Music Fidelity or Adcom

Hi everyone, have a question regarding an amplifier purchase. I would like to spend approximately $1000 on an amplifier and have narrowed it down to the Music Fidelity A3 (85W) or the Adcom 5400(125W amp) & GFP 710 (preamp)combo. Both can be had for $1000. I will be driving a pair of B&W Nautilus 805s without a subwoofer. I enjoy listening to everything from Jazz to Rock to Techno and therefore thought that the more watts I get the better. The room is medium sized, roughly 25ft x 12ft x 10ft. I have a couple of questions. Has anyone set up the 805s with either of these amps? Would the 85 watts of the Music Fidelity be sufficient to drive these speakers at sufficiently high volumes? Any advice would be much appreciated. thanks. vir
No, i have't listen these speakers with neither amps! However, think about the "expansion". In the future you may want to upgrade your pre-amp to GFP-750? Adcom's "flagship" pre-amp. Or/and Amp itself.With the A3 you are limited. But if you prefere A3' sound and you aren't interested in upgrade...that may be the "ticket"!
If you have $1000 in your budget for the amp, I'd strongly suggest you buy a "low mileage", used Adcom GFA 5500. It has 200 wpc, and substantially better sound quality than the 5400. I have owned Adcom amps and preamps since the late 1980's, and just sold my GFA-555II. You can get an Adcom GFA 5500 through Audiogon's classified ads for around $800. Adcom amps have excellent build quality, and therefore are a very good buy as used equipment. I say with strong conviction that the quality of your sound system will be much better with the 5500 rather than the 5400. With regard to the Music Fidelity, I cannot offer first-hand experience. Based on the articles I have read, however, and experience selling high-end audio gear, I think the Adcom 5500 is a better buy, particularly if you buy a used unit.
Out of what you mentioned, the Musical Fidelity amp will sound much better. What it might be lacking in sheer power and bass impact will be more than made up for in terms of finesse, detail and musicality. Depending on what the ratio of jazz is to rock / techno will tell you if you need more power or not. If your interested in a good deal on an Adcom 5800 with box, all paperwork, etc.. from original owner, contact me via email. If your not familiar with this amp, it was designed by Nelson Pass ( Threshold, Forte', Pass Labs, etc ) for Adcom. It is rated at 250 wpc @ 8 and is built like a tank. It has FAR superior sonics to any of the Adcom amps mentioned in this thread and is but a few years old. Sean
i have owned adcom amps and they are ok as more of an entry level high end. have good bass but lack clarity. music fidelity amps sound superior. you also might consider a used mccormack dna .5 or 1. i went from an adcom to a mccormack dna 1 (PAID $1000 for it (demo)). it's clarity is far superior to the adcom and its bass is much faster and detailed. i would buy the mccormack.
I've owned Adcom amps as well as Musical Fidelity (A300). Although Adcom has gotten better, they are still a bit dry sounding. I used the A300 with B&W 805's. Not bad at all. The A300 sells for $1495. If you are willing to stretch your budget the extra $495, here are two better choices: Audio Analogue's Puccini SE w/remote. It's 50w, but mates well with the 805's. Need more power, the Belles Hot Rod 150. It's rated at 100w. It's super. Well worth the $1495. Until you hear it, read the review in FYI: I sent the Musical Fidelity A300 back to Audio Advisor because after 4 weeks they still wouldn't send me an invoice/receipt!
If you are considering used and like Adcom you might try to locate a set of 565 monoblocs. I have a set in my second system driving Legacy Classics and like the sound. You won't run out of power with a pair of these and they can be located used for around $800. These havent been made in a few years so expect some age.
I would recommend you up your budget a litte, and perhaps look at buying a used Bryston 3B or 4B. I once owned an Adcom 5503, and over a 6 month period became dissatisfied with it. I also tried the 5400 for a week period, and found it similar to the 5503