If you could find a used Adcom 535 you see how your speakers react and then sell this amp for nearly what you paid. This is the only amp that Adcom made that I liked. In fact this amp powers my garage system. I also owned the 555 and the 565s but could never warm to the sound.
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I know it's been a while, but I thought I would report back as so many of you gave me helpful advice. I had a chance to try the SS AR1s with a very capable Accuphase integrated and the results were clear and surprising.
Relative to the tube-based Luxman LX380, the solid state (and much more powerful class A/AB) Accuphase was muddy and muffled (and I say this as someone who was highly biased towards the Accuphase and was anticipating great things). As soon as I swapped them I could tell something had happened to the mid and high end of the spectrum - things were not nearly as clear or articulate - it was like there was a veil of something in between the music and me (really obvious on things like voices and acoustic guitar for example). I really can't think of any better word than 'muffled.' I thought perhaps I was mis-hearing things so I had my wife do a few casual tests with her back to the equipment, and unprompted she made the same comments about "amp B" (the Accuphase). With the Accuphase I certainly noticed a bit more definition in the lower registers and bass lines had a bit more clarity to them, but a) the difference wasn't like night and day relative to the Luxman (they were very close), and b) it seemed to involve a massive trade off for what I can only describe as 'transparency' in the high end. with the Accuphase in place vocals and acoustic instruments sound like a thin door has been closed between the music and my listening position (honestly)
I am really surprised/stumped as to the results, as I had high expectations for the Accuphase and the SS AR1s. This Accuphase amp is highly regarded and in all the literature I read I would never have expected this outcome, but that's what my ears told me in the end. Obviously this is all down to individual taste and opinion, but the clarity of the Luxman was not bested by this entrant.
re next steps, I guess im looking at either something like very capable SS mono blocks (like the Marantz ma9s2) to see if that can overcome the acuphase's shortcomings, or a more powerful tube amp (which again, on paper, shouldn't play this well with the SS AR1s, but there you have it) - still not sure how the LX380's specs on paper should be working this well with these Sony's, but they sound far superior to the first SS contender~
Till next time!
I am really surprised/stumped as to the results, as I had high expectations for the Accuphase and the SS AR1s. This Accuphase amp is highly regarded and in all the literature I read I would never have expected this outcome, but that's what my ears told me in the end. Obviously this is all down to individual taste and opinion, but the clarity of the Luxman was not bested by this entrant.In a nutshell, high damping factors are overrated! Duke LeJeurne of Audiokinesis gave an excellent reason why (as a speaker designer):
This post is fromhttps://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/how-to-accurately-gauge-speaker-sensitivity-to-match-with-tub..." A high damping factor will provide very good control of the bass drivers."
Our most popular amps have a fairly low damping factor- if DF were that important, we'd have been out of business decades ago.
- 44 posts total