Accuphase preamps

My research tells me that their preamps have some of the most features of solid state designs. Also, I have heard them @ CES, they sound very good indeed.

My question is, will they mate up ok with other brands of amps.

Right now I have Bryston amps, and a BP6P preamp, and I'm not too crazy about getting a BP26 because of lack of features.

It also appears that Accuphase is the better design as well. Am I wrong?

Hi Dave,

I am not really able to fully answer your questions, but here is my experience with the two brands:

About 3 years ago I tried for two weeks in my system (back then a pair of Dali Helicons + a Rel Stentor 3) the BP25 pre with DAC and the 4BSST power amp. I found them only marginally better then the Musical Fidelity A5 combo (integrated and CD player) I had then.

When I have returned the Brystons to the dealer, he let me try them with the B&W 802 D speakers and also let me compare them with a A5 combo he had in the shop. The situation was similar to my experience at home, i.e. the Bryston combo was a bit better. Finally, the dealer hooked up the B&W 802D speakers to the Accuphase E-550 integrated amplifier (class A design). In spite of having only 30 watts in 8 ohm load, the Accuphase embarrassed both Bryston and Musical Fidelity combos. Of course, the Accuphase could not go as loud as the other two, but for what I consider normal listening levels (70-80 dB) it had better bass, instrument separation, timber, etc. (Accuphase impressed me quite a bit in this demo, and after I have changed my Dali speakers to Focal Micro Be I have bought an Acuphase combo.)

Accuphase is the more "noble" company (and often has better designs) but Bryston is not a slouch by any means.

Which Accuphase preamplifier do you have in mind? Which Bryston amp do you have?

Best wishes,

Hi Paul,

Thanks for your impressions on this equipment.

I'm interested in the Accuphase C-2410 preamp.

Right now I have the 4BSST amp, but will possibly upgrade to the 7BSST2 or the 28BSST2. More than likely the 7BSST2 since the cost of the Accuphase is quite high.
Hi Dave,

Regarding the C-2410 preamp, you should do some research before buying it as my feeling is that it will be discontinue somewhere this year. You should be able to get a significant discount for the C-2410 once the C-2420 will be introduced. You might also want to look for a C-2810, it should cost roughly as a new C-2410 (maybe even a bit less).

Keep us (better said me) posted!
If you're looking for a (high priced) Accuphase pre, then I agree with Nvp that used 2810 is the way to go.

Inexplicably, there was much more dynamic content to the 2810 than the 2410 when I listened to them a couple of years ago.
Hi Guys,

Well, the dealer that I talked to in California informed me that the distributor said there's no plans to replace the C-2410 anytime soon. He might be bluffing, however in order to sell the demo unit he has.

The reason I picked the C-2410 is because it has the bass and treble controls. The C-2810 (and the C-2820) does not.

As for the amp, I will listen to the Accuphase amps and go from there. I'm willing to bet the sound is at least a bit better than the Bryston amps. Especially the Class A models. Are the A/B models a good choice too?


Take care.
Hi Dave,

If you check the "Product Museum" section of the Accuphase official site (under the Product section) you will see that Accuphase is releasing new models every 4 years (sometimes 5 years in the case of the top of the line models). For example the C-2800 was released in 07-2002 and was replaced by the C-2810 in 06.2006 which in turn was replaced by the C-2820 in 12.2011 (I believe). The C-2400 was released in 08.2003, so you can do the math :).

I did not realize that the C-28XX models do not have bass and treble control. Why are the bass and treble controls so important for you? (For me the balance knob it the important one :). )

Also, I did not realize there is a large difference between the C-2410 and C-2810 as Greg has mentioned. Most often people say that it is definitively not worth buying the C-2810 at almost twice the price since sound wise the two are very very similar. However, Greg's experience definitively correlates with the price difference between the two.

I have listen only the C-2810 model so I can not say much about this.

What speakers do you have?


I see, thanks for pointing that out.

Yeah, you can see that in the catalog @

Bass and treble controls are a nice feature to me. It's better to have them than not. Besides, the C-2820 is not in my budget.

Nothing worth mentioning right now. But, if you must know, JBL L890s, lol.

I'm currently looking at ATC (SCM 150 towers) and Focal (Electra and Utopia ranges)
I did not realize there is a large difference between the C-2410 and C-2810 as Greg has mentioned.
To give an example of the difference: the dynamic range and the hi frequency extension. Take the first movement on Mahler 2. At the ffff, the dynamics on the 2810 are such that you need to lower the volume. Also, the clashes are very sudden and scary if loud.
You don't need to lower the volume on the 2410, and the dynamic impact is soft by comparison.
Thanks for highlighting the differences, Gregm.

