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Niles SI-1230

12-channel multi-room power amplifier

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  • Niles SI-1230

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  • Niles SI-1230

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Item #: 190SI1230
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Niles SI-1230

Niles

Planning a whole-house audio system? Take a look at the SI-1230. You can customize this powerful 12-channel amp to best suit your specific multi-room setup. Enjoy warm stereo sound in six rooms, or combine two channels into one to give your speakers more juice — a great option for power-hungry outdoor speakers. Use a single channel of power for mono sound in smaller listening areas, like a closet or bathroom.

Enjoy music throughout your house
The '1230 can distribute music from one audio source, like a CD changer, to multiple rooms in your home. Or you can connect additional sources directly to the '1230 and assign each one to a single listening room. And by adding one or more preamps to your system, you can send additional sources to more than one listening room.

Serious whole-house audio power
This amplifier provides your system with an impressive amount of power for big, room-filling sound. Driven simultaneously, all 12 channels produce 30 watts RMS, or 360 watts total. "Bridging" or combining adjacent channels gives you 80 watts for each bridged pair, or 480 watts total.

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Highlights:

  • 30 watts RMS per channel into 8 Ohms, all channels driven
  • 42 watts RMS per channel into 4 Ohms, all channels driven
  • adjacent channels are bridgeable to 80 watts RMS into 8 Ohms, all channels driven
  • four audio options for each channel: left, right, left plus right (mono), or the channel's dedicated input
  • independent level controls for each channel
  • three turn-on modes: music sense, voltage trigger and manual
  • binding posts spaced to accommodate dual banana plugs
  • 6 independent turn-on circuits for multi-zone applications
  • cascade outputs for "daisy-chaining" amplifiers
  • independent protection circuits for each channel
  • UL/CSA approved
  • detachable AC power cord
  • 17"W x 51/2"H x 15"D
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
General
Number of Channels
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12
Power Output per Channel (8 ohms)
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30
Power Output per Channel (6 ohms)
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---
Power Output per Channel (4 ohms)
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37
Frequency Response
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5-50k
THD
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0.04%
Bridged Power per Channel
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6 x 80 watts
Speaker Outputs
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12
THX Certification
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No
Width (inches)
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17
Height (inches)
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5-3/4
Depth (inches)
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16-3/4
Weight
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28 pounds
Parts Warranty
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2 Years
Labor Warranty
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2 Years
Inputs & Outputs
Number of Inputs
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13
Level Controls
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Yes
Speaker Connectors
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Post
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • 12-channel power amplifier
  • 6.3' two-pronged AC cord
  • Instruction manual
  • Safeguards
  • Warranty and registration card

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features
Connections
Specifications
Notes

Features

Twelve to Six channel configurable power: Each of this unit's six adjacent output pairs are bridgeable, allowing you to create up to six 80 watt channels.  This allows you to allocate more power to specific locations such as large rooms or outdoors.

BusMatrix selector: Allows you to assign each channel to a common left, right or mono signal bus or to a dedicated signal input.  This makes this an ideal unit for multi-room or multi-zone systems.

Independent level controls: Each channel has its own level control allowing you to limit the output and to precisely match the amplifier to the rest of your system.

Three turn-on modes: Three turn-on modes allow you to interface with any kind of system and have the amplifier automatically turn on.

Automatic thermal and short circuit protection for each channel: If there is a problem with one channel  the other channels can continue to play.  

Control Output: A 12 volt DC output allows you to operate voltage-triggered  devices such as motorized screens and curtains.

High quality parts: Uses 1% metal film resistors, high quality capacitors and oversized heat sinks.

Connections

Front panel:

  • Master power switch: turns unit on and off
  • Power LED: Illuminates in red when the unit is connected to AC and the master power switch is on.
  • Active LED: Illuminates in red when the amplifier circuitry is turned on by the turn on circuits.
  • Protect LED: Illuminates in red when the unit is in a fault condition (D.C. output).
Rear panel:
  • Turn-on mode switch: Allows you to select one of three modes.  Constant mode defeats the turn-on circuitry and the front panel master power switch turns the unit on and off.  Audio sense mode turns the amplifier off when no audio signal is present for two minutes and on whenever an audio signal is present (it turns on the adjacent pair of amplifier channels that have a signal present, such as 1 and 2 .  3-30 volt AC/DC Trigger mode turns the unit off when no AC or DC voltage is detected at the trigger input and turns on all adjacent channel pairs when a voltage and a line level audio signal is detected at an adjacent channel pair.  
  • 3-30V AC/DC trigger input: 3.5mm female jack for voltage input.  If a unit which outputs 3-30V AC or DC voltage is connected to this input and the turn-on mode is set to Trigger mode the unit turns on when it detects the signal and turns off when the signal stops.  Voltage triggers are supplied by some Niles automated switchers, some video projectors or even a 16 volt Niles AC wall adapter (Niles XF00008).
  • 12 volt control output: Female 3.5mm jack.  This jack provides a 12V DC signal used for triggering Niles automated switchers, some motorized screens, curtains, etc.  When the amplifier is turn off this jack stops sending out the 12V DC signal. 
  • Main Bus input: Gold plated RCA stereo input. This signal can be routed to any of the twelve channels using the DIP switch found on each channel.
  • Cascade bus output: Gold plated RCA stereo output (marked Cascade output) which allows you to daisy chain multiple amplifiers.  This output is not buffered so if you want to chain more than 5 amplifiers a buffered distribution amplifier like the Niles ADA-6 is needed.
  • Independent level adjustment rotary knobs: Allow you to preset the maximum system volume or match levels with another amplifier for each of the twelve channels.
  • Bridge switches: Six switches allow you to bridge adjacent amplifier channels to create up to 6 bridged channels.  Note that minimum speaker impedance in bridged mode is 8 ohms.
  • BusMatrix control switches: 12 4-pin DIP switches (one per channel) allows you to assign a particular source to each channel.  You can select the signal from the main Bus input and select either Left, Right or Mono (left and right) or you can select the signal going to that channel's dedicated input.  Note that only one signal source should be selected per channel.
  • Individual input jacks: 12 gold-plated RCA jacks, one per channel.
  • Speaker outputs: Left and Right Binding posts for 12 channels (not five-way due to a metal collar) accept up to 12 gauge bare wire or banana plugs.
  • AC jack: For the supplied AC line cord.

