Review: Marsh Sound Design A-200s Amplifier

Category: Amplifiers

I will begin my review of the Marsh A200s amplifier by stating that this amp is used for 2 channel audio, 2 channel dvd playback, and television. I primarily listen to rock and jazz - Dire Straits, Eagles, Dave Matthews Band, Diana Krall, Holly Cole, Miles Davis, Chris Isaac and numerous other artists of those genres. This review is not a specific review like I spent 30 minutes listening to the following recording and I found the following data. My review will be more of how I have enjoyed listening to this amp over time, and my thoughts on it.
I have owned the Marsh A200s for about 30 days now. I previously had 2 different Dynaco ST-70 amplifiers that were both modified. When the amplifier arrived I was prepared to hate it, and regret my purchase. The amplifier ended up costing about $150 more than I origionally thought it would, and I felt like I should just go get an integrated amplifier. I was also a bit apprehensious about going from tube to solid state. When I unpacked the amplifier I was impressed with the double box packing, the build quality and the attention to detail of the amplifiers appearance.
After hooking up the Marsh and playing some familiar tunes I felt much better. My initial reaction with less than 30 minutes break in time was that this is an amplifier I could really enjoy. Out of the box the imaging became way more focused. The soundstage grew by at least a foot in height, and a couple feet on each side in width. The bass was much better than before, tighter and more controlled. As time has gone on this amplifier has smoothed out in the upper midrange and high frequencies. It produces a very engaging and satisfying musical experience.
Strengths: Appearance, build quality, imaging characteristics, tonality, bass control.
Weaknesses: Binding posts, slight sibilance detected at times.
If money was no object I would still own this amplifier, in a second or third system.

Associated gear
Sony 333ES SACD player
Rotel 1070 preamp
MIT Shotgun S1 Interconnect & Speaker Wire
Dynaudio speakers

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Thanks for the overview. I would have thought you would hate the sound, based on your moving from the ST-70's (which I think are very good amps). your comments have given cause to give a listen to these amps and preamps.
Buff, I had an A200s for some time and enjoyed it very much. Great bass control, fast and clear. The high end is very open but will reveal hot or edgy recordings. You might want to try out other preamps in your system, you may find you havent heard everything the Marsh has to offer.
I was expecting not to like it before I heard it, but I am enjoying it very much. My wife also likes not having the on/off switch on the back - she got burned once on one of the Dynacos transformers.