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Go Back   Blu-ray Forum > Audio > Pre/Pro, Amplifiers and Separate Systems

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Old 05-17-2010, 04:57 PM   #1
arrt vandelay arrt vandelay is offline
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ok, so i didn't find an adcom thread, so i figured i'd start one. i have owned a 2 channel gfa 545 II and just bought a 5 channel gfa 7400. both amps were made in the mid to late 90s(7400 may be a little younger), so they have some age. but these things are friggin built like tanks, and it's great to see the "made in usa" on the back.

i loved my gfa 545 II enough to take a chance on the gfa 7400, and i'm quite glad i did. i certainly don't need separates, but older adcoms certainly are affordable and never seem to die.

any other adcom owners in the forum?
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Old 05-17-2010, 06:49 PM   #2
talstarone talstarone is offline
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Hi arrt,my Friend.
I guess you could count me in,on two different accounts.

One is the Adcom GFA-545II I purchased from a member of this Forum About a week and a half ago.

And then,since 1996,I have owned a Wonderful Adcom GSP-560.Which is a Surround Sound Processor with Built in Amps.It has not given me any troubles in the 14 years I have owned her.And in some ways,sounds as good(even Better)then other processors.

Very Nice Purchase on the Adcom GFA-7400.I imagine it sounds wonderful covering 5-Channels of Adcom Goodness.

They Are Built Exceptionally Well.But use extremely High Quality Parts in Areas where they could save some money.

But Adcom has a Strong,Powerful Sound.
Not A Bass Heavy Sound, but its not lacking any signal to the lowest frequencies obtainable.

And its mid is somewhat forward with a Good Clarity and a Great Reproduction of Voices and Sound Effects.And a Wonderfully Full High End.Not Laid Back,but not Bright and Artifically sounding either.

Adcom simply takes the signal it receives and not only makes it Louder.
It Also Gives It A Distinct Sound,That Is Strictly "ADCOM".
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Old 05-17-2010, 06:57 PM   #3
arrt vandelay arrt vandelay is offline
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Originally Posted by talstarone View Post
Hi arrt,my Friend.
I guess you could count me in,on two different accounts.

One is the Adcom GFA-545II I purchased from a member of this Forum About a week and a half ago.

And then,since 1996,I have owned a Wonderful Adcom GSP-560.Which is a Surround Sound Processor with Built in Amps.It has not given me any troubles in the 14 years I have owned her.And in some ways,sounds as good(even Better)then other processors.

Very Nice Purchase on the Adcom GFA-7400.I imagine it sounds wonderful covering 5-Channels of Adcom Goodness.

They Are Built Exceptionally Well.But use extremely High Quality Parts in Areas where they could save some money.

But Adcom has a Strong,Powerful Sound.
Not A Bass Heavy Sound, but its not lacking any signal to the lowest frequencies obtainable.

And its mid is somewhat forward with a Good Clarity and a Great Reproduction of Voices and Sound Effects.And a Wonderfully Full High End.Not Laid Back,but not Bright and Artifically sounding either.

Adcom simply takes the signal it receives and not only makes it Louder.
It Also Gives It A Distinct Sound,That Is Strictly "ADCOM".
am loving the 7400 even more pushing some new deftechs i scored off of craiglist this past weekend. i see where you got some paradigms. looks like we're both going through a re-do/re-vamp...fun stuff. at least we know the adcoms will be there probably longer than any new speakers we acquire...
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Old 05-17-2010, 09:06 PM   #4
HedgeHog HedgeHog is offline
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Congrats on your new acquisition!

Adcom was my very first better system....it was high end to me back in 89. I ran the GFP-555 with the GFA-555 through B&W CM2s. Absolutely loved it...still do. That system is hibernating in a room but I plan setting it back up again. I still recall there were tons of ads in the back of Stereophile and The Absolute Sound that offer mods to Adcom...WonderCaps, better connectors, etc. Ah, the good old days.
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Old 05-17-2010, 09:51 PM   #5
sydney sydney is offline
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I have the GFA 555 the GFA 5500 a GFA 5*** cant remember # but its 4 ch and 2 can be bridged mono to make it 3 ch. all of them from the 1980s, only had to replace some fuses.
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Old 05-17-2010, 11:48 PM   #6
arrt vandelay arrt vandelay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HedgeHog View Post
Congrats on your new acquisition!

