Class A Amps

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Roger, Dec 14, 2002.

  1. Roger

    Roger Auditioning

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm about to upgrade my system from very good to "Dream" (please see my posting under speakers).

    I'm currently running a Lexicon LX-7 (7 channels X 200 watts) and a Lexicon MC 12 processor. I like the processor quite a bit but am wondering about the amp. I have a 5.1 system so I don't really need the 7 channel amp but I'm using the 2 extra channels to bi-wire my front L/R speakers (I am currently running a pr of B&W Nautilus 802's). I think it's making a big difference because ever since I did that the sound improved significantly.

    Now I'm about to upgrade my speakers, (most likely to a pair of B&W Nautilus 800's) and I'm going to make the jump to 7.1 so I will lose the ability to bi-wire my front L/R speakers. For this reason and also for the reason that I want fantastic sound from the L/R speakers (as I use only the front 2 speakers when I listen to music Cd's) I am thinking of getting 2 very good monoblock amps for the front L/R speakers.


    I understand Krell and Mark Levinson are really the only 2 manufacturers in the very high end of Class A amps although soeone recently turned me onto Classe, a Canadian company. Any comments on my situation and which amps are best would be appreciated.
     
  2. Guy Usher

    Guy Usher Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    780
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think you mean Bi-Amp. IMO I dont think there are any advantages to running class A amps anymore, they get too hot for one and there are some very nice AB amps for a tenth the price that you would be hard pressed to hear any improvement in sound quality.
    BTW Levinson, Classe, Bryston, Madrigal others (Proceed, Aargon, Accurus) are not Class A as the Krell is.
    My understanding is as with most AB amps they are Class A only to a point (first 20 watts or so) There are many Class A design PreAmps.
    I just finished reading a review of the Krell and the Levinson about I think they would interchange you could switch names and the text would still be the same, kind of like a form letter where you fill in the names.
    Dont get me wrong these amps are superb, I am not knocking them, maybe the Krell only because it is a little over the top, my friend has one that he heats his garage with. Same fellow uses Anthem amps on his everyday system with 85K worth of Danes, on a AB comparison you better have mighty good ears to hear any differences.
     
  3. MichaelBJ

    MichaelBJ Auditioning

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2001
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Roger,
    Are you near any high-end dealers ? For the monetary investment you are looking at, it might be wise to visit one that has high-end amps. As for class A amps, they do produce more heat, but some people find they sound smoother than AB amps.
    Trust your ears, Michael
     
  4. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Messages:
    7,270
    Likes Received:
    1
    also there seems to be a bit of creative liberty with regards to some class a amps actually being class a all the way through their power ratings. pays to ask a lot of questions and when in doubt, take a gander at the heat sinks as they are, if honestly designed, great little space heaters [​IMG]
     
  5. Gary_Z

    Gary_Z Auditioning

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2002
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    If an amp claims class A to 50w then class AB then what? For example teh Pass Labs X series
     
  6. Jon SS

    Jon SS Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2002
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Roger,

    Can you let me know how you find the Lexicon LX-7. I am considering this and the Theta Dreadnaught.

    Thanks
     
  7. David Young

    David Young Extra

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2002
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    And a little further afield . . .
    Gryphon and GamuT (Denmark),
    Chord[ (UK . . . a regular combination with B&W at Hi-Fi Shows)
    and
    Halcro (Australia)
     
  8. Guy Usher

    Guy Usher Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    780
    Likes Received:
    0
    switching power supply. After 50 it turns in to a sony.
     
  9. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Messages:
    7,270
    Likes Received:
    1
    now that was funny Gary! ME from australia is also fully A I believe.
     
  10. Guy Usher

    Guy Usher Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    780
    Likes Received:
    0
    I owned several class A amps over the years, best one was an "OPtonica", high end Sharp in the early 80s, 100x2 and it was a brick, I think I paid a couple grand then for a demo, they werent out long, was black with gold trim, kinda pretty. I drove a pair of JBL-L20s with it, no balls, talk about a hard clipper, at 100 watts it quit not gently either. The thing weighed about 60 pounds, I had to have it class A and all. It had a nice warm sound but it couldnt hang with the L-20s, finally put an Adcom GFA-1 on the L-20s, sounded better and had the grunt they needed. It was a classic, wish I had it today, about like turning on the Air conditioner, every light in the house would dim, I think they draw as much current idle as they do wide open, it did heat up the corner where it sat.
     
