The SLA-1 is incredibly versatile. In the studio, it powers my studio monitors, quietly and efficiently. Live, it rocks the house, powering my guitar rig. ART really has a winner here!
Another happy reviewer
What a great little amp. It is build like a tank. Heavy and substantial feeling for sure. I use this to power my Auratone 5C speakers at the recommendation of my sales engineer. Very happy with the pairing for sure.
There are a couple of really nice touches too:
1) The level controls are push-push to recess them into the chassis. If you want to set the levels and "lock them in" then you can do so.
2) In order to lock in the levels, not only do the level controls recess into the chassis, but another front panel face comes with the amp that has no access holes to the level controls. So you can set your levels, press the controls to recess them into the chassis and then install the included alternate front panel and nobody will ever be able to access the level controls. This is perfect for any application where others will be around the equipment, like club or restaurant workers or patrons (or kids too I suppose).
I can think of many uses for this amp as others have mentioned here. A really great, solid, well-spec'd product for a very reasonable price.
FANTASTIC FOR GUITAR!
I love this amp. I've had it for years. I used to run a small 1 watt Hughes & Kettner Cream Machine through it, then a Hughes & Kettner Blues Master, then moved on to a Pod HD500. Been working with the Pod running through this then 2 - 2x12 cabinets. Best sound I've ever has. This is light weight, 1 rack space, very quiet, and VERY transparent as well. Love this amp!!
Good Clean Power from The ART SLA-1. Use it to power a pair of passive monitors and you'll be pleased with its performance. The IU rack space sizing makes it ideal to set up in your rack and use is very convenient.
Great amp per price point. Solid construction. I bought this amp to power a pair of NS-10's and they do a great job. With the amp turned all the way up there is minimal amp noise in the speakers. When the cooling fan kicks on it can be too noisy for a control room if it is close to the listening position.
Happy so far
I've only been using the SLA-1 for a few weeks, but so far I'm very impressed. Good sound, plenty of power, simple design--works as advertised. I only give it 4 stars because I've had it for so short a time. If it's still kicking in two years, I'll give it five.
And on that topic, I have every reason to believe that this amp was built to last, if nothing else because of it's sheer weight. I couldn't believe how heavy it was (in a good way) when I lifted it out of the box. Compared to the endless march of plastic-enclosed and planned-obsolescent products, the SLA-1 is a tank.
I'm powering a pair of NS-10M's. Accurate clean sound but the fan is loud.It runs all of the time and it sounds loud enough to be cooling a 5000 watt amp, but the price is right. A thermo-coupler would make this a really great amp.
"Quiet" refers to the signal-to-noise ratio, NOT the cooling fan
The amplified signal is has a low S/N ratio, which is what I believe the advertised "ultra-quiet" and "clean, quiet" and "ultra-low noise" marketing copy refers to. To say that the amp itself is quiet is terribly misleading. Don't plan on keeping this amp in the control room. The fan runs constantly and emits lots of noise with a prominently loud 300 Hz hum. Definitely disappointed by how loud it is - especially since this amp was purchased to replace a loud amp, which is actually quieter. :/
Good music, bad noise
I bought this to power a pair of secondary passive monitors in my project studio. Simple piece of gear, easy to hook up, it looks nice, has plenty of power, good clean sound. 5 stars for all of that.
But the cooling fan in this thing sounds like a vacuum cleaner. 0 stars for that.
I mean this fan is enormously loud. Come on, ART, this is totally unacceptable. What were you thinking? Do you not realize this amp will be used in recording studios? If I had a separate machine room where I could stick noisy gear, it would be okay. But I don't.
Back it goes to Sweetwater. Better luck next time, I hope.
fan too noisy
my sweetwater rep, who is great, sold me this amp thinking it was fanless - it is not. i tried it anyway, and immediately heard and disliked the high-pitched whine of the 2-speed fan...one of the speeds is NOT "off," so it's always running. it was like having a bee in my studio. we thought maybe this unit was defective, so they shipped another one out, but it had exactly the same noise. to his credit, my rep took full responsibility and allowed me to return the second unit as well, even after i kept it a week trying to live with it. for an amp's fan to be too noisy in a home studio in nyc is pretty impressive...other than that, it sounded great, and was well powered for my situation. but the fan noise was unacceptable.
This amp really delivers! For around two hundred bucks its a steal for its quality. The construction is great, with heavy aluminum and steel.
The black brushed front with the bright blue LED looks sharp as well...very impressive. Two stepped pots on the front for volume. They feel solid and have a definate detent to the steps, however they spin a bit too easy and you can accidentaly spin it too far. Logos are sharp and classy, however the front scratched easily...not a big deal but kind of annoying.
The fan seems quiet enough, although the picky ones can just disable it from inside. Heat sinks are solid and perform well, nothing too special. The connectors on the back are decent quality, with XLR and bal/unbal 1/4". The outs connect bare wire, spades, and bananas equally well. Ground lift is a nice touch.
The sound is slightly upwardly balanced, and a tad harsh on the high end, however it isn't terribly noticable and a good working in might smooth it out a little bit. Seems to perform well with my mixes, and i can tell a definate improvment in the detail of the sound compared to my old pioneer amp. Well worth the money, although if its just for mains and if you have the money, you might try something a little smoother sounding. However, if you need a good amp that puts out good sound for very little cash, this is a sure bet. The only other competing amp is the Alesis SA300, but its more expensive and only puts out 90W. Can't say on its sound quality, but it'd have quite a fight with this guy.