Adcom was my very first better system....it was high end to me back in 89. I ran the GFP-555 with the GFA-555 through B&W CM2s. Absolutely loved it...still do. That system is hibernating in a room but I plan setting it back up again. I still recall there were tons of ads in the back of Stereophile and The Absolute Sound that offer mods to Adcom...WonderCaps, better connectors, etc. Ah, the good old days.
yeah, adcoms seemed to rule the 90s. most of their newer stuff seems over-priced when compared to the likes of emotiva, etc nowadays, but the older stuff is where it's at. everything built very well and could very well last for another 10 or 20 yrs...
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Old 05-17-2010, 11:49 PM   #7
arrt vandelay arrt vandelay is offline
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Originally Posted by sydney View Post
I have the GFA 555 the GFA 5500 a GFA 5*** cant remember # but its 4 ch and 2 can be bridged mono to make it 3 ch. all of them from the 1980s, only had to replace some fuses.
so you're going on 25yrs or so? gotta love that...
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Old 05-18-2010, 03:44 PM   #8
talstarone talstarone is offline
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The 90's were completely different.
But it was the beginning of HT and the demise of 2-Ch. When I started in 1991,you saw mostly standard Pre-Amps,unless you got a Receiver or something in the High Dollar Mark Levinson,Audio Research,Krell type of component.

When Adcom brought out the GSP-560 in 1995,it was revolutionary,for the price and features.Just add it to your current systems tape loop and enjoy the best of both worlds.

And also what started Adcoms fall from grace.They didn't deliver a lot of the same quality and performance in their HT gear as their 2-Channel Gear.They held on to 2-Channel a little too long.

While Pioneer Elite,Sony ES,Rotel,started investing a large part of their R&D and new products towards HT.I still have my Adcom GSP-560.And it still works perfectly well(last I checked)But to be 25,just divorced with a 35 inch Toshiba CRT,Rotel RC-980BX Pre-Amp,Rotel RB-930AX Amp,Pioneer Elite 54 CD Player,Adcom GSP-560 Processor/Center&Surround Amp,Pioneer LaserDisc,Def Tec DR-7's up front,B&W DM Center,with Mirage 90i surrounds and a Mirage BPS-150 Powered Sub.I was loving life.

Every Friday after work,straight to Suncoast Video for a new LaserDisc.But my Local Hi-End store carried Rotel and Adcom.Now only Rotel.As Adcom isn't thought about too much when HT is considered.In fact to a lot of people Adcom is like,what,who?

But their ads in the magazines in the early 1990's with the illustrated men and a pic of one of their components was a standard.
Even Rotel,now has lost some appeal.As the mid-market is disappearing.
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Old 05-18-2010, 03:52 PM   #9
arrt vandelay arrt vandelay is offline
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any adcom owners leave their amps on all the time? i'm thinking of leaving my gfa 7400 on all the time to avoid the thump. maybe i should try for a month to see the effect on the power bill...


my gfa 7400 has that trademark adcom "pop/thump" during power on that's more pronounced than it was on my gfa 545II. i think it's just the fact that the gfa 7400 is running all channels now so every speaker is getting the "thump." the sound scared me at first, but after researching it i know that probably all adcoms have the same "hello, you just turned me on sound." no pansy soft relays to get in the way of the signal here...
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:22 PM   #10
talstarone talstarone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arrt vandelay View Post
any adcom owners leave their amps on all the time? i'm thinking of leaving my gfa 7400 on all the time to avoid the thump. maybe i should try for a month to see the effect on the power bill...


my gfa 7400 has that trademark adcom "pop/thump" during power on that's more pronounced than it was on my gfa 545II. i think it's just the fact that the gfa 7400 is running all channels now so every speaker is getting the "thump." the sound scared me at first, but after researching it i know that probably all adcoms have the same "hello, you just turned me on sound." no pansy soft relays to get in the way of the signal here...
I am glad you brought that up,my Friend. I was wondering if all Adcoms had that quick turn on noise.I know some people describe it as a soft thump.
But what would you think if it was described as a quiter version of the sound a Microwave Makes for about a 1/2 second.