Now, what's your take on Accuphase amps? Are the A/B models a good choice, or just stick with Class A.

And are they a better choice than Bryston amps?
Are the A/B models a good choice, or just stick with Class A. And are they a better choice than Bryston amps?
My opinion is that class A Accuphase is much better than Bryston -- even though Bryston is the most decent, reliable, & good value products out there that I know of. Class AB is also good, but may not be a "stratospheric" improvement on the Bryston...
On the other hand, the 2810 pre, will make a huge difference even with your current amps (that are excellent IMO).
Try and get one (I think they still may have them) with an Alps RK50 volume control (potentiometer).
Hi Gregm,

That's what I was thinking. To go Class A Accuphase. More expensive, but worth it.

Ok, I see. Yeah, if I were to go A/B, I could save a lot by getting the Bryston amps.

I can believe that. The Bryston preamp is no big deal.
Hi Dave,

Whether you should buy the class A models or the class AB ones it depends entirely on your future speakers and your listening habits, i.e. on the amount of power you need.

The A-45 and A-46 class A models sound indeed better than P-4100. Both class A models have enough power to drive speakers like B&W 802 and/or 802 D/diamond to ear-bleeding levels. On the other hand, sound-wise there is little difference (if at all) between the A-65 and P-7100 (or P-6100 for that matter).

Regarding speakers, Accuphase pairs very well with Focal Utopia (forget Electra), B&W 800 series, Dynaudio Confidence, to name but a few.

How large is your room?
Hi Nvp,

Ok, thanks. That makes sense.

Cool, so are you saying the A-46 is a better amp than the A-65? I would think the A-65 would win because of the bigger transformer and more capacitance, plus it's also Class A.

Ok, cool, I've been looking at the Focals. I'm also looking at the bigger ATC floorstanders.

Why forget Electra?

Dave, you misunderstood my post. In my previous post I have "compared": 1) the "cheap" models, i.e. A-46 vs. P-4100 (among themselves), and 2) the expensive models, i.e. A-65 vs. P-7100 vs. P-6100 (again among themselves). I did not say anything about A-46 vs. A-65, but of course, A-65 is better than A-46.

Regarding Focal speakers, Utopia models are much better than the Electra ones. The older Utopia Be models too are better than the current Electra models.

I have no experience whatsoever with ATC speakers.

Finally, you might also want to consider Avantgarde Acoustic speaker. They too work beautifully with Accuphase. Will also make the class A vs. AB issue trivial.

Oh ok, my apologies. Thanks for the clarification. If I can swing the A-65, I'll go for it.

I bet they are, but my budget does not allow for the Utopia models. So Electra it is.

No problem regarding ATC.

Ok, thanks, I'll check those out.
Hi Dave,

Electronics like A-65 and C-2410 deserve much better speakers than Focal Electra. There is really nothing wrong with these speakers, but they are not in the same class with the electronics you consider.

If you are set on Focal speakers (and they pair very well with Accuphase), and the current Utopia models are too expensive, then my advise is to look for a pair of Alto Utopia Be. These are very good speaker which are much better than the current Electra speakers. In fact Alto Be play in the same league with B&W 800D or Diamond models. Here in Europe these speakers are sold for 6-7K euros - the prices should be similar in USA, i.e. 6-7k dollars (of course I talk about demo or 2nd hand deals).

Other speakers brands to consider, beside what I have mentioned already in my previous posts here, are Veridity Audio and TAD (though TAD are extremely expensive).

I would advise you also in the case of Accuphase electronics to consider models from the previous generation, e.g A-45 or A-60 power amps and the C-2810 pre-amp (at these level you should not make much use of bass/trable potentiometers). The A-45 usually are sold for around 5k, while C-2810 for 8-9k and these two make a terific combo. (I spent 3-4 hours alone in a dealer room with this combo driving the B&W 802 and 800 diamonds speakers, and the A-45/C2810/B&W800 were IMO at least as good as a 300k all Gryphon system, i.e. Atlantis/Colosseum/Mirage). In case you would need more power than an A-45 can provide, then you could always add later a second A-45. Two A-45 may not sound quite as sweet as a single A-65 but will have much more power and will cost about halt.

Do not hurry things up and do not believe all the dealers' mambo jumbo, and of course let your ears decide.

Keep us posted!
Hi Paul,

Thanks for the detailed response and the suggestions! However, I'm not crazy about buying used...

Would you go bridged with 2 Accuphase amps?

Oh no, I'm in no hurry...I won't be auditioning until November, so no worries.

