Amplifier Weight. A Factor?

With majority of the good high-end amplifiers exceeding 100lb, it is actually painful to move them. So, here are questions to all.
Is amplifier’s weight a factor in your amplifier selection?
If you own heavy weight amps (i.e. Krell FPB600/180lb, Levinson 33/365 lb), how do you handle them without scratch?

Absolutely! I sold a KR Audio Antares even though I liked the way it sounded because it weighed 90 lbs and I was sick of lifting/moving it! I went with a succession of nice tube amps in the 30-50 lb range. The thing about heavy amps, tube amps especially, is they're not just heavy but awkward because of how the weight is distributed. SS amps often have handles but tube amps almost never do.
Everything else being equal (and in reality it never is) the reason that large amps are very heavy is they have very heavy transformers which you really need to get high quality power and things like subterranian bass. If you can settle for less power, and don't need really deep bass, you're less likely to get a hernia. I have both heavy monos and a lite 35 watter and for the power I need the only real difference tonally is the impact in the bass below 30hz. FWIW YMMV.
my favorite amplifier is the conrad johnson mv 125. another amp i liked a lot was the quicksilver ms 190. both amps weigh over 80 pounds.

its a sample not a universe.

if you like the amp weight should not matter.

better to buy one heavy amp than buy and sell 5 lighter weighing amp.
Although you need big and heavy transformer to have true high power output, it is difficult to handle. I sold my krell 700 cx because of that and go for Nagra VPA.
Efficient speakers enable you to pursue high performance amplification without heavy weight. A side benefit lies in being able to buy high quality low power for the price of medium quality high power. My main amp weighs 12 lbs. and my sub amp weighs about 45 lbs.They are state of the art products and I have a little over $2K total in them.
Yes, amplifier weight affected my choice of both amps and speakers.
Weight most definitely is a factor. My butler & valet both have hernias. As soon as they recuperate from surgery, I`m buying a new, heavier amp.
Everything else being equal (and in reality it never is) the reason that large amps are very heavy is they have very heavy transformers which you really need to get high quality power and things like subterranian bass.

Unless of course your amps have superb, richly toned and articulated bass, reveal hand built quality, output 135 watts into 4 ohms, have *no* transformer, and weigh in at a paltry 35 pounds each. I suppose this is the vanishing equality part of reality you were getting at. :-)

Depends on the technology.
My Bel Canto Monos weigh 13 pounds each, put out 500 watts, and definitely have the bass extension and technologies will someday make the monster amps antiques...
ther are new ICE Powered class D amps that can put out over 500 watts @8 ohms and weigh only 7.5 pounds, plus it is only a bit over $2000 for a pair of Mono Blocks, Ric Shultz is sending some for review and a friend of mine ordered a pair to replace his 2000 watt Krell, should be very interesting to hear his impressions.
"Amplifier Weight. A Factor?"

Certainly not for us!

Berning Co.
Yes the pounds sound.
Sbrtoy is right.The monster SS amps will become dinasours if they are not already.Many of them also sound apalling-some are reasonable, so the belief that heavier is better is a flawed generalisation.Most lightweight chipamps and the newer breed of PWM /digital type amps like NuForce sound better,run cooler and are comparatively very light.Not to mention much cheaper.Audio retailers hate them for this of course.
Tube amps are a different matter however,although I have heard some very ordinary sounding monster SETs that are not as good as a much lighter PP types.
Let your ears do your buying,not your eyes or muscles.
LOL! I have both 33's and 33H. The 33H are easier to move however the 33's have casters built into the bases which makes rolling them a breeze.

After 35+ years involved in this hobby/sickness/addiction, I have found that I am most musically satisfied with "big iron" amps. YMMV!


Paul :-)
i have had any number of heavy pieces of gear around over the last 12 years in the hobby. many times this gear comes in big wooden crates. for a slender whimp like me dealing with logistics of moving gear around was sometimes daunting. then you add in the audio jewelry aspect and the effect on resale value of any scratches.

my solution was three years ago to buy a couple of Piano dolly's. my parts department where i work uses these to move engine blocks and transmissions around. i had them get me a couple from their supplier...they were about $100 each. they have padded carpets at either end.

you can typically move almost anything with 2 of these.

BTW, i have owned lots of heavy gear and shipped lots of it in and out. you can easily hurt yourself if you are not careful.
There are many high efficiency speakers out there.No more need for me to go for big heavy amps.Anyway a lot of the watts are wasted as heat,in cross-over and to adjust the sensitivity of the drivers.
Mike, Thanks for the great tips on the piano dolly.
I had to carry by myself my Rogue audio Zeus from my truck into the house.A significant distance with an 8 steps stairs in the way.For those that are not familiar the Zeus tips the scale at over 220lbs and is 24 inch deep.
Labor of love I tell you!
As Macrojack mentioned, it's all in how you start off. If you buy inefficient speakers you wind up with large heavy power amps. With my highly efficient speakers, my analog power amp only weighs 20 lbs and puts out 60 watts and can bring the music to concert hall levels, well almost.
If you've got huge amps....make sure you plan carefully where you plan to put them, or have an understanding friend to help you move them. I have four Pass Labs X-600 behemoths....impossible for one guy to safely move around. Big and very awkward to handle at 150 lbs each. I keep a six-pack of beer in the fridge as a reward for friends to help me move stuff around.