Do you think it would be the same thing.As it only occurs for about 1/2 second when the Power Button gets pushed On.And its not with my Adcom,I call it an On Thump(more like a thud)
But someone else described theirs that way.

And since it occurs just at that time,I would think its the same noise as powering up.

I do know many people that do leave their amp on continiously.They say that having certain parts already "warmed up" allows it to sound better.Sort of like the AC or heat in a car.Cranking it up and turning it on for about 5 maybe 10 minutes before you leave.So its comfortable when you get in.

I have also heard some say it increases the life span,as certain parts aren't subjected to the "shock" of powering on and off.I dont know if its for solid state or tube amps, or both.
Or if its totally untrue or completely right.I will make it a point when reading thru my mags each month I pay attention to if that point is mentioned.

I may also leave Adcom a customer service question about this.I know Adcom and Rotels websites have always provided quick,courteous replies, to any question or comment I ever leave.

Also,as far as power consumption is involved;I dont think it would add an extra $2 or $3 dollars total.

I look at the levels on my Line Conditioner when I power up and when in use.And it really doesn't pull a lot of current.

My LCD TV I had last year used more current then my AVR and Blu Ray Player Combined.When I got the projector I gave it to my Dad.As I have to live at home because of my physical state.And my parents are in their upper 60's.So they have their own,seperate bedrooms now.And they both had 26inch LCD's in each.And my Dad leaves his TV on all night,almost every night.

So,I didn't need my TV with the Projector(because I never watch TV)Maybe the weather or a major world event(and sports)but thats all.
So,I gave my Dad my 37 inch LCD(and he gave me his 26in for set up and On-Screen Display Menus)So I dont have to fire up the projector for that.

But our light bill jumped up $10.00 a month,with the change in TV's in his room.
If you have a Line Conditioner with a curent or amp read out.Watch how much it increases and drops when you turn different components on and off.

I hope you have been enjoying the new Amp.
Must have made a nice change in allowing the amp to power those channels,instead of the AVR.

When you have some time,I would love to hear how you feel about your new multi-channel Adcom.(Also compare it to the 545II you sold me.I wont take anything the wrong way,I promise).

I would just like to know if with different models and different years.How the sound changed as they introduced newer models and new technologies.
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:57 PM   #11
sydney sydney is offline
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I leave my Adcom amps on all the time, the only amps I turn on and off are my tube amps.
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:14 PM   #12
arrt vandelay arrt vandelay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sydney View Post
I leave my Adcom amps on all the time, the only amps I turn on and off are my tube amps.
yeah, i think i'm going to try this for a month. of course the results could be skewed b/c of the summer right around the corner and the a/c kicking on. right now, my power bills come in ~$45 to $55 a month(considering just my wife and i live in a 1900sq ft 4 bedroom house, i think that's really good). during the summer the bills can spike to ~$120 or so depending on how hot it is. if i realistically am only adding $3 to $5 bucks a month, i think i'll just leave the adcom on all the time...
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:24 PM   #13
arrt vandelay arrt vandelay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talstarone View Post
I am glad you brought that up,my Friend. I was wondering if all Adcoms had that quick turn on noise.I know some people describe it as a soft thump.
But what would you think if it was described as a quiter version of the sound a Microwave Makes for about a 1/2 second.

Do you think it would be the same thing.As it only occurs for about 1/2 second when the Power Button gets pushed On.And its not with my Adcom,I call it an On Thump(more like a thud)
But someone else described theirs that way.

And since it occurs just at that time,I would think its the same noise as powering up.

I do know many people that do leave their amp on continiously.They say that having certain parts already "warmed up" allows it to sound better.Sort of like the AC or heat in a car.Cranking it up and turning it on for about 5 maybe 10 minutes before you leave.So its comfortable when you get in.

