Member Review – Red Dragon Audio M500MkII Amplifier

You Gotta Try These Amps! My journey from Class A to D
Review by Audiogoner Apcdan

I was having major amp woes when one of my aging Krell monoblocks began acting up. What to do? Spend $3K+ for shipping & repair? Invest $10K to replace them? Could I really be happy with Class D at a fraction of the cost?

Enter Red Dragon Audio. With their very generous preview policy, what did I have to lose? I tried both the 1000s and 500s. The new 1000s took a bit to burn in but once they did, wow. My Thiel CS6 speakers presented a huge sound stage and detail especially with Electronica music like Robert Rich, Roach, Braheny, Deep Forest, Autechre etc. The demo 500s had perhaps a little less sizzle and extreme sound stage but the focus and presence of solo vocals and acoustic instrumentation was very pleasing. I just about went crazy switching back and forth trying to make a final choice but in the end I went with the 500s. I feel they will be a better fit in my system for overall listening.


Dealing with Ryan Tew was a pleasure. I highly recommend that anyone in the market for Amps give Red Dragon Audio a preview. I doubt there is a better bang for the buck out there.

Associated gear:
Renaissance MKII Triode Pre-Amp, Ayre C-5xe, Theil CS6, Basis Table, Hydra 8, Nordost, Signature, Signal cables.

Similar products:
Going from Krell, Classe, Renaissance Tube.


FEATURES: (from Red Dragon Audio website)

  • Proprietary Input Buffer Stage with XLR and RCA Inputs
  • 12-Volt DC Trigger Input and Output allow remote power control
  • Latest Generation Class-D ICEpower amplifier Technology
  • 500 watts at 4Ω – 250 watts at 8Ω
  • Max Current Output: 30amps
  • Dynamic Range: 121dB
  • Nominal Voltage Gain: 30.7dB
  • Sensitivity: 1.4Volts
  • Minimum Load: 3Ω
  • Short circuit, Thermal & Over-current protection
  • RoHS compliant
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz ± 0.3db
  • Typical THD+N 8Ω (10W out) 0.0045%
  • Selectable Mains: 115V or 230V
  • Solid Aircraft Grade Extruded Aluminum Chassis rejects EMI/RFI
  • Universal 5-Way Gold Plated Binding Posts (CE)
  • 3-Year warranty to original owner.
  • Dimensions:  16″ x 7″ x 3″
  • Weight: 9 lbs
  • 14-awg shielded power cord included (6′ length)
  • Proudly Built in the U.S.A.


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