Hafler DH 500 vs Adcom 555mkii vs Emotiva XPA-2

Hello board!
Need some thoughts and opinions brutal or not.

I have a Hafler DH 500 X2, a Adcom 555ii and currently have my dads recently refurbished Threshold Stasis 300.
I just won an eBay auction for a Emotiva XPA-2 for $400

I bought the Adcom a couple weeks back after reading all the hub bubb it sounded like a good product and don't get me wrong it is but not as much as I thought it would be.

One of the haflers was checked and tested to spec.
And everything was great until I got my dads Threshold back. Holy ****! That blew away the line up. Given apples to oranges. But side by side comparison the Adcom is falling short. Hafler sounds better musically.


Oh btw I have Magnepans MG2s soon upgrading to 1.6s

After speaking back and forth with Peter Gunn he obviously smashed on all my equipment but smashing the Adcom the most.


I just won a eBay auction for this Emotiva XPA-2 gen 2. Sounds like a great deal and a powerful and currently designed amp.

My goal is to get a similar response from my Magnepans or better while on a budget as I do with my dads Threshold which I reluctantly have to give back soon.


Any thoughts? Emotiva a decent product for mid fi? I love Magnepans and only want stereo two channel. So I'm hoping I have a great product on its way. Going to sell the Adcom cause I really wasn't impressed. But!


Would sending my Hafler off to the musical concepts mod be a better investment then the Emotiva? Would the 555 come alive after a mod?

Or is the Emotivia a stand up product that will give me the musical quality I got from the Threshold?

My next step is the pre amp. But waiting to decide on the amp first before selecting one. Thinking tube pre amp.


Any thoughts?
 
Hey Gladiator33!
Lol. Odd you would say that cause I do have a threshold stasis 300 or the S/300
Had it completely inspected and brought back to spec. My father had this beast in the closet for years before I got my hands on it.

But my original post was more of a apples to apples comparison for the low to mid fi gear.
Given the Threshold now still can set one back about a grand or more depending on condition.

Since I've originally posted this I have since sold the Adcom 555mk2. Wasn't impressed with it. The Hafler DH500 we still have all rebuilt and modified so that gives the low end punch.
But I also purchased a Emotiva XPA5 gen 2. It was a mistake on a eBay posting. I was looking for the XPA 2 gen 2. But for $400 practically brand new I can't complain.
I hooked up the Emotive XPA 5 and seriously impressed on the performance of it. Using the same speakers, same pre amp for comparison. And I have to say (at least to my ears) it holds it own with clarity and imaging. It has a good amount of power for my Magnepans.
I also purchased a brand new Emotiva XSP-1 pre amp. That with their DAC does the job for me! Very crystal clear and the pre has the low and high pass crossover controls for the output options. BUT I will say I do like the loudness button/feature of my old NAD 1020 pre. The XSP gives amazing clarity however doesn't have much room for EQ control only 3db plus or minus. So I've added a Adcom GFP1 I think that's the model for its bass control and loudness button. Encorporated it in my processor loop so with the push of a button I can still have that low end punch on lower volume listening while still having that clarity.

We just got an old but still in decent condition pair of Acoustat Monitor 3s. And we are looking at the new Parasound Halo pre amp for that set up to complement the Threshold which will be running the Acoustats. We do have a Threshold FeT 10 Pre amp want to say...
(Once again not positive on that model number) that's in the shop now being repaired and brought back to spec. My dad is still looking for a good Tube pre amp though.

Who knows, it's all fun in the listening and experience. Not serious investments so I can play around with options. But I will say I'm pleased with my Emotiva set up for its price range. Plus they look cool with all the bluish back lighting.
 
Yes I have compared the two.
Going "All American myself" with the full Emotiva Gen 2 line up with the fully balanced differential XLR silver wire connects I made myself. I'm pleased to say it holds its own to the Threshold stasis S/300 and the fet preamp.

Don't get me wrong it does lack a certain sparkle and speediness the threshold has but dollar to dollar Emotiva does a good job in the right set up.

Magnepan lovers have contested Emotiva stands up to the challenge and continues to impress. Slick looking equipment and built like a tank in the same billet milled chassis. Once again Nelson Pass is king and hands down would own his equipment over anything.
But here is what kills me with people especially in the Magnepan forums. Given I get these speakers can only sound better with quality components and being a Magnepan lover myself compared to electrostatics

Here you have a quality built product at a reasonable price... Wouldn't that be more approachable for that demographic to obtain the best for the buck in equipment? Why buy a $3k-$5k amp, $3k-$5k pre amp then pay half that for your speakers? Might as well go all the way.