Of course I'll let my ears decide! That's the key!
Dealer make huge profits when selling Accuphase components. In the Netherlands and Belgium the retail prices are two times higher than in Japan. What I usually do is buy demo models form a reputable dealer but only after the next generation was announced/released. This way I get at least 30-40% off the retail price and also a full warranty. This is why I wrote you about the C-2410. Like C-2410 pre, the P-7100 power amp is also due to be replaced.

I do not have any experience with bridged configurations. But I often read that one does not get a significant improvement in sound (if at all) but only a lot more power.

Hi Paul,

The situation regarding pricing is very much the same here in the US. I might go that route i.e. demo models. Ok, sounds good, I will wait and see.

Are you certain that the C-2410 will be replaced?

Ok, that's fine on the bridged setup. I was thinking of getting 2 Class A amps and then bridging them for more power.
Hi Dave,

Of course, I am not 100% sure the C-2410 will be replaced soon. My
prediction is based on the past habits of the company.

I will do some more research about the C-2410, and also try to do a direct
comparison between C-2410 and C-2810 as I am thinking to move to
Accuphase separates (A-45 + C-2810 most likely) myself. I will keep you

Best wishes,
Hi Dave

I have 2 accuphase A-46s and using them in bridged mode does degrade the sound.

I use them in dual mono mode and the sound is much more open and bass is better. YMMV

My preamp is a C-2410.

I am selling one of the A-46 , replaced it with a P-7100.

Currently negotiating a deal to get a C-3800 form japan.
Hi Dhali777, I've read similar comments before. However, I have forgotten which method was degrading the sound.

Dave this means that my recommendation earlier, i.e. to use two A-45 or A-46 amps, is not a good one if you will buy speakers with only one pair of binding posts, e.g. Focal Utopia, Dynaudio, etc.

Dhali77, did you compared the A-45/46 with the A-65?
According to Arturo, owner of Axiss Audio and the U.S. Distributor for Accuphase, the new C-2820 Pre-amp is the best Pre-amp ever under $ 40K ever made by Accuphase and he will tell you its 98% of the performance of the $45K flagship C-3800. Accuphase is very smooth, warm, engaging. I have heard the C-3800 but not the C-2810 or C-2820. With my eyes closed, I'd swear I was listening to a world class tube Pre-amp. With Accuphase, you forget about tube or solid state. You will fall into the quicksand of seduction with the C-2820. Bryston can't touch Accuphase. Not on the same level.
Hi Audiozen,

Indeed there isn't much of a competition between Bryston and Accuphase. However, Accuphase components cost significantly more than Bryston ones, e.g. the 28 Bsst2 (Bryston top of the line) costs as much as the A-46 (Accuphase midrange amp).
Nvp..the one thing I don't like about the Bryston amps is the way they mount their speaker binding posts on the back. They are not fastened on the rear cover wall of the cabinet, but instead they are placed through holes on the rear then attached to the circuit board mounted vertically on the inside back wall. How cheap! If your not careful and are using heavy duty cables you risk breaking the the speaker binding posts. Accuphase is more expensive for good reason. The circuit boards use a flurocarbon resin material that is much more expensive that copper glass boards and produces very little noise. Other similar boards over the years such as polysulfon used by Spectral and teflon boards have the same results. Accuphase has so many good features. A damn good headphone amp, and different gain settings to adjust to a high gain or low gain amplfier. And their persimmon wood finish is stunning.
Hi Audiozen,

I know very well what you mean. I am a very found of Accuphase myself.
Maybe you remember, that at some point it was only the two of us against an
army of Mcintosh zealots. I made a mistake back then, and corrected your
physical interpretation of the slew rate of an amp (in front of the zelots).
Sorry, for the geeky behavior back them. It's a bad professional habit ... I'm a
physicist doing research in university ... :)

