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Thread: Phase Linear 700 ??

  1. #31
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Mackenzie View Post
    I am not sure why people want to have a yabba fest over such old amps when the the dollar per watt has come down so much over the past 10 years. It makes no sense to buy an amp on Ebay
    Perhaps suggest a current-model amp in the 200±wpc-@8ohms available for around the $200 it costs to get a gently used Crown PS-400, Adcom, JBL-Urei, or BGW and we'll try and toss one in our Mid-Atlantic JBL comparo in hopes of answering your question. I suppose we could just use Heather's H-K AV receiver but I don't think that's what you had in mind.

    For me it's value for the dollar. I bought one PS-400 from an LH forum member for a reasonable price and the other from a DC-area recording studio off Ebay for $100. How could I pass up either of those offers? My DC300A-II came out of a Lowe's Theater regional refurb where they were selling them off in bulk on Ebay a few years back. I also have a two PS-200s, one of which came from Ebay from the original owner having just returned from Crown for a complete check-over—in the Crown packaging and with the receipt for work that totaled more than what I paid for the amp. So, if the question was more than just rhetorical: I use old amps because I like the sound, like the value they present, I can run three-or-four complete systems for less than one with new componentes, and I've never had a moment's trouble with what I have. I don't think I'm short-changing my system, I'm not into bling, blue lights, or big meters, but I am curious to hear your opinion on what it would cost and what you'd recommend to give my system what the Crown's offer but in a modern, new amp. :dont-know
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."—Greg Timbers

  2. #32
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    This post has been amusing to me, I suppose.

    In the 70s, I used to read articles in Stereo Review about the virtues of these amps. ....nothing but glowing praise and accolades. I always wanted one but they were out of reach, financially speaking.

    Well, after reading this, you only have to realize the magizine's revenue source come from ads and the mag was filled with PL ads to know that the reviews may not have been truly independent.

  3. #33
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robertbartsch View Post
    Well, after reading this, you only have to realize the magizine's revenue source come from ads and the mag was filled with PL ads to know that the reviews may not have been truly independent.
    No different today. How do you think Motor Trend picks its Car Of The Year award? Just look for who made the biggest ad buy! You have to go back to 1972 to find a smaller manufacturer winning the overall award: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_T...ar_of_the_Year
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."—Greg Timbers

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by robertbartsch View Post
    In the 70s, I used to read articles in Stereo Review about the virtues of these amps. ....nothing but glowing praise and accolades. I always wanted one but they were out of reach, financially speaking.
    I also read the glowing reveiws and always wanted to get my hands on a Phase Linear. Unfortunately when I started to have dealing with them they never live up to my expectations. I am sure there are great examples of these amps out there but in my opinion, there was a very high propotion of failures. Maybe it had something to do with the freighting distance to down under......

    Allan.

  5. #35
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    Allan:
    What electrical current do they use in New Zealand - 120 volt AC? Perhaps your issues had something to do with the different NZ power supply?

    Towards the end of the period that I was watching the Phase Linear product line (mid to late 70s) I beleive Bob Carver developed a powerful amp that used a small and inexpensive transformer. At the time it was hailed as a super tech breakthrough that was ready to transform (no pun) the industry.

    ...not sure what this was excactly - maybe the forerunner to the Class G amps of today.

  6. #36
    Junior Member Old curmudgeon's Avatar
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    Thumbs up I don't think so!

    Quote Originally Posted by BMWCCA View Post
    I know it's not a quantum leap in age or sophistication, but if I were you I'd be looking for a Series-II DC300A or (better yet) a PS-400. All the good stuff you loved but better protection and some more modern features, like (in the PS-series) turn-on delay. But that's just me!

    No, it's not just you (and you thought you were special ).

    I have multiples of the PS-400 and I can third the recommendation!

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old curmudgeon View Post
    I have multiples of the PS-400 and I can third the recommendation!
    Thanks. There's safety in numbers! I'm happy to have consensual validation.
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."—Greg Timbers

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by robertbartsch View Post
    Allan:
    What electrical current do they use in New Zealand - 120 volt AC? Perhaps your issues had something to do with the different NZ power supply?

    Towards the end of the period that I was watching the Phase Linear product line (mid to late 70s) I beleive Bob Carver developed a powerful amp that used a small and inexpensive transformer. At the time it was hailed as a super tech breakthrough that was ready to transform (no pun) the industry.

    ...not sure what this was excactly - maybe the forerunner to the Class G amps of today.
    We use 240V ac. The assume the Phase Linear amps I saw here had the correct transformer in the power supply. I saw a few PL's that had been running fine go up in smoke for no apparent reason. The system that you are talking of had an odd name that escapes me at the moment. Esentially 3 or 4 rail voltages and the amp switched them as power demand grew. I guess it it class G. They were certainly the first amps that I saw that worked in this way. The amps were pretty good but if you loaded up both channels with bottom end the power supply would sag and so would the power output. When I ever ran Carver amps I would run one channel with bottom end and the other with highs maybe.

    Allan.

    P.S. "Magnetic field coil power amplifier"

  9. #39
    Senior Member Ian Mackenzie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BMWCCA View Post
    Perhaps suggest a current-model amp in the 200±wpc-@8ohms available for around the $200 it costs to get a gently used Crown PS-400, Adcom, JBL-Urei, or BGW and we'll try and toss one in our Mid-Atlantic JBL comparo in hopes of answering your question. I suppose we could just use Heather's H-K AV receiver but I don't think that's what you had in mind.

