Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Orion NT200 Special Edition SQ Amplifier

Special edition amps are always cool. You know, the ones with the unique colors, fancy designs, hand-picked components? Many amplifier manufacturers made these types of amps  in the 1990's, as a way of differentiating themselves not only from other amps on the market, but even from their own product line. The amplifier we are going to discuss today was available in 1996 from Orion with an MSRP of $1200 US. The NT200 has one of the most unique paint schemes I've ever seen on a car audio amplifier...even to this day. It's a marbled purple and must be seen in person to be appreciated.

The NT200 and brother NT100 were designed as no compromise, no excuse sound quality (SQ) amplifiers. See the ratings below for the NT200:

  • Two Channel Amp rated at 100 watts x 2 channels at 4 ohms
  • Dual Mono Design - Two separate power supplies
  • Bridgeable to 400 watts at 4 ohms
  • No built-in crossovers
  • Balanced inputs via mini XLR connectors
  • 2 ohm stereo / 4 ohm mono stable (rated)
  • Dual 30A internal fuses for power
  • Optional NT200BIX balanced crossover

1996 Orion NT 200 "Dual Mono Block" Special-Edition Amplifier

The NT200's balanced audio inputs served two main purposes...to keep the audio signal as clean as possible and to minimize unwanted noise. The only issue with these types of inputs is they are incompatible with the standard RCA wires used in most aftermarket installs (without adapters). However, Orion's decision to use balanced inputs on these amps showed they were serious about these amps and their dedication to sound quality. Alternatively, you could also use the standard Orion DIN plug connection with an Orion (or PPI) crossover or signal processor. 

Orion NT200's Balanced and DIN inputs

Before I received the NT200 at the OldSchoolStereo.com labs, I thought this amp was going to be an Orion 250 HCCA all packaged up into a fancier heat sink. Boy, was I wrong! Just check out the internals of these amps and you can see there is a BIG difference in them! You can easily see the NT200's larger capacitors and dual power supplies. It really makes the 250 HCCA look rather anemic!

Top: Orion 250 HCCA "Digital Reference" Bottom: Orion NT200

Orion NT200's Internals or "Guts"

Here's another picture of the 250 HCCA vs. NT200. Both amps are gorgeous in their own way, but if you're ever forced to choose one or the other...go with the NT. Not that the HCCA is a bad amp, it's actually pretty fantastic in it's own way (and a high-current version of the 2150SX). More about the HCCA's on another day.

Orion 250 HCCA vs. Orion NT200

See the video's about the NT200 below!

Watch the video on YouTube in 1080P or embedded below:

Photo and Video Montage of the Orion NT 200:

Power Output Video of the Orion NT 200:

Other Videos about the Orion NT200 and related gear:

- Orion NT200 Power Output Teaser Video
- Orion NT200 Unboxing
- Orion NT200BIX Balanced Crossover Overview

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