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.
• The RX-7 is a far more manageable amplifier than its big brother making it more ideal for a wider variety of systems.
• Trickle down technology from the more costly ZX-7 and even professional amps made by Crown, a Harman International brand, have given the RX-7 the tools it needs to perform at a level few can touch at its price point.
• The RX-7 sounds every bit as good as costlier amps like the ZX-7 from Lexicon and in many ways even sound better.
• If you're looking for a dynamic, slightly warm, full bodied amp with
smooth highs and taut bass from one of the biggest and best names in the
business look no further than the RX-7.
• The RX-7 is a good amp though if you like a slightly more energetic, forward sound then you may want to look elsewhere.
• The RX-7's high frequency performance is very good, possessing more
air and extension as well as less grain when compared to the ZX-7;
however among other top dollar multi-channel amps some might find it a
bit recessed and soft. Although, when watching Blu-rays at theater-like
volumes, the RX-7's high frequency performance never became fatiguing.
For just under $6,000 the RX-7 multi-channel amplifier from Lexicon is
quite a contender and if I'm honest, a better amp and better value than
their flagship amplifier the ZX-7. While the RX-7 may not have the
absolute power to rule over all loudspeakers absolutely, it makes up for
it with increased detail, delicacy and finesse across its entire
frequency band. The home theater amplifier space is becoming more and
more crowded, especially among amps boasting 200 Watts per channel, but
if you're in the market for a solid, no nonsense powerhouse made by one
of the best in the business then I urge you to check out the RX-7 from