harman kardon citation 16 amp?????

How do some of you older audiophiles like this amp? Is it a good amp for driving psb gold speaker? I have a tube preamp and i am not sure how it will perform with it. I can pick it up for around 300 bucks, is this a decent deal or too much for this vintage amp? Sorry so many questions i just am on the fence about purchasing it. Is there any way to check it out with a volt meter before buying it. I am no electrician at all but with some guidance i may be able to check it out further. Its a all black face and doesnt have the v pattern lights like most ive seen. ANy way to tell what the amp is? Just says citation sixteen on the front with 2 leds and a toggle switch. thanx for the info, much appreciated
I was never particularly impressed with this amp, but I suspect $300 isn't too far from the going price if you buy it, though I wouldn't buy it even it were less.

A volt meter isn't going to tell you much. The biggest issue with older amps are the big capacitors in the power supply as they can deteriorate with age. A better check would be to listen to check for any hum or other sonic issues. Only a tech with more equipment can check things in more detail.
Any other amps u would reccomend in this price range. I have a pretty low fi system but the psb golds I've read need more power than I currently have. 50w
I think the big thing about these PSBs is they drop to about 4 ohms through a good section of the lower midrange. That can suck a lot of current from an amp, so I'd suggest something with a good reputation at low impedance. A good (but not perfect) indication is if the wattage output comes close to doubling at 4 ohms vs 8.

Outside of some old tube amps I rebuild as a hobby, I don't follow the used market much. However, you might audition one of the newer Class D digital amps. There are some pretty powerful units out there at modest cost and at least a fair number of people really like them.
I am too old an audiophile as I quit with the Citation 12. I found it mask detail that the contemporary Quad 303 reproduced. I have the impression that the Citation line deteriorated with time from the original Stu Hegaman designs. I would pay a little more and look elsewhere.
Sue Kraft gave the 16 a good review in the April/May 2006 issue of Absolute Sound. It will probably need some updating.
See thats the thing. I have been looking on google and have found alot of people that say its a great low end amp. was really great at the time. I just need a amp that will alow me to stay married and give these psb speakers some breathing room. Im not a big fan of the vintage gear not having protection but i guess thats a whole new thread. I dont understand amps so i dont know how it works. thanks for the info. I still need more suggestions that will work. I dont understand the ohms thing either. I dont play alot of rock music and always listen at lowish levels.
I had 3 CITATION 16's in 1974'ish and they were clean and powerful performers.

That was over 35 years ago. Any amp that is that old, will not sound today as it did then, unless you go through it an replace parts that wear and age affecting the sound.

I still have a CITATION 19 I purchased during that same period and use it for a subwoofer amp to which it is exceptional.
Hello Flyin2jz, even though $300.00 doesn't sound bad, what if it cost more than that to bring it back to spec?? Keeping in mind it was built in the seventies and WILL most likely need something...caps etc. An A-goner Has (2) Perreaux PMF 1150B's for sale reasonable, 100w X2 @8ohms, built around 1982. Another quality amp is Aragon, 2004MKII, 100w X2 @8ohms or 4004MKII, 200w X2 @8ohms, both built around 1990. All of these amps also double there power into 4ohms. Aragon is no longer in business but these amps were a great "above mid-fi" bang for the buck. Most certainly would be a larger step above the older HK. Just my 2 cents...good luck!!!
Aragon is back in business Krell.
Aragon is back Krell.
I hope you bought the amp. I use a Citation 16A, I find it the most listenable transistor amp ever made. Wonderful mids, superb upper octaves and the bass goes way down stairs. Very engaging, with no listening fatigue. This amp replaced my McIntosh 2300, which is no slouch in any department. I have found the Citation 16 to be a wonderful amp very stable even driving 2 ohm loads. They can be easily strapped in mono to deliver well over 500 watts into 8 ohms. My 1977 example was sent in a few years ago for a check up, and came back with only one neon bulb replaced. All else is original. My unit delivered 205 watts into 8 ohms and nearly 300 into 4. Very rugged, well built and beautifully voiced amplifier.
Very good amp. BTW the Citation 12 was the first amp to use a differential input stage. I believe both the 12 and the 16 were designed by Matty Otala. A very gifted designer in the day. I don't know if he is still designing. The Citation 12 was the first amp to deliver wide bandwidth and he showed that an amp that delivered good square wave response had sonic advantages. High Fidelity and Stereo Review Magazines started to publish square wave responses of the amps under test. He also did pioneering research on transient inter-modulation distortion. All of his pioneering designs are still in use today in most amplifier circuits.
Sorry for the misspelling. His name is Matti Otala.
I just purchased a Citation 16 amp in excellent working order, the second owner said he has not had it serviced at all for all the years he had it, so it must be very reliable. I plan on servicing it though, checking the specs and probably replacing some common parts due to the age. Any amp as old as this one, from 76 or 77, will need checked over at least, by a good tech. This was a good design, which many still value today. However, for daily duty, i use newer amps in my system, because i dont want to destroy the value of a vintage amp and chance that something happens to it from my carelessness.
Make sure they clean and repack the output devices. Heat sink paste tends to dry out and crumble and no longer acts as a good thermal conductor.
I know this is old, but in response to the Normansizemore 2-16-11 post, I agree. I have a McIntosh MC-250 amp and C-27 pre-amp. I also have a Harmon-Kardon Citation 16AS and 17S amp and pre-amp. I never would have thought the recently swapped in H-K would sound better, but it does. I am using ADS L810 speakers which are pretty efficient, so the 50 wpc of the MC-250 versus the 150 wpc of the 16AS shouldn't be a case of too wimpy an amp for the purpose. Plus I play classical and 60s LPs at reasonable volume and the listening area isn't too far at all. The H-K sounds more musical, and I really do hear some soft percussion not heard before.
I'm guessing the McIntosh uses a transformer coupled output. The H/K does not. You may notice the H/K also has better transient response, as well as better air because of better high frequency response and power bandwidth. H/K's have always had a wide frequency response and I believe they are direct coupled or nearly so. The H/K is also capable of more current delivery, and therefore, better bottom end performance.
Mcintosh are well built, but personally I would take most H/K Citation amps over any Mac equipment, as mentioned they just plain sound better.
Add the PA2400, and Signature 1.5 to that list as well.
Mcintosh is more of a status symbol IMHO-good sound, but H/K amps clearly best them in sound- as those coupling transformers, IMHO kill sound-yuk!
My two best audio buddies, certified Mac freaks, both agree my H/K amps have a one up on them-it pretty easy to hear. Especially through a revealing speakers, such as AMT3's and the like.
Wide band width, high slew rates, and fast transient response make a difference. H/K amps in part where the reason test data looks at square wave response.
I agree. H/K runs a wide open format-direct coupled.
Most H/K amps are rock solid reliable, but with age, one needs to consider them to need a full check out service. Redo all the heat stressed solder connections, re heat sink the outputs etc, as they run higher bias/current them a lot of amps, and with this comes heat, and stress.
Once this is done, you should be good for many years.