Russound R290DS

Stereo dual-source power amplifier

  • Russound R290DS


  • Russound R290DS


  • Russound R290DS



Our take on the Russound R290DS

by Jim Richardson

The R290DS is a great choice for a power upgrade in a specific zone of your multi-room system or for any zone in which a music source input is desired.

If you only want to connect one or two music sources (such as a computer, a plug-and-play satellite radio, or a docked iPod®), this a much more user-friendly option than a receiver with more inputs and features than you'll ever use.

Designate one music component as your primary source, and it will activate the amplifier when it sends out an audio signal. The amplifier returns to standby mode when the audio signal ceases. Your secondary audio source takes over automatically when there's no signal coming from the primary source. There's no need to manually switch inputs.

With loop output, selectable speaker-level input, and 12-volt trigger input and output, the R290DS provides the power and flexibility to support a wide range of multi-room system configurations.

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  • 90 watts per channel into 8 ohms or 110 watts into 4 ohms
  • 250 watts when bridged into a single 8-ohm load
  • robust protection circuitry
  • primary and secondary audio line inputs with automatic source switching
  • selectable speaker-level input
  • loop output
  • 12-volt trigger input and output
  • 16-7/8"W x 4-1/8"H x 15-1/8"D
  • rack-mount ears included
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

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

Features and Specs
Number of Channels 2
Power Output per Channel (8 ohms) 90
Power Output per Channel (6 ohms) ---
Power Output per Channel (4 ohms) 110
Frequency Response 20-20k
THD 0.1%
Bridged Power per Channel 250 watts
Speaker Outputs 2
THX Certification No
Width (inches) 16-7/8
Height (inches) 4-3/16
Depth (inches) 15-1/8
Weight 17.2 pounds
Parts Warranty 2 Years
Labor Warranty 2 Years
Inputs & Outputs
Number of Inputs 3
Level Controls Yes
Speaker Connectors 5-way posts
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Dual source power amplifier
  • 6' AC power cord
  • Pair of rack-mounting ears
  • Installation Manual

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.

Overview: The Russound R290DS is a 2-channel amplifier with automatic source switching. It has Primary and Secondary line inputs, a speaker-level input, and a line output from the primary source to another zone, receiver, or audio device. The R290DS is rated at 90 watts per channel into 8 ohms, and 110 watts into 4 ohms. The speaker outputs can be bridged to a single 8-ohm load for an output of 220 watts.



System Configuration: The R290DS has dual source capability. If two sources are used, you can connect the source you want to have priority to the Primary input, and the other source to the Secondary input. Whenever the Primary source is active, that signal takes priority over the audio signal on the Secondary line. If the signal on the Secondary line is active, and when the Primary source is muted or turned off, the R290DS will automatically switch to the Secondary audio signal. The delay time knob lets you set the amount of time it takes (between 3-15 seconds) for the amplifier to switch between the Primary and Secondary source when the Primary source is muted or turned off.

Speaker Level Input: If a source is connected to the Speaker Level input, it can be set to Primary or Secondary. When set to Primary, it has priority over the Secondary Line input, but not to the Primary Line input. When set to Secondary, the speaker level input only becomes active if the Primary and Secondary Line inputs are muted or turned off.

Bridged Operation: When the amplifier is in bridged mode operation, both the left and right channels are combined for a high-powered mono output. For bridged amplifier operation, connect the speaker's positive lead to the amplifier's Left Positive terminal, and the negative lead to the amp's Right Positive (-) terminal. A minimum 8-ohm load is recommended for bridged operation. Note: The two-way Stereo/Bridge switch on the back of the amplifier should be switched to the "Bridge Mono" position.

Left/Right Channel Level Controls: The amplifier has individual rotary level controls for the left and right channels. The left channel knob also controls the bridge mode level.

Thermal Protection: The Russound 2-channel amplifier is designed with special circuitry to safeguard the amplifier under a thermal overload condition. Thermal Protection mode can only engage when the unit has been run at high volume for extended periods of time without adequate ventilation and/or when speaker impedances are below the minimum levels for the amplifier.