I have also heard some say it increases the life span,as certain parts aren't subjected to the "shock" of powering on and off.I dont know if its for solid state or tube amps, or both.
Or if its totally untrue or completely right.I will make it a point when reading thru my mags each month I pay attention to if that point is mentioned.

I may also leave Adcom a customer service question about this.I know Adcom and Rotels websites have always provided quick,courteous replies, to any question or comment I ever leave.

Also,as far as power consumption is involved;I dont think it would add an extra $2 or $3 dollars total.

I look at the levels on my Line Conditioner when I power up and when in use.And it really doesn't pull a lot of current.

My LCD TV I had last year used more current then my AVR and Blu Ray Player Combined.When I got the projector I gave it to my Dad.As I have to live at home because of my physical state.And my parents are in their upper 60's.So they have their own,seperate bedrooms now.And they both had 26inch LCD's in each.And my Dad leaves his TV on all night,almost every night.

So,I didn't need my TV with the Projector(because I never watch TV)Maybe the weather or a major world event(and sports)but thats all.
So,I gave my Dad my 37 inch LCD(and he gave me his 26in for set up and On-Screen Display Menus)So I dont have to fire up the projector for that.

But our light bill jumped up $10.00 a month,with the change in TV's in his room.
If you have a Line Conditioner with a curent or amp read out.Watch how much it increases and drops when you turn different components on and off.

I hope you have been enjoying the new Amp.
Must have made a nice change in allowing the amp to power those channels,instead of the AVR.

When you have some time,I would love to hear how you feel about your new multi-channel Adcom.(Also compare it to the 545II you sold me.I wont take anything the wrong way,I promise).

I would just like to know if with different models and different years.How the sound changed as they introduced newer models and new technologies.
well for one thing, the turn-on noise of the gfa 545II was more of a general "thud." the turn-on noise of the gfa 7400 via 12v trigger from my receiver is more of a "pop." either way, my speakers were/are no worse for wear. to be honest, i don't really notice that much difference in sound. i think what i do notice is the obvious difference in 5 separately amplified channels vs. 2. everything just seems to, dare i say it, have more balls. also, i swapped out my energy towers just 2 or 3 days after i hooked up the new amp, so my ears didn't have that much time to discern a difference.

i actually haven't wached a blu ray yet since acquiring the new amp. i have one i'd like to watch(the 2nd boondock saints movie), but the wife has vetoed so i'll probably have to wait until the weekend for that. my most pleasurable experience so far w/ the amp has been watching "the pacific." the amp paired with the deftechs did an awesome job there. also, more so in praise of the deftechs than the adcom, i was able to blast some tunes this morning will getting ready for work(wife normally leaves earlier than me so had the house to myself), and i was really impressed w/ the full spectrum sound that the bp10 and adcom combination could churn out...
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:28 PM   #14
HedgeHog HedgeHog is offline
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I connected the ACE-515 to control them...the thump is much softer when turning on and fizzes out when going off. The idea is to have preamp control on first and off last to minimize the thump. A lot of AV ups/line conditioners have delayed on/off now so you get that option readily.

For the record, I always turned everything off when not using it...I don't think solid state amps need too much warming up to sound good; unlike tubies. Unless your place is like a fridge.
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:49 PM   #15
arrt vandelay arrt vandelay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HedgeHog View Post
I connected the ACE-515 to control them...the thump is much softer when turning on and fizzes out when going off. The idea is to have preamp control on first and off last to minimize the thump. A lot of AV ups/line conditioners have delayed on/off now so you get that option readily.

For the record, I always turned everything off when not using it...I don't think solid state amps need too much warming up to sound good; unlike tubies. Unless your place is like a fridge.
i currently have everything plugged into an apc c10 power conditioner that i think has the delayed on function, but one of the main selling points for me on the gfa 7400was the 12v trigger functionality, so i use that. it works like a charm, but there's still the pop. so really the amp is the last thing to turn on; it's maybe delayed by 3 or 4 seconds after the receiver powers up. i like to turn stuff off as well, but if it's going draw too much power than i'm just going to leave the amp on and see what comes of it...
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Old 05-18-2010, 08:26 PM   #16
talstarone talstarone is offline
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Well I took a little time and hooked the 545 II up and got the system in a position to play.

