Page 5 of 6 FirstFirst ... 3456 LastLast
Results 61 to 75 of 77

Thread: Affordable Preamps & amplifiers? Thoughts on Carver Gear?

  1. #61
    Senior Member DerekTheGreat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Warren, MI
    Posts
    165
    My collection of vintage audio gear continues to grow: +1 Dynaco PAT-5 preamp by member suggestion. Well, Seawolf recommended a PAT-4 but close enough, right? Anyway, the only reviews I can find on this are mixed, favoring the fact that it's "terrible" and "couldn't get it out of my collection fast enough" as I read.. We'll see what I think of it. Coming from Canada so who knows when and if I'll even see it..

  2. #62
    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    PDX, 容gon
    Posts
    10,024
    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    Well, Seawolf recommended a PAT-4 but close enough, right?
    SW didn't recommend it , just posted an old review link


    Quote Originally Posted by SEAWOLF97 View Post
    not sure WHY either ... my BGW's seem to do nicely.

    classic preamp ==>> https://www.stereophile.com/content/...4-preamplifier
    I know my life would look all right ..
    if I could see it on the silver screen

  3. #63
    Senior Member DerekTheGreat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Warren, MI
    Posts
    165
    Oh.. Welp, I didn't pay much for it at all. So hopefully, it actually works and isn't too terrible. It could be the unit I put in the garage. Tonight I'm hoping to have the showdown between the Adcoms, Carver and Crown amps I bought. Heard back from the place I took my preamp to, for ~$260 it'll be fixed (GFP 555) but they wanted another $600 or so to recap the thing completely with the caps I wanted, well, read from another forum. They said the current capacitors all tested within 99% or better of their rated values. If it still sounds like poo, hopefully I can get $300 for it.

  4. #64
    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    PDX, 容gon
    Posts
    10,024
    Quote Originally Posted by SEAWOLF97 View Post
    doing some "discovery cleaning" today in my audio graveyard and found a Spectro Acoustics 210R EQ that was long forgotten ... thot of RMC's post regarding SA.

    powers up OK.

    works GREAT ... no noise in controls, quality item ... $375 new in '77 .... here is a web pic, mine is rack mount.
    The SA was nice, but footprint big for my application.
    Did some digging in my audio graveyard and came up with this ==>>>

    works nice and sounds just as good as the SA with The CREEK amp & 18Ti's
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    I know my life would look all right ..
    if I could see it on the silver screen

  5. #65
    Senior Member DerekTheGreat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Warren, MI
    Posts
    165

    Dynaco PAT-5

    This preamp came in the other day, listened to it for a bit yesterday.

    At first, I wanted to hate it and thought it would stink. But, after several key tracks (Classical Gas, Night Moves, Goodbye Stranger, Can't get it out of my Head, No Woman, No Cry, I Bombed Korea..) I had to admit that the Dynaco is more transparent than the Marantz 3600. Biggest positive thing I noticed is that the PAT-5 does a superb job of separating the instruments and bringing them out. Stereo imaging is also improved. I heard things I never heard or would have said were in the distant background of a track. All instruments are extremely precise and life-like thanks to the PAT-5. However, I want to say that it is a bit dry/sterile up top, maybe even a little blurry. Cymbal crashes don't seem to be as sharp. Although, that could also be a crap recording, as I don't hear that on all tracks.. The bass tone is about even between the two, perhaps the Marantz is a bit more boomy or present than the Dynaco. But, since I'm bi-amping I can compensate with the crossover and Crown K2. I'm also still listening.. Part of me thinks I shouldn't bi-amp to make the comparison easier? In any event, I think my $100 PAT-5 find is on it's way to dethroning the 3600. I haven't even cleaned it yet.

    Bottom line so far: Pick one of these PAT-5's up if you get a chance- they're pretty damn good despite all the negativity I read! Hasn't been my experience. Definitely what I'd consider a "Sleeper" of a preamp. I also think one of these would be great when paired with a warmer speaker or amp.

  6. #66
    Senior Member RMC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,067
    Little late to the party but recently found the pics i have left of the Spectro Acoustics 2102 graphic equalizer, the little brother of the Spectro 210 EQ Seawolf has shown here (Post # 49). The "$375 new in '77" tells me it must have been $500. in Canada.

    Although it was a very good product, personnaly didn't like that much the 210 EQ. At $500.CAD in late 70's was expensive, it took 3 rack spaces, and the horizontal gain sliders wasn't my thing. Front panel bottom third didn't appeal to me. Nevertheless glad to see another Spectro EQ (210) working fine after so many years.

    The 2 rack space 2102 was same quality build and performance as the 210. However in order to release a quality but less expensive model Spectro stripped it of non-essential stuff (i.e. bottom third on 210 faceplate). It didn't even have an on/off switch. AC cord was meant to be plugged in a switched outlet at the back of the 217 preamp, which i did, or in a power bar. Other than EQing sliders, the only switch on the unit was: EQ out/EQ in/Tape monitor. That's it. Really no frills but a very lasting product.

