Rawson Resale......

I've noticed that no one holds onto a Rawson amp for very long. Everyone raves but can't wait to unload it...now that doesn't make sense. Can someone explain this phenomenon to me?
*No one*? How could you possibly know that?
Had mine for a year and not planning on selling..... ever.
Tobias: It certainly seems that way. Of course, I can't prove everyone but look at A'gon.

Arni: You seem to be one of the few! Glad you're fulfilled.
You just explained it subconsciously perhaps,a phenomenon.Possibly a logical paradox at the same time,not sure.....
Wwoof01- I see you are a new member here and this is your first posting.
Im wondering why you picked Tim Rawson's amps when there are countless other 'raved' about products that are bought and re-sold?
What is your motive?
Wwoof01, I have to guess why you posted in the way you did. You ask about a phenomenon that is apparent only to yourself. Do you even know exactly why you asked?

I think you are wondering if the number of deals involving Rawson amps on AudiogN means that people are not happy with them once they hear them. You have not said so but that could easily be the assumption behind your question.

A much simpler explanation for the number of deals you observe might be the fact that Tim Rawson sells his amps via AudiogoN and AudiogoN is a good place to find a Rawson amp if you want one. It is the main marketplace for Rawson gear.

Just for the record, I own a Rawson amp. I bought it here, it does exactly what I want and I think it is excellent value, but if I want to upgrade or downsize I will sell it. I have known other Rawson owners who have done that too. I have known Linn owners who have done that, NAD owners who have done that, Quad owners who have done that, JMLabs owners et cetera et cetera.

Happy listening!
I want to go on the record I 'possibly' own the best sounding amp I have ever owned,be it tube or solid state,and the amp only cost me $235 shipped.
A Rawson Aleph Mini J
I had a Pass Labs Aleph-3 a few years ago,and made a blunder by selling it in favor of speakers that were a hard to drive 4 ohm 88dB
I've longed for the sound of the Aleph-3 since the day I sold it.
I have very easy to drive speakers now,but not the funds to buy another Aleph-3.
I was skeptical if a Rawson Aleph would come even close to the sound quality of the $2500 retail Aleph-3
I have to say,if my memory is right,the Aleph Mini J sounds as good or even better than my old Aleph-3.
The J-Fets in the Mini J gives it more high frequency detail and better sparkle than I remember my Aleph-3 having.

You may see my Mini J for sale one day and you can say "There's another guy that cant wait to unload it"
If I ever sell my Mini J,it will be to buy a different Rawson amp.
I doubt that will happen though,this amps a keeper.
Ihave a pair of class d amps from him that I got last year used. I love them.Phil Brady.
Does Rawson have a website?
Guys, I've been watching Agon forever! I just never posted before and have a keen interest in Class D amps. Seeing the turnover of his amps is quite noticeable.
I may be the biggest AudiogoN junkie alive.
For over 10 years I've I've hit 'new today' at least 20 times a day. Always on the look out for a killer deal I cant afford.
T.Rawson's amps show up now and then.
In fact,I count about 5 in the listings.
All sold but 1, and I know when a Rawson amp is posted for sale,it sells in a nano second or less.
When I bought my Mini Aleph J Tim posted the ad ~ 2am est. I of course was on AudiogoN and saw the ad right away and fired off an offer then went to bed.
When I got up I had a email from Tim accepting my offer.Tim was kind enough to wait until I got my lazy ass out of bed to confirm the deal. He had others waiting in line for this amp.If Tim hadnt posted the ad so late at night and wasnt as kind as he is,I never would have scored this awesome mini J.
Tim deleted the ad right after we confirmed the deal as he was buried with offers for it.
Tim told me he was building a Aleph-5 clone the weekend coming up and I waited anxiously to see his newest work of art.
I never did get to see it.A bud of mine emailed me and said he saw it, for about 10 minutes- before the ad was deleted.
As I've mentioned before,my Aleph Mini J sounds at least as good as my old Pass Labs Aleph-3.
That's quite a feat to pull off.

Wwoof01, if you have been watching AudiogoN 'forever' you should have learned by now there's a 101 reasons people sell a very popular,over achieving, hot selling item. nuff said..
Have you noticed how many Benchmark1 DACs come up for sale on Audiogon? Must be a really crappy product eh?
Many would beg to disagree. Circulation doesn't automatically mean something bad. Note above that many tend to move up the ladder, and the Rawson's amps are quite in the entry level price tag....
I've owned a Rawson amp before and thought it sounded spectacular for the price, very nice midrange. I sold mine for a stupid reason which had nothing to do with its sonics. I couldn't get past its rough looking cosmetics, I feel ashamed.
Couple reasons i suppose... Often people able to recoup what they spent or more. In this hobby change inevitable, no matter how good something may be.
Also, seems about 50% of the things I make go to repeat customers so they might have more than one thing i made and unload the other.

