I've had my SA250 for a couple years now, and also agree that this is a very good sounding amp. Seems like i have read that mosfet amps are sweeter sounding than bipolars, but the sa250 is one sweet sounding amp !
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I had a Sonograhe SA 400 for about a year. I agree
with everyhting you have said. They often get overlooked
but I think they represent tremendous value in the
used amp market. I upgraded my SA 400 to a BAT VK500 and
although the BAT was better I was surprised at how close
it was to the BAT in many areas. Very tube like presentation
with plenty of control in the lows. One of the better
bang for the buck amps out there. Enjoy yours.
Cmach, your right, the Bat is most definately an upgrade from the SA-400 but more expensive. If I'm correct the Bat is a zero negative feedback design & uses only one gain stage, a superb amp! I know both the SA-250 & SA-400 are not a zero negative feedback design but a minimal negative feedback design (a good thing as well). Don't know how many gain stages the Sonographes employ. I would love to give the Bat a try one day but for now I will enjoy the SA-400. But I thank you for the heads up on the SA-400.
Got a 400. Just bought a Plinius SA102. The Plinius sounds damn good, its dynamics in class A are amazing. They slam you back to the wall. But - I blew some fuses in it (my fault) and have the CJ hooked up now - backup! The Plinius is a better sounding amp - but if I ran low on cash and had to sell it, I'd be just about as cool with the CJ. Just a damn good sounding amp that I bought for $600 used. With Dynaudios + Supratek Syrah, vinyl and digital.
Hi Goatwuss, your very fortunate to have the SA-400 as a backup amp to your Plinius. My wife won't let me keep more than one amp at a time if it just lying idle unless I can hide it. Anyway I look at the SA-400 as a tube amp on steroids as it definately does sound very tubish. Connected to a quality tube preamp the magic starts there. Anyway you also very lucky to have paid only $600.00 for the SA-400 as I just recently purhased mine for $775.00 shipped. However it is in mint condition.
I bought a SA-250 a few months ago.I love it.Great sound,dead quiet,plenty of bass.Before that I used a couple int amps while they did sound good,no comparison using a 40 watter to this amp.I guess it is no comparison,but power is power and 125 watts is quite nice.Really does not run warm either.I think if you want the 400 you probably have some hungry speakers.I would consider it high end also,I think alot of products out there you can call mid fi,they sound good but dont take you to this kind of sound that the Sonographe can.
Coffeey, I am driving four large horn loaded speakers (300 lbs each) that have a combined total of eight 12" bass drivers. Although the SA-250 did a fine job driving these sensitive speakers, the SA-400 did it a little better. Your right both amps (SA250 & SA400) run very cool, even driving a 4 ohm load. These amps do offer a very respectable high end sound and are the type of amps you will have many serious listening sessions with, especially with a good front end. If you don't need anymore power than the SA-250 I would most definately stay where you at, as the the 250 may offer just a tad bit more transparency but both amps do excel in this area.
Coffeey, you have the same older unit I had. If it has the two prong power cord that would confirm it. Your amp sounds spectacular but not too long ago Conrad Johnson offered a limited upgraded version that would have a captured three prong power cord. It also had some circuit upgrades done to it. Is this newer model better, who knows.
Coffeey, I know less about the SA-400 than I do the SA-250. But what I do know is that they both offer a warm sound with good transparency & detail. These amps offer high end sound for less & I'm laughing all the way to the bank. Purchased another tube preamp to try on it. I anticipate excellent results.
ya,i have definitely enjoyed my trip to the bank with my sa 250,I bought it for 450.Also this makes me quite happy,i bought a Sono cj pre amp sc26 off Ebay months ago for 150.00.i swear you can put stuff and sell stuff on Ebay and have no freakin idea what it will ever go,that place is big time unpredicable.Of course you can put a reserve on your sale.Plus I think people on Ebay sometimes think that they should get stuff for free,rant over.
right now I am using the wonderful Sonic Frontiers SFL-1 but I am curious to know if a CJ pre or a solid state Sonographe pre would be better. I don't know if a SS CJ pre would be more warm than the SF hybrid tube pre as SF always made very neutral gear. I am looking to emphasize the warmth and transparency of the SA-250 I have. Since my Thiel's are about as neutral as they come I don't think that many pres/amps will be able to fully take that character away from them.
Also, CJ recommends turning the amp off at night but I've found that the amps sound best when run 24/7.
I just replaced a Sonographe SA-120 with the larger SA-250 and the SA-250 sounded lean and lackluster in comparison to the warmed SA-120. I'm near my first 24 hrs with the SA-250 and it's starting to sound as good as the SA-120...
before the 18 hour warm up the instruments were lifeless and lacked the weight and body that they had with the SA-120
any thoughts gentlemen?
As it stands I'm going to keep leaving mine on and save on electricity in other places. :P