Since this thread is about to fall into oblivion. I will comment. Many Solid state amps from the 60's to the 80's were nice amps.They are just not bothered with much anymore.
The only amps from this period that get a lot of attention are tube amps. And the Krell, Levinson and other 'monster' amps. (Not jerkoff "Monster corp" just big amps)
I think you are forgetting a few. Bryston would definitely be one. What about the Yamaha B2. I am trying to think of the Sound Craftsman that is a beast. Not to mention many of the larger integrated Kenwoods from the late 70's. And there are other Amplifiers that would be up there also. So I can't say I agree with this comment.
I think it's just the nature of this boutique site.
Most folks will never pay the prices on here. I have mentioned this site to people looking for nice gear, and they say it's to high. Although I do think there is some competitive pricing on here. I have heard a few high end set ups in my day. The Citation is a nice Amp for the money. Just my two cents.
The Citation line was built of very high quality parts (open one up) and excellent, reliable, musical design. I sold every Mac amp I had (nine) after hearing and buying a Citation 16A 10 years ago. These puppies were hand built and each was listened too prior to shipping. They were also expensive in their day.
I agree that the Citation line doesn't get the credit it deserves and I really don't mind. It just makes those gems more affordable now.
I now listen to a 1977 Citation 17 preamp and the above mentioned 1977 Citation 16A amp. These two components have ended my search for a preamp/amp. I am blissfully happy to be off the trade in/up? treadmill. You won't receive any 'snob' status with your 22, but I bet you're enjoying the music.
Laviathon you are correct to an extent. That whole line was a little above average gear. Unfortunately that line suffered from poor assembly line finish and proper testing. You can read many reviews/quotes of owners that had 22's that ran very hot(bias adjusted too high),shut down into protect etc. and eventually owners gave up and hated them. Others loved them and never had an ounce of trouble (me). It seems if you were lucky enough to get a properly set unit,you were ok. Quality control was the problem!! I bought one of the first (22's) to arrive at a store. At 19 yrs.old I purchased my first pr. of JBL's (L150A) new. They definately came to life with the HK however the JBL's were VERY power hungry. A second 22 came along and monoblocked the beasts. Low end was still suffering. A third 22 made for;left and right woofers to have ther own monoblock with a 22 in stereo for mids and tweeters..pretty sick!! However...I was able to purchase a Krell KSA 100 MKII from the original owner twelve yrs. ago cheaper than what I bought a 22 for. That 100 watts of class A put ALL three 22's to shame!! Don't get me wrong the HK's still sounded great (better than alot of other midfi gear)but,when called upon for very low end they couldn't keep up. No I'm NOT a Krell snob!! I own much larger Krells now and my 1st KSA but, still have the (3) 22's,21 and 23. Just passing on my 27 yrs. of audio addiction/passion. At 45 yrs. old I'm probably not even close to being done!!! Always remember to let YOUR ears make the final decision!! P.S. not one of my five Citations ever gave me any problems.
And yet another thing to remember is that these later Citations followed the XX series, which were at the very top of the heap ($7,500 for the amp and $3,500 for the preamp-in 1980!)
I remember HP did a comparo test in The Absolute Sound of all the big amps available at that time and the Citation was the winner, beating them all.
Then Harman bought Mark Levinson, and the Citation line was put on the wayside for a while; then re-emerged at a much lower price point. Hard shoes to fill.
I recently had an urge to go vintage, and I am currently using a CItation 17s preamp and a 16 power amp. Compared to my previous Audible Illusions combo, they don't fare bad at all, there is less palpability and detail, but there is also more musicality; and the 17s phono stage is just as good if not better than the Modulus standard phono stage.
Yeah, compared to say a Mac, most Citations are I think undervalued and underapreciated. All the better for those who know and want one!
I like my 22s, have 4 of them in my system, seem to work great 1 gets a little hot but not too bad.
Well you all are right about one thing and that is that they sound amazing! Yes they were all biased incorrectly from the factory and the left channel also had to have a mod done on it as there were some errors on the main PC board on how the L ch. Bias circuit is configured. I have a few of these amps and all have been re- biased and modified and now they run just barely warm and they are so reliable.
They have an incredibly warm sound. One can listen to music for hours and not have any listening fatigue. Even the Citation 21 Pre-amp matches so well with it.
I'm very happy to own these classic 80's audio gear.
I don't have any experience w/H-C Citation amps but did note that Jim McShane appears to work with Citation gear. Check out his website. I think it's a mod/upgrade offering but not sure. In any event, it seems to me he wouldn't work with the brand unless there was some inherent quality.
I believe that all the Citation amps followed certain quirky design principles laid down by head HK designer Matti Otala. Definitely a different way to skin the (power amp) cat. A quick Google search will return a ton of info about the design and help explain why they are distinctive (and, IMHO, very, very good) sounding SS amps.
The new HK990 integrated amp (that I'm about to buy once they provide a software patch for the glitchy DSP chip) has a power amp section using the same basic Citation design.
Do you have notes on the bias circuit modification
H/K was the first company to realize the importance of square waves and wide frequency response. H/K i.e. Matti Otala designed their amps, including the Citation 12, to output great square waves at both 20Hz and 20khz. A noble task. Most amps of that era couldn't come close to the wide bandwidth output of the Citation amps. It became so important that most audio magazines of that era posted square wave response photos of the amps that were tested and reviewed.
I now own 2 Citation 22s! Because of problems with the first one, I bought a second one.
1st one: Sounds great but left channel output transistors and heat sink gets REALLY hot within a few minutes. Scares me enough to shut it down. Can you elaborate please on the error in the HK wiring in case that is the cause of the problem on my unit?
2nd one: It ran great for a couple of months, then the lights would flicker and the relay inside was clicking away, the sound going on and off (even with speakers disconnected)!
My tech friend so far tried exchanging the relay, then the controller board with no change. Finally as per my request, I asked him to connect jumpers across the relay (defeating it) and I am adding an external delay relay (about 12-15 seconds) hoping that it will keep the speakers and output transistors safe???
Any suggestions are VERY, VERY welcome. Kind of frustrated on this end!
I DO love the power of these amps and their clarity and musicality (neutral?). I am powering Infinity shoulder height RSIIB's, with two 10" woofers, ribbon mid-ranges AND ribbon tweeters, front and back (These REQUIRE 100-200 good watts per side!) (A bit of bi-polar going on here, what with oak wings etc!)
LOVE to hear back from you!
(Audioholic since age 12, 48 years ago, collector including QUAD 909 and electrostatics!)
The output heatsink heating up is due to either bad output transistors, too much D.C. at the outputs, or bad bias heatsink transistor. Usually, there is a transistor mounted to the heatsink that adjusts the bias up or down depending on the temp. of the heatsink. That might have failed. It's also possible the bias trim adjustment may have fail or is improperly set. Find a good repair facility in your area and have it serviced. It's probably due for new capacitors as well given it's age.
pmanaudio- I just purchased a Citation 22 that runs hot but sounds great. Can you please reply with the steps you used to resolve your amps issues?
The Citation line is excellent. What do you care what people who don't know better say. Enjoy the music and be happy that you have a great piece.