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What's your favorite power amp?
Old 7th May 2006
  #1
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
What's your favorite power amp?

I'm looking for a power amp to power a pair of ADAM's ANF-10 monitors. Any suggestions?

Thanks
Old 7th May 2006
  #2
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Bryston seem to be very popular/good quality.

I'm hoping someone who knows more about this will chime in.
Old 8th May 2006 | Show parent
  #3
Gear Guru
 
tINY's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years


The Crown K1 is nice.

An old Carver PM series would be good.

The latest Alesis are pretty decent too.



-tINY

Old 8th May 2006 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Guru
 
elambo's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Big Bryston fan here, and yes, they seem to have a huge following. I had a 3BST at home for a while and thought it was a great amp.
Old 8th May 2006 | Show parent
  #5
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O.F.F.'s Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
MC2 Audio MC series as my first choice, T series second and Bryston as my third...

Reverse that if the tiniest fan noise (less then a computer) is too much.
Old 8th May 2006 | Show parent
  #6
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Bob Ross's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
FM Acoustics FA800
Old 8th May 2006 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Chord SPA 608.

On the consumer side, Rotel makes nice power amps.

If you were rich I'd say try a Gamut D200.
Old 8th May 2006 | Show parent
  #8
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Yannick's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams
Brystons are too dark and harsh in the mids.
Uhm - not my Bryston 3BSST.
It's my favorite - still enough power but great sound.
Old 8th May 2006 | Show parent
  #9
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bunnerabb's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'll put a Crown on pretty much anything.
Old 8th May 2006 | Show parent
  #10
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Zwinter's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
My vote is for McIntosh.
Old 8th May 2006 | Show parent
  #11
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roxxon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I have owned several great amps in my time.

One of my favorites was my Sumo (The Nine) Class A.

I still have an older 3b Bryston that I love.

I used to have a 4b but I foolishly sold it.

Recently I bought 3 brand new Carvin amps for my studio P.A.
They sound pretty darn nice.
Lots of power, decent headroom and well constructed.

I would go with the Brystons, if I were you.
Their 20 year waranty is a thing of beauty!

That is if you don't want to go with a tube amp.


The best damping factor on any amp that I have ever owned was on my Phase Linear 700 Series 2.No amp at any price that I have ever heard had tighter bass response, that includes a number of extremely high priced audiophile tube amps I have listened to.

If you are on a budget, the Carvins are pretty nice.
They are very reasonably priced.
And I think they are on sale right now...
http://www.carvin.com/products/dcmseries.php
Old 8th May 2006 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Thanks for your suggestions.

What about Hafler's (Trans Nova), Tapco, QSC, Samson, and Yamaha. Are these worth looking in to?
Old 8th May 2006 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Guru
 
thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imagine
Thanks for your suggestions.

What about Hafler's (Trans Nova), Tapco, QSC, Samson, and Yamaha. Are these worth looking in to?

Matching the right power amps with the right speaker takes some experimentation.


Personally i would start with Adam first and ask what they used when testing their speakers.
Old 8th May 2006 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
weight is good

Avoid switching power amps (class-D or with switching power supplies), and be cautious of power amps with fans, unless weight/space/power consumption are the most important features.

Adcom 3-digit models are bi-polar, like GFA-555, GFA-585.
Adcom 4 digit models have MOSFET output devices, like GFA-5500, GFA-5802.

I like my GFA-5800, with a fan that rarely comes on because the speakers are efficient. Plenty of weight, and lots of heatsink.

Are ADAM's efficient? I would guess 88dB 1W/1M, which would be "no" when compared to Klipsch/EV/Altec/JBL stuff from the tube era (95+dB).
Old 9th May 2006 | Show parent
  #15
Gear Guru
 
tINY's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years


I have to dissagree. The best of the switchers in the past 2-3 years are wonderful. Some of the older H-Bridge output designs were pretty good too.

The linears are a little safer bet at the moment, though.




-tINY

Old 9th May 2006 | Show parent
  #16
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O.F.F.'s Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I agree with Rufus: stay clear of switchers!
In the case of class D amps because they include a/d conversion to get the audio signal pwm encoded and conversion has always been the weak point in the signal chain, if its
magnetic-to-electric as in record heads, mechanic-to-el. as in phono cartridges, electrical-to-acoustical (speakers) or d/a &a/d: conversion is best avoided IMO.

Not so sure about switching psu's. As far as I know Chord uses one and they are rather tasty amps but then a Chord mono bloc costs 10x as much as AFN 10s.
I would find it difficult to justify much more then a Yamaha if I had to pay for it myself.
That said I actually quite like Yamaha amps, used some in a studio once (forgot the model nr. its been a while) driving little Dynaudios and they were absolutely fine.

Try secondhand, you might get lucky! I paid Β£350 for an MC2 MC450 and Β£100 for a T500. Probably the best Β£450 I've ever spent...
Old 9th May 2006 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Hey Guys- Thanks for your suggestions.

I'm interesred in the ADCOM line. For those using this amp, which one would you suggest?

Thx
Old 9th May 2006 | Show parent
  #18
Gear Addict
 
Geddyleewannabe's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Sorry for the Ignorance

Is it a general consensus that separate monitor speakers and power amps is better than using powered monitor speakers?
Old 9th May 2006 | Show parent
  #19
Gear Guru
 
tINY's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by O.F.F.
In the case of class D amps because they include a/d conversion to get the audio signal pwm encoded ...