I only dabbled with class D, via Hypex products, for little bit. Cost materials high then like pulling teeth to get above that - not spending 500-550 to beg for 600, just too much liability since there are some gotcha's on them.

Do not have a website... fly just over the trees. Lot of stuff built not my own ingenuity so not out to make notable money on it. Consider it more build for others. In some ways, feel like a non-profit where just administrative overhead as truly better ways for me to make money if that were my motive. If made into business would not be able to make stuff reasonably.
Rawsonte, do you think you could come up with a reasonably priced Altmann BYOB?

It sound intriguing as maybe not so thin as your typical LM3875 gainclone.

Do you do ever make remote volume controls?

In this hobby people sell their gear frequently, for various reasons. Simply look at some of the mega gear being sold all the time. People get an itch, they upgrade, get excited for something new or get tired of something old (or new) - upgrade again. Whats so cool about messing around with affordable diy gear is it allows you to check out new stuff a little more often without losing your rear. I have a Rawson amp that is awesome but someday I will undoubtably want to check something else out.
Tim Rawson is one of the greatest assets to this community. The reason i sell his stuff is because im busy trying to convince him to sell me new stuff. I wont buy anything other than Tim Rawson gear.
tim has been a source of inspiration and a total enabler for me in this hobby for 3 years now. without tim i would have shipped all this stuff off years ago.

i check the pulse of the market regularly. the fastest velocity of any sale is consistantly tim rawson amps, hands down. there is a reason for it -- tim makes great stuff without question and without compromise.

regarding cosmetics... get out of the Matrix! free yourself! I have asked tim to build me stuff on plyboard before, i have also asked tim to build me an amp with whatever was lying around. tim has also pimped things for me with the finest parts. its great fun and a learning process.

tim has allowed me to build a world class system on a real world budget. we have exchanged great information and I have learned much from him through the years.

his efforts and contribution to the community should be applauded. there are so many diyers out there who do not selflessly share their efforts the way tim does. he doesnt have to do this, heck, sometimes he doesnt even want to do this lol, but he does anyway -- for the benefit of others.

thanks again tim and I hope you continue to build these creations for years to come!
Well stated Spwal, I totally agree.
Tim opened my eyes to the chip amp experience a couple of years ago and I have not looked back. I have owned several of his amps and a preamp and sold them with no problems. Tim's name is well known as you can see and that's why his offerings go quickly. I still have the bpa 300 he built for me and it sounds great. As always I look for his new creations from time to time and always encourge him to press on in times of fustration in this crazy hobby of ours. Keep the soldering iron hot my friend.
Tims a great guy. As he said he copys others work so cant sell on his own also think URL certification would be needed to sell in mass but not sure. But I do know Tim makes nice Kit at a very low price, glad hes about. Since he sells mostly off agon [this I asume] I can see why his works shows up on agon.
I bought one of Tim's Pass clones last year. If you can find a better NEW amp (class A!) for $300, buy it. My money says you can't. I may end up selling mine too, but that's what some of us with this hobby do. We enjoy trying out different components. Tim's amp performs flawlessly, and I'll bet it has an excellent resale value. A great conversation piece as well. I notice when resold, they are snatched up rather quickly.
Wwoof01, I've purchased FIVE of Tim's amps and have enjoyed every one! Two of the five were purchased from other members, who claimed to be selling only due to Tim building them even better versions. The first gainclone I purchased was replased with a dual mono version and the Aleph clone I have will ONLY be replaced if I can convince him to build a more powerful version.
In fact, Tim's amps have replaced all but my tube monoblocks!
Spwal said it best...
So how does one buy an amp from Mr. Rawson?

He does not respond here or to his e-mails.

One keeps their eye on the classifieds here on Audiogon. He has an amp for sale right now, and had another this morning but it's gone already, meaning he sold it right away. I got lucky with mine as he posted it late at night and I saw it quickly.

I think he's trying to get away from making amps build-to-order because he's starting to get treated like a manufacturer, rather than just a hobbyist who likes to build and try amps.

I got a First Watt F4 clone that's fabulous with my Druids. I had bought the PC boards to build it myself, but his price was low enough it made more sense to just buy his already built. He's also been very helpful with my follow-up questions.

Tim stays busy with his offerings and may not respond right away. He however will give you any info you need before treading the waters. I may be looking to unload a dual mono bpa 300 shorly. Tim built this special and this version has two trannies for true dual mono output.
Well, I appreciate the input and have a fascination for "Class D". But, first and foremost, I'm the typical broke audiophile and that's why I am interested in his products--cosmetics be damned. 8^) (I mean I have a gray metal chassis Decware Zen!)

