Accuphase Power Amps

I'm interested in buying one of the following:-
Accuphase A-35 or Accuphase P-4200
Does anyone out there own or have heard either of these components. I've heard good things and of course one is Class A and one Class A/B so there will be merits with one over the other. I listen to mostly classical music and own the Accuphase C2420 Pre and DP-510 CD Player. I can't run to the more money components higher up the ladder but evidently these are special for what they are unless anyone has any negatives.
Well, that's interesting you have that preamp, which is a Hell of a preamp by the way, because Accuphase demo-ed that with the P-4200 amp at the last CES in January. I think the cd player was the bottom of the line sacd player. Anyway, the sound was superb, honestly. I don't think you can go wrong with it. It came highly recommended from the VP of Accuphase himself. From what he was telling me, I believe he owns the C2420 and the P-4200.
It depends on the speakers you have and how loud you like to listen to music. What speakers do you have?
Good question. However, the P-4200 should be able to drive most speakers out there, I'd say.
Hi Dave, we do not know his/her speakers and listening habits. The P-4200 may be overkill.

When it comes to choosing between Accuphase class A and A/B amps the situation is quite simple. While the class A amps sound a bit better than the class A/B amps, IMO one can not be happy with a class A amp if it is constantly clipping. Therefore, one should buy a class A amp if:

1) has efficient speakers
2) listens music to not very high volume levels
3) does not listen mostly to large orchestras and/or large big bands (i.e. music styles that have large dynamic variations)

Hi Nvp, yes I know and understand all of that. However, it's better to have more power in most cases. It's my opinion that the P-4200 is the better amp overall. Of course the A-35 will sound richer and smoother, but the P-4200 wins in most areas. On the other hand, I don't think he can go wrong either way.
How efficient is Spendor SP100R 89db sensitivity........I would have thought enough for symphony recordings with the P-4200 but not so sure with the A-35....what do you think?
Hi Simon,
When Nvp says, "has efficient speakers", I can only assume he's speaking of speaker sensitivity. As sensitivity of a speaker goes up, less power is required for volume and dynamic peaks.

The A-35 is rated at 30w/ch, and the P-4200 is rated at 90w/ch, or an approximatly 4.75db difference in power. So the P-4200 is capable of dynamic SPL peaks about 5db higher than those of the A-35 on the same speaker. Also, a 94db speaker with the A-35 will have the same capability as an 89db speaker with the P-4200.

I have listened to Accuphase Class A and Class A/B, and agree with the other comments regarding this, however to answer the original question, it would be helpful to know,

1) listening volume - low, moderate, or high
2) listening distance
3) amp you have previously used with the Spendors

I am assuming that some of your symphony recordings will have a wide dynamic range.
Thank you for yet another informative response. I'm using a Bryston 4BSST2 that I think has 300w into 8ohms. I consider my volume levels are moderate, certainly not high and I sit about eleven foot from speaker front. I have one&half foot behind my head, two&half feet to side of speakers and four&half feet behind speaker. My Mahler/Bruckner type symphonies are original early 1980 presings that on the Telarc label, for example, warn in the sleeve print of the wide dynamic range of the recording because no compression or equalization was used.
I'd also add 'room size/volume' as being another determining factor.
The room is 17 feet x 14 feet x 11 feet high ceiling. Not sure what that is in CC.
Gathering from all your infos thus far, namely : room size, listening distance, music choice, speaker's sensitivity, and last but not least, coming forth from a Bryston 300w amp.. I too as Dave would, sacrifice that last vestige of refinement of class-A for the more superior all-rounder, ie. put my money on the P4200.
Your Bryston is approximately 5db higher in power than the P-4200, or 10db higher than the A-35. I used an online calculator, that's available on numerous websites, with your speaker's sensitivity, listening distance, and power of the Bryston, and determined you currently have the capability for dynamic SPL peaks of 105db. Therefore, the P-4200 would have capability of 100db, the A-35 would be 95db, and the calculator confirmed this. Keep in mind that a dynamic SPL peak can be much higher than average SPL listening volume.

So, at your listening volume, what are the dynamic peak SPL's? Hard to say without measuring. It might be worth getting a sound level meter, and if you do, try both weighting scales and fast response.

Based on your comment about the Telarc recording, as the dynamic peaks could be as much as 25db higher than average listening level, I would get the P-4200. Again, I suggest you borrow or get a well reviewed sound level meter, certainly less than $100, and measure your current system. That way, you would know for sure, and the meter may be useful in the future.
*Note that Accuphase usually conservatively rate their amps' power output.
Mine rated at 100w/8ohm does 180-200w without breaking a sweat, peaking near 300w! (Speaker's minimum impedance is 5ohm).
So assuming similar, you should be expecting close to double the published specs.

