Also considering a Belles 150a reference
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I was a McCormack dealer for many years and have owned most of the amps that Steve has made. Excellent build quality and sound. Couldn't go wrong.
IMHO, Belles is one of the most underappreciated and unknown high end manufacturers. I have owned alot of David's gear and find it top notch. Just SUPERB and deserves to be held amongst the best out there.
The Belles gear tends to the yin side of things. Warm, open, a little dark and romantic, (my kind of equipment). The McCormack is the yang. Fast, bright, clear, detailed.
If your system is already a little bright, the Belles would be the way to go. But if your system is a little dark and slow, the McCormack would be better.
I have owned literally hundreds of amps and the Belles is one of my favorites. In fact, once I can afford it, (I'm going back to school), I plan on buying a Belles 350A Reference or a pair of MB-200s or a MB-500 and calling it quits. My last amp(s). I'm just smitten with the Belles stuff.
Never heard the Belles but his designs are universally praised. Owned the McCormack and it was an excellent piece. Only comment I can add to those above, is that Steve McCormack is still active in providing support and upgrades to his designs through SmcAudio.com. He and his technician (Curt, maybe?) are readily accessible to respond to questions and provide honest, un-biased advice. The DNA amps are very good and exceptional bang for the buck. When upgraded, they are quite remarkable, world class products.
I'm having a DNA 125 modified right now by Steve.
I also own a monoblock .5 and a stereo .5 that have Rev A platinum mods.
I have used other amps in my 20+ years, but his are a no brainer. Once you buy one, you can have it for life because he constantly comes up with new mods/upgrades/etc as technology allows.
I don't care what's in these "new" $20k amps being sold. They aren't going to have better parts than what you get via his upgrades. Plus, you can tailor the amp upgrade to your exact budget.
You also never have to worry about where to get it serviced or if XYZ repair shop knows what they are doing. You can send it to the designer himself.
I thought my Rev A platinums were the best SS amp I've heard, but those were done over 7 years ago. My new one is supposed to be even better than that.
As good as Belles or any other brand may be in stock form, you're not going to be able to get this upside.
The only time I wouldn't recommend a McCormack amp is if your system needs the tube coloration/flavor.
Also, they will drive almost any speaker well, so the most important thing is to focus on your source component mating. I would avoid any cheap sources because one thing I notice over the years is just how big a difference the source makes when you have a truly neutral and transparent amp.
It's an extremely liquid, dynamic, and practically flawless amp with a good source. If you try to throw in sources with cheap op-amps or other inferior designs, then you will hear exactly what is flawed upstream.
I'm assuming you are talking about the auto-warm up
feature on the PV7 that stays muted for about 45-60
seconds after turn on?
Your PV7 inverts phase through the line stage, but not
the phono stage.
Did you swap the positive and negative at the amp OR at
the speaker? Do just ONE swap, not both. That
"might" solve the problem.
Did your old amp do the same thing?
You should always turn the preamp on first, then the amp.
You reverse this sequence when you turn off the gear.
You might wait until your preamp has gone through the
auto warm-up sequence, THEN turn your amp on. That
will keep this from happening for now. There should be a
capacitor or resistor in the PV7 that should keep this
from happening. Maybe call or email cj and see what they
say. You could also call David (Belles) and ask him. He's
a pretty cool guy and would most likely know.
It could also be that the interconnect cable isn't shielded,
(at all or not properly). I've had this happen a few times.
Click title to read one, or click date to read all below it.
02-12-15 This does not indicate a problem with either the amp or prea ... Bill_k
02-12-15 Bill_k is correct. there's nothing wrong with your amp. my r ... Zd542
02-12-15 I just posted this on the other thread: i'm assuming you ar ... Mofimadness
I put my cary tube amps back in the system and the problem is there. I have tracked it down to the preamp. I tried changing tubes with some extras I had, no help. With the cover off and a power line glove on, I moved the line stage tubes just a bit and the hum changed with every tiny move. I swapped a SS preamp into the system and the problem isn't there so I am going with a problem with the preamp. I tried switching the speaker wires as indicated and that didn't work. I also tried as suggested to power up the source and allow the preamp to come out of standby before powering up the amp and the problem is still there. The only time the problem goes away is when intake the CJ PV-7 out of the system completely. I guess I'll send it back to CJ to have them troubleshoot it. Could it be just a bad tube socket? The preamp IS 30+ years old.
Thanks for all the help
Skipper320 (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)
I have a dna1 silver special, a recapped belles 150a hot rod pushing some rebuilt xover b&w 801's series 80. Love both the amps... Also some times play my refurbished hk citation 7.1 thx bridged monster... The belles always stands out in front r/t smooth Mid range, open warm highs and great sounding bass too. I like the big power but the 150a is fine and has no problem pushing the 3 way. Also note I use (all refurbished) cj pv6, ps audio 5.0 and belles series ii preamp s, enlightened audio cd, ps audio super link, rega rp1...
I agree. Steve McCormack answers his phone. Fixes his stuff often going above and beyond expectations. Id buy another DNA for the $5-600 and spend another $1000 on the upgrades with out hesitation. Belles... I have no doubt that doode fixes is stuff with superior service too. Would love to get into a 350a and call it quits...Mmmm. But the Past couple years david and phone calls and email get no response. Wonder what I'm doing wrong... Would love to get one of my channels fixed.. His amps and preamps always get a big thumbs up, even the vintage stuff kills most 'new' cap today..always! Belies has always performed way past the price. I bet zed can fix belles amps thou as Steve is often too busy upgrading his own outstanding products. Just my 2 cents & 12 oz...:-) cheers