Comparing S/300 VS Krell KSA-200S VS Sony TA-N90ES Using Renaissance 90 speakers


2013-05-30 12:55 am
Using a 24bit CD player, OEM CD's, Adcom GFP-750 Preamp, 12 guage speaker cable, quality RCA cables - and using the speaker with the most 5 star ratings on AudioReview - 38 - and it used to be 39, and nothing less than 5 stars. Most highly rated, but must click on only older products.

So, these are the 3 best sounding amps I have had hooked up.

The Sony TA-N90ES - has the best overall sound up to about 110 watts.
It has the deep bass control, most natural midrange, more details, more
depth, and more extended highs that are better. This is also the newest
of the 3. It also has an output relay for each channel for protection to save
these sweet speakers from any bad dc voltages. This amp, and a very few other Sony models, have this sound quality - the 700ES - 707ES - and 808ES, with the MosFets having a slight advantage. The 700ES is a transistor model, but bests most any other integrated transistor amp I have seen, and is very close.

The Krell - The most Powerful of the 3, also most expensive. It is not too far off from the other two in sound quality, but I did notice a slightly over-controlled sound. Like a dancer from Russia, good, but under too much control to let the music flow to that next level. I would hate to repair this beast, every stage seems to have 10 paralleled transistors driving the next ten, just packed with parts...

The Threshold S/300 - More open sounding and musical than the Krell, but a little off, maybe due to age.. what I mean is, not quite as natural and realistic sounding as the TA-90.. Close, and more powerful, I believe it runs about the same bias and the Sony, The Sony runs 180mv across both emitter resistors, and I believe the S/300 series is about the same amount.

I've probably heard, swapped, and repaired over 300 different amplifiers in the last 15 years.

Most other amps don't compare, Pioneer uses a 16 pin bias IC , most others have op amps, or Darlington outputs. Then it comes down to the circuit and build quality - matching parts is just as critical, all parts, not just semiconductors..

A Classe 700 I heard was pretty good, but it was on another system..
I sounded a little warmish, but it's a good sound.. nice amps!

These nice model Sony's are really good in every way.. To be honest I was surprised to find this quality here.

Wish I could
afford the TA-N1 , but then, I think I would give a Pass Labs 350.X a chance first for about the same price.

I would bet that it would out-do it, but I wouldn't be so sure..

Output relays are kinda nice..