Amp question... Forte 4a or B&K ST140

Well, I should add that I am also considering a Bryston 3B.

First an introduction, I don't make much money so everything I buy is used, I am a ranch hand, the job has lots of benefits, just doesn't pay very well. I listen to acoustic music the most, from folk to jazz, though sometimes I "jones" for blues.

I was using an Adcom GFA-2 but it died recently, while it wasn't really all that great an amp it powered my Ohm Walsh 2's very well, picked up an Adcom 535 at a pawnshop, it sucks with my speakers, just way too bright for my ears.

I am wondering if the Forte 4a would have the power to drive the Walsh 2 speakers? They are 4ohm, 88 dB @ 2.8 Volts, so they do require a little power to drive them.

Anyone have an opinion on either of these amps? There's no way to audition them prior to sale, so I will have to live with what I buy.

R, I don't usually get involved in the opinion thing ... but ... if you can find a really nice Forte 4a ... I would go for it. Really nice resolution with a musical flow, sweet and smooth. Very , very balanced. A combination that many; if not most amps; can not put together. Power should be more than sufficent ...unless your trying to fill an auditorium or break windows. This amp is not hard to fit into a vast variety of systems, not the mismatched pain in the arse .. many amps can be. I think this amp is special, and in many ways; can show up many of the newer high priced rip-offs of the day. No, at present I don't own or have one for sale. I have owned more than one in the past. I think this a wonderful choice to fill your requirements. You should be able to pick one of these up reasonably, but do be particular and careful as to condition. I would advise if you can't see and hear the amp, at least talk to the seller by phone ... sometimes it will help you get a feel for the kind of person your dealing with and the kind of gear you might receive. Hope this helps. Best to you. Regards, Jim
Hi, guys -- Jim is right about the Forte 4A, it is a sweet little amp. I still own one, though it is not in use right now. However, I have to say that I prefer my Bryston 3B-ST to the Forte on both speakers I've tried: B&W 804 and Audio Concepts Sapphire III. The Bryston is, I think, somewhat smoother with greater depth of image, though perhaps less "dynamic" in the mid to low bass. The Bryston can be found for $8-900 on Audiogon. The newer Bryston 3B-SST is even better, but perhaps out of your price range. Can't comment on the B&K, I'm afraid. Actually, I think you'll enjoy any of the options you're considering, and all are good values used. Best, Rich
The older B&K ST 140's didn't much care for lower impedance loads.
This answer is a little different.Since your
a bit low on cash, you can't go wrong with a
used Bryston.20 year warranty,4 ohm no problem.
I second regarding the B&K,it won't do well with 4 ohm.
Interesting question of amps.. I have a Forte 1a I used with several different speakers over a 12 yr period, I have heard the B&K st140 and personally I much prefer the sound of the Forte 1a over the B&K. The B&K is really warm/glowing and "loose" whereas the Forte is to me more authoritative and forceful in the bass, also more tightened down. I'm guessing the Forte 4a is a little better than the 1a (??). Rarely you see a Forte 4a for sale. There are two 1a's for sale now on audiogon I see.. great price for a good amp. My 1a is broken (1 channel gone bad). My current amp is an Eagle 4 which is better overall but much more money.
Regarding the ST 140 and 4 ohm speakers. The early models with the gold lettering and silver handles used one pair of mosfets per side and do not handle 4 ohm loads very well. The later version with red & blue lettering is a completely different amp. The only similarity is the model number and power rating. It uses 2 pair of mosfets per side and will handle 4 ohm speakers just fine. It is also a better sounding amp. It has tighter bass, smoother highs, is more detailed and retains about 90% of the midrange magic of the earlier version. I have both versions and have compared them extensively. It is a major bargain at the normal selling price of $175-250. In fact it beats the pants off many more expensive amps. Here are a few I have compared it to with the ST 140 coming out ahead: Aragon 2004, Hafler 9300, Meitner STR 50, Nakamichi PA 5 & PA 7, Adcom GFA 555,
and several inexpensive tube amps. I have not heard the Forte 4A, but doesn't it use IGBT outputs which are no longer available?
I have owned both and the Forte 1a is better in every way. If it does not have replacement parts available then the equation changes. I would consider more powerful B&k amps and the Bryston amps like the 4BNRB or 3BST. Jallen
Remember the Forte' 4 and the Forte' 4a are EXACTLY the same amp (just the 4a has in addition, an alternate set of balanced inputs, selected with a switch)
I am an original owner of a wonderful Forte' 4a
Elizabeth, I could be wrong about this, but, I thought that the 4A unlike the 4 were truly balanced and more than a 4 with balanced inputs.
I use three BK ST-140's in my hometheater system.They have been in my system for about seven years.I have tryed many amps ie, adcom,musical fidelity,krell,forte,nad, they all did something I didn't like.It seems the BK didn't add anything at all.I want to drive my upcoming speakers (PSB MINI'S)with a more powerful amp to get a little more headroom but am afraid that these damn things have spoiled my.I even tryed newer BK and found them to be harsh.Keep in mind I cross them over at 80hz.
No, the Forte'4 and the 4a are identical.
I purchased the Forte' 4a when new, and the only difference is an added set of balanced inputs and a pair of switches that only switch the input wires from one set (RCA) to the other set (balanced) The electronics are totally identical.
The only thing that IS different in the Forte' lineup for this model, was the Forte' 4 and Forte' 4a used 'hand-picked' Mosfets, and the lesser ones went into the Forte' 6. The Forte'4 (50 Watts/ch), and Forte' 6 (100 watts/ch) were also identical in construction, just the 6 was biased differently. (the Forte' 6 has a bit of a reputation of dying Mosfets, but not the 4 or 4a.) !!!!
I realize its been a while, but thanks for all the replies.

I wound up getting an Audire Forte. I am very happy with the sound of this amp, but now I need to upgrade the pre amp...

Guess its a never ending process.

I had both the Forte 4 AND Audire Forte, the Forte 4 is all together better.
The Audire forte was OK............BUT.........the FORTE 4a way a much better amp............
This just needed to be said.........
All the best!