Long time ago, when multimedia speakers were at the primeval stage of development – low-power and low-sound-quality plastic boxes – I would often check out the price of their more serious counterparts from the hi-fi audio world. Entry-level hi-fi speaker systems looked impressive and promised acceptable sound quality but every time my shopping was cut short by the necessity to buy a power amplifier. This indispensable component cost as much as a couple of speakers, so the total cost of the purchase grew twofold. If I could only plug those speakers into something so as to produce any sound at all and buy a good amplifier later on…
I should confess I recalled all that when I learned about the new product from Scythe, the well-known developer of computer parts. This company has already earned worldwide recognition as a maker of coolers and modding accessories, but it goes on turning out more and more original products. Some time ago it released an active speaker system for a 5-inch bay of the system case. And at CeBIT 2008 it showcased another original solution, a compact power amplifier for passive speakers and headphones called Scythe KamaBay Amp SDA-1000. It can be installed inside a computer case, too. Besides, it can be used as a standalone device for various applications. This makes me wonder if this small box can do big deeds.
Exterior Design and Internal Configuration
The designers have done a good job on this amplifier. It looks perfect with its brushed-aluminum front panel. Its large black volume control has a shiny rim and turns around with nice soft clicks while the large Power button that just asks you to press it. The Mute button is neat and there is a little of chrome around the case as a finishing touch.
Just as you can expect from a noble power amplifier, the back panel offers four gold-plated screw clamps for bare wires to connect your speakers and two RCA connectors for audio sources. It would be just ideal if the clamps for speaker cables were spring-loaded as in the C.E.C. HD53R.
Three small rubberized feet can be screwed into the bottom panel to put the amplifier down on polished and other scratchable surfaces. If you want to install it into your computer case, you have to unfasten the four screws holding the plastic side panels. Depending on your personal preferences, the front panel can be either matte black or shiny silver.
Notwithstanding the small dimensions of the amplifier proper, its box is not small. It contains an external power adapter and a lot of accessories each of which is depicted on the back of the box.
There you can also find a visual description of all of the amplifier’s connectors and controls and read its specifications. The package design and the accessories are good – I can’t find any fault with them.