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Transistor Amp Mentioned here in the forums? (Read 2530 times)
Lonely Raven
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Transistor Amp Mentioned here in the forums?
11/09/13 at 01:21:19
 

OK, I hope this isn't too much of a stretch - I have a friend who's looking for a good sounding transistor amp for under $1000.

Not long ago, someone mentioned a really good sounding transistor amp that I think was class D, and only about $850 or so? It's not often someone says they like a transistor amp, so it caught my attention, but I'm terrible with names.

Anyone happen to recall what amp this was? I thought it was one of our regulars who posted it...I'm hoping you see this and chime in!  ;)
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will
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Re: Transistor Amp Mentioned here in the forums?
Reply #1 - 11/09/13 at 02:09:12
 
Seems to me Maddog may have mentioned a solid state amp he thought was really good (and perhaps cheaper than 850?)...but like you, I don't exactly recall. I am thinking it was a conversation with Stone.
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« Last Edit: 11/09/13 at 02:09:47 by will »  

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tgarden
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Re: Transistor Amp Mentioned here in the forums?
Reply #2 - 11/09/13 at 02:22:43
 
I may be wrong, but I believe Lon was talking about an amp fitting this description (several weeks ago?).  This particular amp is currently being made in Ohio, and in at least one variation, the price was under $1000.  

That's all the information I currently remember.

Mike in Seattle area
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Lon
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Re: Transistor Amp Mentioned here in the forums?
Reply #3 - 11/09/13 at 02:54:39
 
Eric, I'm taking a break from posting as you know but here is the amp I was talking about earlier this year. DALAudio, made here in Westlake, Ohio. Not sure if this is what you were remembering.

Oddly enough this amp was the opposite of almost all the amps that I have had before in that I liked it more pre-burnin than I did later, but it's still a good amp for the money, and doesn't have a lot of grain and grit that other solid state amps at these price points tend to. It's biggest weakness is that I have Decware amps to compare it to, and what can stand up to that in imaging and sound staging? It has a bit of both but the Decware amps have more. Tonal balance was pretty good, didn't have the body of the EL34 Decware amps though.

I got this one for less than 400 dollars (and picked it up at the plant). Don't believe it is a Class D amp, it's a Gain Clone amp, aren't they like AB-A?

http://www.dalaudio.com/Dalaudio-Retro-3886-Chip-Amp-STD-p/dalr3886std-r2.1.htm



They have others, and preamps, and I think an Integrated with a few inputs.

http://www.dalaudio.com/default.asp
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« Last Edit: 11/09/13 at 03:45:23 by Lon »  

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Lonely Raven
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Re: Transistor Amp Mentioned here in the forums?
Reply #4 - 11/09/13 at 03:13:25
 

Description sounds right, I swear it was more though...it sounded too good to be true.   Grin

Thanks for chiming in, Lon, it's much appreciated!

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beowulf
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Re: Transistor Amp Mentioned here in the forums?
Reply #5 - 11/09/13 at 03:39:16
 
I would like to add that IMO the best sounding ss amps are MOSFET Class A.  I've had many ss amps ...

  • Class D ~ Hypex and ICE = sucked (the most un-involving, boring amplification I have ever heard bar-none)

  • Class A/B ~ Rega Brio-R = good to almost great (the Rega Brio is great because of where it hits in its price class and what you get for your money, but the amplification while good = there is better)

  • Class A MOSFET ~ B&K Components = great to almost excellent (for solid state that is).


Nothing is going to match Decware tubes, but if I were going to buy a ss amp for under $1000 I would seriously look into and demo the Parasound HALO A23.
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« Last Edit: 11/09/13 at 03:47:22 by beowulf »  
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will
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Re: Transistor Amp Mentioned here in the forums?
Reply #6 - 11/09/13 at 05:56:08
 
I found that bit I was remembering from Maddog...post 61 here: http://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1379082863/all

"Stone… I think you are into “rez”.  I got one for you to give a go… get yourself a Class D Audio SDS-470c amp and put it on your SDA-SRS’…. Then sit back and brace yourself… I have never heard transient speed, snap, dynamics and rez like this from "anything" - sand based or valves - at any price.  It will flat-out scare you at times.  Your SDA's will need the bass brace connected to keep them from toppling over backwards!  I do not jest... and if/when you check out the price of one, you'll be even more stunned & amazed!"

More complete talk from Maddog on this amp a few posts down in the same thread... post 64
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« Last Edit: 11/09/13 at 05:57:29 by will »  

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Lonely Raven
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Re: Transistor Amp Mentioned here in the forums?
Reply #7 - 11/09/13 at 06:37:11
 
THATS IT!

I now remember him mentioning sand rather than saying transistors...of course I was searching the forums for the word transistor. Duh!

So now I have two good options to suggest to my friend.

