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Monstrous Opera Only high end amplifier costs over $2 million


November 18, 2013

The Opera Only high end amplifier from Andrea Pivetta

The Opera Only high end amplifier from Andrea Pivetta

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We're no strangers to gigantic audio throwers here at Gizmag. A couple of years ago, we brought news of a monstrous iPod dock called the iNuke Boom that Behringer claimed capable of pumping out an incredible 10,000-watts, and earlier this month Sweden's Studio Total unveiled the 8000-watt second generation Wall of Sound. Yet both these systems combined couldn't come anywhere near the awesome power of the extremely expensive Opera Only from Italian designer Andrea Pivetta.

The Opera Only's creator says that his visually arresting marriage of art and high-end electronics is the result of a "desire to create something very special and unique from a visual point of view."

When at rest, the 1.25 x 1.9 x 1.25 m (4.1 x 6.2 x 4.1 ft), 1,500 kg (3,307 lb), 12-sided power amplifier can sit monolith-like in the corner of a room, showing no visible connection boxes or inputs. A radio remote brings the Opera Only to life, its six outer doors dividing and opening out to overall dimensions of 1.85 x 2.5 x 1.85 m (6 x 8.2 x 6 ft). Once the transformation is complete, LED lights help reveal the power electronics within.

This unquestionably gorgeous state of the art amp features six 30 kW triple-insulated toroidal transformers, 2,112 high current bipolar transistors, half a dozen fan coolers to keep running temperature under control, 24 analog (RCA/XLR) inputs and six digital, 12 output channels, and 192 speakON connections. It's reported capable of producing an awe-inspiring 160,000-watts of power (though the specs show output configurations of 2 x 60,000 W RMS, 6 x 20,000 W RMS or 12 x 10,000 W RMS), and has been designed to handle any speaker load.

The Opera Only can also come with an optional 15.6-inch, 1280 x 960 resolution capacitive touch control console running Windows-based Motu software. The system has a 3.6 GHz AMD 8-core processor, supported by 16 GB of system memory and 8 TB of onboard HDD storage. Wireless streaming technology can also be included, if requested by the customer.

Built using aircraft-grade aluminum and steel, each Opera Only is assembled to order and will take around 6 months to construct. The asking price? A cool €1.65 million (about US$2.2 million), with 35 percent of the cost payable as a deposit. If that's too rich for your blood, there's a less powerful single-tier configuration for €380,000 (over $500,000).

Source: Andrea Pivetta

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag. All articles by Paul Ridden

All that and they went with an AMD computer? Haha


Looks like a mug's eyeful to me.

You really don't need anything like that kind of power to play music well, plus over certain volumes your ears start to 'shut down' to protect themselves (as anyone who's been to a really loud rock concert or nightclub can testify).

And why have a radio powered remote to open the damn thing up, when you've still got to get off your sofa to manually plug in your speakers -or many speakers, judging by the sheer number of Speakon speaker outputs (c'mon, even if you individually wired each driver, nobody makes 96-way loudspeakers, and even if they did, having so many drivers would make for very muddled 'stereo imagery'). You'd also have to unplug them all before powering the unit down...

'Unquestionably gorgeous', as the writer puts it? This ridiculous contraption looks like Darth Vader's bed chamber, and would hardly sit well in even the largest of living rooms. 'State of the art'? I strongly doubt that this will sound anything like as good as a high end Meridian hi-fi system, for instance. Plus the only speakers likely to be compatible with such gargantuan output are likely to be professional kit designed to blast live music over a large distance, rather than up close in a living room,

Comparing this to 'real hi-fi' is like comparing the recently Gizmag featured replica Batmobile to a Lotus Elise- the Batmobile wins out on 'badass street presence' but guess which one would be faster on a point-to-point race on Alpine roads, or on a racetrack?

This one is for rich idiots.


at the university where i studied, they had a 42.6 system, but not to play music as loud as possible. they used it with custom software to create a soundsource at any possible point of the room. this is true ... 2d audio, since it was only on one plane. but with that much speakers you could create realistic 3d audio.

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