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Stereo power amplifier
Our take on the Niles SI-2150 by Crutchfield's Dave Bar
The choice of pros since 1978
When professional installers need versatile and rugged components they can depend on, they turn to Niles. Niles' Systems Integration Amplifiers® are powerful tools that simplify and optimize complex custom multi-room installations. While traditional receivers and amplifiers work well in typical stereo and home theater systems, multi-room systems require an amplifier that does more than just drive speakers — these systems require an approach that offers greater flexibility and performance.
Power and performance to spare
Whether you're using the Niles SI-2150 as a part of a multi-room audio system or as the amplifier in your main listening room, you'll find that it delivers plenty of pristine, dynamic stereo power. Its high-current design allows it to handle unusual and reactive loads with ease, including the ability to safely drive up to three pairs of directly connected 8-ohm speakers at the same time. And it's not just all muscle. Niles uses high-quality parts throughout to ensure that you'll always get top-notch audio performance. Cutting-edge, independent digital power supplies for each channel prevent cross-talk interference, ensuring clean, spacious sound. Oversized heat sinks keep the SI-2150 cool even when driving heavy loads, eliminating the need for a noisy cooling fan and guaranteeing silent operation.
Niles knows what it takes to stay competitive in the world of custom installation. That's why their amps include features that make them easy to integrate. You get three separate turn-on modes to bring the amp to life, plus a 12-volt DC control output to activate other devices such as motorized screens and curtains. Independent level controls for each channel allow precise volume matching to the rest of the system, and can also be used to limit volume to prevent speaker damage. Handy cascade audio outputs let you daisy-chain mutiple amps together. And you can even combine its two channels into one to give your speakers more juice — a great option for power-hungry outdoor speakers.
I needed something small yet powerful to drive a pair of Def. Tech speakers in my living room in conjunction with using a Sonus reciever. This seemed to do the trick. Given it was on sale it was a very economical purchase.
Rich, San Francisco, CA
What's in the Box:
- Stereo system integration amplifier
- 6' AC power cord (3-prong IEC plug)
- 2 Rack-mount ears
- Installation Guide
- 2-channel amplifier
- bridgeable high-current design handles unusual and reactive loads with ease
- power output:
- 150 watts RMS per channel into 8 ohms (both channels driven)
- 270 watts RMS per channel into 4 ohms (both channels driven)
- channels are bridgeable to 550 watts RMS (mono) into 8 ohms
- cutting-edge digital power supplies (one for each channel to eliminate crosstalk)
- frequency response: 5-25,000 Hz (-3 dB)
- signal-to-noise ratio: 102 dB (20-20,000 Hz)
- total harmonic distortion: 0.2% (20-20,000 Hz)
- three turn-on modes: music-sensing, voltage trigger, and manual
- gold-plated binding posts spaced to accommodate dual banana plugs
- 12-volt control output
- voltage trigger input accepts 3-24V AC/DC
- cascade audio outputs let you easily connect additional amplifiers to your system
- independent right- and left-channel level controls for precise volume matching
- fanless design with oversized heat sinks for cool, quiet operation
- DC, short circuit, and overload protection with automatic reset
- front-panel LEDs indicate Power, Active Status, and Protection Warning for easier troubleshooting
- detachable AC power cord
- rack mount ears included
- weight: 10.7 lbs.
- 17-1/4"W x 2-1/4"H (including feet) x 14-1/2"D
- warranty: 2 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Niles SI-2150 Reviews
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Features and Specs
|Number of Channels||2|
|Power Output per Channel (8 ohms)||150|
|Power Output per Channel (6 ohms)||---|
|Power Output per Channel (4 ohms)||270|
|Bridged Power per Channel||550 watts|
|Parts Warranty||2 Years|
|Labor Warranty||2 Years|
|Inputs & Outputs|
|Number of Inputs||1|
|Speaker Connectors||5-way binding post|
Overview: The Niles Audio SI (System Integration) Amplifiers are designed to power your custom-installed Audio-Video system. They are constructed with the finest materials available, including 1% metal film resistors, high quality capacitors, and oversized heat sinks, that can properly cool the unit without the need for a noisy fan.
Power Output: The SI-2150 stereo amplifier provides 150 watts RMS per channel at 8 ohms, and 270 watts RMS per channel at 4 ohms with all channels driven. When bridged, the output is 550 watts into 8 ohms.
Line Level Input: The amplifier has a single pair of gold-plated stereo RCA input jacks. If you are bridging the amplifier, you can connect a mono source (single RCA) to the left-channel input.
Cascade Audio Outputs: The unit's Cascade Audio Outputs enable you to daisy-chain another amplifier, by connecting the preamp output of the SI-2150 to the input of the second amplifier. The outputs are not buffered, so if you wish to daisy-chain more than 5 Niles SI Amplifiers, you will need a buffered distribution amplifier, such as the Niles AVDA-3.