I tried to talk him into Decware, but with 91db speakers, he doesn't feel 2 watts is going to get him to the listening level he's used to - and the Torii is currently out of his realm.
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beowulf
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Re: Transistor Amp Mentioned here in the forums?
Reply #8 - 11/09/13 at 08:35:01
 
I'm telling ya ... the MOSFET Halo will be better Grin
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jsm71
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Re: Transistor Amp Mentioned here in the forums?
Reply #9 - 11/09/13 at 13:57:04
 
For those on a budget wanting traditional A/B class amps Emotiva offers price/value that is hard to beat.  They are direct sales only with 30 day return policies.  I have a pair of their powered speakers for my PC and they are amazing paired with an AudioQuest DragonFly DAC.

They are mostly known for their amps.

http://shop.emotiva.com/
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Lin
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Re: Transistor Amp Mentioned here in the forums?
Reply #10 - 11/09/13 at 14:33:33
 
What speakers?
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Transistor Amp Mentioned here in the forums?
Reply #11 - 11/09/13 at 14:44:02
 
Carnegie Acoustics Contemporary CST-1

But he's got them hooked up to a $99 Yamaha 5.1 surround amp.   Cry

He's interested in tubes, but doesn't think he can afford them. He wants something at least up to the level of his speakers so I thought one of those budget transistor amps mentioned above might work for him.
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Lin
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Re: Transistor Amp Mentioned here in the forums?
Reply #12 - 11/09/13 at 17:21:23
 
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maddog07
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Re: Transistor Amp Mentioned here in the forums?
Reply #13 - 11/12/13 at 23:31:29
 
Sorry... LR.. I missed this thread.  Yes the ClassDaudio SDS-470c was the "sand" amp/solid state "chip amp" I referred to.  I believe it is based on International Rectifier amp chips, but it has a linear power supply(not switch mode).  
I would have to know what kind of speakers your friend has before I could recommend this amp whole heartedly.  It is a very good solid state amp if "rez" and P.R.A.T. is your thing and your speakers need some juice and life injected.  This amp has a fantastic synergy with Magnepans - at least every Maggie I've heard it strapped to so far - 3 different models.  As good on Mags as anything I've ever heard.  I have a friend who unloaded his "takes two strong men to carry" Pass Labs amp and replaced it with one of these 20lb wonders to drive his 3.6 Maggies...

Even though I have of course hooked it up to my high-sensitivity, full-range, single driver, crossoverless speakers to see what it sounded like... not ideal for them at all, but not as undesirable as I expected it to sound either.  My Torii MK.III is "the amp"for these.  But for my other more conventional speakers in the stable, including my Martin Logan stats... the ClassD SDS-470c "gets it done" in a big way where the Torii simply can not due to power limitations.

I can reveal another "sleeper" amp also, that almost nobody in home audio has ever seen or heard... the Ashly FTX-2001.  You can buy these for near nothing these days if $$$ is of prime importance for your friend.  Ashly does not make this model anymore, but they do support the series III version of it, last I checked, which was this past September.  The Series III was the last version made.  These are class A/B amps with mosfet outputs.. I have owned more than one of these amps over the course of 20 years... they are the best sounding "pro" amps I've ever heard and can more than hold their own with a lot of "home oriented" hifi amps.  Easily besting the Rotels I've heard... and the Emotiva's (I've had the Emotiva XPA-2 and 3 and still have an XPA-5 in the HT) so I have heard them side-by-side.  I just sold the FTX-2001 series II that I've owned for about 10 years to a friend a couple of months ago.  After I discovered the ClassD SDS-470c... I finally decided I didn't need to keep the Ashly around as a spare/backup anymore.  Friend had a Rotel RB-990bx - and the Ashly pretty much annihilated it, across the board in a direct, volume matched A/B.  Ashly is a great company to deal with too; fast, efficient and fairly priced.  I destroyed the input board in a FTX-2001 once - my fault entirely... Ashly sent me a replacement for $40... had it in two days - they are modular being "pro amps" and are designed to be "field serviceable" - pop a few screws on the case, unplug the fried board, plug-in the new one - back in biz in 5 minutes.  I have a friend who uses the smaller version of the Ashly, the FTX-1501 and has had it about 15 years... no issues, still going strong.  Its the exact same amp, fewer output devices, smaller power supply, about 1/2 the power of the 2001.  Sounds exactly the same within its power capabilities.

I'm kind of ashamed to admit it... but I've probably owned 50+ amps during the course of my pursuit of the audio holy grail.  and if you add in the # that have passed thru my listening room on audition from a dealer or borrowed from a friend... oh boy... a bunch.  If you want to send me an email (LR we have exchanged email directly on the regenerator topic recently) and give me some details on your friends speakers, room, sources what type of music he likes and what is "his thing"audio-wise, I might be able to offer some useful suggestions for him to consider.  

Let me know...
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Transistor Amp Mentioned here in the forums?
Reply #14 - 11/13/13 at 02:21:51
 

Thanks! I really appreciate your guidance and experience!

His speakers are listed in my post a few up.

I'm still trying to figure out what he wants and what kind of music he plans on listening too. I think right now he's just more wrapped up in the mystique of tubes. He's not brought it up in a few days, so I'll see what he says.

I still have the PS Audio P3 on my radar. If I can dig up some more cash beyond the Mystery Amp, I'm all for trying one out!



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