Tube or SS?
14 responses Add your response
Be careful to avoid an amp that DOESN'T work with classic rock from the LATE 70's...or only works with blues...I had an amp that worked with blues but when a passing chord, modulation, or more complex song structure occured it was LIGHTS OUT. I hate that. An amp that plays music from 1975 but balks at 1978 can be limiting but clearly period appropriate. As long as you use an amp for "some jazz" and don't put too much jazz through it it can work fine, but be warned...I played a bunch of jazz one day through my classical music amp and my cat caught fire. Sad...but hey, you can't be too careful. You really need several amps for different musical genres, and trying to dodge that fact can only lead to trouble. Play Dubstep on a Mumblecore amp? No way man...
I asked a similar question a few months back when I also had an adcom 545mkii. In my experience though, the adcom didn't sound muddy at all. It sounded a bit thin with not much low end. The mids and highs were okay. Maybe a bit analytical bordering bright. I think the McCormack may be the best for that money. I happened to go with a classe ca-150 because I found one locally and I have a classe pre-amp so I figured they should have good synergy. If you want, search the forums for "best used amp under 1k" and you'll see the list of recommendations I got :-)
Mswobo, don't let the jokes discourage you. My advise, which will cost you very little:
-Don't change any major component yet. Sounds like you are relatively new to the audio hobby; this is a great opportunity to learn about some basics that will help you forever.
-What is your turntable sitting on? Isolate it as much as possible, and then try to put it on cones for good coupling and rigidity. That should tighten the bass.
-Don't laugh: take some bricks (lead bars are much better, but....) covered with cloth or tape if you care about looks, and place them on top of your amp and preamp (away from any cooling slots or fins). Place amp and preamp on metal cones as well.
-Make sure ALL your connections are clean and tight.
-Place speakers away from corners as much as possible.
-Experiment with VTA and VTF on your Rega. Positive VTA, and lower VTF could help a great deal.
-Take two aspirins and call us in a few days.
I second the MacCormack if you can find it for your budget. I would also seriously consider the Adcom 5802. It is a major step up from the 545 so it could possibly address all your issues you have with your current amp.
That said, I'll echo what Frogman said as well and add the same comment as Plato with regard to room acoustics.