Review: Aragon 8008 BB Amplifier

Category: Amplifiers

I bought this used from a fellow audiogoner after he assured me I would be floored by the difference in quality I would soon experience. Let me just say that he was right, my movie watching (sadly) has gone way down. I just can't stop listening to music on my "new" system. I have never heard my speakers until now. The Aragons dual mono design and my Pre is dual mono as well, has given me outstanding imaging despite the limitations of my small listening area. Bass is now there! deep and powerful, no more listening fatigue or digititis! Blues, hard rock, classical, all sound great. I have been inspired to buy many remastered editions of my favorite albums because the better the recording, the more this baby shines. I thank the stars I bought this and now I'm looking at a BPT ac product to get my system the high quality current it now deserves.

Associated gear
Musical Fidelity Pre amp
Cal Audio Labs Alpha-Delta
Mirage M5si Bi Polar speakers

Similar products
None in this league, though I did upgrade from Adcom separates
And here I was expecting you to compare it against much more expensive amps.

Welcome to the club. The Aragon has always been a great value. Although the BPT products are very good, you might want to reconsider a toroidal isolation transformer. You don't need a wideband, close coupled transformer to supply 50~60 Hz. Nice thing about toroids is that you can stick them in the living room without too much hum.
A lot of people here tout the virtues of this or that amp, and rightfully so (there are a lot of great amps out there). However, I keep plugging along with my Aragon 8008BB (as well as my 3 & 5 Channel 8008's for my HT), and I have yet to feel the need to upgrade. I keep working on the other areas of my system and the 8008's have yet to become the weak link.

I have found though, that the Aragons do benefit from good power conditioning, and for me that has been the Richard Gray product line. They've been expensive, but very effective, and I live in a very noisy area (electrically speaking). Another effective power consideration would be dedicated a circuit(s) with an isolated grounding system.
Since the purchase of the Aragon and Musical Fidelity, I have had a dedicted line installed, and upgraded all my cables except a power cord for the pre-amp and speaker cables. I noticed a slight but definite improvement with the line. After ordering the interconnects and power cords from Frank at Signal Cable, I was stunned to get even deeper bass and further imaging and clarity. The final tweek will be a power condioner along the lines of BPT or PS Audio. Considering Frank's speaker cables as well.

I just want to mention that when it comes to power conditioning I have found balanced power to be important, by reducing noise through common mode rejection. I mentioned the RGPC products I use in my earlier post, but what I didn't mention is that the key to the results I have received is that I use their 240VAC to 115VAC isolation transformer with a dedicated 240VAC line and isolated ground (please note that I have no interest in their product line other than the fact that I have tried their products, like them and use them). The BPT products and some of the PS Audio products, will give you this feature. Also, others on this forum have had excellent results using other types of isolation transformers - you can find the posts by doing a search in the forum archives. I hope this helps.

I too love my 8008BB. Just upgraded to Von S VR4Sr's and they seem to love the amp, showing me how much more the 8008 can do well. The amp is also bullet proof. Twice in four years during installs live speaker cables touched and all that blew were the rail fuses. My area has much ambient lightening and surges - the amp has always come through these fine (I do use a surge protector but other equipment has failed because of the surges). And if you need information or service Steve at Aragon (866) 781-7284 is wonderful. Enjoy!
Sly and Gammajo, thanks so much for the input. I did the same thing (touching wires) and sadly I blew a transistor as well. a nearby repair shop set me up again for about 150.00 bucks. Sly, don't think I can do the 240v line lie you suggested but would a Richard Gray or Ps Audio=Bpt do fine plugged in my new dedicated line? it's 20 amp and wire is 12-4. Groundwire is 10 gauge. I have noticed a much more solid bass foundation since the new line was installed. The Signal Cable power cords and inters I bought also improved things slightly. I have to believe though that I do need to go the route of a popwer component because all thoise new cords and new line are being utilized with a monster power strip only. Amp is plugged into the wall. What do you guys think?
Zar, you paid $150.00 to have the fuse replaced? You could do it yourself for less than $3.00. The fuse is right under the lid. Make sure you are being EXTREMELY careful, but there really is little danger of hurting yourself. Remove the lid, replace the fuse, run like mad! If it doesn't explode you'll be fine till the next time you touch a couple of wires. : )

