Adcom GFA 535 II

Any thoughts/past experience concerning this particular amp?thanks...

This is a pretty good sounding amplifier in the right system. Paired with speakers it can manage, it sounds pretty smooth, detailed, offers reasonably good grip. Doesn't go as low as the bigger amps (like you needed me to tell you that!), not as "clear" sounding as others.


I have the 535 mk I. Not sure what the differences are between it and the newer version. The 535 is a forward, aggressive sounding amp. Its best mated with warm, laid back, rolled of sounding speakers. I found it to work well with a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 7.2 speakers I had. Some people have reported using it to drive Vandersteen speakers. Its rated at 60W/channel and is know for driving difficult loads. Its a good amp to use in biamp configuration to drive highs/mids. Hope this helps.
It is by far NOT the best amp at its typical selling price($125-175)Here are 2 amps that are WAAAAY better sounding. The B&K ST140 ($175-225) and the Adcom GFA 5200 ($150-200). These both use mosfet outputs and are smoother, sweeter and just plain more musical than the 535. In fact these 2 amps are better than quite a few much more expensive units.
I have owned the original 535, the MK2 and the B&K ST-140 with torroidial transformer. I really didn't like the MK2, it sounded dark and restrained to me, speakers at the time were the, likewise restrained, Celestion 100s, and the sprightly B&W DM 110s. The B&K seemed a bit strained and fizzy to me; I am definitely not a fan, but the rare, original version with frame transformer and lower power output should sound better. I still have a VanAlstine MOSFET 120B on which the design was based, that sounds just wonderful. The original 535 was the best of all, though foreword and agressive as stated above, it let go of the notes and had real slam and pace and better imaging as well. The funky speaker connectors can be a real issue though. I suppose that it all comes down to context and taste.
The 535 II differed from the original 535 as follows:

II did not have speaker a/b capability
II added real speaker binding posts; prior model had cheesy spring things
II had upgraded electronics

For 150 to 200 bux used I'd much rather have a PS Audio 2C or 2c+; great amps. Or an Apt Holman amp; that was pretty good, too, and they go for around the same money.
Above advice prolly good if you are at the searching stage,buuuut if you already own this amp then you can extract more PRAT and low end by doing a few things.Have a good power cord put on it,being captive will require some surgery.Add dynamat to ringy parts of the chassis.Get some cones under it onto a good solid shelf.Also add a box with weighting to top,adjust contents to help tune it.Not too much dynamat or weight.Upper treble would need mods internally which would be waste of $$$.The points I covered here can be done on the cheap and make it more useful. If you shop and aquire a second amp you can run the Adcom on low end duty.
A used PS Audio 2C or 2C Plus or the Elite Integrated Amplifier is a much better choice than the adcom for about the same money; ie, 150/175. The Sound Well in Berkeley has an inspected and warrantied 2C for 200; worth the extra money as you get a 6 mo warranty.
I've an gfa535II and I like it. Can I upgrade it with a second gfa535II bridged both in mono?