Audio Research DS450 A Powerhouse Amplifier

Audio Research DS450: A Powerhouse Amplifier

The Audio Research DS450 is a powerful stereo power amplifier that offers high performance, efficiency, and value to audiophiles. As the second member of the Definition Series from Audio Research, the DS450 is built to deliver stunning sonic performance with a muscular 450 watts per channel into 8 ohms.

Design and Features

The DS450 is a beautifully designed power amplifier that exudes state-of-the-art craftsmanship. It features a dual-mono design with separate power supplies for each channel, enabling the amplifier to deliver exceptional sound quality and unmatched dynamics. The amplifier’s high-efficiency design ensures that it operates cool even when driving the most demanding speaker loads, while its solid-state circuitry provides the reliability and stability that audiophiles demand.

Other notable features of the Audio Research DS450 include balanced and single-ended inputs, automatic power-up sequencing, an IR input and output for easy integration with home theater systems, and a 12V DC output trigger for turn-on and turn-off control of other components in the system.


The DS450 is a true giant-killer in the world of high-performance audio. It boasts a smooth, refined, and detailed sound that is both powerful and accurate, making it an ideal amplifier for demanding music lovers. The amplifier’s ability to reproduce music with lifelike dynamics and impressive clarity is truly remarkable and is a testament to Audio Research’s commitment to engineering excellence.

The Audio Research DS450 is an exceptional power amplifier that sets a new benchmark for performance, efficiency, and value. Its remarkable sound quality, rock-solid stability, and high-end features make it an ideal choice for audiophiles who demand the best. If you’re looking for a high-performance amplifier that can deliver stunning sound quality and unmatched dynamics, the DS450 is definitely worth considering.

What is Audio Research DS 450?

The Audio Research DS450 is a stereo power amplifier that is part of the “Definition Series” from Audio Research. It has a power output of 450 watts into 8 ohms and boasts high performance, efficiency, and value. This amplifier is designed to provide stunning sonic performance and muscular power that can deliver high-quality sound.

The DS450 features a frequency response of a distortion of 1%, damping factor of 440 and speaker impedance of 8Ω. It also has an input sensitivity of 2.9V and a signal to noise ratio of 105dB. With its compact dimensions of 480 x 178 x 467 mm, the DS450 is a powerful and efficient amplifier that is perfect for any sound enthusiast.

Design and Build Quality

The Audio Research DS450 is the second member of the “Definition Series” from the brand. It boasts of a striking yet simple design that exudes elegance and sophistication. With its 480 x 178 x 467 mm dimensions, the DS450 stands tall as a sleek and sturdy power amplifier.

The build quality of the DS450 is excellent, and it is evident in the weight and feel of the product. The unit features a robust chassis made from thick aluminum plates that safeguard against electromagnetic and radio-frequency interference. The faceplate is made from thick brushed aluminum, accented with a subtle yet beautiful gold-plated logo in the center. With its excellent design and build quality, the DS450 is a statement piece that is sure to fit any home audio system.

Performance and Sound Quality

The Audio Research DS450 power amplifier is a high-end electronic component designed for audiophiles who desire to experience superior sound quality. The DS450 is an excellent investment for those who take their music seriously as it boasts an impressive 450 watts per channel into 8 ohms of power output. It delivers a stunning sonic performance with a high efficiency rate which provides high value for its price.

This stereo power amplifier has an exceptional frequency response, distortion rate of only 1%, and a damping factor of 440. It is suitable for most speakers that require an input sensitivity of 2.9V, and it has a signal-to-noise ratio of 105dB, ensuring that the sound remains crystal clear without any static or buzzing noise.

Audio Research DS450 is impressively powerful, making it an ideal choice for users who desire a sound system with sufficient bass power and weight. Even though it is not an alternative to ARC’s classic tube amplifiers, it remains a superb amplifier that delivers solid, fast, and energetic sound, with a subtle and delicate touch of detail.