Speaker Terminals: The amplifier is equipped with 5-way binding post speaker terminals. The terminals will accept single- and dual-banana plugs, pin connectors, spade lugs, and bare wire up to 12-gauge. For most applications, 16- or 18-gauge wire is recommended. For wiring runs longer than 80 feet, 14-gauge wire is recommended.
Multiple Speaker Loads: The SI-2150 is stable into very low impedance loads (minimum impedance is 2.66 ohms in stereo), which means you can safely operate up to three pairs of 8-ohm speakers directly connected to the amplifier. You will need to connect a speaker selector switch if you wish to independently turn on/off connected speakers, or if you wish to connect more than three pairs of speakers.
Independent Level Controls: The SI-2150 has independent left- and right-channel level controls, letting you pre-set the maximum volume, or precisely match the volume to the rest of the system. The controls are located on the rear panel to limit unwanted access.
Turn-on Modes: For convenience, the SI-2150 offers three turn-on modes. Using the 3-way switch on the back panel, you can choose from the following modes:
- Manual Turn-on: The amplifier is turned on and off using the front panel Master power switch. The automatic turn-on circuitry is turned off. (Switch position: Constant)
- Music Sense: The amplifier turns on automatically when the presence of an audio signal is detected on either the left or right input. When the audio signal is no longer detected, the amplifier turns itself off after approximately 2 minutes. (The front panel Master switch must be in the On position, and the Turn-on Mode switch position is set to Audio Sense.)
- External Trigger: The amplifier turns on automatically when a signal is detected at the 3.5mm AC/DC trigger input. Once the Trigger voltage is turned off, the amplifier automatically turns itself off. Voltage triggers can be supplied by a variety of sources, including surround sound processors, video projectors, and automated switchers. The trigger signal must be 3-24 volts AC or DC, 20 mA or greater. (The front panel Master switch must be in the On position, and the Turn-on Mode switch position is set to 3-30V AC/DC Trigger Input.)
12-volt Control Output: In addition to the 12-volt Trigger Input, the SI-2150 can be used to control other devices using 12-volt triggers, such as motorized screens and curtains. When the amplifier is powered on, a 12-volt DC (150 mA) signal is present at the 12V Control Out 3.5mm mini-jack. (Polarity: tip = +)
Rack-mount Ears: The SI-2150 comes with a pair of rack-mount ears to allow you to mount the amplifier in a standard equipment rack. The rack ears attach to the sides of the amplifier chassis using the 4 installed screws. The amp requires only a single rack space (1U) with the feet removed.
Note: A minimum of 7" of free air space must be provided above the amplifier for proper ventilation.
Removable AC Cord: The SI-2150 comes with a 6' detachable, heavy-duty power cord that allows you to unplug it either at the amp or at the wall outlet. The amplifier uses an IEC 3-prong cord. The amplifier features an auto-switching, 110V-230V power supply.
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Why did you buy this?
Had the spec. I was looking for and it was on sale. I have always a great service from Crutchfield and I like supporting a local business. Your advisor Abe was a great help. Thanks Abe's Bio: http://www.crutchfield.com/Support/Bio.aspx?bio=156 [ F Aug 28, 2016 ]
Good power in a small box... Also the adjustments for the left and right sill make things easier on installation. [ JOHN Dec 17, 2015 ]
2 questions already asked
I'm not sure I understand your application Philip. The HK has it's own built-in amplification and does not offer a good way to add an external amp. The Klipsch speakers are a fine match to be powered by either the HK directly or the Niles amp but there's no good way to connect the Niles amp to the HK receiver. I hope that helps! My Bio: http://www.crutchfield.com/Support/Bio.aspx?bio=5 [ Ryan May 06, 2016 ] Staff
Mark, I have been pleased with my Niles Power amps. I have them paired with a rock speakers which are outside in my backyard. I actually have 3 of them and pair them with the rock speakers and sonos system. They have worked very well. There is a dial on the back that you can limit the amount of power that the amp puts out. I have mine set at 75%, so you could get this amp and then tone it down if your speakers can't handle the full power they put out. I like having more power than I need so that I am not taxing the amp to its max capacity. I think the amp would be fine for you. I hope that helps with your decision. Good luck. All the best, Andy [ Andrew Apr 08, 2016 ]
I believe this amplifier would be fine for your application. More power is better in that you would be less likely to deliver "clipped" audio signal to your speakers. [ Scott Apr 06, 2016 ]
Yes, it is safe. The Niles SI-2150 have left and right gain knobs in the back. The amp at my house is moving 2 Outdoors Proficient Audio AW830 without any effort. It also runs super cools with extra large heatsinks. A3 speakers runs at 8 ohms. Hope this helps. [ JUAN Apr 06, 2016 ]
Hi Mark. I am using this amp to power to Polk A1 speaker w/o any issues. These are rated at 100 watts. The A3 is bigger than the A1 so you should not have any issues. [ HIRAM A Apr 05, 2016 ]
The amp is a good fit for that speaker set. I have used mine for that same set of speakers and it works well. [ Randal Apr 05, 2016 ]