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
usmcelectric
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.
To John Bedini and everyone out there:

USMC Electric, Darren Jackson, is my fiance'....., and he still has that Bedini Class 'A' 200/200 in excellent, like new condition. He has given me permission to speak on his behave, under duress (ha-ha). 

We are both audiophiles, as he has taught me many-many things pertaining to the society. That Bedini is No. 006, I do believe, and is for sale. Knowing that there are not many of these beasts out there.., the asking price will be $10k-ish, and offered locally. Photos will be posted in the near future, on the Audiogon Website.

When Darren received this amplifier from Mitch, it had a long cord that made it cumbersome to move about. Being a licenced electrician, he carefully, though very tastefully removed that 3 conductor #12 awg cord, replacing it with a flush female 20 amp single receptacle. The amplifier is back fed using 1 single heavy cord with 3 male prongs on both ends. It isn't factory, yet, it looks professional. Also, the gut cover/top plate was anodized a bright silver color. The front handles were chrome plated (no wear or pits), with the factory flat black faceplate, sporting that beautiful 'Bedini' script writing. 

Oh Yes, I know much about this amp, because he loves it more than me! I too am an audiophile, so I completely understand. 

It hits just as hard as it did, when it was brand new, and still more colorful in musical headroom than any in his collection. As I mentioned before, it's a beast of an amp and candy for the eyes, for it is absolutely gorgeous. The 2 under fans are dust free, as is the inside, where the magic is created. A very-very clean unit that was always kept in a pet and smoke free home. 

We bought a 2017 Ducati Panigale R a couple of months ago, in mint condition with only 60 miles on it. We're thinking that the Bedini needs a new loving home, and the proceeds into our savings account. We will post photos by the middle of November 2020.

Thanks for reading,

Darren and Marisol Diaz Jackson
Chicago, IL
John Bedini passed away four years ago. His brother Gary passed away very quickly afterward. 

I owned the 25/25, the 250/250, and the 803. All good amps in their day (especially the 25/25), but IMO bettered nowadays by some amps available. Still, very few amps could drive low impedance loads like Bedinis.