I have the version without meters. The Grandson, like the Son has gotten mixed reviews. Some like it. some don't! Repairs might be costly. Better to buy something cheap in good working condition. Plenty of used receivers and integrateds on eBay! Sony, Pioneer, NAD ...
James B. (RIP) Made some mighty fine amps. Mike Samra fixes all of them. If he is still fixing them.
It will cost 500.00-1000.00 usd. min. It's only worth it to you.. No big resale. BUT James B. made a mighty fine amp.. LOL
Are there better amps? NOT by some great margin.
For the money today, the shipping would cost more than the amp is worth, yet James B. made some mighty fine amps...
200.00 that's a pretty tight budget. You can do it.
I just did a complete system for 600.00 with reference sound... Cables, Amp, Headphone preamp, 4 speakers, Sony SACD, everything.
Ampzilla 2000, were killer amps.. I had a pair...Expensive too...
what a title, it seemed like a grandfather was inheriting an amp from his grandson.
and GAS, gear acquisition syndrome, caught my eye as well.
If you could have met James B., you'd understand why.
One of the last Beatniks, but he was no hippy....
A friggin' genius when it came to his Amps.. Just different.. The names were just part of his way. Great stuff if you got HIM to really put the JB touch on one or two of his production amps... Something to behold..
I've seen them run some pretty tough loads, and just WORK...
I had a Son of Ampzilla back in the late 70’s and wish I never sold it. There used to be a company called gaslight that repaired GAS equipment. I met James Bongiorno once at an Audio show. He was quite flamboyant and was playing Jazz on the piano. He was a very accomplished jazz pianist. If I had your amp, I would get it repaired. It is a great part of audio history. He was one of the great audio engineers, hopefully he is still playing his piano in Heaven.
LOL Nick name was Pimp Daddy! Correct me if I'm wrong.. I saw him stand in with Brian C of the old VMPS and a few others at Brian's shop one night. Single malt, was the flavor of the evening, I passed...
They were all a fluster over the new, Ampzilla 2000s and VMPS Elixirs pairing at show.. CES.. a few years, back now...2008-10? Close..
Whole shop smelled of paint drying on the new cabinets fresh in from Doren Dibble.. Another different sort of guy...Yes the single malt was workin'. I was there to pick up a pair of crossovers...
GAS - Great American Sound. James Bongiorno designed Ampzilla and the Thaedra preamp. Andy Hefley designed the Son and Grandson amps, along with the Thoebe preamp.
Thanks for your responses everyone. Anyone else have any recommendations about whether to refurb the Grandson, how much it might cost to do so, or what would be an equivalent used amp I could pick up to replace it with?
The $200 ballpark is not a hard and fast limit, but I know I could pick up a used Rotel amp for around that much. But if I did do that, would I be feel like I've taken a big step backwards in sound quality? I've been listening to the Grandson for about 25-30 years, so I don't have a good sense of how it would compare to other amps that I could afford.
Contact Audio Classics in Vestal, NY and discuss having them do the repair work! A few years back I bought a nicely restored SAE Mark XXX amp from them! That was from the time James Bongiorno was at SAE in California!
I have an Ampzilla for sale now on audiogon. Worked on several years ago by Mile Bettinger. It’s an Ampzilla 2 see the listing .
I also have a GAS Grandson with meters mint condition and original box.
I plan on restoration at GAS Audio Restorations which was founded by Mike Bettinger in Carson City NV
Price? $600.00 The restoration cost will make the Grandson better than any amp out there unless you pay $3K Forget Rotel lots of reliability issues
Grandson is an amazing amplifier, one of the finest sounding amps I’ve ever heard. I would repair it. Any quality hifi repair shop can do the job. It most likely needs a recap. Keep it, it’s hard to do better for what a repair will cost.
@normansizemore Thanks for the response. Yes, I do plan to keep it. I don't know when I'll look into getting it repaired (budget & time), but I'll hang onto to it in the meantime. Until then, I picked up a used Hafler SE120 amp in excellent condition to fill the void. Actually, I picked up two of them, but only using one at this time. I found them on Craigslist for a good price, $75 each, so I bought both.
@johnnyotto I know this is more than a month past, but a couple of weeks ago I finished a Grandson complete rebuild. It was one of the easier amps that I have done and really sounds terrific. I mean really performs at a high level. Just wanted to send you some encouragement. Good Luck, Tim
@timlub Thanks for the encouragement! It sounds like any competent repair guy can get this thing perked up again. I'm surprised by how much I'm enjoying the Hafler SE120, but it would be good to hear the Grandson again, too.