You might like to read about Buyer's remorse. Wikipedia has a pretty good explaination here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buyer's_remorse
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>I know to take all these with a grain of salt and only my ears will tell me.<
Since you say you already know this, calm down. I don't think anything I own hasn't gotten at least one negative comment on an internet forum. But hey, I know my system sounds good and every component in it was carefully chosen for it's intended purpose. It's only YOU that has to be satisfied, so do what you said, let your ears be the judge.....
Having second thoughts about your purchase? The key is, if you don't like it sell it as soon as you know.
Hey, you may love it. It might be exactly the sound your looking for.
I purchased a pair of speakers that got great reviews. I spent the money on a used pair and drove 5 hours each way to get them. I did not like them. I knew within a week. If I would have sold them within a few months, I could have easily broke even or came out ahead. I sold them three years later for a small loss (the speakers had a good reputation and I purchased them right). Some equipment you can really get hammered on.
I am a big fan of class D amps. I considered the GCC-250 at one time. I decided to go with higher powered class D monos and a tubed preamp. You can also use your GCC-250 as an amplifier and try different preamps with it.
The reason I waited so long to sell the speakers was....I tried to force myself to like them and stopped listening to my stereo so much. Time went fast.
I too have bought speakers that were raved about,here-- and thought "those guys must be deaf"---and resold them without much loss.(3months later)--This is the only item that falls in this category that I can remember.((Not bad for 10 years))
However; at AVS forum it has happened several times. You should see my closet >>>>>
I guess this works both ways - equipment that was purchased under the recommendation of others that aren't synergistic with your system and others that are loved by some and hated by others (the GCC series of amps, it seems) that are synergistic with some systems.
I just hope it works as well in my system as the GCPH does... we'll see!
I experimented with a GCPH feeding a GCC-500 and found they are a good match; I enjoyed every minute auditioning different ic's and pc's and speaker cables. The sound from Gain Cell technology is rather addicting.
In the long term, however, I found myself craving a different kind of sound from the amps and ended up acquiring a different kind of power amp. I found the GCC amp section to be somewhat dry in comparison to the more lush, liquid sound I am now getting. I still have a GCPH and love it along with a DLIII. I guess it all depends on your speakers and your ears.
I have a GCC-100 as part of my system.
The volume control is perhaps one of the most transparent ever designed. I have tested it in various configurations in contrast to other volume controls. It allows one to hear other system colorations so easily.
I then had the full Underwood mod done (including Nextgens, better binding posts, etc), and added Hi-fi tuning fuses.
When it came back from the Underwood mod, it was on another level of performance, and I was very impressed.
The Fuses were a small but easily audible upgrade as well.
I have since moved to tubes, then used the GCC as a bass amp, with the ability to tweek the bass volume via remote for each LP/CD, which is extremly nice.
I recently put them back as the main monitor amp, while doing some upgrades to my main amps, which are much more expensive. I was shocked just how good it sounded.
However I am changing my system soon,and the GCC-100 may have to find a new home. I highly recommend these integrated's especially once modified.
It will be here Wednesday - took the guy a week to ship it which was a little frustrating, but that's okay.
I'm very interested to hear it - I'll be trying it with a pair of NHT Classic Threes and some Usher X-718's, curious to see how it sounds. I'll report back once I've had it up and running for a while.
If your GCC-250 is anything like my HCA-2 (the GCC's predecessor) you'll be calling it your Last Amp. They're that good, with no issues whatsoever. I would so love to have a volume knob on mine.. it's only shortcoming!
If, however, you're the type who can't appreciate an amp unless it has a slab of polished aluminum uselessly attached to its front side you might be disappointed. Or if you measure your amp in pounds, not sounds.. ;)
Nathanso, I've gone through three HCA-2 amp versions now. ( 1 stock, 2 modified versions.) Believe me, there is a LOT of unrealized sonic potential in the stock HCA-2. If you were to try something like Cullen Circuits mod package with your HCA-2, you'll have a hard time wiping the silly smile off your face! BTW, you've got one killer beautiful room with a view. Awesome.
Holy mother of crap!!! NOT a mistake!
I've been running the amp pretty much non stop since it arrived. I've tried it with a pair of NHT Classic Three's and it sounded very good. After a few days, I switched out the NHT's for some Usher X-718s I recently purchased and, what a revelation.
I don't want to get too caught up in the flowery metaphors and usual mumbo-jumbo. However, the best way I can describe it is that I'm "seeing" so much further into the music than I ever thought possible. The clarity, definition, and detail is beyond anything I've ever had in my room.
