theater speakers out there, though if you're into big Revels, MartinLogans and the like you may want to step up to the ZX-7. Dynamically the RX-7 isn't quite as explosive as its big brother but in terms of surround sound performance I can't tell the two amps apart.