  11. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Messages:
    7,270
    Likes Received:
    1
    Yeah, those Optonicas never took off. Now Sharp's making that overpriced, cool running, digital crap.
     
  12. Craig_Kg

    Craig_Kg Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2002
    Messages:
    768
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  13. David Young

    David Young Extra

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2002
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  14. Mike_Ch

    Mike_Ch Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2001
    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    0
    Chu,
    Once again you have impressed me with your knowledge of Aussie products (I think it was you who mentioned VAF speakers in another thread)!!! However, ME is not fully Class A. I believe if you want a full Class A amp, among the other suggestions from the manufacturers already stated would be Plinius SA-102 or SA-250IV amps.
    Cheers,
    Mike
     
  15. RussKon

    RussKon Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2002
    Messages:
    184
    Likes Received:
    0
    mike,

    that link is no good....

    russ
     
  16. Mike_Ch

    Mike_Ch Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2001
    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    0
    Russ,

    Thanks, I just fixed it :b

    Mike
     
  17. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Messages:
    7,270
    Likes Received:
    1
    well that's what I get for watching the Croc Hunter. Hey lots of good things happening down under and what I think is great about that is that people have companies that they can support, if they so wish, in their own countries. funny thing is though, is that so many of us tend to look elsewhere. In the US for some, a status symbol cycle might be some top of the line Kawasaki or Suziki, but you head on over to Japan, and you've got a waiting period and a half to pick up on a Harley. One thing that's intriguing to me about those who live down under is the 'relatively' close access you've got to products made in mainland china, perhaps making a visit abroad rather cost effective.
     
  18. Craig_Kg

    Craig_Kg Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2002
    Messages:
    768
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sheesh. I might as well stop posting [​IMG] .
    Mike we post about US stuff all the time [​IMG]
    Down here, status bikes are European.
    Mainland China ain't that close. Singapore & Hong Kong on the other hand...
     
  19. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2002
    Messages:
    1,741
    Likes Received:
    0
    Have you considered LLANO design Trinity amps. They are hybrid amps with tube drivers and MOSFET (fully biased into Class A) output. They sound very smooth and fast and you would be hard pressed to beat them for the price. Class A with tube magic, now thats something to think about[​IMG].
     
  20. Ted Kim

    Ted Kim Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2002
    Messages:
    214
    Likes Received:
    0
    Class A has its advantages but also has its drawbacks. Pure class A amps will draw a lot of current from the wall. You will need to get a dedicated line if you are going to be operated a HT system that way. Krell recommends a MINIMUM of a 15 amp dedicated line for each STEREO amp. When you consider the number of channels that a HT system will require and the amount of heat generated and the demands on the electrical lines, you better be sure that your wiring is up to snuff. Another thing is that due to the high temperatures, class A amps will tend to have a shorter lifespan, particularly that of the capacitors.
    Another contender pointed out above is Pass Labs, they are also contenders for the ultra high end in class A amplification.
    http://www.passlabs.com
    I would recommend listening to a bunch of amps, Class A, AB, T, etc before making a decision.
    I have heard some great Class AB amps as well as Class A designs.
    YBA amps are great, their output devices are class AB but the power supply operates in Class A. I truly think Mr. Andre is a heck of a designer, and very intelligent.
    http://www.phlox-electronique.com
    I just bought a YBA amp and it is something special. Other amps in house include a Pass Labs Aleph 30, Citation 7.1, Sherwood Newcastle 9080, B&K ST-140. There is a certain "rightness" to the sound of the YBA that I really enjoy.
    For class T, which employs digital switching, check out the Bel Canto evO amps. They are going to run very cool and yet are reputed to sound tubelike in the mids. They have had great reviews as well.
    http://www.belcantodesign.com/index2.html
     

Share This Page