TAD-125 Monoblocks

Category: Amplifiers

Rest of System:
Vandersteen 2CE signatures
Eastern Electric CD
TAD-150 Signature
Project Perspective TT
Chinese ICs bought from local rep
Two PCables from Joe Chow

Most people are aware of Bizzy Bee Audo or Tube Audio Design by now owned by Paul Gryzbek. Paul has put out some pretty amazing products. Many of you have read the reviews on his TAD-150, 1000 and 60. The TAD-125 is certainly worthy of some scruitiny.

Paul has two levels of this amp. "Chicken on the Hibachi" which is the bare bones amp with some Mods and "Beef on the Hibachi" which Paul calls his beefed up version. I have the beefed up version. I won't go into the specs as they can be had at Paul's website. They are Piano black and weigh only 17 # each. Don't expect to save money on your heating bill as they tend only to become moderately warm to the touch.

Understand that I have not had a great deal of experience with the real high priced expensive stuff but, I have had enough "step ups" to at least give a prespective from a relitively modest level. Also, I listen mostly to classic rock so I tend to like systems that put the music up front with a lively pulse.

The claim is that these monos are a tube lovers delight. Well, since I have a tube source and front end I am a bit ahead of the game.

The first thing that I noticed in listening to the Stones CD " Jump Back" is that the music spreads out vertically and horizontally like no other amp that I have ever heard at any price. Keep in mind that the songs recorded on this CD are 30-40 years old. One can feel the air in front and can't help tapping one's feet to the beat. The more I turn up the volume, the more it spreads out.

The sound is warm but, not laid back. Hard to detect any solid state character in my set up. I have Vandersteen's which people tend to classify as laid back. Not with these monos. Very lively up front in your face with excellent air and nice decay. I had a class D 500 watt amp to test side by side (won't mention name) and the TAD-125 won hands down. While the class-D amp came close on detail and musicality, it could not compete in the area of imaging and soundstaging.

Anyway, curious to see other people's views but, these monos are a keeper. The synergy may not be for everyone but, they are a great match for these "laid back" Vandys.
I am also impressed with the body and soul of the 125's. They have an effortlessness to them that defies there diminutive size. They have heavy competition as I am having a runoff between them and a very well-respected SS mondo amp. They are holding their own pretty nicely but I am still in the middle of the eval this week. Stay tuned.

Any recent follow-ups?

I just purchased a pair, so I am of course curious as to what people think about TAD and the TAD-125 in general.
I stand by the review that I wrote 4 months ago. These monos are in a different league from the TAD 60 that I had before. While I liked the TAD 60 in my system the 125s really opened up my Vandys. The important thing is how they work in your system... Synergy is key...
This is the most "tubelike" ss amp I've had in my system to date. I use it with, among others, Merlin VSMs which are both very transparent to the upstream chain and very "happy" with tube power. Prior to buying the TADs, I (like most Merlin owners) used strictly tube amps with the VSMs. Not anymore. While the TAD doesn't sound precisely the same as any of the tube amps I've used with these speakers, it "feels" awfully close and sounds awfully good. The bass response is audibly tighter than it's been before and any deterioration elsewhere in the full range has been too subtle for me to react to. For anyone seeking a "tubelike" ss amp, this is the way I'd point them.

has anyone used these with klipsch heritage models,chorus2s,lascala,forte's,etc. ?
I puchased a pair and yes they are very non ss sounding,I have them running a pair of chorus 2's and the sound is very warm and detail but not in you're face,I also have a mf kw500 and a primaluna dialouge 2...these amps have a sound of there own which is very nice, now to find a nice pre amp to go with them,anyone looking for a tube like amp should give these a listen,especially for the price....,,cheers
Picked up a pair for a steal a few weeks back. I am running them in my two channel a/v system with a late 80's vintage Carver pre-amp, Triangle Titus XS monitors and a similar vintage M&K sub. I would concur with the comments in general regarding the sound of these. I was looking for an inexpensive SS amp with top notch sound and many positive tube amp characteristics but with potential to work even as a backup in my main system if needed, and feel like I struck gold with these.