I just posted a query on the LM4780 and was wondering if anyone has heard those chips implemented?

4780 is 2 3886's on chip. typically the 2 parts are paralleled to create more power for low imp loads. though can be bridged to but need to run low rail voltage so stable for various loads. audiosector and tech-diy sell 4780 kits. i don't make 4780's since my boards are for 3886 and some for 1875, definitely need fabbed board for 4780. plus need to electrically insulate from heatsink. in general easy enough for me to just put two 3886 together myself. lastly, find single 3886 works well enough and only need multichip parallel if driving tough load - in which case you might want to consider a different type of amp to begin with.
Thaks, Tim.....would you characterize the 4780 as a sonic upgrade or basically the same sound?
I have used one of Tim's amps for awhile, and am now in the process of getting another, this one much more powerful than the first, in order to try it on my LS3/5A's. They are power hogs, and I want to try them with more power than is available from my Sugden A21a before I decide whether or not to sell them.
There are as many reasons for buying and selling equipment as there are buyers and sellers - isn't that obvious? The main reason I pursue this hobby is for the sheer FUN of it, and for the love of music. If that's not good enough for some, other pursuits are readily available.
Tim impresses me as an enabler, giving us the chance to listen to different amp designs without breaking the bank, and sharing the experience with those who are like minded.
I liked my Gaincard, but I LOVED my clone at a SMALL FRACTION OF THE PRICE!.
Regards to all...
I as many note, buy and sell on Agon for the ability to try a variety of equipment, I couldn't afford 10 years ago, but now can. I purchased a DIY Class A Jfet amp here on Agon, to see, before purchasing a First Watt J or Aleph 30 at the going price here on Agon. I believe a lot of folks try the excellent work of master DIY'er Rawsonte, ultimately buy the brand version and sell the DIY amp off to the next newbie to Class A SS. And on that goes, a pay it forward philosophy if you will. For now my DIY sounds great and will likely default to the secondary system once another First Watt Aleph J comes along for the primay stereo. All the best fellow Agoner's, I greatly enjoy this website.
great to hear such a passionate outpouring for these amps. In defense of the OP, knowing nothing of Rawson amps other then seeing them in ads, I too thought at times that there seemed to be many of them for sale.

It would seem that this thread was started as an observation looking for an explanation if there was one. I don't see the reason for so many personal attacks against the OP or questioning a supposed motive.
Point taken, Tholt, but this is a perennial question on this board and it's almost never possible to know the truth without polling all the sellers individually. In other words, often enough it just leads to unproductive speculation.

Occasionally some items do come up in a clutch when a manufacturer brings out a new model. The AKG 701 spate appeared when the 702 was introduced ; the Graham 2.2 popped up for a while after the Phantom came out ; and so on.
Tobias, I didn't realize that the question of Rawson amps for sale was, as you say, perennial. I would think the perennial question on this board is the one asking advice about what to buy next or for comparisons of diff audio gear.

I do think the OP could have worded his question more neutrally to not spark an outpouring of backlash.
Sorry Tholt, I wasn't clear. The perennial question to which I referred, above, is not about Rawson gear in particular, it is about almost every make of gear that appears for sale in a cluster ( or IME not in a cluster, even ). The question being, "Why are there so many (put brand here) (put unit here) for sale recently?"

The other two questions you mention are, of course, perennial too.
Rawson resale must be pretty good. While I don't know what others have paid, it appears people are asking more for the amps than what they bought them for. Sort of goes against what Tim is trying to do.
Maybe he should open up a dealer network if there is going to be a mark-up.
I believe Tim just loves to build amps all shapes and sizes, he sells them to help fund the next project or two. I just missed out buying one of his small gainclones, they don't last long on the open market. Shame for the ones who try to resale for a profit. I think it goes against the spirit of these type of projects.

I must admit a lot them only a mother could love when looking at it but they give you the chance to acquire such a amp. And yes, just like the previous post a lot of times you step up for a better finish or more refined big sister.

I think as well, like in my case these amps are purchased for a second system to try out and play with, those tend to come and go much quicker than your main staple rig.