Bvdiman, I do agree that Accuphase amps are conservatively rated, however I don't think the Spendor's minimum impedance is relevant. It is specified at 5.5 ohms, but Stereophile measured it at ~6 ohms, and showed it to remain above 8 ohms most of the time. Also, the calculator I used to determine the numbers in my post, factors in 3db headroom for the amp, which is a double of power.

Again, I agree an Accuphase amps' power will increase dramatically into lower impedance loads, like a 4 ohm speaker dropping to 2 ohms. The Spendor is just not that type of speaker load.
Hi Tls49,
Should have stated more clearly that above has been my experience.
My speakers are spec'd at 89db/8ohm with minimum impedance dips to 5ohm as well.
Sure, there are many respectable amps that double their power as impedance halves.
However what I'm trying to convey above is that Accuphase amps in reality do put out much more power than what their written published specs may indicate.
Thanks for agreeing Bvdiman...I value your opinion as you and Nvp are very knowledgeable about Accuphase as you guys actually own the stuff.

I too have the Bryston 4BSST (not SST2) It's a good, solid amp with good bass, but the highest level of realism is not really there. To be fair, you could do worse than the Bryston. However, Accuphase smokes it in the realism and soundstaging dept. Even the P-4200 does, imo. I would like to ask Beat496575 how the Accuphase preamp plays with the Bryston amp. Good, bad, otherwise?

Bvdiman, sorry for any misunderstanding or if I was not clear, as I don't disagree, but absolutely agree with your comments. In the calculations, I did consider a 3db headroom for the amp, which would be 180w for the P-4200. For a 4db headroom, that would be ~225w, and for 5db headroom, ~280w, so just add 1db or 2db to the numbers cited in my previous post.

Also, I have experience with both Class A and A/B Accuphase and Bryston. Again, I recommend getting the P-4200, as I do agree with Dave_72 that it will smoke the Bryston in overall sound quality.
Thanks Tls49. I call it as I see it. Accuphase is really special stuff. I didn't really like what they were putting out in the 80s (that could have been bad system matching,) but now it's really worth a serious audition and eventually purchase.
There was a big lift in audio quality once the C2420 went in the system, substituting the Bryston BP26 Pre-amp. It felt like the 4BSST2 was all along the strongest component in my entire Bryston chain. If it wasn't for the colour match bothering me with the champagne image then I could easily live with it. Depth, realism, surreal black silence, control, better dynamics and less grain were all immediately apparent after burn in, suggesting we are talking a very competent Bryston Power but more to the point possibly the best Pre-amp I've ever heard!
Hi Simon,

Thanks for your reply. I figured that, but to be fair, the Accuphase is more expensive, but with good reason. So what would you say; replace the Bryston BP6P preamp first with the C-2420 or replace the Bryston 4BSST with an Accuphase A-70 amp first?

I ask this because unfortunately I'm unable to buy all 3 pieces (C-27 phono pre, C-2420, and A-70 amp) that I'm after all at once. I can only buy piece by piece.

Your thoughts, please. Thanks.
Dave..............Pre-amp C2420 by a distance, not really a contest. Biggest leap I've heard with changing one single component or cable with another in 25 years of hi-end dedication. However, One caveat would be assurance of quality source.
Hi Simon,

Ok, sounds good. Thanks. I suppose that makes sense since Bryston preamps are not the greatest and up to the level of their amps. Yeah, my sources are great to me, but not considered the ultimate by high end standards...
Sorry for the very late reply guys.

Tls49, indeed I meant to say speaker sensitivity not efficiency. Thanks for
correcting me. I am fully aware of the difference between the two. English is
not my first language, and even though I am writing and speaking English on
a regular basis, I still make this kind of silly mistakes. :)

Beat496575, Dave and Tls49, I have some experience with Accuphase vs.
Bryston as before buying my first Accuphase unit (an E-550 class A integrated
amp) I have tried a Bryston combo (4BSST & BP25) for two weeks in my room.
As Bvdiman has pointed out, the power rating of the Accuphase amps are very
deceiving. For example, in the dealers room, the E-550 integrated (rated at
30 watts in 8 ohms and 60 watts in 4 ohms) has driven the B&W 802D
speakers (which are know to like power) better than the Bryston 4BSST & BP25
combo did. Of course, the E-550 could not go as loud as the Bryston combo,
but at normal listening levels (i.e. 70-75 dB) the E-550 sounded better than
the Bryston combo.

