JLH v Gainclone?
I've got a John Lindsey Hood Class A power amp built by my late father >30 years ago - still works fine. I was wondering if anyone had a clue how its subjective performance stacks up against the latest generation of Gainclones?
Cheers - Jezz
I'm in a process of evaluation as far as my GC was finished a couple of days ago. My previous amp is a very good JLH 10W 3 Ohms version with Toshiba 35MHz drivers.
The GC is quite OK, even with my Odin speakers (their impedance drops down to 3 Ohms). I didn't expect it to be so good.
OK, my first impressions:
1. The JLH has a bigger sound stage;
2. The GC is more detailed (a bit);
3. I can listen to my JLH all day and it doesn't tire-out my years. After 2 days with my new GC I fill some kind of pressure in my years. Well, I admit I pushed it a bit to see how it performs louder. The sound of the GC has changed a lot for 2 days and I think there will be further changes because of the braking-in period.
If I had to choose now between them, with my Odins I would probably go with my JLH.
...to be continued (when I have something to add)
I'd be especially interested to hear about the bass extention/quality - keep me posted.
3886 (not 3875) has stronger bass. And good controlled bass. If you like bass like most teenagers (maybe) do, whether it is realistic or not, 3886 may be the winner.
But no chip amps are on par with class A design IMO. And JLH is on the higher rank of class A amps. There's something that makes JLH deserve it's position on the top rank. It is for what Asen has mentioned:
BTW, JLH is not my choice. And I don't want bipolar amps. But I have to admit that my enjoyable experience are with bipolars :clown:
I'd suggest you to take a peek at Mauro Penasa's My_Ref (that uses a LM3886 but is not a gainclone).
The Rev_A is aimed to a "Class-A like sound".
The Rev_C is said to be even better.
Definitely worth a try.
I can give you my subjective comparison between a Death of Zen (design by Rod Elliott and very very close to the JLH topology) and a 3875 standard GC.
The DoZ (300VA/30volt/highcap PSU/ tuned to 10 W/channel):
More fluent highs
Very enjoyable even after long listening periods
Awfully hot (even downspecced to 30V/1.3A bias
The GC (also 300VA/30volt/standard PSU boards/ 35 W/channel):
Little more bass
Better controlled bass
A little more detail mids
More staccato than the DoZ (this might also be called microdynamics?)
Mind, the differences are subjective and not large at all.
In day-to-day use the GC wins hands down because of easy building and small heatsinks, low power consumption and always-on possibilities.
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