 Specifications

Continuous Average Power Output (unbridged):

  • 30 watts per channel RMS at 8 ohms all channels driven
  • 37 watts per channel RMS at 4 ohms
  • Minimum impedance load of 4 ohms

Continuous Average Power Output (bridged):

  • Two channels bridged, all channels driven: 80 watts per channel RMS at 8 ohms.
  • Minimum impedance load of 8 ohms when bridged

Input Impedance: 10k ohms

Input sensitivity: .334mv for full output (30 watts) 

Overall voltage gain: 32.4dB

Frequency response: Bandwidth limited from 5 Hz to 50 kHz

Total Harmonic Distortion:

  • 8 Ohms: .04% THD from 20 Hz to 20 kHz all channels driven (unbridged)
  • 4 Ohms: .06% THD from 20 Hz to 20 kHz all channels driven (unbridged)
  • 8 Ohms: .06% THD from 20 Hz to 20 kHz all channels driven (bridged)

Weight: 28 lbs.

Notes

The manual recommends at least 5" of free air space above the chassis and that, if the unit is placed in a cabinet, that the rear of the cabinet be opened. 

 
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Niles SI-1230 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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5 out of 5

What's a 12 channel?!

Written By Nerge, Huntsville, AL on Thursday, July 26, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
From the title, you can see I'm not a tech-head. My home was pre-wired with multiple speakers and I needed something to power them. The Niles works well in all rooms and outdoors, including a room that doesn't have a volume knob. I adjusted that room's volume using the back knob--a huge plus for my situation.
Pros:
Volume control for each channel on the unit
Cons:
Would prefer flip connections to the screw in for bare-wire install. And how about making the on switch a different color? Unit is in AV closet, so not well-lighted.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Awesome Amp

Written By Dave, Beverly Hills, FLA on Friday, May 25, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
To the person who said this is a Not So Great amp, this person obviously does not know how to install the amp, is using poor speakers, poor wiring, poor volume control switches or both. A chain is only as strong as it's weakest link. I outfitted my home one year ago using Niles volume control, Audio Quest wiring, and Polk Audio speakers. The sound is AWESOME at all levels, and everyone that comes into my home wants the same setup in their home. I just purchased my second AMP to install in my sister's home and she and her husband love the sound in my home. Bottom line, don't take advice from an idiot.
Pros:
Easy to install, easy to understand and operate.
Cons:
None that I can think of.
1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Nice Amp for driving multiple speakers

Written By LB, Barrington, IL on Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I purchased this amp to power 6 sets of speakers connected to a Denon receiver. The power is nice and the sound is crisp. The auto shut off feature is nice.
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1 out of 5

Not so great

Written By Niles amp lots of high treble no lows, Ponte Vedra FL on Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
After hearing such great reviews about this amp, the amp is a huge disappointment. I have had two and must say they do not act like a 30 watt amp. first the treble is way to high in comparision to other amps. There doesn't appear to be any lows with that said I'm figuring that it is just way under powered for what I am trying to push which is about ten polk audio speakers. one would think with a 12 channel amp it would be able to do that but the power just isn't there. Very disappointed.
Pros:
has banana plugs for easy install. Long warranty but with this terrible of a sound coming out of the box why would you want to keep it.
Cons:
about everything else. Not a great amp.
2 out of 5 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Incredible multi-room amp

Written By Timothy, Rochester Hills, MI on Saturday, February 12, 2005
 
This is a high-quality piece of electronics. Huge toridal core transformer, 12 channels bridgable to 6 channels, tremendous current capacity, large, solid binding posts, there is just nothing not to like about this amplifier. Paired with the 4.6ci, it gives you a top-of-the-line multi-room system.
378 out of 504 people found this helpful
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