I have another amp arriving tomorrow,then a new pair of Front Speakers Coming Thursday.So,no need to calibrate the system by any means.
In fact with our normal UPS delivery Time;It may be Friday to hook up everything and callibrate it with Yamaha's YPAO system.

I need to get back there and do wire management,but not up to it right now.But I became so curious about both the sound of the Front Speakers I have now,with this amp.And any noise on turn on/turn off.

I use a Tripp Lite Line Conditioner up front.And with the Amp and AVR plugged in there was NO on noise(which is a surprise,considering the similar products I have owned)I also turned it off as well,and no off noise either.My guess is the Line Conditioner is taking care of this.

Tomorrow I will see with the Parasound Arriving.
My previous Parasound had only the very faintest hint of a noise turned on.When turned off it was quiet like the Adcom.

But that was a Z-Amp from Parasound that was tried out earlier.This time it will be the full size HCA Series.So,I guess I will know more about my own system tomorrow.

Though I wonder when I change over Front Speakers,if that may have a bearing and effect the outcome on any noise.Not that any of it is a bad noise.
I have owned many components that had the Turn On/Turn Off noise.Its just something thats there,and I had come accustomed to.

But Listening to John Legend in SACD,I can say this.Prior to these amps I had a Rotel Amp Bridged Mono,Powering the Center Speaker.And it was the smoothest,most detailed speaker,of any connected.

Now that the AVR is back powering the Center Channel.But the Adcom is powering the L&R Fronts, have made them sound much better then ever before.More Airy and Open.Its like the Speaker Grew and the Sound Grew With it.It has a lot of the same detail the amps in the GSP-560 has.Which is a Very Good Thing.It may be even more musical then I expected.
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Old 05-19-2010, 03:14 PM   #17
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Wow, never thought I'd see a thread like this on older Adcom gear. I have a (1986 vintage) GFA 555 that I bought new, powering my front speakers. I also have a (?) GFA 2535L that I bought new, powering my center and rear channels. The only problem I've ever had was the power switch for the 555, when the amp was ~ 2 years old. A no-charge, 1 day replacement by the dealer was all that took.

I do not leave them on all of the time. The 555 powered my Vandersteen 2C's for 23+ years, turn on "thump" and all, with no issues. It now happily powers the Quatros, with a similar thump. In short, I wouldn't worry too much about it.

FWIW, I think the 555 is a great amp. I also think the older gear is better than the newer gear, although I haven't heard any new products lately.
pgblu
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Old 05-19-2010, 03:48 PM   #18
arrt vandelay arrt vandelay is offline
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Wow, never thought I'd see a thread like this on older Adcom gear. I have a (1986 vintage) GFA 555 that I bought new, powering my front speakers. I also have a (?) GFA 2535L that I bought new, powering my center and rear channels. The only problem I've ever had was the power switch for the 555, when the amp was ~ 2 years old. A no-charge, 1 day replacement by the dealer was all that took.

I do not leave them on all of the time. The 555 powered my Vandersteen 2C's for 23+ years, turn on "thump" and all, with no issues. It now happily powers the Quatros, with a similar thump. In short, I wouldn't worry too much about it.

FWIW, I think the 555 is a great amp. I also think the older gear is better than the newer gear, although I haven't heard any new products lately.
pgblu
yeah, i was initially worried more about the "pop" of my newly acquired gfa 7400, but i think i'm getting over that. one thing about the older adcoms, they definitely seem to hold some value. gfa 555's and 555II's still routinely sell for over $300. the 555 is a very solid performer.

i agree that the older stuff(mid 90s and older) seems to be more desireable for their durabality. they just keep going and going and, well you get the idea...

gfa stands for "great f#!$*?! amp"

Last edited by arrt vandelay; 05-19-2010 at 03:50 PM.
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Old 05-19-2010, 05:40 PM   #19
talstarone talstarone is offline
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The GFA 555 may have been one of the finest amps,Adcom Produced.It was big and heavy,but supplied Beautiful Sound and more watts then most AVR's entire 5 or 7 channel total.