The fact is, if you've decided to go with big stuff, you'd better factor in having someone to help you move it around. There is no way I would ever consider trying to move any of my stuff around without help....too dangerous because of personal injury and the huge potential to deface your equipment.

Get your calf gouged by a heat sink fin of a 150 pound'll wise up quickly.

I always keep two pair of work gloves pair for me and one for my friend that's helping me.
Jtgofish, if it`s one thing most Class D amps aren`t is cheap. Very poor bang for the buck.
Based on sound quality and watts per channel, I think you are way off base. I have never seen a set of 500wpc monoblocks to compete with my Bel Canto's for $4000....maybe you could find a set of used Parasound JC-1's for that, but of course this is apples to oranges as used switching amps are also available on the Gon. In addition, I find the sound quality to be as good or better than highly regarded amps I have owned before such as the Pass X350 which is a house and sucks current while acting as a space heater....hmm, ever think of your electricity bill? The newer amps use a small fraction of the power of large class A units.
Sbrtoy, those ICE amps I mentioned earlier are A/B'D using Bel Canto Ref 1000 amps so your opinion may be way off base, it sure will be interesting to see what these amps can do, and to think they way 7.5lbs each!
I was responding to Porziob, who feels they offer poor value, I am fully in the opposite camp on that...
There are new Red Dragon Minis that put out 125 watts in 8 ohms for $250 each. This is more wattage than I need, but given how great the 500 watters sound, I will probably buy a pair. Weight is to be announced but they will certainly be light weight. See 6moons news.
Not only have I found from personal experience that weight is a teller of performance with amps, it is also true of preamps, cd players and DACs (but not for tonearms and cartidges). However, just being heavy does not make a product sound better and just being light doesn't make it sound worse.

There have been several mentions of class D flea weight amps. Having owned some of these (and actually currently still do), I can tell you that every single flea weight Class D powered amp would perform better with better power supplies and energy storage and with these needs also will come the weight.

It should be pointed out that for the most part, the mostly highly regarded class D amps are also the heaviest. That should tell you something!

I can invariable pick-up a DAC or CD player and just by weight tell you if it really has the potential to be great (not just average, but great). If it weight 5-10 pounds it aint gonna be a world class contender! An just weighing 50 pounds doesn't guarantee it will be world class. But at least I can look at weights and know which ones to throw out with the bath water as not up to requirements.

Every component benefits from the highest quality power supplies. Unforunately, the highest quality power supplies in terms of audio performance come with a lot of weight.
I think it was audio magazine years ago that provided a watts per pound per dollar assessment of amplifiers. It was all tongue in cheek but I bet it would support your conclusions. Are the best guitars the heaviest as well?
A guitar doesn't have a power supply. Electronic components have power supplies and the power supplies are a lot more influential in the performance of components that most realize. Of course, you have a lot of manufacturers making components and using crappy, cheap, light weight power supplies that will try and tell you otherwise, but of course their components don't typically stack up very well.
Weight seems a deciding factor with tube amps, as others have said. There is simply no substitute for big, high quality output transformers with tube amps. If a tube amp does'nt weigh 50lbs+, it will not have the base to give long term satisfaction.
Before anyone else says it, this does'nt apply to OTL amps, though they seem pretty heavy too. I bought a little!! Ayon Spark tube amp recently, it looks small, but it is a brute to move, with all the weight in 3 massive transformers in the back. Was it worth the prolapsed disc getting it upstairs? Absolutely
The weight of amplifier, largely, depends on its power supplies. Many look on rms power in specs to estimate how powerful the amplifier in question is but others look only at headroom i.e. peak voltage, current, their duration and level of distortions there.

In that regard, all amplifiers of all types (A,B,D tube, ss etc) will in the future benefit from ultralight weight FULLY REGULATED and LOW NOISE switching power supplies.

Today,as far as I know, only Jeff Rowland in their flagship amplifiers and Spectron in their pro audio amplifiers use this technology (again FULLY REGULATED and LOW NOISE). For illustration, Spectron (prototype) pro audio 8000 watts rms amplifier weight about 100 lbs.

I think unsound said it best. My Burson's casework is the heatsink so its a little heavier than its size would indicate but not by much compared to others.
Having been around great lightweight components and lousy heavy ones, I find the idea of weight translating to quality has tremendous potential to mislead.

One thing that hasn't been mentioned here is that as much or more than anything else, the chassis factors into the weight equation. If you really want to ace this test, simply use steel rather than aluminum; the thicker, the better. Let's also not forget a steel chassis costs less.

So many of these overwrought, uberexpensive boxes of today have no capability of adding much, if anything, to sonics or build quality.
Ckoffend- Me thinks you are way off on that. My Berkeley Alpha DAC can be picked up in one hand, carefully, and sounds fine enough that I do not want for another (rare). Having said that, my amp weighs 180lbs and I hate that about it. I'm in the process of looking at amps and strongly consider this as I narrow the list. Heading for 50 and joints worn down from years of hoops....I can do 100lbs if I LOVE the amp but damn, no more! Spectral, which I am near certain will be the next amp, are about 65-70lbs and to my ears out perform many of the back breaking ball crushers. Actually, to my ears they out perform damn near everything but thats another thread! Now, if you don't mind, I need to go ice my groin after moving the Krell.....