Protection Circuitry: This Russound amplifier is designed with special circuitry to safeguard the amplifier under a short-circuit condition. A faulty speaker can also cause a short circuit condition. The front panel LED illuminates orange when the amplifier is in short circuit protection.

Rack Mounting: The R290DS can be rack mounted using the supplied rack-mounting ears and hardware. The amplifier will take two rack spaces (2U) when the feet are removed. One open rack space above and below the amplifier is recommended to allow for ventilation and heat dissipation.

Power LED: The amplifier's front panel LED will illuminate red when the power is on and the amplifier is in default/standby mode and illuminate green when the amplifier is active. If the amp detects a short circuit, the LED will glow orange and go into protection mode.


Power Switch: The amplifier's power switch turns the unit on and off. This switch, however, does not disconnect the main power feed from the amplifier; this requires that the power cord be unplugged from the AC outlet.

Level Controls: The amplifier features left and right gain control to independently adjust the sound level for each channel. When in bridged mode, only the left control is used.

Delay Time: The amplifier's delay time can be adjusted from approximately 3 to 15 seconds. When no audio signal is present on the Primary Line input (or Speaker Level input set to Primary), the amplifier will automatically switch to the Secondary input after the preset period of time.

Stereo/Bridge Mono Switch: This switch sets the pair of amplifier channels for stereo or bridge mono operation.

Power: The amplifier can be switched between 120V AC and 240V AC operation.


12VDC Trigger In/Out: The 12V Trigger In (3.5mm) controls the amplifier switching from the default input (distributed audio system) to a local source. The Trigger Out (3.5mm) provides 100mA 12V max. can be used to drive other 12V trigger devices.

Secondary Line Input: The amplifier's Secondary stereo RCA audio input only becomes active when the source connected to the Primary Line input is turned off or muted.

Speaker Level Input: The speaker level input consists of a 4-pin screw-terminal module that can be removed for connecting the speaker wire. Using the 2-way switch, you can set the Speaker Level Input to Secondary or Primary operation.

Primary Line Input: The Primary Line stereo RCA input takes priority over the Secondary input, as well as the Speaker Level input (no matter the setting), as long as the connected source is active and outputting audio.

Speaker Outputs: The left and right speaker outputs use 5-way binding post terminals, which accept single and dual banana plugs, spade connectors, pin connectors, and bare speaker wire. For bridged operation, the left positive and right positive terminals are used.

AC Input: The AC voltage input is 120VAC at 60Hz. This receptacle accepts a 3-prong IEC 320 type connector. A detachable 6', three-conductor power cord is included.

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Russound R290DS Reviews

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4 out of 5

Russound R290DS

Written By RJM, Jackson, NH on Wednesday, May 01, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
This power amp has lots of punch! The signal path features are a good match for multiple source drivers, in my configuration a high-end sound card and preamp output. The automatic power off is environmentally friendly.
Real consistent left and right power drivers, no Dclass power drop when both channels are at max power levels.
Power switch is mounted in the rear,
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Excellent amp at a great price

Written By BillC, Barboursville, VA on Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
Very clean sound, no coloration, easily supports the volume level we want with no sign of any strain, does not overheat the rack. I can find no faults. Auto on/off is a great feature. It does need a certain signal level to start. One local internet radio station, which frequently has a volume that is too low, would not start the amp, but a different station started it right away. I am looking forward to trying out the secondary input.
great sound, easy to use, runs cool, good price
6 out of 6 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Nice but...

Written By Migs, Miami,FL on Thursday, December 15, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
I set this amp up with the iDo DAC so I could listen to my iPod in a Bar. The system works and the sound is OK, but sometimes when you first use it it wont respond to the newly connected iPod. The solution is to reach around the back side of the amp and the DAC and to cycle the power buttons. Since I have them installed inside a cabinet this isn't so nice.
nice and compact
it is supposed to turn on automatically when it receives a signal from the source, but the turn on is iffy.
4 out of 5 people found this helpful
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