Finally, since Dhali777, mentioned the C-3800 and you have listen this unit,
how does it compare with the Hegel P-30 of which you spoke so highly in a
different thread?
Having listened to the Hegel P-30, it would be a waste of money to go for the Accuphase. The Hegel is warm, rich, full with great resolution and very smooth. In its price range there is nothing out there that can beat it. Don't take my word for it. Their high end line has been in the States since August 2009 and just about three dozen retailers have taken the line on so it shouldn't be a problem to find a dealer in your area. For $7500.00 the Pre-amp is a steal. As I mentioned in the other thread, hook it up to the very powerful Sanders Magtech amp that only costs $5K with a lifetime warranty. The amp has full stable voltage with its linear voltage regulator with no voltage fluxuation whatsoever which is why the amp runs cool to slightly warm for an A/B design. For $ 12,500.00 you have a true world class high end system.
Thanks for your comments, guys! is a single A-46 powerful enough to drive most speakers out there?
Dave 72..The A-46 will drive any speaker down to a 1 ohm load without breaking a sweat..the amp will always maintain large power reserves and never run out of steam.
In principle I agree with Audiozen, the A-46 should be able to drive most
speakers and has enough power for most needs. I heard its predecessor,
i.e. A-45 (which has a smaller power supply), driving the B&W 800 and 802
diamonds in a very large room at very loud level (much louder than any
same person would listen at home). The A-45 had full control over the
woofers of the 802 and 800 diamonds speakers. However, 45 watts are 45
watts. That is, if one listens to very dynamic music, e.g. large orchestras
and/or jazz big bands, at loud levels, e.g. 90 dB or more, in a large room
with inefficient speakers, he/she may find that A-46 is not powerful
enough. You do not want your A-46 to be clipping all the time.

When I bought my E-550 integrated, I was worried that I may need more
power (in the dealer's room I made it clipped a few times). I've oscillated
between E-450 and E-550. Now, I am glad I bought the better sounding E-
550 as according to the meters I never use more the 10-15 watts.

Thanks Audiozen and Nvp. So, one A-46 is enough I take it. To get 2 is going over my budget, really...
By the way Dave_72..what speakers will you be using with
the A-46 if you decide to buy it?
Hi Audiozen,

I'm not sure yet! I'm looking at Focal Electra and Utopia as well as Canton Reference. I have yet to hear any of these.
Hi Dave,

I have some news.

Firstly, and more importantly, I have completely updated my Accuphase rig.
Initially I wanted an A-45 & C-2810 combo, but eventually I went for a A-45
& C-2410 together with a DP-600 SA-CD player.

Secondly, the C-2410 preamp has been discontinued. The new C-2420
preamp costs 13k euros here in Europe. There is nothing announce yet on the
Accuphase site, however, my source (i.e. my dealer) is very reliable.

Best wishes,

Hi Paul,

Thanks for the info! I will definitely wait it out for the new preamp to be released. I'm thinking January after CES, true?

How does your new rig sound? I'm having a difficult time finding a dealer that has both the C-2410-A-46 combo. The distributor tells me there's no dealers in California that have these units in tandem except for this one guy. And he just sold his last Accuphase demo amp. So, the CES setup (as I was told) is gonna be the A-200 amps and the C-3800 preamp! Quite a combo there! So, I'm definitely gonna go into their room and check that out! If you're able to go to CES, I hope to see you there!
Well, it looks like the C-2820 is out now!
Well, it looks like the C-2820 is out now!

Thanks again for the heads up!
Oops, I made a mistake, I got ahead of myself and thought it was the C-2420. Sorry about that...
Hi Dave,

As far as I understood, in Europe, C-2420 (the evolution of C-2410) will be released in December. However, if founds are limited, I would advise you to go for the C-2410. On one hand, the new C-2420 will be 10% more expensive than the old now C-2410. On the other had, the price of the C-2410 will go down significantly now. My A-45 & C-2410 combo cost me less that the price of the new C-2420. I bought demo units that came with full warranty!

As it is most often the case with Accuphase electronics, the improvements from one generation to the next are minor, IMO certainly not worth the huge price difference.

Have you decided which speakers will you buy?
Hi Paul,

I see. Thanks for the info. Well, if I can get a deal like you did, maybe. But I have a need to stay current. I don't mind the price difference too much. However, I know that 4-5 years down the road the C-2420 will be out of production too.

As far as speakers go, probably the Focal Scala Utopia. But, I need to audition them more first. Others I am considering at the moment are the ATC SCM 150s and the Legacy Focus SEs.

Do you have any recommendations?
The C-2420 is now on the Accuphase website.

Have a look...
Hi Dave,

I am not surprised. The C-2420 pre will be available in shops here starting December 1st.

It is interesting to compare the .pdf brochures of the C-2400, C-2410 and C-2420 models (all available on the Accuphase site). It looks that there is not that much difference between the three. The AAVA volume control is still the big selling point. :)
Hi Paul,

Yeah, I'm glad I waited it out now. Now I can get the current model, but yeah, it will be a bit more expensive. But that's progress, right? haha.

Yeah, sounds good. I did compare the C-2410 and C-2420, but not the C-2400. The C-2420 does have a bit more features than the C-2410. That's what I gathered upon first glance. I'll read more into it as time goes on!

I am running an accuphase preamp with my bryston 4bsst power amp with awesome results I'm very realistic sound indeed through focal and Maggie's both