Adcom GFA-5400

Category: Amplifiers

Just spent some time with this amp, listening through my brother's stereo.

The System: Rotel RCD971cd player; Nad C340 integrated, B&W CDM7NT speaker; Van Den Hul D102 MKIII (amp-cd) Cabl Talk(not known) (amp-poweramp) Straight wire Chorus(?) speaker cables.

The sound compared to the Nad, and using the pre out section of the Nad as a pre, is one of more openess and dynamics, The music took on a different dimension to my ears and sounded quite musical and natural. The Nad to my ears had a looser bass and a slight hump in the upper bass to lower midrange frequency area that gave a richness that was a bit unnatural to my ears. The Adcom also had a slighlty recessed mid band on close listening, but throw a quality recording at it and the sound to me is quite balanced.

To my brother's ears, he found the midrange a bit recessed but felt the Adcom had better control and dynamics and detail retrieval the the Nad. He felt that the Adcom had better bass, with better control, and a more extended top end. He initially questioned the imaging but changed his mine after playing the Dark Side of the Moon Cd by Pink Floyd.

The music we used were from Dave Brubeck, Shaggy, Dido, Seal, Sting, Madonna and more.

It is also a bit cable sensitive, and as with all things if matched with the right cable it can sound quite neutral; case in point, switching in the Van den Hul Cable made the sound just that touch fuller and the top end smoother, while keeping the detail. In this case, Straight wire Chorus interconnects were used with the rotel.

All in all, I like this amp an find it good value for money. I did not find it excessively bright, but the treble is a bit sharp, and the midrange is just a pinch recessed(cable dependent).