I don't think Adcom is business any longer but I've owned (and seriously abused) their products for the past thirty years and still do, and have not had a single problem, not even a blown fuse.
Not sure I follow the point of your post.
Too bad. Adcom components was the first audiophile level equipment I had the pleasure of listening too many moons ago. They were powering a set of Thiels. As a young teen, I was like wow. Fast forward several decades, I think the newer components these days sounds better. Being a jersey boy I also always appreciated the fact that Adcom made their stuff in New Jersey. Not anymore. Good memories though......I wish them luck.
I have used an ADCOM GFA-5400/GTP-450 for 22yrs, without any issues. It was a nice step up from a receiver based system.
I believe that your issues are not unique, though. I remember, when I had bought my ADCOM components, Tweeter Audio, was a big dealer of the brand. After the turn of the century, before Tweeter went under, I talked to a salesman, at the store. He told me that Tweeter dropped ADCOM, in the late 90`s, because customers were returning too many units with issues.
If you are interested in repair, try Big Sky Audio. They specialize in repair of ADCOM gear.
I`ve owned a couple of NAD components, over the same course of time. Again, no issues yet, but it would not surprise me if they arise, due to NAD`s spotty record.
About 98 was when Adcom started having Chinese production, and back then there were issues with Chinese manufacturing.
To the OP, you mention your experience, but not the time frame. The 5300 was built from about 97 to 2006 or so. I had one from 2001, and later bought a 710 around 2008. I had the exact same problem when I added the 710, it had nothing to do with the amp. (I remain unclear on whether "marking" the frames would show whether the units had been opened up.)
The volume would ramp up by itself to full volume, and the distortion lights on the 5300 would go crazy until I got over there to turn it down. I had the 710 replaced, but the replacement did the same thing. I got my money back and later heard the 710's remote sensor was affected by the noise that a cfl light bulb emits. I have no idea if it's true.
The new Adcom amps really do look interesting though and they've always put out a decent amp.
I've always had a big adcom amp lying around for spare bedroom use or something. They were my first intro in to good sound...a good starting point for people who love to listen to music. The early stuff like gfa 555 and gtp preamps are bulletproof, the later stuff is not built as well but sounds decent...not really true "audiophile" but good sounding and powerful, reliable.
Like Adcom, B&K is back in business as well (http://www.bandkav.com/products/). Looks like in name only. Probably the same level stuff as adcom. I'm guessing Emotiva is probably the modern day equivalent. I ran the B&K st-140 amp for a few years and it sounded wonderful
The newer Hafler gear looks interesting http://www.hafler.com/
I'm with mattmiller: the Adcom GFA 555 was (and still is) a great bargain-priced amp (used) and perfect for the entry-level audiophile or for someone who wants a decent 2-channel amp for surround speakers. Another great buy for the audiophile on a budget (again, used) is the Muse Model 100, which is bullet-proof and great sounding. It's my current center-channel amp. I even have a B&K ST-140 sitting on a shelf somewhere, my first one-step-up from receivers amp back when we were poor but knew there had to be something better than what Sears was selling. If one of our Levinsons gave out, I could live with a used Audio Research tubed preamp (e.g. an LS-15 or LS-16) and a Muse Model 100 until I had saved enough to buy another beefy Mark Levinson amp. I'm sorry to read that Adcom and B&K are not making reliable, great-sounding gear any more. Go used! Audiogon is a life-saver for those of us who are not rich but still have good ears.
I have a US made Adcom GFA 5500. I picked it up used several years ago to back up my Krell that could not handle the fluctuating power issues in the area where I lived. While the Krell shut itself down every time the power spiked or dropped by a few volts, the Adcom had no problems. It may not compete sonicly with some of the much more pricey gear out there, but, with a long warm up, it sounds pretty darn good and is as tough as a tank. It's still my trusty back up and am using it now while waiting for a new set of tubes for my Rouge. I don't know how their new stuff is, but the older US made Adcom gear was some of audio's best bang for buck ever out there. Allot of my audio gear comes and goes, but two pieces I will always keep are my 35 year Audible Illusions, tubed, pre-amp and my trusty Adcom.......Jim
It does pair well very well with the Adcom. The Adcom can sound a bit edgy, especially if not given a long period of warm up. Dollar for dollar though, the Adcom sounds pretty darn good. I had the Audible Illusions paired with a friends Ayre V-5xe Evo for a couple of months and the sound was incredible - very smooth and detailed, with a beautiful large stage.
While not quite in the same league as when paired with the Ayre or the Brystons, It’s always good to know - I can count on the trusty old AI and the Adcom to keep the music flowing, if something else lets me down...Jim
Regarding the volume control on the 710 preamp being affected by a CFL...the answer is yes. When I bought my 710 years ago I had the problem but after a couple days I realized the volume control would only go nuts if a particular light was on in my family room. It was a CFL bulb. I change to another brand of CFL and the problem went away.