My XPA-5 gen 2 does its job and more. Paired with the DAC and XSP1 it not only looks cool it is impressive. And that's my opinion and my ears. To each their own but I still have money in the bank to have another hobby and upgrade to the 1.7is with MMGC center and MMGs for the rears and Rythimic sub. With no component upgrade needed and all the power needed.
 

msb64

Member
2008-02-22 6:10 pm
I have a fair amount of experience with the Haflers and Threshold amps myself.
You might consider an upgraded DH200 or DH220 if they have enough power for your speakers.
I have modified stock models of each myself, as well as a kit/board upgrade.
I wanted to try the Musical Concepts boards but decided to go with an eBay seller who was a former Dynaco/Hafler tech.
All that I have rebuilt sound superior to the stock Hafler models, and some hold their own against the best amps I have had a chance to bring home, well worth rebuilding.
I have also owned several Threshold amps in the past, including the S300, S300 series II, 350e and S500e.
While the S500e was the most powerful of the lot, the S350e is the best sounding amp of the lot, and is no slouch in the power department.
The 350e is an interesting amp, and has a massive power supply in it, more like the S500s have.
It has a large torroidal transformer, 4 - 35,000 mfd main caps and 2 rectifiers, possibly a dual mono power supply or very close to it.
If you can find an original US made S350e (not a clone), it is definitely worth a try.
I am not running Magnepan's myself, but have speakers with ribbon midbass, midrange and high frequency drivers which are also very revealing.
Here are a few shots of the S350e internals that I took while recapping the amp.
Like all Threshold amps I have come across, beautifully built and and very easily to service.
 

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msb64

Member
2008-02-22 6:10 pm
Btw, I am still running a Threshold Fet ten/hl myself.
I put it up against Musical Design (from Musical Concepts) SP1 & SP2b tube preamps, but decided to stick with the FET ten/hl.
The SP1 & SP2b are no slouches though, and the SP2b was close enough to make it a tough choice.
 

Fkeller

Member
2012-01-08 8:57 pm
USA
Modified GFA-555 mkII

I have a Modified Adcom GFA-555 mkII work was done by Rick at Big Sky Audio, I had do his full blown mod including scrubbing and cleaning the glass poxy board, Black Gates, Naked Vishay resistors, new caps, point to point soldering, soft recovery, bias etc... and I have to say that this Nelson Pass design is killer. This amp outperformed the following amps I also owned before selling them off. Bryston 4bsst, Mcintosh 501 mono blocks, Audio Research VT-100 mkII, Krell KSA-100S. The only amps for the money that better it was the same mods to my Adcom GFA-565 monos these are all you need for any speakers. I use the following amps now, all Adcoms modified by Rick. GFA-565 mono amps on the frequencies from 60hz-400hz, the 555 mkII stereo amp from 400-4000hz, and the 535 mkII stereo amp from 4000hz and up. My my preamp is the Pass Labs X-1 & crossover is the pass labs XVR-1 analog 3way version. This blows every system I have ever owned or listen to away and I been doing this since the 70's era when I was using Altec 9440A amps which were on par with anything today. They were used in some cases still are being used by the big hotels in Vegas, US Military for the reliability and sound quality. They were the bench mark of all amps. I have five of them that are being completely remanufactured & upgraded by the original Altec Tech and quality control guru with everything except the transformers. They will be available soon!
 

Fkeller

Member
2012-01-08 8:57 pm
USA
My speakers are 93db DIY 3-way ported with port plugs to have the option of sealed enclosures using AE TD12S woofers for frequencies from 50-60hz to 200-400hz, the mids or either the New AE TD6m or ATC 75/150S mids which are in a knock down drag out battle both are equally great, it just depends which one works best with the other drivers. The new AE TD6m will go lower and if I use it I will cross at about 200-250hz to 3800-4000hz to include more male vocals instead of 400-500hz to 3800-4000hz with the ATC. Competition is too close to call. I use the Raal XR70-20am ribbon tweeters for the highs. These sounds great opposed to spending 100K on speakers. I wouldn't spend that kind of money if I had it, which I don't. Lol
 
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