Joël Chevassus reviews the Red Dragon S500 Stereo Amplifier

“… the Red Dragons remained unruffled under all circumstances. They provided deeper bass and a more articulate midrange. Dynamics were outstanding as was the case with the Orpheus... the Red Dragon amps again demonstrated stunning linearity and neutrality. But we both had to confess that it seemed impossible to rattle the two small Utah boxes. We never sensed any muscle-bound behaviour for having on tap 1’000 watts into 8Ω or even the faintest onset of audible distortion. Listening to the Reference Recordings There's a time featuring Blues legend Doug McLeod, my first impression was focused on the very taut robust bass. That's quite commonplace for class D but this time I noticed a particularly detailed nuanced bottom end to suggest that the two reds had perfect control over my ‘V-twin’ Vivid woofers. On "Rosa Lee", guitar and voice were holographic and located in the same place. I never had this sensation of having a kind of vocal zoom or listening to very distant voices far back in the soundstage. Doug McLeod's voice was sized realistically and showed great detail and finesse. The treble too was very accurate without any brightness. On the second track "Black nights", the guitar's string decay was perfectly reproduced along with a very lifelike modulated voice. By contrast, my Luxman combo provided me with a more organic sound and even more robust bass. The Red Dragons impressed nevertheless with better noise rejection.”

Jim Merod on the M500MkII and M1000MkII Monoblock amplifiers

“…I've lived for quite a stretch with his class D mono-block M500mkII digital amps (at 500w/4 ohms) and with the powerhouse M1000mkII version (at 1100w/4 ohms) and will not let these giant killers leave my crusty grasp. The Red Dragons are immensely efficient and incur a blissfully low footprint on your electrical bill. Technical details aside, the bottom line reality of these over-achieving and modestly priced musical work horses is their ability to drive tough speaker loads like the stubborn Magnepan 3.6s and Apogee Stage speakers which approach a 2 ohm resistance. For me, the effortless quality of their interactions with each speaker I've harnessed them to is both impressive and a clearly significant element in their musical surprise. In a commercial world where too many glitzy audio products are hyper-designed cosmetically to suck big spenders into thrall, not for the outcome of sonic accuracy or musical glory, I nominate Red Dragon amplifiers as that most elusive but extraordinary audiophile gift: world class amps at bargain prices. They've made my sonic universe more hilarious with joy and beauty. I'll stack them against a long list of big buck amps that cannot equal their self-confident musical virtues. Jim Merod...”


Andrew Robinson on the M500MkII's

“…Again, the M500MkII's boundary-defying width in terms of its soundstage was infectious, as it made it seem as if my side walls simply weren't there...Vocals were smooth, articulate and lifelike in their presentation. As with dynamics, bass seemed to also respond well to the improved recording quality, as it dug a little deeper while also exhibiting even tighter control. Low-end texture and inner detail were also very impressive. It is an intimate recording that was presented as such, giving me a front row seat. I loved every second of it and actually listened to the entire album start to finish before getting up to do other things."

Chris Martens review – The Absolute Sound

“…the Leviathans offer an immediately likeable sound whose defining characteristics include effortless dynamics, rock-solid 3-D imaging, and smooth, mellifluous voicing… Joseph Stalin once famously observed that ‘quantity has a quality all its own.’ Stalin’s comment comes to mind because the Red Dragons produce such copious quantities of power that they reproduce music – especially loud and complex passages – with a disarmingly graceful yet muscular dynamic ease"



Jim Merod Positive Feedback Online

"The Red Dragons own a degree of musical and sonic transparency in the service of a necessarily “tactile” bulk of harmonic layering. Together they create an illusion of being in the room “with” the men and women who made it. Among audio illusions that conspire to craft the sense of (re-created) “musical reality,” this one is the most fragile but satisfying.

…what the Red Dragons offer—both relatively, in comparison to these and other refined amps; and absolutely without the invidious tug of comparison—is a touch of musical magic which sounds and feels utterly right in the subjective but totally palpable “there-ness” of music in real space and time."


Stereo Times Publishers Choice Award!

"Baby brothers to the famed Leviathan mono amps, these [Red Dragon Audio M500 monoblocks] are perhaps the best sounding and affordable amplifiers I've heard. Gutsy, authoritative bass coupled to a sweet but slightly forward treble makes these among the elite of what could be considered affordable and still excellent sounding. Rare." - Clement Perry


Robert H. Levi and Dave Clark – Positive Feedback Online

"I was amazed how such powerful amps were so well mannered and made my very revealing Avalon Eidolons make such beautiful music. My previous experience with this much power and the Avalons is a glassy or etched sound, especially heard on violins and horns. What I heard now with the Leviathans was just the opposite. Layers and layers of rich, sophisticated, even frothy definition in the midband with never, ever any etch or glare."


Wes Philips of Stereophile

"Wowsers! I’d never heard the Acoustic Zen or Red Dragon products before and they did not disappoint. I heard deep bass and liquid midrange that just made me swoon. Which component was creating the magic? I don’t know, but everything certainly was passing it on, so I suspect the credit goes to all of them.

Red Dragon’s Leviathan Series monoblock amplifiers deliver 500W into 8 ohms for $5995/pair. Driving Acoustic Zen Adagio loudspeakers, they sure sounded sweet and powerful! They’re packed with cool stuff, such as Neutrik silver XLR inputs and Cardas solid-copper binding posts, not to mention ERS paper, which is “employed at key locations to absorb and diffuse unwanted EMI.”

Maybe I’m just superficial, but I thought the Leviathan’s wood cases and softly glowing logo lid just looked cooler than all get-out. Hey, sound is the crucial thing, but if you can look cool while performing well, I say go for it."



Craig G. Fitzpatrick of

“The presentation through these fire breathing dragons was wonderful and equaled amplifiers that retailed for more than twice the price. My recordings exhibited a rock solid image projected from a black background and soundstage depth, height and width were just the right size. The Leviathans exhibited a magical quality of being able to combine the very best traits of solid-state and tube amplifiers, and then unveil them in one complete package…In the midrange arena the Leviathans were just as remarkable and seductive. Their ability to separate performers and carve them out to allow them their individual space was exceptional. Each singer that I listened to, whether male or female, would sound as though they were right in front of me…I can state with extreme confidence that Red Dragon Audio has raised the bar and set a new standard for amplification. Highly Recommended!”



Dave Thomas CES Report

“Easily the biggest surprise of the Show for me came from the Acoustic Zen/Red Dragon Audio room...Let me say this about this system: the Acoustic Zen speakers are gorgeous looking and a flat out steal and the attractively styled, ICEpower module-based Red Dragon Audio Leviathan monoblock amps are a must hear"



Jim Saxon's review from

Nothing I threw at the gorgeous Leviathan uncovered a flaw. It passed the Gary Karr bass test and the Aaron Neville texture test with Grade-A scores. On Schubert for Two, Gil Shaham close-miked violin needs increasing power in the midrange at the same time Göran Söllscher’s more distant guitar requires subtle low-level control. The Leviathan not only handled the violin robust highs and the guitar suave trail-off, it also captured each instrument’s woody resonance. This ability to fill out the sound of an instrument is a virtue of tube amplifiers that few transistor amps have matched in my system."