They were designed after James Bongiorno died.
The only SST Bongiorno designs in production now are the Apmzilla 2000 Mono Blocks and Ambrosia preamp.
I own the SST Son of Ampzilla 2000 power amp, his last, which is very good IMO.
SST is owned by Cullen Circuits - Wyred for Sound.
Thanks.. I was not aware the Son II and Thoebe II were not designed by him. Of course that doesn't mean they are not good but is good to know they weren't his.
I read the 6 Moons review, and the opinion is that the SOA II is colder than the Pass XA30.8.
I have owned the original GAS Son of Ampzilla and like the SOA 2000 was warm, smooth and "tube like".
I also owned the Pass Labs XA30.5 which was very warm and tube like sounding.
I would move on to another brand, the design was screwed up IMO.
Srajan found the SOA II to fall between the Pass Labs XA30.8, Reimyo KAP-777, ARS Emitter and the JOB 25, Bakoon SMP-12R and Crayon CFA-1.2. He never stated that it was 'colder' than the Pass.
Given my high esteem for the XA30.8 and 225, this placed the Son in very good company indeed. It combined the tonal fullness of class A with the adroitness of DC-coupled wide-bandwidth circuits, handled bass with power and depth but no desiccation from overdamping, exhibited obviously high signal to noise ratio to sort out dense mixes with great separation and managed that tightrope act of seeming to be neutral whilst avoiding dreaded boredom. With its high magnification power, good recordings fanned out into expansive soundstages that revealed significant venue cues. Finally, its preference for glossy not matte textures meant high contrast ratio and communication skills. The latter insured that the sound didn't just sit there all properly sorted and laid out behind the speakers whilst lacking apparent gusto to bridge the distance to the listener. In that sense, the Son had the gumption of horny salmon that are headed upstream to mate.
And to add:
Conclusion. Spread Spectrum Technologies the name isn't just a mouthful. It's a proper marketeer's nightmare. But founder James Bongiorno is remembered as anything but proper when it came to conventionality and playing it by the rule book. So SST Audio it is. If such unorthodoxy prevented you from considering their Son of Ampzilla II—another mouthful and not much better abbreviated as SoA which seems one letter short of soap or sofa—you'd shortchange yourself. And that would be a bad rerun of not taking Wyred4Sound serious because of that funky name and spelling. Really, the only thing dinosaurial about SoA are superficial reactions. With it, the fun begins with the tongue-in-cheek model name. It continues with branding that dares us to box it in. The real joke would be on the fossils who let such stuff stand in their way. Ampzilla The Younger is a properly engineered, dead quiet, compact and value-priced muscle amp which also happens to be fully balanced front to back and biased in class A up to 10 watts. Because it isn't positioned upscale, it's a real class A/B alternative to contemporary class D contenders which romance the wallet with the 'power is cheap' promise. If you needed more cred than an SST amp currently holds, you could spend €20'000 on a Combak Reimyo KAP-777 from Japan. You'd get equivalent class A/B power albeit from two 400VA transformers not one 2'000VA; and with a rather more overtly voiced hence restrictive personality.
In the final analysis, the SoA handle might be just that one 't' shy of SotA. That'd be shorthand for state of the art and utterly brilliant at $3'500. We're fortunate that such a mature and proven yet scaled-up circuit didn't end up in a posh designer chassis milled from solid, festooned with a one-inch fascia and marketed under some pretentious name. We'd easily pay thrice just for the privilege of perception. Better to be perceived as slightly adolescent—for bringing home anything called Son of Ampzilla—than being had for appearance's sake. Traveling in the big beyond, James Bongiorno would surely be pleased to know that the latest incarnation of his creation continues to bring pleasure to music lovers with normal wallets but even tougher loads. And should someone still ask what the meaning is of that recalcitrant SST Audio, tell them that it really stands for 'smart strong transistors'. Now that's sexy as sin.
I don't see the coldness you alluded to mentioned.
All the best,
Both the 225 and Pass xa.8 series are colder (more neutral) than the SOA 2000 and Pass AX,5 that I own.
If the SOA II is like the 225 and Pass Xa,8 it is colder!
They should have compared the SOA II to the Pass XA30.5 that they also reviewed.
Also this is a matter of taste and YMMV.
I went directly from the Job 225 to the SOA II. The SOA II is definitely richer than the 225, although I'm not sure I'd say that it was warmer exactly. But then I didn't find the 225 cold, so, as the gentleman above says: YMMV.