I recently seen some nicely finished ones, a far cry from some of the old ugly ducklings of the past; they still reportedly sound very good and isn't that what it's really about?
I've only had my Rawson built LM 3886 gainclone for a couple of weeks now, but it's the best amplifier sonically that I've ever owned. Spacial clarity like I'd never heard, gorgeous midrange and great lows and highs. It's a good synergistic match in my little system. The diy case is not very attractive but it serves the purpose. Most Rawson built amps are more function over form which is probably why they are reasonably priced. I don't have any plans to sell mine. I'm the second and last owner.
I have two T. Rawson mono block F5/Pass Aleph clones. It is based on the F5, but has the same input network of newer aleph30/60 rather than older 3/5/2 one... early aleph's had 10k, use the revised version where 47k input impedence. I have replaced a Bryston 4B ST as well as a ML 331. I am using Nordost RCA to connect and Dh Labs speaker wire. The feed a set of ACI Sapphire III in biwire format along with a dual set of ACI Titan II LE's. My sound stage had truly be opened and made more 3D. My low end in the speakers is still there and well controled. I can not speak more highly of T.R. as audiophile with a great desire to do DIY some well deserved justice. I will continue to use his products and if he made a multi channel chip (with enough power) would pick that up too. Thanks Tim for all your hard work and desire to make things move forward.
I have a Rawson gainclone and an F1 clone and they are worth more to me than their respective re-sale values. It is very disappointing that he has retired from the building. I very much hoped to have him build me an F3 before the opportunity was lost.

He was beyond an asset to the audiophile community, bringing DIY pricing to the ham-fisted audiophiles with limited budgets.

It really is too bad he was under constant attack as his efforts were hardly commercial. He really wasn't charging much more than beer money for his time... I imagine amp building for him was like knitting for my wife.


It appears Mr Rawson is selling Nelson Pass designed amplifiers intended for DIY use! I guess there might be some legal or at the very least ethical ramifications here.
Nelson Pass has generously made a number of his designs available to the DIY community.
Yes he has, for DIY only!

Again Mr Rawson is making NP amplifiers for resale that is a breached of the terms on which NP makes his amplifiers available to the DIY community ...

How So , Gopher,

I think your loyalty is misguided , The real asset to the DIY community is Mr Nelson Pass , he is the one who really gives to the DIY community and he charges what?

Yet you rave over Rawson ....... Sad!

NP contributions to the DIY community and to audio on a whole made it possible for you to get what you now rave over, both you and Mr Rawson benefited from such. Not trying to make Mr Rawson out to be a bad person , just setting the record straight.

NP graciously gives , maybe you should pop him an email saying "Thank You " I would .


06-02-10: Gopher
I have a Rawson gainclone and an F1 clone and they are worth more to me than their respective re-sale values. It is very disappointing that he has retired from the building. I very much hoped to have him build me an F3 before the opportunity was lost.

He was beyond an asset to the audiophile community, bringing DIY pricing to the ham-fisted audiophiles with limited budgets.

It really is too bad he was under constant attack as his efforts were hardly commercial. He really wasn't charging much more than beer money for his time... I imagine amp building for him was like knitting for my wife.

Why does it have to be a zero sum game? Tim Rawson left the game, Nelson Pass did not. I absolutely appreciate and respect NP's contributions to the audiophile and DIY community, however they are ongoing and have never been negatively criticized.

Tim Rawson on the other hand has been bullied into submission. Perhaps you do not see the difference, but I don't feel someone making less then minimum wage if viewed hourly, is in it for anything but to share his enthusiasm for the hobby.

If I had the technical understanding, I would undertake DIY projects myself, but my inclinations are to the social sciences... Luckily, there was someone out there willing to sell his time for the Big Mac he ate while he worked. That is a value to me and has not taken any money out of NPs purse.

In fact, if I am not mistaken, I think I recall reading Tim Rawson had NPs blessing.

I think we will have to agree to disagree on this one.
FWIW, his circuit boards have "Thank you, Mr. Nelson Pass" etched into them.
I was fortunate enough to have one of Tim's creations.

Thanks Tim and Nelson !!!!!!!!!
Holy cow!! How can anyone begin to downplay any of Mr. Rawson's work with the Pass gear. I have a pair of his Aleph 2 monoblocks that are really, really incredible. His work is first rate, safe ,reliable, has high value, and are incredibly musical to say the least. I built the chassis's and he magically put them together for me for peanuts. He's been a remarkable person to work with. I only wish more of us can have the experience that I've had. He's a very talented guy with loads of knowledge. I've had the A-2's in my system for more than 1 1/2 years and use them 5-10 hrs a week. One of the features is I no longer need heat in my house....not kidding either, try 135 deg. at idle. these mothers run HOT.
Thank you Tim for my wonderful Amps. I hope you continue your passion with building really great, affordable audio gear. You certainly have my support.
Joe Ritota
Your recall is as poor as the soldering on Rawson's work.

"In fact, if I am not mistaken, I think I recall reading Tim Rawson had NPs blessing."

Actually, diy'ers can thank Tim Rawson for reason number one that Mr Pass not releasing anymore firstwatt schematics.

Stealing IP is theft, no matter how he justifies it to himself.