Actually, no. There are switching amp designs that are completely analog designs.



-tINY

Old 9th May 2006 | Show parent
  #20
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firby's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hafler DH500. Really nice amplifier used on ebay around 250-550 dollars.

Lots and Lots and Lots of juice. Very clean.
Old 9th May 2006
  #21
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reid's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'd strongly recommend Chevin amps, given my pain free 10 years with a Chevin A500.
Fanless, 1U high, headroom for days and an immaculate sound.

They were good enough for the Hit Factory and Sony Music Studios in NYC, so I can imagine one being the perfect partner for your Adams....

Check out chevin-research.com

They're not the cheapest out there, but then quality never is
Old 9th May 2006 | Show parent
  #22
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Bob Ross's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imagine
I'm interesred in the ADCOM line. For those using this amp, which one would you suggest?

Hard to improve upon an Adcom GFA-5802.
Old 10th May 2006 | Show parent
  #23
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kingofswing's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
I use an old 80's Crest Audio 8001 power amp. Its a heavy f****r, but sounds lovely. I use this amp with mainly my JBL control 12's.
Old 10th May 2006 | Show parent
  #24
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O.F.F.'s Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hi Tiny,
I may be behind the times here but how can a digital amp be completely analog?

As for active monitors: In my experience active (note: active as in no passive xover,
not merely carrying an amp on their back like some PMC designs were or are)
beats passive every time. Try Dynaudio BM5s: it doesn't matter which amp drives the passive version the active one is always miles ahead when it comes to accuracy.
Especially in the bass the elimination of the series inductor allows substantially more detail to come through. So no there is no consensus on that one...
Old 10th May 2006 | Show parent
  #25
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams
Here's my experience with Adcoms as I work on them all the time. I use the GFA545 for my 8" console speakers. It has the 2SA/2SC fast bipolar output devices and is one of the best sounding power amps I've ever heard, regardless of price.

The smaller GFA535 I use in my living room. It's also very good but slightly relaxed in the tops due to the slower 2SB/2SD output bipolar transistors. Otherwise, the designs are identical.

The GFA555 is the bigger model with metal can 2SB/2SD output devices. I set these up in a bridged mono config for those that want main speakers to crank as 500 watts per side can be achieved.

I've tried the newer mosfet Adcoms and was very dissappointed as the mosfet output devices have a hard sound, just like in the Haflers and the Rotel. The distortion specs also don't measure as well either.

Several customers have sold there Bryston 3's and 4's once they compared to the Adcoms, they say the Brystons are dark and harsh in the mids in comparison.
I used to install the Brystons in rooms in the late 80's, but I no longer recommend them.

A monitor amp must be revealing, a euphonic amp belongs in the living room, not the control room. One needs to be able to hear the good and more importantly, the bad as euphonic amps like Mac's will soften or mask the ugly's.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Hi Jim-

What's the difference between the GFA545 and GFA 545 II? I currently have a Hafler Trans Nova P3000, but I find it to be very hard sounding.

Thanks
Old 10th May 2006 | Show parent
  #26
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams
I've tried the newer mosfet Adcoms and was very dissappointed as the mosfet output devices have a hard sound, just like in the Haflers and the Rotel.
The Rotel I brought you is bi-polar. I believe the concensus was that it has more bass than your Adcom, but the high end sounded slightly plasticky to you.

Anyway, it's a very good sounding amp (Rotel RB-981) that has never given me problems. I use it on my tv/entertainment center now since I've gotten a Chord SPA 608 for the studio monitors.

Last edited by jdunn; 10th May 2006 at 06:09 PM..
Old 10th May 2006 | Show parent
  #27
Lives for gear
 
O.F.F.'s Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hi Jim,
the problem is not badly designed inductors, the problem is how an inductor works!
As such the inferiority of passive designs is caused by the presence of ANY inductor in the signal path. Even a perfect one would smear transients, shift phase, eat half the amp power and, if in the same circuit as some caps, tend towards 'ringing'.
This is all well documented and researched and I'm sure there are plenty other threads where this has been discussed...

But no doubt a crappy inductor can turn a medium pile of s*** into a full-blown sewage factory. Saturation comes to mind...
Old 10th May 2006 | Show parent
  #28
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams
The original GFA545 is direct coupled, no caps except for gain setting. The MK II's are capacitor coupled as a servo was installed forcing the input to around +1/2 volt. I prefer the direct coupled versions as the servo only corrects for a few millivolts of offset on the amps' outputs.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Jim,

You think the original sounds better than the II?

Thanks
Old 10th May 2006 | Show parent
  #29
Gear Guru
 
tINY's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by O.F.F.
Hi Tiny,
I may be behind the times here but how can a digital amp be completely analog?


Digital amplifiers can't be analog, but switching amplifiers aren't always digital.

You have an oscilator, you have a comparitor and you have a lot of ways of hooking that up.

Or, get rid of the oscilator.....





-tINY

Old 10th May 2006 | Show parent
  #30
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Hi Jim,

You seem to know a little about Adcom amps. Is it worth it to get something like Adcom's new GFA 5802?

Thanks
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