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Recommendations on replacing my Adcom 555 amp.


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My Adcom 555 preamp recently died and I had to quickly replace it. So to be better prepared for replacing the amp when needed, I am shopping for an amp ahead of time.

 

I was told the Acram PA 240 or Audio Control Avalon G4 would be good choices for me to consider. The Macintosh MC 152 would be perfect but a little out of my price range. What other amps woudl you recommend or feedback can you give on the Acrum and Audio Control.

 

Thanks for your input. 

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16 minutes ago, davide256 said:

 Identify the speaker please... it’s impedance curve and efficiency are what determines a good amp match. Room size can also affect watt requirements.

Focal Ariel 926 plus Focal sub.

 

Room 14.8 X 15 .3

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Your speakers are moderately efficient so a 50 watt tube amp or 100 watt solid state amp should do fine. Per Stereophile the bass driver has 4 ohms impedance so you want an amp that’s stable at that impedance value. A Prima Luna tube amp should satisfy if acoustic music is your preference. If dynamics are more important consider Odyssey Khartago or Stratos which is still a class AB amp. Not knocking your earlier choices, I don’t know them. But be wary of the rush to cheaper Class D amplifiers by many manufacturers and be sure whatever you choose is stable at 4 ohms.

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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Around 3,500. I have my eye on a McIntosh MC 152 as a ultimate amp that is a little out of my price range.. however looking further, several people have said that for their taste, the Mac is too warm, and lacks a nice top end sparkle. 

 

2 separate salesman at my stereo store highly recommended this Audio Control amp even though it is a 4 channel. They said it is not as super clean as NAD and has a little more character similar to a a macintosh but less money.

https://www.techweekmag.com/reviews/hi-fi/audiocontrol-avalon-g4-review/

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Give the Mc a listen, if you can. If you like it I bet you could find a good used one that would fit right into your budget.

 

An outlier suggestion might be either a pair of Schiit Vidar mono's or a pair of Schiit Aegir Monos. Those are 1600 or less for the pair.

 

edit: To run those in mono you need a truly balanced pre however.

 

edit: Like this for example...  https://www.usaudiomart.com/details/649746934-mcintosh-mc152-power-amplifier/

No electron left behind...

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I just checked the specs on those speakers. While the specs say that the minimum power is 40 watts, it also says that the minimum impedance is 2.9 meaning your amp needs to be pretty stout. Not necessarily with big wattage but ability to drive a speaker at low impedance.

 

As a Mcintosh owner, I don't find the amp dark or overly warm. I find it musical. Considering that, imo, Focal tweeters are a bit bright, the Mc152 may be a great match for it. 

 

I am listening right now and I don't feel the treble is lacking any clarity or sparkle where it's required.

No electron left behind...

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The Adcom was very good at current delivery to the speaker, with fairly low ohms on the speaker, to find such an amp these days is somewhat difficult, since the adoption of Class D has set the pace to an irreversible doom.

 

The other amp of its kind was the Citation series, these are also gone now, although Electrocompaniet has carried on that tradition in their power amp line, have a look at  AW250R, can deliver 100A peak, so should be very stable below 2 ohms. 

 

An alternative are the Accuphase amps, they can deliver to 1 ohm, but beyond the price limit.

 

Yamaha have changed their philosophy somewhat to more traditional amp design for the better. Their A-S2200 has damping factor of over 250, indication of good current delivery and control of the speaker.

 

So apart from the foundation technically, the sound is another drama. 

 

AS Profile Equipment List        Say NO to MQA

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46 minutes ago, One and a half said:

The Adcom was very good at current delivery to the speaker, with fairly low ohms on the speaker, to find such an amp these days is somewhat difficult, since the adoption of Class D has set the pace to an irreversible doom.

 

 

It makes me wonder how good my Adcom 555 is. When it was released all reviewers were saying it was almost sound as good as very high end amps. How much better would a Audio Research be? How different would the Macintosh sound, better or just different? 

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4 minutes ago, Revelation said:

It makes me wonder how good my Adcom 555 is. When it was released all reviewers were saying it was almost sound as good as very high end amps. How much better would a Audio Research be? How different would the Macintosh sound, better or just different? 

Sorry, I haven't listened to either of suggested mentioned amps for years, so cannot comment from an SQ perspective. 

AS Profile Equipment List        Say NO to MQA

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1 minute ago, Revelation said:

It makes me wonder how good my Adcom 555 is...

 

How old is your Adcom 555? I purchased my Adcom 555II amp 28 years ago in 1993, and know that at sometime it too must die.

 

One of the reasons for choosing the Adcom 555II was because it tested stable down to 1 ohm. My Infinity Reference Standard 7 Kappa's are 4 ohm speakers that dips down to 2 ohms are certain frequencies, making it a problem for many amps. So I am also curious of recommendations offered for you.

I have dementia. I save all my posts in a text file I call Forums.  I do a search in that file to find out what I said or did in the past.

 

I still love music.

 

Teresa

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6 hours ago, Teresa said:

 

How old is your Adcom 555? I purchased my Adcom 555II amp 28 years ago in 1993, and know that at sometime it too must die.

 

One of the reasons for choosing the Adcom 555II was because it tested stable down to 1 ohm. My Infinity Reference Standard 7 Kappa's are 4 ohm speakers that dips down to 2 ohms are certain frequencies, making it a problem for many amps. So I am also curious of recommendations offered for you.

 

I am pretty sure the McIntosh will drive the hell out of anything. The rated output is continuous into 4 or 8 ohms, They can actually push much higher for shorter periods of time.

No electron left behind...

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I find it interesting that you have Infinity Kappa speakers. I have the Infinity Kappa 6 speakers with my Adcom.

 

Recently I noticed half volume in one of the tweeters compared to the other tweeter. The poly material on the mid speaker was very hard and a darker yellow as well. Due to the age, I decided to finally upgrade my speakers.

 

As I have Focal Twins in my recording studio and World Wide Stereo by me carried them I decided to just go for their home stereo speakers. I decided on the Aria series. I would have chosen the 936 to get the lows I wanted but the 926 were half off with the walnut sides as they were being discontinued. The clear black color is more popular and the one with the walnut sides is a identical speaker.

 

The Focals provide so much more detail in the mids and it's more balanced than the Infinity which are very bass heavy. The Focal highs are not harsh but again are not as relaxed as the ribbon tweeters on the Infinity's. I'm so happy I upgraded them.

 

20210604_171258.jpg

20210604_122844.jpg

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I think it’s hard to find a truly “bad” amplifier in your price range.

Technically, the Benchmark AHB2 is probably the best amp in your price range and should be more than enough to power your system. But sometimes, when you have too much transparency, you start hearing the flaws of your other components.

 

I think your dealer recommendations of the Arcam PA240 and Audio Control Avalon G4 are great. Ideally, you’d want to find out if you can get an at-home demo. My suspicion is that you’ll prefer the Arcam (having listened to it before) whereas I’ve only listened to older Audio Control amplifiers in home theatre systems. The main advantages of getting from your dealer are warranty service and the ability to demo the product. And as a general principle, I prefer to support my local dealers whenever possible because to me, there are a surprisingly amount of bad or overpriced products out there that get phenomenally positive online reviews so if all the local dealers die off, it becomes more difficult to separate the gems from the garbage.

Roon (convolution filter using Acourate) > ultraRendu > Peachtree X1 (Toslink) > Chord Hugo M-Scaler > Chord DAVE > Chord Etude > Dynaudio Confidence C1 Signature + Sunfire TS-EQ10 subwoofers

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9 hours ago, Revelation said:

I find it interesting that you have Infinity Kappa speakers. I have the Infinity Kappa 6 speakers with my Adcom.

 

Recently I noticed half volume in one of the tweeters compared to the other tweeter. The poly material on the mid speaker was very hard and a darker yellow as well. Due to the age, I decided to finally upgrade my speakers.

 

As I have Focal Twins in my recording studio and World Wide Stereo by me carried them I decided to just go for their home stereo speakers. I decided on the Aria series. I would have chosen the 936 to get the lows I wanted but the 926 were half off with the walnut sides as they were being discontinued. The clear black color is more popular and the one with the walnut sides is a identical speaker.

 

The Focals provide so much more detail in the mids and it's more balanced than the Infinity which are very bass heavy. The Focal highs are not harsh but again are not as relaxed as the ribbon tweeters on the Infinity's. I'm so happy I upgraded them.

 

20210604_171258.jpg

20210604_122844.jpg

 

I bought my  Infinity Kappa 7 speakers over 30 years ago. I had to replace the surrounds on the woofers several years ago. My midrange drivers have also yellowed but have not hardened yet. The level of the right and left EMIT tweeters appears to be the same.

 

I have been hoping these will last the rest of my life, (I'm getting close to 70) as it is hard to find floor standing speakers I can afford with 12 inch woofers. I purchased the last new ones The Good Guys had at a clearance price of 50% off retail, $700 for the pair. The Good Guys dropped the Infinity line of speakers. That left their demo pair that I heard, I've often wondered how cheap that pair went for. Anyway, right place, right time.

I have dementia. I save all my posts in a text file I call Forums.  I do a search in that file to find out what I said or did in the past.

 

I still love music.

 

Teresa

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