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Anthem MCA 30 vs Adcom GFA 5503

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Andrew Pezzo, Apr 28, 2005.

  1. Andrew Pezzo

    Andrew Pezzo Second Unit

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    Have been looking at adding a three channel amp for my Paradigm Studio 20's and CC-470 (all v.3) and have narrowed it down to Anthem and Adcom. I have found very little info on either amp so I would like some thoughts from other members that have any experience with the two listed.

    There are not any Anthem dealers close to me so testing out the MCA 30 is going to be tough. AS for the Adcom, I have not heard great things about them (reliabilty) but since I have not owned an Adcom products and I cant validate that. I would probably be able to get a better deal on the Adcom but my mind is leaning towards the Anthem.

    I would apprecite to hear what anyone has to say. Also, I could get an Arcam FMJ amp but my only concern is its half the wpc as the others I am looking at. Plus, its a bit more money and I have no experience with Arcam at all.
     
  2. MikeDuke

    MikeDuke Stunt Coordinator

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    Disclaimer: I have no experience with either one. My opinion is based on research of these products. I would most likely go for the Anthem. The quality I would assume is better. Not to mention that Paradigm and Anthem are under the same parent company. I just think that the Anthem is a higher quality product. If your mind is leaning that way, then that should be the one. What you want to try and minimize is that feeling of regret. "Only if I had been more patient and waited a bit longer." That is not a good feeling.
     
  3. VinhT

    VinhT Second Unit

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    In the March 2004 issue of Stereophile, there was a review of the GFA-7805 (300Wx5). Of particular interest is that during the objective examination, it was discovered that the amplifier lacked adequate heatsinking. It is not unreasonable to assume that perhaps all of Adcom's amplifiers share a similar design paradigm. Although the issue of inadequate heat dissipation does not manifest itself during normal use, it should be taken into account because modern amplifiers are all so competent that frequently, the only differences are the intangibles.
     
  4. Andrew Pezzo

    Andrew Pezzo Second Unit

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    Mike - in my limited search I would agree with what you said. My local dealer that sells Adcom isnt very high on them and they may drop the line. Plus, the fact that Anthem and Paradigm fall under the same umbrella tells me the products should mate very nicely.

    I am also adding the BK Ref 200.3 to the list if I can find one.
     
  5. Brian Fellmeth

    Brian Fellmeth Supporting Actor

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    I know nothing of adcom, but the anthem MCA series is fantastic.
     
  6. Edward M

    Edward M Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm also looking for a 3 channel amp for my front 3 channels. I'm going to let my Denon 3801 reciever handle surround duty. My speakers are as follows: Paradigm studio V2, 40's, CC, and 4 20's as surrounds. Using an ACI Titan sub.

    A few weeks ago I brought home 2 local amps for demo. A Rotel 1075 5 channel and a Anthem MCA 20 2 channel.

    My opinion was that the Anthem far bettered the Rotel in transparency, soundstage depth, etc, etc. It was clearly a better amp. Anthem says the MCA 30 will sound identical to the MCA 20...with 2 channels driven. And that the MCA 50 is a only a 20 and 30 in one case.

    And since the lower power PVA series amps use the same electronic "front end" it would sound the same as the MCA should I add a PVA 5 or a pair of PVA 2's for surround duty in the event I go to a separate prepro.

    In my opinion it's best to keep the front 3 speakers powered with the same amplifier and amp power to maintain seamlessness. At least as close as possible. And the surrounds don't generally require that much power.

    Hope this helps,
    Ed
     
  7. wayne p

    wayne p Stunt Coordinator

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    I have owned the early version of the MCA series, the MCA-5, since June 2000. This amp powers the 100's, a CC and 20's, all v2. I have operated it daily since that time. I don't turn on the TV without the rest of the system. I listen to music at least 5 times per week at realistic levels and movies most weekends. In other words I have put a lot hours on it, and many of them at high volumes.

    The amp is quiet, has a very low noise floor, dynamic and keeps a tight control of LF.

    Through out this level of use I have never had any issues with this amp. It has been 100% dependable. It can warm up after a bit, but never approaching the point of concern even after a "serious session". I do feed it from a dedicated 20 amp circuit and allow the heat sinks to do their job.

    The MCA series represents very good value in sonics and build quality. Balanced inputs and on/off trigger options are a bonus. I Have mated mine with an AVM-20 since Nov. /01 or /02, I can't recall which, and have been free of the upgrade bug ever since other then to keep the pre/pro current.

    I have no experience with the Adcom, but can highly recommend Anthem.

    wp
     
  8. mackie

    mackie Supporting Actor

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    Just to throw in another choice take a look at outlaw. I use two M200 monoblocks to drive my Studio 40 v3. They have several amps to choose from.
     
  9. Andrew Pezzo

    Andrew Pezzo Second Unit

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    Well, I was all set to go with the MCA 30 when I was able to get a killer deal on an Earthquake Cinenova 3 channel amp (300 wpc). In fact, I am paying a bit less for the EQ amp and its brand new from authorized dealer. Kinda of made the decision real easy. My 20's are going are going to be very happy and when I upgrade to bigger speakers (maybe the 60's) I will have plenty of power for them.
     
  10. Andrew Pezzo

    Andrew Pezzo Second Unit

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    mackie - i had looked at getting 3 outlaw monoblocks but didnt want to deal with all the power cords. I live in an apartment and do not have many outlets to work with.
     
  11. mackie

    mackie Supporting Actor

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    Looks like you got a good amp. I like Outlaw because of the bang for the buck level of performance their products offer. I'm of the mindset that solid state amps that have a flat frequency response and aren't driven to the point of clipping mostly sound the same. Having said that, I won't pass up a good deal on one of the big names if I can get a good price one it. I agree having multiple mono blocks can take up a lot of space. I hope you enjoy your amps with your 20s. I just spent the past couple of hours laying around listening to tunes on my 40s. Awesome speakers.
     
  12. Lee-c

    Lee-c Second Unit

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    I can't comment on the other models of Adcom amps, but we have a GFA-5500 amp, which is two channel
    and delivers 350 watts continuous power into 4ohms and it performs excellently. It has
    plenty of heatsink capacity, even when pushing it very hard for a long time it doesn't
    get hot, just warm.

    And we have it hooked up to VMPS RM2 main speakers, which are very revealing top-quality speakers.
    And the sound is very smooth, sweet and powerful with this amp. And this is despite the fact
    that the RM2's need lots of power when you crank them up and there is plenty of bass that
    needs to be played. Those 12 inch woofers are monsters. [​IMG]
     

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