    For me it's value for the dollar. I bought one PS-400 from an LH forum member for a reasonable price and the other from a DC-area recording studio off Ebay for $100. How could I pass up either of those offers? My DC300A-II came out of a Lowe's Theater regional refurb where they were selling them off in bulk on Ebay a few years back. I also have a two PS-200s, one of which came from Ebay from the original owner having just returned from Crown for a complete check-over—in the Crown packaging and with the receipt for work that totaled more than what I paid for the amp. So, if the question was more than just rhetorical: I use old amps because I like the sound, like the value they present, I can run three-or-four complete systems for less than one with new componentes, and I've never had a moment's trouble with what I have. I don't think I'm short-changing my system, I'm not into bling, blue lights, or big meters, but I am curious to hear your opinion on what it would cost and what you'd recommend to give my system what the Crown's offer but in a modern, new amp. :dont-know

    There are always excpetions and obviously it was in your case as you know the seller(s). The reality is most people get screwed and then they pay what they bid to get it repaired.

    I dont have a QSC, a Yamaha or a Crown $US dollar price list on hand but I know locally I can buy new 300+300 watts for less then AUD$700.

    The concept of paying nothing for something reminds my of a recent newspaper article on American Securitisation of home loan lending.

  10. #40
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    I have always bought used crown amps, sight unseen, and history unknown. They have never been a problem. Maybe I have been lucky that way, if so I hope my luck continues. I do attribute some of that luck to the reliability of the product. Should I get a "cooked" one I'll have to get it repaired and maybe a speaker or two.
    Last edited by midlife; 06-13-2009 at 07:53 AM. Reason: spelling

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Mackenzie View Post
    I dont have a QSC, a Yamaha or a Crown $US dollar price list on hand but I know locally I can buy new 300+300 watts for less then AUD$700.

    The concept of paying nothing for something reminds my of a recent newspaper article on American Securitisation of home loan lending.
    I was only providing my reason in response to your post:
    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Mackenzie View Post
    I am not sure why people want to have a yabba fest over such old amps when the the dollar per watt has come down so much over the past 10 years. It makes no sense to buy an amp on Ebay
    I doubt my experience is that far from normal, having purchased four Crown amps and one Soundcraftsmen off Ebay with no issues. Sure, the dollar value of buying used is compelling but then I sold new high-line cars for over twenty years and never bought one new for myself in forty years of owning them, either. If a used automobile provides such great value at half-new-price or less, then why not a used solid-state amp at one-tenth? I also think the older U.S.-made Crowns provide quality I'm not seeing in off-shore lower-line current models. I could be wrong, and I am a self-proclaimed Luddite.

    The fourteen-year old BMW I drive as my daily driver cost me $5,500 at 100k-miles versus $44,000 new. It has full leather, CD-changer, ABS, Traction Control, dual-zone A/C, 17" wheels, sunroof, etc. I've driven it almost 50k-miles in just under three years and replaced one light bulb, two rear shock mounts, and a set of brake pads just to kill the dust. Oh yeah, a set of tires. My 35-year-old Crown has had an easier life than my car and hasn't cost me a dime. Would I have made a similar purchase or relied similarly on a fourteen-year-old Chevy, Ford, SAAB, Chrysler? No. Would I have enjoyed any more reliability or driving enjoyment had I bought a 1995 Toyota Camry? Probably not on the reliability and definitely not on the enjoyment. Did I choose an old QSC or Phase Linear? No. I chose Crown. I think we've seen here on this forum what happens when you buy a new, DJ-intended, made-in-China, cheaper Crown version and apply it to home use. My first D-series amp was sold by a Crown/McIntosh/JBL dealer to me as a home-use hi-fi amp. I can't see that that has changed in thirty-five years or that anything near what I'm paying for my Crown's buys me anything that's new that would serve me better.

    Taking advantage of a value on a used amp in an open market is a far cry from taking out a mortgage I don't qualify for on a home I can't afford that's inflated to start with, just to bolster a market economy controlled by banks whose losses are protected by the markets they control. But then you were just being provocative anyway, and we all knew that!
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."—Greg Timbers

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    I have a BMW that is 13 years old too. Beofor becomeing a CPA, I was a mechanic 30 years ago and this pile of bolts blows.

    I've done a fair amount of mechancial work on it since I bought it 6 years ago. Yesterday, I tried to replace the front blinker bulb and after being completely stumped after looking under the hood, I consulted the BMW Internet forum. Apparently, you need to remove the bumper and front headlights to replace the blinker bulb - UHG!

    I just bought a new Honda Accord and will not look back.

  13. #43
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    Since we are now hopelessly off-topic anyway and have beaten the PL horse to death:
    Quote Originally Posted by robertbartsch View Post
    Apparently, you need to remove the bumper and front headlights to replace the blinker bulb - UHG!
    I find that impossible to believe but you got my curiosity up. What model? E39 5-series? Or just PM me if you prefer.

    I've sold and worked on Porsches where the bumper/front valance had to be removed to replace the air-cleaner element. Stories are legendary of GM cars that had to have a hole drilled in the wheel housing to change a spark plug, too. Don't by a Citroen if you don't like jigsaw puzzles!
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."—Greg Timbers

  14. #44
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    Interesting thread, with all the bad news about Phase Linears....

    I have a Phase Linear 400 which is about to go DC on me, right now it passes intermittent DC into my speakers, and I wonder if someone here knows what most likely goes on these amps, it would make the repair easier.

    Also, what is a good quality low power modern amp, preferably a kit??

    Uwe

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Othello View Post
    Interesting thread, with all the bad news about Phase Linears....

    I have a Phase Linear 400 which is about to go DC on me, right now it passes intermittent DC into my speakers, and I wonder if someone here knows what most likely goes on these amps, it would make the repair easier.

    Also, what is a good quality low power modern amp, preferably a kit??

    Uwe
    I am a Crown fan, they offer D40, D60, D75, in what I consider a low power output. Wish I could offer advise on your Phase but I don't have the experience. This a good forum, so you probably will get solid advise.

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