Bedini Class "A" 200/200 power amp vs. MC-2205?

Hello Audiophiles..., its me again.

My last topic of discussion was on thermionc valves. Now.., I have some questions and as usual, open for comments that in most cases will educate me further into the vast filed of stereophonics.

My first big solid state amplifier was sold to me in the early 90's by a Polish engineer who I admired very much named 'Mitch'. Mitch is owner of 20th Century Stereo and TV, located on Montrose street in Chicago. He runs his shop with his lovely wife, Ursla, who is also an electrical engineer.

At that time, I was a young City of Chicago electrician who was contracted by this 'mom & pop' establishment to electrically upgrade the entire building which also contained the sales shop.

Needless to say, I could not keep my mind on my work due to the interesting happenings around the stereo shop, but within the contracted time, my work was completed and Mitch was added to my list of satisfied customers. He saw that I had an interest in stereo equipment, and knowing that I had the basic understanding of electronics..., took me under his wing.

I was taught how to listen to music, moreover, how to identify it. My ear was trained by someone who I considered was the #1 authority on home sound equipment. One day Mitch asked me to come around to the back side of the sales desk, a forbidden place for all except him and his wife, where I saw a monster of an amplifier.

He described to me that this wonderful looking piece of equipment was call a 'Bedini Class A 200/200 stereo amplifier'. When to top of the amp was removed, I witnessed the true meaning of order. This beast had two massive power supplies in the front, each weighing in at least 40 lbs., and two gigantic capacitors down its midway. There were so many diodes arranged throughout the insides that I had difficulties counting them, for all were neatly installed and equally distributed on both sides of the amp.

The massive dual fans, burried at the bottom of the chasis were impressive. I was told that they were there to keep the ambient temps in check, and was custom wired by Mitch in series with a thermostat!! What a unit!! The heat sinks were scientifically engineered to absorb most of the heat produced by this high current amp, but designed with taste and beauty in mind.

I was like a little boy looking through the 'Marshall Fields' (now Macy's) store front on State Street in Chicago during the Christmas season...., wanting and wishing. I guess Mitch had a great liking for me, and knew how bad I wanted this expensive amp.., so he gave it to me. My first big solid state amplifier!!!

He took me into the trouble shooting room and explained how to work the amp, and keep it happy for years to come. That was 1993...., 17 years ago and this beast still hits as hard in 16,8,4 or 1.2 ohm loads as it ever did. Remember, this is a solid state unit built to handle any inpedence your can have her push. This is indeed more than a quality amp with a passive side that compares to that of a valve/tube amp, but on the other side of the equation, its got a nasty hard hitting disposition compared to no other I've heard..., until later on in life I purchased a pare of McIntosh MC-2205's.

As you can perhaps notice, I love old stereo equipment. It matters not if it is transistorized, hybrid or tube. It brings an awesome high to me when I think of how overbuilt some of these units were back in the day.., and I actually own them.

Anyway, the two big macs I purchased were from a friend in Algonquin, IL...., about an hours drive outside of Chicago. I've never seen such clean units! No bubbling on the front glass panels, zero scratches on the new looking cabinets, nor a speck of dust on the metal surfaces in the rear. They looked brand new, so I invested $1600.00 for the pare from my friend and rushed them home. (Its great to have good friends)

I matched one of the MC-2205's with a pair of Quantum Concert series 4 ohm tower/loud speakers..., the same pare of speakers that carried the Bedini for years. When I cranked the unit, to my dismay it not out perform the 200vapc Bedini? The MC-2205 was viewed as one of the best built solid state amps of all time, rated at 205vapc driving any impedence load.

I opened.., rather I slid the big mac from its beautiful wood grain cabinet to discover that many the inside power components were shared by both the left and right channels. Because I am no engineer, my opinion does not qualify for nothing.., though my ears decieved me not. I figure just like 'Harley Davidson' all components should be separate? I mean a separate crank case with its attached cylinders, a separate transmission that is connected to the main power source through a chain driven primary. Thats simplicity.., and easy trouble shooting ..., I think? I owned a 1983 Honda CB-1100 that incorporated everything into one nice small powerful package. It was 'hell' to trouble shoot when things went wrong. Too many things shared?