I recently purchased a GCC - 100 on Audiogon, one modified by a guy who used to design many of PS audio products, name escapes me right now. I agree with all your statements. I am thrilled to have been able to make this purchase now that the line is discontinued. Supposedly their Trio amps are not up to the GCC standards, but they are less expensive. Oh, the modifications were made by Cullen Circuits. Highly recommended. Agree that clarity, and detail, transparency is the best I've had and I 've had some pretty good amps in the past, Classe, Bryston, Musical Fidelity. If anyone reading this sees a GCC - 100 for sale and you're looking for a new amp, snap it up when you have the chance.
Randy- Great insight about mod'ed GCC amps. Mine was great to begin with but after modifying, look out. Definitely install Hi Fi tuning (or other premium fuses) - It's a nice upgrade.
I reluctantly now have mine listed here for sale. PS Audio just stopped making the GCC series, and the new smaller trio series is nice, but not the same.
If I ever decide to set up a second system , I'll be kicking myself for selling this thing, (cost, size, balanced and transparency make it a winner) but I'm trying to raise cash for a very costly speaker upgrade.
One aspect of the amp that Ive found very interesting over the last week is how much its presentation changes with regards to associated equipment. Cables, for example, make huge differences where with other amps the changes were much more subtle. Ive also never had an amp change so much, so quickly, with break-in. Perhaps its the level of detail this thing digs out thats the reason.
The point is, that if you're expecting this thing to work "out of the box" with your associated equipment, you're probably going to be disappointed. If youre committed to it, youre going to have to rethink your associated equipment sources. If you get it right youll be rewarded with unbelievable clarity, transparency, and detail with loads of musicality; not an easy feat for any system.
I initially tried it with a combination of three speakers I had on hand and three pairs of speaker cables. The speakers were pairs of NHT Classic Threes, Paradigm Studio-20s, and newly acquired Usher x-718s. Speaker cables were PS Audio xStream Plus, AudioQuest CV-4 w/ 48v DBS, and AudioQuest Type-4.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the NHTs in the past, so those were first up after running the amp in for about 24-36 hours. My natural selection for cables were the PS Audio its a PS Audio amp, after all, those HAVE to be a match, right?!? Horrible, horrendous, unlistenable sound painful. I let it run overnight again but it didnt improve so, I figured, it was time to start experimenting. Heres how things played out:
Speakers the NHTs improved with speaker cable changes, but never sounded right to me with the GCC-250. The Studio-20s sounded wonderful and the Usher X-718s are just stellar, beyond belief for their size, really.
Speaker Cables the xStream cables sounded terrible with almost everything (they were actually tolerable with the Ushers). Ive used them in the past with other amps with great success. Odd. The Type-4s sounded pretty good, but the CV-4s were the ticket with both the Paradigm and, especially, the Ushers.
The GCC-250 / Usher X-718 combo is the first time Ive heard dramatic differences between the Type-4 and CV-4 DBS cables. Dont get me wrong, with my other amps I can hear subtle differences between the two; but, with the GCC-250 the CV-4 cables are clearly much more transparent than the Type-4.
Simply put with about 100 hours on it and being fed a Dynavctor 20XL cartridge via a PS Audio GCPH phono stage via the balanced connection, this is hands down the best system Ive ever had in my room.
It took some experimenting, however, and will probably result in changes in other equipment to get it right in most systems. I did some research and found that PS Audio used Usher speakers with the GCC amps at the Rocky Mountain Audio Festival in 2007. Instead of re-inventing the wheel and going through a bunch of speakers that might have worked, I decided to trust PS Audios judgment and ears. It paid off in spades.
Im convinced that the upper midrange/lower high-end problems people have experienced are due to one of three things: associated speakers, associated cable, or (less likely) theyre hearing recording anomalies for the first time due to the overwhelming resolution of this amp.
02-24-09: Johnnyb53Told 'ja.
I am a bit surprised that the PS Audio XStream speaker cables don't work so well for you, given that they're from the same vendor. I have a biwire trio of those for L-C-R, and they were a mighty step up in all parameters from the big box MIT 750s I'd been using before. However, they're connected to a MOSFET class A/AB amp.
What are you using for a power cable to your GCC-250? Most reviews I've read of class D amps indicate that their sound changes significantly with different power cables, strips, conditioners, etc. My class D integrated is an Onkyo A-9555, and after trying out 3 or 4 power cables, my preference went to a PS Audio Prelude.
Hey Johnnyb53 - I'm using a Furman Elite-15PFi power conditioner and PS Audio Plus power cables with good success. I was surprised by the XStream cables too - they sounded pretty good with my old A/AB amp. They really closed in the highs with the GCC-250 and just didn't sound natural. The AudioQuest CV-4's I thought sounded much much better.
I've been trying to locate a nice PS Audio Quintessence power conditioner but am not having any luck. I'll keep watching the 'gon, one will show up eventually!