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Solid State Power Amp Curious

Discussion in 'Solid State' started by DesignTaylor, Nov 9, 2018 at 4:26 PM.

  1. DesignTaylor

    DesignTaylor New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Hey gang,

    Finally joined the forum, I've been lurking and reading for the past two years. Thanks to all the members here for all the knowledge I've gained reading up on past discussions. Anyway, onto the question at hand...

    I'm interested in getting a dedicated power amp. I'm currently using an Eico ST-70 but I'm not using the integrated phono stage, I'm using the one in my Apt-Holman pre which I find to be pretty impressive. I've had a few other integrated tubers (Fisher KX-200 and Dynaco SCA-35) as I tend to value the warmer side of things I also love to experiment, mix and match. I'm considering picking up a SS amp to see how it suits me and maybe trying to tube preamps down the road.

    So where to start? Something like the NAD 2200 seems like a safe starting point. Phase Linear 400 also caught my eye.

    I listen exclusively to vinyl on this system. All over the map from classical to jazz to rock, etc. I like a clean but warm tone profile. Currently running some Totem Arros and have a pair of JBL L40s for rock'n out.

    Let me know if you've got any suggestions for vintage solid state amps under $500 (less is always better) that fit the bill. More reliable, less finicky is also a plus.

    Thanks!
     

     

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  2. dr*audio

    dr*audio Fish fingers and custard! Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,734
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    I have several suggestions on solid state amps with warm, tube-like sound, since I own a few.
    Onkyo Grand Integra M508
    Any of the Soundcraftsmen Mosfet amps: Pro-power series, RA5501, RA5502, PM series.
    Denon POA-1500
    Sansui AU-9900, AU-11000 are integrated amps that have that kind of sound. The Power amps from that series; BA-2000 and BA-3000 should be similar.
     
  3. mbz

    mbz Super Member

    Messages:
    2,174
    Location:
    Melbourne, Victoria
    What little I know about PL 400's is that a speaker protection kit is mandatory. Next replacement on main filter caps.
    Some work would be required. The PL forum (pheonix) advocate the White Oak upgrades which will turn the standard PL400
    into something else...
    http://forums.phxaudiotape.com/
    http://home.earthlink.net/~dimlay/
    http://www.whiteoakaudio.com/

    To be fair, any vintage amp you buy will need work
     
  4. DesignTaylor

    DesignTaylor New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Thanks for the shopping list @dr*audio ! Soundcraftsmen is not a brand I've come across but will definitely do some research.

    @mbz appreciate the call outs on the PL 400

    For my current speakers, I really don't need a huge amount of power but the system is always evolving and I'd like to get something with a bit of headroom for future situations.
     
  5. Ray Gianelli

    Ray Gianelli AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,067
    Location:
    Lake Worth, FL
    @DesignTaylor , can't add much to the advice you've gotten except welcome to Audiokarma!

    Where are you located?
     
  6. Lavane

    Lavane AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,348
    Location:
    northern cal.
    The tube preamp should have more to do with how the system sounds. A good SS power amp should just amplify without adding any color to the sound. I have a couple that do just that, and one that does sound warmer than the others. I've used my tube preamps connected to SS power amps with very good results. Not so much the other way around.
     

     

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  7. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

    Messages:
    21,222
    Location:
    SE PA
    It seems every damn amp on ak has been or is in line to get recapped. We haven't made a dent in all the old amps out there, yet?
     
  8. Roadrash

    Roadrash AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    788
    Location:
    St.Louis MO
    :thumbsup:
     
    merlynski likes this.
  9. Roadrash

    Roadrash AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    788
    Location:
    St.Louis MO
    @DesignTaylor find yourself a Harmon Kardon Citation 22. It's a great amp, and can be picked up for far less than 500 bucks.
     
    tlavas likes this.
  10. DesignTaylor

    DesignTaylor New Member

    Messages:
    7
    @Ray Gianelli I'm in Austin TX.

    Thanks @Lavane - I feel like my current setup might be all backwards, but the results are not bad ;)

    @Roadrash I've bumped into the Citation 22 looking around, seems very promising, I'll do a little more digging in that direction
     
    Roadrash likes this.
  11. 62vauxhall

    62vauxhall AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,929
    After working my up from the Kenwood Model 600 I owned for nearly 30 years, I went through NAD, Hafler and now White Oaked Phase Linear. I am going no further.

    NAD and Hafler are great sounding amps and plentiful so they don't cost an arm and a leg. A Hafler DH200 or DH220 is well thought out and might interest me more than a NAD if I had to do it again. The are easy to work on, if needs demand, and upgrades/mods are fairly well documented if one wanted to go that route.

    David Hafler was no slouch about creating amplifiers.
     

     

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  12. DesignTaylor

    DesignTaylor New Member

    Messages:
    7
    @62vauxhall I've seen a lot of praise for Mr. Hafler's work. Yet another avenue to research. Thanks!
     
  13. eickmewg

    eickmewg AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    355
    I went the other direction. I have a kit-built Hafler DH200 from 1981. Got the tube bug and now have three tube amps. I still use the Hafler and it is every bit as enjoyable as the the tube amps. A DH200 should have plenty of power for you and is very easy to work on and upgrade. Also they can be had for not too much money.
     
  14. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

    Messages:
    21,222
    Location:
    SE PA
    Interesting. I swapped my third DH-200 for a pair of mono tube amps and the tube units are my best sounding amps by quite a margin, one example, Mike's jaw dropped when they were finally put in the system the day we were amp listening. The Haflers were the bottom of the group, but all amps were at least very good to excellent. A second example of that margin was listening to the main rig and swapping in the tube amps, "now that is the way it is supposed to sound" was the comment from @Aerobat.

    But I still have both the Haflers (kits from new) and both the tube amps (from early 80s trade) and today the Hafler is running full range as I rebuild the main rig with some gear that has been on the sidelines. Still sounds great. Those DH-200s are cheap, high quality power.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018 at 12:05 PM
  15. orsen

    orsen just another old cheapskate that likes audio


    i have both of those amps
    yeah the pl is kewl looking

    without mods
    the NAD is safer and too me sounds better

    i sold the pl recently
    even my vintage speakers are "higher" quality and wont be tested with a flame linear
     
  16. DesignTaylor

    DesignTaylor New Member

    Messages:
    7
    I think long-term I'd be interested in tube monoblocks but they seem like a big investment at this point and I'm interested to experiment and try my hand at SS power and a tube pre, flipping from the config I have now.

    Thanks for all the reccos!
     
    Roadrash likes this.

     

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