Nice catch, that's a good amp. You'll have to spend a lot more money to get something better, but it'll give you a taste of what is available, but at a reasonable price. I had one for several years, and I bought mine from a magazine reviewer several years after he wrote the review.

I'm not sure what you're asking with the power question, but ideally you should have a seperate circuit for the amp and another from the rest of the system.
Uppermid, a transistor blew out as well in addition to the fuse. I have no more room in the breaker box for another dedicated line, but I would think the cheap Monster power strip can be hugely improved upon with a good power component. that was my question, I guess. Mark

You should get the benefits of common mode rejection with a balanced transformer that plugs into 115VAC power, like the BPT unit provides. I haven't used them myself, but the BPT power conditioners have received excellent reviews.

As far as your dedicated circuit is concerned, you should be fine with 12awg wire, especially if the wire length is relatively short. Personally, I like to use 10awg or larger wire, but I have fairly long wire runs.

Concerning the repair to your amp, I also shorted one of the speaker outputs when I first bought my amp. The result was blown fuses which I easily replaced, but when I called Aragon to see if I should send it in to be checked, they told me the internal component specs well exceeded the fuse rating and that nothing should be hurt, which it wasn't. I just wonder if your local repair shop was maybe a little less than honest with you - just wondering.

Again, I hope this helps. :o)
I was told the same thing by Aragon, but since Zar's unit was used, it may be that there was an improper fuse in the rail, for example, slo blow versus fast blow which failed to protect. Fuse replacement can be confusing as different designations are used by different manufactors.
I see what yer saying. I blew a fuse, but it wasn't nearly as complicated as what you did.
Hi guys. Well, as for the repair shop, I know the guys brother so I hope not. He did show me the blown transistor he had to replace.
Hello Zar , nice synergy factor as Ive heard and strongly considered the 8008BB as well at one time after hearing these drive some Martin Logans exceptionally well. As your commenting on these fine amplifiers might I add in the beautifully musical sound of your Mirage speakers as I also own the Mirage OM6 with Plinius amplification which is sonnically very similar to Aragons in a very full range 5.1 system with tubes in my sources, and may I, suggest you try some tubed sources.Any time I try going back to transistor sources my speakers staging loses a degree of dimensionality or sense there of, in all aspects though I feel the Mirages are a very underrated non-anylitical speaker', few approach these IMHO in terms of rich instrumental tones along with "in room" vocal presence, terrific dynamics that provide that "lifelike musically cohesive" sound that just pulls you in and allows one to be immersed in your favorite recordings and alleviate that "annalysing your sound factor".The Mirage speakers also image surprisingly well when better electronics are interfaced in ones setup as I started with Onkyo recievers then Adcom seperates and finnaly all Plinius SA102s in dual mono with theyre P8 on my center and SA100mk3 on surrounds , M8 preamp ect...The Mirage OM6 has been a very transparent window to my source and associated equipment allowing audible changes down to my Transparent and recently Siltech cabling, excellent speakers! Anyhow enjoy your Aragon as it truly is an exceptional sounding amplifier--you found it! Nice job--ENJOY... Regards/// Tim W...
Tim, I do like my Mirages and have had them since late 1993. I don't know when I'll need new speakers or really how much if any age has degraded the sound. With the Aragon and Musical Fidelty, plus Signal Cable power cords and interconnects, the speakers have never sounded better. I went so many years really not hearing them. The Aragon is so much better than the Adcom' I had it's not even funny. I do have a tubed dac, the Cal Audio Alpha. Zar