Which commercial amps still .....

Madmike2

Member
2005-04-24 11:55 pm
Toronto
Hafler. I was at Long and Mcquade and got totally schooled on Hafler. I can get 2 x 85 P1500 Diamond series for well in my budget and apparently they are the shizznit. A few others sing its praises as well. I know i am annoying about it but i cant afford to go and drop coin then take the hit a month later on resale if it is not up to snuff. If i buy it i buy it for the life of my new socks :(

Any comments on these guys ? L and McQuade are not dealers but the sales guy says these blow pretty much all pro amps away SQ. Like a freshly cleaned window he says.
 

anatech

Administrator
Paid Member
2004-06-06 8:31 pm
Georgetown, On
Hi Madmike2,

Make sure you buy NEW from those guys. Do not buy rental stock, refurb, trade in or display stock. I had one poor guy come in with a "show stock R-R". It was show stock all right, but it fell and had a hack job service done. The head mounting plate was bent +++. A real mess. Similar things happen with many items that are not expressly new. Also, display stock has been caught as actually rental stock. And, they tried getting these under warranty many times!!! I'm stupid or what ????

The same can be said for most other retailers, it's just L&M is very active in rentals. Honestly, I have yet to see good work done by a store service shop unless it was sent out. This goes for home audio in spades.

-Chris
 
Sadly i wont be buying it from them as the only one they have in stock returned is a 7000. Much too big. They are not dealers so i am still waiting to get an e-mail telling me where i am to go to order one. I have it all mapped out in my head i think (the system i want ). Ill buy a DAC from peter daniel. Buy the first amp from wherever they come from. Then ill buy my subs and plate amps ALTHOUGH i am thinking i might just buy the subs then ANOTHER amp to power them. Problem with that is X-over. I am loathe to add something else into the chain :( I am becoming slowly converted to an audio SNOB. Soon i will be IB and Line array then ill graduate to full range and tubes. Next thing you know, POOF i am going to operas and the ballet :hot:
 

anatech

Administrator
Paid Member
2004-06-06 8:31 pm
Georgetown, On
I love the Symphony.
I have tubes, and sand.
PSB's make me happy now.

Question, why on earth do you want a pro amp??? and why Mosfet for heaven's sake??? (I sold one of the last new Nikko Alpha III's in Canada - long history with mosfets).

There are many excellent consumer amps. Some of them are bipolar. Some of them tube. I own all types and they each have their strong points. Mosfet are my least favorite types.

Just asking 'cause I don't know if you have had the opportunity to actually listen to a number of amps. Don't listen to anyone until you have heard for yourself what is deemed to be good.

-Chris
 

anatech

Administrator
Paid Member
2004-06-06 8:31 pm
Georgetown, On
Hi Madmike2,
You have been mis-informed. There are many great amps built with all known output devices. Circuit design and output stages run in cycles and are subject to "fads". The designer must be able to build a product that sells. We are getting over the mosfet fad - again.

I am convinced that if someone built germanium outputs that were semi-reliable, we would see a craze over this "forgotten" technology.

Basically, each output device does some things well and other things not so well. Mosfets have a gate charge problem, bipolars have an exponential transfer function and tubes + transformers have another set of troubles. I own some really good bipolar amps, and some really good tube amps. I wish I could roll them into one amp. The mosfet amps I have owned or worked on do not excite me, but that's me.

So ignore the technology of the amplifier and just listen to it. Do not listen to the sales guy, especially not the magasines. You really need to hear the amp in your home over some days to evaluate it. You also need to look at the support history of the company. Can you get parts and how well are the repairs done? Get a schematic or service manual. If the manufacturer won't release the information, walk.

-Chris
 
Oh and it starts again for me (indecision) :( I dont have the pull or capability to audition amps from the boys in T.O . I can go rent amps but they are all going to be Pro gear regardless of where i go.

I started this with a firm belief set which was slowly destroyed. The only thing that stayed constant so far was SS amps MOSfet. Now you single handidly have destroyed that as well (since no one is refuting him)

I am a blank paper again now. Must stay away from Future shop or ill be buying the pretty Panasonic Digital amp for only 299 !!! The glaze will leave my eyes once i return home. :cannotbe:


On a side note, i did rent the ART audio SLA 2 and it was trash. 2 x 200 watts and my 27 year old pioneer smoked it. George Forman style.
 

anatech

Administrator
Paid Member
2004-06-06 8:31 pm
Georgetown, On
Okay Madmike2,
Just audition these in the store to weed out the terrible ones. Be honest with the salespeople about your opinions. Don't forget that most of these people haven't a clue these days. Your opinion is just as valid as theirs.

Listen to the better speakers with these. You don't care about the bass yet. Listen for clarity in the mids and highs. Also listen for the (many terms around) feel or rhythm of the music, or how musical it sounds. Use music you know (bring your CD's that are natural sounding). Anything that fails this test will drive you nuts. Listen in mono, or one channel only if you can. You need to hear the music, not the mix or effects.

The bass depends a great deal on the speaker and room. You may be able to tell if the bass is sloppy or uncontrolled after a while, but this can be difficult in different stores.

Try listening at home first, with your wife or girfriend. It's amazing how well they can hear even if they don't know the terms. If they don't like something, there is something to it. Young children are good for this too.

-Chris
 
Pass Labs still up there for sound quality going all the way back to *gasp* the 90's !

Now I've just got to ask what does sound quality from the 90's sound like? Yes, thats a rediclous statement at best. My system back in the late 90's consisted of a KSA-80B, KBL line stage, PH-3 phono stage and so onand so forth. I still own the same Dynaudios I had back in the late 90's with that equipment and they're still better sounding than most of the speakers available in the same price range today. Many friends agree with that completely. Today I use those same speakers with either a DIY pair of Pass Labs Aleph 2's or my DIY KSA-50 mk-2's either of them driven by the same DIY Grounded Grid Line stage. Either configuration sounds fantastic to say the least. Both amps sound completely different, both are fairly old designs but both are amazing pieces of quipment that I built to much higher standards than either factory does. Thats what DIY allows you to do.

Todays Pass Labs equipment is far different than what they were building back in the 90's and doesn't even vaguely resemble the sound of the first product line (Aleph Series). they are even much better but the Aleph series is still in my experience a great amplifier who's sound characteristics don't dictate that it was built in the 90's.

So what does 90's sound sound like? I couldn't tell you but perhaps you could enlighten us......

Thanks,

Mark