The MC-2205 weighed in (5) five pounds less than the Bedini 200/200 on my garage scale. Both are back breaking to carry and built like the pyrimids...., to last forever.

When I mono-paralleled the MC-2205's to produce approx. 400vapc, is when they out performed the Bedini, and it was not as impressive as I thought it should have been. Yes, they played loud and hit every note with both dynamic and sonic precission, but so did the Bedini...., trailing only a half of second behind, having no other amp to help it..., all by its lonesome.

Both of these amps were controlled through a McIntosh C-32. This is a dated solid state preamp, but produces heavenly tones from monster amps. This is why I've stuck with it for all of these years, because it can handle all the punishment you can feed into it. These outcomes are from my experimentation with stereophonic equipment. I'm no expert by a long shot, but have little trouble differentiating and measuring power.

Would someone explain, moreover, educate me to a further extent on my findings between the Bedini and the big mac? How can a late 80's Class A design like the Bedini out perform the king of solid state amps, the late 70's to early 80's MC-2205? How, even when mono-paralled to produce a whopping 400vapc, barely nosed pass the finish line?

Sincerely I write,

Darren T. Jackson
USMC Electric
Mr. Jackson, I am sure your ears are telling you right. McIntosh are not best known for their solid-state designs, and these are not Class A either. Class A does wonders for transistors IME, it seems to remove a layer of grunge. IMHO the Bedini should be expected to do better, given the overbulding you describe and the Class A design.

Thanks for sharing the result of your comparison, it is great to read and very useful.
When I was in high school and college in the 80's, I worked part time at nights and weekends for two different audio stores - one near the house where I lived and the other near my college campus when school was in session.

My home dealer sold McIntosh and I can remember both the C 32 and 2205. For what its worth, the house view was that McIntosh was well made and beautiful in an antiquated way, but was not really considered "high end".

This observation was not sour grapes, but came from an authorized Mac dealer who otherwise only sold what I would describe as upper mid fi gear - Yamaha, Nakamichi, Polk Audio, KEF, car audio and on the very rare occasion when someone might special order it, Tandberg.

The dealer near my school was much tweakier and more high end in its orientation and sold Acoustat, Kimber Cable, Oracle turntables and.....BEDINI.

The owner raved more about the Class A Bedini amps than just about anything else in the store.

So not nearly as well known, but yes, as Tobias points out, your ears may not be steering you wrong.

In any case, have fun and enjoy the music.
I also have a Bedini class A amp, the 100/100 1 meg. It has 4 transformers (2 per channel), 17 power transistors per channel and 192,000 uf of filtering. It is a very musical yet clear sounding amp with a ton of reserve power for a 100w per channel amp. I also have two 150/150 mkII amps that sound nice but are no comparison to their big brother. The 100/100 has much better bass control and reveals much more detail than the other two in the midrange. I definitely love the Bedini sound.
Sounds like your friend wanted to give you the best amp he could,
I have two Bedini amps, a 100.100 MKII and a Model 803 and both are pretty minty. The MKII looks as though it came off the assembly line.

It's an interesting model in that it was dressed up and given away to dealers that met certain purchase requirements. The glossy black paint has big block characters in white that describe it as "New American Sound." A marketing scheme designed to sell product that perhaps didn't necessarily succeed? I have no idea.

I don't know if my Bedini is a rare "wolf in sheep's clothing" or not, however, the inside hardware is 100% Bedini and it's definitely a MKII. I don't think this unit has seen a great deal of play as it looks as though the previous owner just placed it in a closet and shut the door.

I picked it up on Ebay in 2007 for $400 from a seller in Chicago that indicated it belonged to his father, an avid collector of high-end audio components. It may have been the best money I ever spent.

Sonically, the unit is exquisite and it easily surpasses every other amp, solid state or valve, that I've ever owned, or for that matter, heard in any setup (whether it was a home studio or a high end commercial vendor)!

Old Mitch on Montrose knew what he was talking about and so do you sir. Additionally, it's all the more interesting that my unit happened to come from Chicago.

All the best.
Nice stories all around, thanks for sharing.