I love that they brought the 555 back,as the 555SE.I would love to be able to add one of those to the stable(while it was still in production)
And Vandersteens.I remember drueling over the brochures I brought home from the Audio Shop.They still make incredible speakers.
I would imagine pairing an Adcom with Vandersteens would sound amazing.

I have listened thru my Great Film Fantasy SACD,twice this morning(All instrumental songs from Star Wars,Lord of the Rings,and Harry Potter)And the Fronts sounded so much more alive then previously.I simply love it.(I still havent callibrated the settings yet)But,UPS is delivering a Parasound this afternoon.So I am not sure who gets what duty.

Probably try the GFA 545II at Center with it Bi-Amped.Then drive the fronts with the PS.Its not a big deal today(as I wont even connect the PS today)UPS is bringing Front Speakers Tomorrow.So I will do everything(even wire management,if up to it,this Friday/Saturday).

I am getting to the point of not wanting my AVR to power anything,any longer.It just sounds so lifeless and digital,with the AVR Powering the Other Speakers.

I dont think with Movies I would mind too much.But with SACD's it becomes somewhat appearant.But after hearing how long this gear has lasted in others systems.And taking the 14 and 15 year old gear I still have,and some of it,I was still using(Up to a few weeks ago).

Its got me where buying an older amp doesn't scare me too much.Only how it may have been treated by owners.
Its kind of like a car.I love hearing One Owner when discussing audio gear(Speakers to Amps).
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Old 05-19-2010, 06:13 PM   #20
arrt vandelay arrt vandelay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talstarone View Post
The GFA 555 may have been one of the finest amps,Adcom Produced.It was big and heavy,but supplied Beautiful Sound and more watts then most AVR's entire 5 or 7 channel total.

I love that they brought the 555 back,as the 555SE.I would love to be able to add one of those to the stable(while it was still in production)
And Vandersteens.I remember drueling over the brochures I brought home from the Audio Shop.They still make incredible speakers.
I would imagine pairing an Adcom with Vandersteens would sound amazing.

I have listened thru my Great Film Fantasy SACD,twice this morning(All instrumental songs from Star Wars,Lord of the Rings,and Harry Potter)And the Fronts sounded so much more alive then previously.I simply love it.(I still havent callibrated the settings yet)But,UPS is delivering a Parasound this afternoon.So I am not sure who gets what duty.

Probably try the GFA 545II at Center with it Bi-Amped.Then drive the fronts with the PS.Its not a big deal today(as I wont even connect the PS today)UPS is bringing Front Speakers Tomorrow.So I will do everything(even wire management,if up to it,this Friday/Saturday).

I am getting to the point of not wanting my AVR to power anything,any longer.It just sounds so lifeless and digital,with the AVR Powering the Other Speakers.

I dont think with Movies I would mind too much.But with SACD's it becomes somewhat appearant.But after hearing how long this gear has lasted in others systems.And taking the 14 and 15 year old gear I still have,and some of it,I was still using(Up to a few weeks ago).

Its got me where buying an older amp doesn't scare me too much.Only how it may have been treated by owners.
Its kind of like a car.I love hearing One Owner when discussing audio gear(Speakers to Amps).
i get what you're saying about the older gear. one owner who babies everything is the way to go. i'm getting a little rattled about the age of the deftech speakers i just bought. they sound great, but they are close to 20yrs old. i'm not sure if i want to sell off what i currently have to afford the matching ctr for 20yr old speakers. i watched a blu ray last night(boondock saints sequel), and throughout the whole movie, the sound seemed off. i'm thinking this is due to my fronts not being matched currently. to afford the deftech ctr to match the bp10s, i'd have to sell the energys which have treated me well. at least i have friday off to do some testing and hopefully make a decision...

on this is for sure though, there will be one adcom to power them all...

Last edited by arrt vandelay; 05-19-2010 at 06:20 PM.
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