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Old 12th September 2020, 05:12 PM   #1
lt cdr data is offline lt cdr data  Wales
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Default best amp designers

who are your solid state amp design heroes?

ie those you rate the best? or companies, too
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Old 12th September 2020, 05:46 PM   #2
duncan2 is offline duncan2  United Kingdom
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JLH-JLH-JLH although I do admire D.Self,s brain.
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Old 12th September 2020, 06:16 PM   #3
tvrgeek is offline tvrgeek  United States
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There are a lot of competent designers out there, but I have to go with who designed several amps I found that flat out sounded the best or at least tops in their market.

John Curl for the 1200 Mk II. Not sure I have heard better. Toss up to the Aragon.
Erno Bolbery for the Hitachi MOSFETS
Nelson Pass for the several efforts, some cheap, some expensive
Whoever designed the Aragon.
David Hafler for getting the most of the least.
David Manley for bringing tubes into the 20th century.
Some of the old Kenwoods were better than others of the time. Fet front ends etc.

Of course I think MY amp is the best, but I only can claim to listen to the advice of several of the above as well as Self, Cordell, Leach, and many others. I did nothing original or brilliant, just paid attention to those smarter than I. Like Tom Lehrer said:
" When in doubt plagiarize.
Let no ones work evade your eyes.
That's why God gave you eyes.
Plagiarize plagiarize plagiarize"

Or like I prefer, to copy one is plagiarism, to copy many is research.

I might also comment on how many rather poor amps have been built. When I bought my B&K, I brought home to audition probably 20 amps. About everything under $1000 at the time. Surprising how bad some were. Brown stands out. A PS was nice. Carver was clever, but his amps were not. Hafler Trans-nova sounded nice, but the transformers buzzed. There was a 100W Krell I remember being impressed with. Pre-insane price stuff. There was some amp-of-the week, from New Zealand I think, was not that great. It was a long time ago, so hard to remember. Early Cary amps if you like butter poured all over your music. JoLita was nice for a contemporary affordable tube, but 12W ran out of oomph in my office. ( Replaced by a Nad and then a Creek) The early Quad amp was under-rated. Niam was good.
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Old 12th September 2020, 06:26 PM   #4
wiseoldtech is offline wiseoldtech  United States
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Early on, Roland designed some amps for Harman Kardon, and these all were very smooth, non-faitiquing and reliable amps.
Even today, they stand the test of time quite nicely.

The older Rotel amps are also built well.
Bohemian Guru sagacious, professional.
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Old 12th September 2020, 06:40 PM   #5
Mark Johnson is offline Mark Johnson  United States
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best amp designers
Where are the Krell worshippers? Where are the Conrad Johnson devotees? How about Electrocompaniet? Audio Research? Boulder? Bryston? Will no one stand up for Peter Walker of Quad? Malcolm Hawksford? Marshall Leach? Julian Vereker?

I myself believe Bob Cordell belongs on the short list of Best Amp Designers.


Last edited by Mark Johnson; 12th September 2020 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 12th September 2020, 09:15 PM   #6
H713 is offline H713  United States
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Terry Clarke of MC2.
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Old 12th September 2020, 09:35 PM   #7
latala is offline latala  United Kingdom
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best amp designers
John Farlow of Exposure
Brian Powell of Crimson
Neil now no longer with us from Allbarry
What do you mean best designer some of the best designers are not marketing men
Once a design has been created the designer can then be obsolete for years
its a very hard life
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Old 12th September 2020, 10:15 PM   #8
llwhtt is offline llwhtt  United States
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Love him or hate him I say James Bongiorno needs to be on the list. I see a lot of JB in the early Krells, Cerwin Vegas, etc.

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Old 12th September 2020, 10:24 PM   #9
presscot is offline presscot  Thailand
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Montgomery Ross at Carver and ADS
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Old 12th September 2020, 10:34 PM   #10
MarcelvdG is online now MarcelvdG  Netherlands
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Peter Walker and everyone else involved in the design of the QUAD-405,
Peter Baxandall,
and if the question were not limited to solid state amplifiers: L. V. Viddeleer.

When it's about amplifiers in general rather than specifically audio amplifiers: also Ernst Nordholt, Han Huijsing, Frans Tol.

Last edited by MarcelvdG; 12th September 2020 at 10:37 PM.
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