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Amplifier JVC AX-R562 review

The last couple of seasons saw JVC flirting with one or two no-frills amplifiers, gimmick-free boxes designed to make life a little less comfortable for the likes of Pioneer, Denon and Rotel. Yet its new range of six amplifiers marks a return to greater flexibility, especially as a select trio, including this AX-R562, also include full remote control.

So you can either spin its rec-out and input controls or resort to the IR handset before settling on a chosen source, Either way, your selection is routed internally via electronic rather than mechanical means. The unnecessarily huge volume knob is also motorised for armchair control though you’ll need to get off your bottom before reaching for its bass, treble and balance controls or the A/B speaker selector! Otherwise, the AX-R562 is standard fare from JVC, its only notable feature being a Sanken-based power output stage similar to that in Denon’s PMA-250III.

Sound quality

The AX-R562 was not a great favourite with the panel. From the off its brash character was all too clear, causing one listener to exclaim ‘have moicy’. The basic problem seemed to be a lack of bass extension and an excess of upper midband energy. This, coupled with a very limited ability to separate out the various strands in the music, resulted in a messy sound.

The limited bass weight also affected the amount of perceived depth the amp could reproduce, which wasn’t a great deal. If the midrange had been cleaner, it would have almost got away with a lightweight balance, but emphasising such a critical part of the band in this edgy way wasn’t going to win it any friends.

One rather apt description was ‘more fuss and bluster than detail and dynamics’, and the performance it put in with vinyl was no better. It sounded noisy and added a sandyness to Julia Fordham’s vocals, before going on to rob the Rachmaninov of its usually impressive dynamics.

Conclusion

The JVC AX-R562 is a well equipped amplifier that is let down by a rather less than agreeable sound quality. At this price there are several more alluring alternatives to consider, so we can’t commend it.

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