I have a question for all the Adcom power amp users. Do any of the Adcom amps generate audible turn-on or turn-off transients? Transients (pops, thumps, whatever) are particularly annoying for me. I've been using a Hafler DH-200 for 39 years and it finally has developed problems. I want to replace it.
Thanks, kjl, too bad Adcom didn't spread the word on the cfl bulb issue. I actually communicated with them directly when I was considering whether to get the first pre replaced.
As for turn on thumps, I think most of the older Adcoms did have a turn on thump because Adcom didn't have speaker protection. On the current line up, I think it depends on the model, because I've noticed that their higher up models mention speaker DC Servo and OMRON 20 Amp speaker relay protection circuits. At least the GFA 575SE.
I'll be receiving the 555SE in a week or so and can report back, but I'm fairly sure it'll thump upon turn on.
I got the 555SE today and did a quick audition only as I'm busy, but will have more time on the weekend. In short, this amp is the real deal. Dead quiet, imaging, separation of instruments and dynamic, it's the whole package. I'm running it with the Halo P5, Morrow Ma5 cables, and decent Wireworld speaker cables. A Bifrost DAC and Nad C565BEE cd player, so decent supporting gear, but I am impressed with this amp.
On power up, all you hear is a little relay click as the amp comes on line, and of course the house lights dim upon powering it on. There is no 12 volt trigger so you have to turn it on manually, but I think I can make an outboard box that will accept the 12 volts from a trigger cable and power up the amp using a relay.
Adcom has been pretty quiet the last several years, so it's nice to see they can still put out a great amp. I'm replacing a Nad C375BEE and I've also had a Halo A21 a year ago. Oh, and the 555SE sounds better than the GFA 5400 I've got too, though that amp is 19 years old.
Yep, Taiwan it is. I do like to support domestic manufacturing, but am a realist when it comes to electronics. How long have you had the 555ms?
Last night I heard a song from Johny Cash's American recordings, just his gravelly old voice and an electric guitar to start. Simply amazing, space, realism, and that sense of live music in the room. Not bad for a 'budget' amp.
Sounds like someone’s been watching too much RT TV. I’m pretty sure Lockheed Martín, Northrop Grumman and Boeing are quite capable of building aircraft electronics. In fact I imagine there are laws prohibiting the use of foreign made electronics in “front line aircraft,” especially the classified ones. If it doesn’t make sense it’s not true.
A bit off topic, but I thought I'd share this. I recently picked up an old Adcom GFA 5400 and it isn't nearly the equal of my McCormack DNA .05 Deluxe amp, but it sounds very good. I found no fault with it -- perfectly musically. The mosfet design of it lends it to upgrades and I have a tech upgrading it to the nth degree to see what it is really capable of being. The bones to the GFA 5XXX line of amps, designed I think by Nelson Pass, are quite good. In the stock unit, I heard no edginess in SQ. It clearly does not have the resolution of the more expensive amps.
HIphile, thats funny! I actually did take the cover off, don’t tell Adcom, and looked it over. Those are the biggest 15000 uf caps I’ve ever seen, they were flat black and the name wasn't visible. They didn't appear to be a high end brand. As for others, I’m not familiar enough with Nichicon to recognize their caps. I didn’t look too closely on the 3 boards, though.
It did look all business in there, though, 8 bipolar transistors and 2 of the big caps per side with a large toroidal transformer.
Edlchiang62, thanks for that. I believe the 555ms and se and probably the same design, while the 565 and up start to employ other circuitry. I’m getting to be a big fan of the 555se.
I’ve been playing it at low level in an effort to break it in. I’ve read that science can actually document electron paths as they form, and caps need this time. At any rate, I’ve been switching up the cables to see if the 555se responds, going from mid level Morrow MA cables, and Silver Stager solids. I can definitely hear the sound getting more open with the silvers and Tress cable.
The Tress is Totem speaker cable, some kind of copper that’s silver plated and is 14 gauge. The two conductors are twisted together for the length of the run. Also, Wireworld Oasis 7 speaker cables. I’m running Ascend Sierra 2 and Totem Rainmakers, which are 4 ohm. Nothing big or even a tower right now, I’m planning on an upgrade in the summer.
Anyway, after tonight I"ll have 12 hours on the Adcom. I’d like to get 50 hours on it at least. Thanks for your thoughts all, I’ll update again when I’ve got more time on the amp.
I've had a first generation 555II paired with a GFP-750 in my vinyl system for many many years and they've been completely trouble free, not even a blown fuse. I recently bought a tube preamp for my other/main system and tried it a few times with the Adcom and it really makes it sound much sweeter. My music choices have changed significantly since I bought the Adcom set and I also used to listen to my music much louder and always felt the Adcom got a bit edgy at higher volumes. With the tube preamp I can crank it up real loud and the music never gets grainy or harsh. Made me wish I had bought a tube preamp instead back then. Something you guys might want to try.