Dave, if you are set on the A-70 power amp, then I would advise you to buy
the C-2820 together with the AD-2820 module instead of the C-2420 and
the C-27. I am not 100% sure about the prices in USA, but I guess that the
price difference between the C-2820 and C-2420 is roughly the price of the
C-27. My take is that you will gain more by buying the C-2820 than you loose
by not buying the C-27. For safety reasons, you should buy the A-70 & C-
2820 combo from a USA dealer. The AD-2820 module, on the other hand,
you could buy from Japan as the option boards should not require any voltage
conversions. You could even buy one of the older AD modules that are
compatible with the C-2820, e.g. AD-2810, AD-2800, AD-290V and AD-
290, which should be significantly cheaper. Since the C-27 is a significantly
smaller investment than the C-2420 or C-2820, you could buy it latter
when your bank account recovers. I am sure you will be very very happy for a
very very long time with an A-70 & C-2820 & AD-28xx combo. Finally,
regarding the component that you should buy first, I too think that it is best
to buy the pre-amp first.
Hi Nvp,

Ok, thank you for the report regarding Accuphase vs. Bryston. That is very helpful.

Ok so, is the C-2820 much more transparent and dynamic than the C-2420? Well, the USD price on the C-2820 is $13000 more than the C-2420. I would like to get the C-27 because of more flexibility, adjustability, and better resale value than the plug in. The plug in price here in the US is way too high. If I order from Japan, where from. And are any of these online stores reputable. I'm very leery of them to be honest. Well, being happy for a long time is what I'm after. I want something that I can live with for many years without needing to upgrade much if at all. Ok, that's probably what I'll do.

Thanks again.
Hi Dave,
With my new installation, now thoroughly burned in, it would be difficult to imagine how the C2820 is worth $13,000 of more transparency. Indeed, on listening to my C2420 one could say there is no need at all to want more on any aspect of audio reproduction. It has all the favourable words that describe superior or world class audio to my ears while my speakers have disappeared and the orchestral concert hall soundstage has a 'real-life' experience to enjoy at a level that I have never before been privileged too. For the record it has been enhanced considerably, it that was possible with the introduction of the P4200!

Simon, if I understand your post correctly, you have bought a P-4200 power amp. If that is indeed the case, congratulations!

Dave and Simon, the C-28xx pre-amps are actually significantly better than the C-24xx. The C-28xx models stand out as being much more dynamic and at the same time sounding much more relaxed - they have a much better control over all aspects of music. Personally, I would rather go for a 2nd hand (or demo or ex-demo) model from the C-28xx line than a new C-24xx model.

I've tested rather extensively many Accuphase integrated and in the end I have ended up with the E-550 class A integrated, then I moved to A-45 & C-2410 combo and then to a A-65 & C-2810 combo. The differences between the E-550 and A-45 & C-2410 was solid but probably not worth the price difference (especially in my case as I did not needed the additional power). On the other hand, the difference between the A-45 and A-65 have huge, as so was also the difference between the C-2410 and the C-2810. Now I am contemplating to get a C-3800 pre, I have actually made a down payment but I am not yet 100% sure that I will go through with it - I am a bit afraid the C-3800 will be replaced soon. :(
Hi Simon,

Congrats on the P4200 amp! I bet it sounds incredible, actually I know it does. If what I heard at CES 2014 was any indication, you're in for many, many hours of fine listening sessions. What cables are you using?
Hi Nvp,

I know this is Audiogon, but I'd really rather buy new. However, if I go in person and inspect the unit (i would prefer a demo) then that might be alright.

Thanks for the suggestion(s)
Dave. I'm using XLO Limited Edition Balanced from source and the Un-Limited Balanced between amps. I've also got the Signature S3.1's (single-ended)and to be honest I'm still not sure which I prefer. Thinking i may have to open a new thread asking about that subject!
Nvp: I'm sure the C28 series are truly amazing. I trust Accuphase, almost to the point of demo's telling me nothing I didn't already think. My consideration for Pre-amp was monies but the top man at the German Importer suggested a big and noticable improvement with the C2420 over the C2410. The sceptic would say he would but Accuphase own site words their brief as though it is something special and i didn't want to have a miss-match with the 'baby' P4200 Power that is a thing of beauty to the eyes and ears.
Hi Simon,

Ok, cool, XLO has been around a while. From what I've seen and heard, it's a great cable. Did you happen to try the Accuphase cables that came with the preamp? Most recently I've been looking at Neotech...I'm not 100 percent sure if it's a good match. It's the UP-OCC copper stuff. Which in itself is great cable.