Favorite Solid state Amplifier? Least?

I guess that my Ulta Cheapskate side has influenced me on this, but I like my Sansui AU-7900 Integrated amp (1973?) the best. I found it at St. Vinnie's a few years back with a price tag of $19.95, but it was 25% off day, so I payed $14.95. It sounded really grungy until I sprayed the Volume pots with contact cleaner. Last year our Stereo Club (PNWAS) had a amplifier "shoot-out" and I think the old Sansui did pretty good, it certainly surprised some of the members, being nearly as old as they are:^)
Was it the best? Nope, I think that the new Moon Audio amp
and a member's modified Scott 222 tube amp sounded better, but I'd say that the Sansui came in third although there was a Quad tube amp (model unknown) that rivaled it. There were quite a few amps that sounded worse, including the Club's 3 year old Conrad-Johnson SS amp (a lot worse by common agreement).
The club's system consisted of a Sony 777 player, Siltech cables and Ariel 7b speakers. The Scott amp didn't have the "grunt" to drive the Club speakers so a pair of Silverline speakers (supplied by the Scott's owner) filled in and made a wonderful combo IMHO, although it introduced a variable into the comparison that inflenced the results.
As for worst, there are a lot of them to choose from for that honor, including some that are very expensive. But I'm not going to go there.
Best Regards,
TerryO
 
Favourite: until I hear some UcDs, the old Yamaha P2200 was nice when it warmed up, which took about half an hour. I borrowed one from a pro place for my rig, and it controlled the bass nicely while still retaining a sweet high end.

Loathed: Crown D-150. I heard it on a vinyl / B&W801 setup, and everything above the lower mids was so bad I had to leave the room.


Francois.
 
In this type of discussion many people are revealed simply to prefer high volume. They deny it, saying they like this or that or the other thing, but they give themselves away in short order.
Ditto for those who are obsessed with bass. The sad thing is that so many people think car stereo represents real bass. Ain't so...not by two or three octaves. Not to mention the (lack of) quality.
A top of the line high end amplifier will sound quite different played through Magneplanars, JBLs, or Bose. Given the variables involved, you're mainly hearing the speakers, not the electronics. It's one thing to say that the room, speakers, etc. are variables...it's quite another to be able to hear them.

Grey
 

djk

R.I.P
2001-02-04 4:23 am
USA
"I think that when you talk about your favorites you have to
put it in the context of the system and what you like and don't
like, and so on. Otherwise, opinions come off as arbitrary."

I would tend to agree when talking favorites, but the Crown D-150 and DC-300A tended to sound like broken glass on any speaker that had any kind of high end.

"Least Favorite: Any "Pro Audio" type amplifier"

If you tack a couple of bypass caps into an Altec 9440A it is one of the best sounding amps I have heard, better than 99% of hi-fi amps. Not to be recommend to most as many of the semis are not available when needing repair.

The later AB Systems 400 and 600 are virtually the same as a Leach, and sound like it too. I have bought several 600s on eBay for $150~$200.
 
GRollins said:
Given the variables involved, you're mainly hearing the speakers, not the electronics. It's one thing to say that the room, speakers, etc. are variables...it's quite another to be able to hear them.

Very good point, i feel i should elaborate because i have eliminated some variables over the past 3 years. I have a set of peavey Project ones. those consist of a set of 115-HD low cabs, a set on 115 internationals for mids and a set of CH-4c's for highs. the whole system runs on 2 amps a PA1000X and a PV4C the crossovers are home brew style crossing at roughly 980 hz. i'll upload the photos when i find my camera (misplaced it again).

this system has been run outside with every amp i mentioned above excluding the carvers. the QSC's seem to cut out around 12Khz where the peaveys seem to take the highs higher. to eliminate any doubt the same test was done with a set of yorkville Y115's same thing happened, the bass was muddier and the highs were cut.

now the fact that i like resonant and harmonic bass not forced bass. one more thing that i dislike about certain amps these days is the attempt to make them look high tech. i personally prefer a preferated blank front panel with 2 pots a switch and a power LED
 
Least Favorite: Any "Pro Audio" type amplifier

Then I guess my favourite Brystons are definetely not for you...
But you have to show me another company that can warranty their electronics for 20 years and is still sticking around to honour this commitment.

many people are revealed simply to prefer high volume.

And whats wrong with that? A lot of source material has to be played loud to reveal all the fine detail. But if your speakers can't handle high levels - thats another matter. I like to listen to some stuff at over 100db.
 
You guys seem to be big into what I owuld call teenie bopper amps for some reason.....

Most hated is VERY easy for me.........

Most all comercial amplifiers made are really just plain awful..... They belong in sound reinforcement systems!

Now I can't begin to tell you how much Peavey junk I've replaced in cinemas all over the place. Its the worst form of cinema equipment in this universe no holds barred. Absolute junk! Woof! Hopefully other universes do not use stuff this bad.

Favorites...... for reasions that I won't elaborate on here to preserve bandwidth........

Tube: BAT VK-60 Best tube amp I've ever owned or listened to period. Better than ANY OTL. The amazing dynamic reserves this amp can produce are astounding. The torodial output trannys have incredible transparency.

Solid State: Pass Labs Aleph 2, Aleph 3, Grey Rollins Mini Aleph
Kell KSA-80B, and partcularly the KSA-50 MK-2.... Both
are very amazing amps the latter is still used by a number of reviewers as a standard by which other amps are judged.

Mark
 
Mark A. Gulbrandsen said:


Tube: BAT VK-60 Best tube amp I've ever owned or listened to period. Better than ANY OTL. The amazing dynamic reserves this amp can produce are astounding. The torodial output trannys have incredible transparency.

Mark



not to sound like a total jerk... as it's not my intention...

however... WTF does "dynamic reserves" mean? and where can I buy these dynamic reserved amplifiers...
 
sndscietist said:





:confused: Giant capacitors :confused:




how a capacitor could be qualified as a "dynamic" reserve is beyond me... but alright

however if having large "reserve dynamics" in the way of capacitors is a good thing... I can think of a ton of amplifiers (many of them disliked by DIY amp builders) that have massive amounts of "dynamic reserves" though 8 watt tube lovers will discount them as "awful sounding" ;)
 
Mark A. Gulbrandsen said:
Most all comercial amplifiers made are really just plain awful..... They belong in sound reinforcement systems!


In case I forgot to mention ,thats exactally what we do. 6,000 + Drunk partiers don't really care about exact recreations of great works of art. they want to have fun.


Audiophilenoob said:


WTF does "dynamic reserves" mean? and where can I buy these dynamic reserved amplifiers...





:confused: Big Giant Capacitors :confused: