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Recently I posted a question about whether I should consider an Adcom
555 amplifier. I want to say thanks again for all of the feedback that
I received. After some thought I bought a GFA-5400 from a fellow inmate
and have been comparing it to my Nad C272. This is my first Adcom
amplifier. I have 3 different sets of speakers and after much
experimentation I have foung the combination that delivers the type
of sound that I was looking for. I am using an Arcam C31 preamp of
which I really like. I read once that a really good preamp can
bring out the best of the Adcoms and I find this to be true. The
combination that delivered the best sound for me is when I use the
5400 with my vintage EV Interface 3s. I also found that letting the
amp warm up at least 30 mins makes a world of difference.
So here is my question...the 5400 only has 125 w/ch. Should I consider
getting a 5500, 5800, or 5802 to get a bit more oomph or keep what I
have. My EVs are pretty efficient at 92db. I am also considering getting
the 5400 modded.
I would like to hear your thoughts on this...
I did have the Adcom GFA-5400, the NAD C272, and I am still using the Arcam C31 preamp!
I used the Adcom with different speakers, most notably with B&W 802.
In my opinion, the Adcom is excellent for its price range, and powerful enough for most speakers. The NAD is good also, but emphasizes a little bit too much the medium range. I like a lot the Arcam C31 preamp, nothing better below $3,000+. Arcam amplifiers, in the other hand, are a little bit weak and unexciting.
I found the 'perfect' amplifier in the Musical Fidelity A3.2cr. If you can afford it, I would give it a shot. One notch above the Adcom, also,the Sonographe SA-250 by Conrad-Johnson.
I would bet my story at how I arrived at the C272 and 5400 is different
though. You mention the MF A3.2. At one time I have the MF A3.2
and the MF Nu-Vista integrateds along with a set of Vandersteen 3As.
This combo sounded great depending upon the type of music you
like. I listen to alot of classic hard rock and heavy metal. While
I thought the older MF amps were very nice sounding amps I found
them to be too laid back for my tastes. Not enough slam for me.
At the time I owned the MF Nu-Vista integrated and the Vandersteen 3As
I borrowed a friend's Nad C372 integrated which opened my eyes to
the newer Nad amps. I sold both the MF Nu-Vista integrated and
the Vandersteens and bought the Nad C272 amp and the matching C162
preamp. Since then I tried a tube preamp and then finally the Arcam
C31. I have listened to many amplifiers since purchasing the Nad C272
and the Adcom 5400 has been the only thing I have heard that had
more slam and sounded better to me for the type of music I enjoy.
I guess I am just wondering if the 5500 or 5800 are better.
I agree with your speakers the 5400 should be enough power. I had a 5400 and later bought a 5500. I thought the 5500 was not only an increase in power but had better sound, the top end was smoother, even better bass, but the 5500 had a warmer earthy tone to it. I wish I had hung on to the 5500 just for that sort of unique sonic signature it has. I haven't heard the 555.
To gain an additional 3db in volume you will need to double the power. I am driving my vintage 91db Altec 15s with 20 wpc. I think your set.
when using a McCormack passive pre with my 555II. Liked it better than my Adcom pre-amp and was looking around for different pre-amps until going tube integrated. Haven't tried any of the other Adcom amps you listed but, IME, my 555II has all the power you might want with decent sound quality. Never did get around to trying any other different pres with the 555II but always wondered about a tube pre.
The 5400 is newer than the 555.
upgrade the parts in your pre amp first, followed by mods/upgrades to the 5400
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