My question, Umsceletric, is why you assumed the Mac gear would obliterate the Bedini?
Perhaps with a different speaker it would be true.
It's all about synergy, even with vintage gear.
Jackson and All,
First let me say thank you all for the kind comments. I just want to let everybody know that the Bedini Amplifiers and Pre-Amps and Processors have never been discontinued. I just thought I would give it time to let the industry shake out, wanted to see how many keep asking for the amplifiers. I have a list that goes on and on. The biggest question is, can we get the model 10/10 or 25/25 the answer is yes in new packaging.
The company has changed names many times but Bedini Electronics is alive and well. We still have all the parts for your amplifiers. Currently we are under new design of the models 10/10 25/25 100/100 200/200 including a much newer line of Hex Fet mono block amplifiers. The company for service is Energenx Inc. and if you have questions call 1-208-772-3303 between 1 o'clock and 5 pacific time. The phone is only answered in the afternoon by Gary. I might say to compete in this market you must build a ball buster amplifier in the dollar range between $500.00 to $1500.00 max and beat the best out there, and that is what I'm going to do very shortly. I will post the link to this site soon. Thank you all for your comments.
John Bedini
I just acquired a "New American Sound" 100/100 Mk2 amp, which has four power transformers and array of 9 power transistors per channel. It looks like a true dual mono amp in one chassis. It has two power switches to turn on each channel separately. It has huge power supply caps in each channel. Indeed it is a great sounding amp. Unfortunately, the model or type of active transistors on the circuit board has been erased so that it is impossible to repair it in case it needs very simple services without any schematic diagrams. I wish Bedini share the information at least. The amp weight is close to 80 pound. It is very costly to ship and vulnerable to damage while in shipping for service. I just pray that it keeps working without any problems for a long time. Happy Listening to all!
There are two models of the Bedini 100/100 MkII. Which version of Bedini 100/100 amp do you have, MK2 or MK2 1Meg?
The New American Amp is a Bedini I think he did 100/100 and some 200/200 Casey amps that were built for woodland Stereo . The only difference is the blue circuit boards he did everything his way.
John Bedini

In my avatar is the amp the 200/200 it is an amp that can drive 1ohm in the low bass I cannot post a picture of it here. We only built 13 of these amps they sold for $5000.00 back in 70’s and 80’s I have one here that is the company prototype I have not sold it as today it would cost $ 20.000.00 to build . This is the same amp in the post Bedini Class "A" 200/200 power amp vs. MC-2205? Given today’s amplifiers it would be a waste of time to compete with it would just knock the socks off what is in the market place. The current is enormous for the speakers of today. This amp was built for the Infinity Reference System and the Magnepan Tympani 1D’s . The power output was over 500 watts then, clipping level on the lab model was 250 watts at 8 Ohms doubling at 4 Ohms and doubling again at 2 Ohms. The original amp used RCA 1B05 Transistors later versions using the MJ15024 devices. Just a little history to add here. People talk about this amp to this day and have asked to buy one until I tell them the price. Do not be fooled by people that make changes to my amps thinking they can do better. If you would study the circuits the feedback makes the amplifier a Transconductance source. That is why The 1 ohm resistor in the power supply so it floats 1 Ohm off ground. Bias is set across positive feed emitter resistor at 35Mv . My amps are feed forward self-bias this was first used in the Bedini/Strelioff 200/200. Hope this helps answer some questions.
John Bedini

Wow, thanks for the input Mr Bedini.  Seems the op was very lucky indeed to have had the opportunity to spend some time with your amp.  This actually says a lot about the "lowly" MC2205.  I gotta say that I absolutely adore my 2205.  

Mr. Bedini, does your company even exist today? You have a website, and I have tried contacting you by the phone number and email  multiple times.  Never got a response.  I have a 25/25 1 Meg that produced distortion in one channel.  I eventually got it fixed through another tech after unsuccessfully trying to  contacting you.  It would be nice if you let us know if you are still in business.
Let me say that John and Gary Bedini are in business, I go by their shop about once a month and they are always busy with electronics....Keep trying and you will get in touch with them..........
Ah no. I will no longer try to get in touch with Bedini. I've been trying for 3 years with emails, calls, and posting on forums.  Never got a response from Bedini.  My experience reinforces what has been said about Bedini...unreliable, waiting for years for amp that never got fixed, not returning calls or emails, etc.  I wonder how they stay in business.