Comparison with other Audio Research Amplifiers

When comparing the Audio Research DS450 to other Audio Research amplifiers, the DS450 stands out with its impressive power output of 450W into 8Ω. In contrast, the D400 offers a maximum power output of 400W into 8Ω, the DS225 with 225W into 8Ω, and the HD220 with 200W into 8Ω. Additionally, the DS450 has a high damping factor of 440, which contributes to tighter bass control and better overall sound quality.

Compared to the LS27 preamplifier, which focuses on providing detailed and natural sound, the DS450 emphasizes powerful and solid sound. Lastly, the DS450 can be compared to the Reference 3 preamplifier, which is known for its incredible transparency and ability to bring out the best in any audio source. While the DS450 doesn’t offer the same tube warmth as the Reference 3, it does provide impressive sonic performance with high efficiency and great value.

Applications of Audio Research DS450

The Audio Research DS450 is a highly capable amplifier that can be used in various applications.

One of its popular applications is in home audio setups where it can power large speakers with its 450 watts of power. This makes it ideal for home theater systems or for music lovers who want to experience high-fidelity sound in their homes.

It can also be used in professional music studios to power large studio monitors. The DS450’s clean and detailed sound can reveal subtle nuances in sound recordings, making it an excellent choice for music producers and sound engineers.

Overall, the Audio Research DS450 is a versatile amplifier that can provide high-performance sound in different applications.

Pros and Cons of Audio Research DS450

The Audio Research DS450 has been praised for its impressive sound quality, high efficiency and value. Here are some of its pros and cons:


  • The DS450 provides a powerful 450 WPC into 8 ohms, making it capable of producing a muscular sound with impressive power and weight.
  • Despite being a solid-state amplifier, it has been noted for its tube-like sound quality, which is fuller, smoother, and surprisingly delicate and subtle.
  • Its high efficiency makes it a cost-effective choice, as it requires less power to operate while still providing powerful sound.
  • The DS450 boasts a high damping factor of 440 and a high input sensitivity of 2.9V, making it a solid choice for a wide range of speaker types and input sources.


  • Some audiophiles prefer the warm, rich sound of tube amplifiers, and may find the DS450’s sound to be too clean and solid-state-like.
  • At 480 x 178 x 467 mm, the DS450 is a large and heavy amplifier that may not be suitable for smaller spaces or those looking for a more portable option.
  • The DS450’s price point may be a barrier for some, as it is a higher-end amplifier with a price tag to match.
  • While it does offer impressive sound quality, some users have noted a slight distortion at high volumes, which may be an issue for those looking for an amplifier with no distortion at any volume.

Future of Audio Research DS450

Audio Research DS450 has already proven to be a high-performance, efficient and valuable amplifier with its powerful 450 WPC into 8 ohms and stunning sonic performance. As technology evolves, it is likely that Audio Research will introduce newer versions of the DS450 model to incorporate the latest innovations in the audio industry. Audio Research has also been known to prioritize the sound quality of their products, so it is safe to assume that any future DS450 models will carry on this legacy while also improving upon any previous limitations. This includes potentially introducing features such as increased connectivity options, wireless capabilities, and improved efficiency. The future of Audio Research DS450 is exciting, and it is safe to expect that their products will continue to be at the forefront of high-performing audio technology.


The Audio Research DS450 is an impressive powerhouse amplifier that offers high performance, high efficiency, and high value. While it may not be a replacement for Audio Research’s classic tube amplifiers, it still stands out as a solid, clean, and detailed amplifier that delivers stunning sonic performance. The DS450 provides an impressive bass with power and weight and when partnered with LS26, it sounds fuller, smoother, and surprisingly tube-like. With a frequency response of 450W into 8Ω (stereo) and a damping factor of 440, the DS450 is indeed a powerful and highly capable amplifier that delivers incredible sound quality. Overall, the DS450 is an outstanding amplifier that is worth checking out for anyone who wants exceptional performance.


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Being a web developer, writer, and blogger for five years, Jade has a keen interest in writing about programming, coding, and web development.
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