    As i remember, the 2102 was $300. retail in Canada. Purchased it 1979 and still going fine when i gave it 2018, that's a lot of reliability years! Sometimes regret a little not keeping it, might have put it on wife's stereo system..

    Four pics taken on shipping day to recipient... Foams to protect the sliders, same at the back for connectors. Original owner manual included, as well as the removable rack mounting ears in small plastic bag.

    Richard

    Name:  SPECTRO_0126.jpg
Views: 129
Size:  60.8 KBName:  SPECTRO_0128.jpg
Views: 125
Size:  94.2 KBName:  SPECTRO_0129.jpg
Views: 128
Size:  107.9 KBName:  SPECTRO_0135.jpg
Views: 128
Size:  83.6 KB

  7. #67
    Senior Member DerekTheGreat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Warren, MI
    Posts
    165
    Had some more time in the listening seat to audition all this gear I've acquired. Synopsis:

    Adcom GFP-555 > Dynaco PAT-5 > > Marantz 3600

    For >800hz:
    Carver TFM 55x > Adcom GFA 555 II > Crown K2 > Crown Macro-Tech 2402 > Marantz 510M

    For <800hz:
    Crown K2 > Crown Macro-Tech 2402 > Carver TFM 55x >/= Adcom GFA 555 II > Marantz 510M

    More details:

    Preamps:
    Initially the GFP-555 was a dud to me. Turns out there was substantial corrosion in addition to the dead volume control unit which attributed to the nasties heard throughout frequencies above 1000hz or so. When I put this in over the PAT-5, it was everything the PAT-5 is and then some. Differences were subtle throughout the midrange, but what I liked about the PAT-5 was present and a little more accentuated with the GFP-555. Not to mention that tighter & more present bass I initially liked with the GFP-555 was still there. The highest highs are warm, maybe rolled off even, so not as dry/sterile as the PAT-5. I was up until well after midnight listening. I don't know why the 555 doesn't get much praise or why people tell others to pass it over in favor of other stuff. My guess is that they're not doing a great job of matching their other components. I read great reviews about the Marantz 3600 and people practically drool on it but now that I've heard better, I can't get over how veiled and fuzzy sounding it is. Vintage Marantz gear has to be my biggest audio disappointment to date. Also a great reminder that just because it costs more, doesn't mean it's better. Going to take advantage of high resale on that stuff though, I'm absolutely stunned at what it's now going for.

    Amps:
    The Carver TFM55x is solid in all departments as far as sound quality goes. I really enjoyed it above 800hz, just doesn't seem to have the balls when asked to do bass only duties. It rocked my JBL LX44's though. But for whatever reason, when I fed it just bass signal (<300hz) it shit it's pants. Very disappointing. So I was going to rock the Crown K2 on the bottom and TFM 55x on top but now I'm back to running the two GFA 555 II's driven by the GFP 555. That's a magical combination. I also figured out I had my crossover set wrong. Apparently, setting the slope to 6dB is Linkowitz/Riley, which tightened up the bass wonderfully compared to the -12dB I had it set to before. No wonder I kind of hated the 2214H... All my fault. On that note, does anyone know what the correct crossover attenuation should be for the XPL200? Like, what is achieved with the DX1? Linkowitz/Riley? Sure sounds good this way with the crossover point set to 200hz.
    I really like both the MacroTech 2402 and K2. Such a damn shame about the fans on the 2402's, I'd be running the two of them vertically biamped if it wasn't for that. I actually like the clarity of the K2 when used up top and driven by the Adcom GFP-555. Don't believe the garbage you read about it being trash over 1000hz, not sure why that's out there and continuously repeated. Both Crowns can be a bit harsh up top at times, but compared to the pricy Marantz and "I made poopy in my trousers" Carver, I'd take them hands down. They'd definitely win in a blind showdown. I never got the Marantz to sound good without an equalizer, for example. But if you need good, solid & reliable watts for cheap, Crown can't be beat.

  8. #68
    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    PDX, 容gon
    Posts
    10,024
    ADCOM:

    My bedroom system is a GFA-555 amp with GTP-500 -2 pre and MD, SACD, CD & TT for sources.

    Playing thru the a/d/s towers & 2 subs ..... it's pretty OKAY.

    amp is nice EXCEPT for the 17 top bolts to get to the rail fuses
    I know my life would look all right ..
    if I could see it on the silver screen

  9. #69
    Senior Member DerekTheGreat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Warren, MI
    Posts
    165
    Quote Originally Posted by SEAWOLF97 View Post
    ADCOM:

    My bedroom system is a GFA-555 amp with GTP-500 -2 pre and MD, SACD, CD & TT for sources.

    Playing thru the a/d/s towers & 2 subs ..... it's pretty OKAY.

    amp is nice EXCEPT for the 17 top bolts to get to the rail fuses
    Try a GFP-555? I think you'd dig it. I can't comment on the GFA 555 other than I really like the GFA 555 II. I've had to replace the rail fuses on my 555 II's, was fast and easily done via the rear of the amp. Turns out one of the PO's didn't replace one with the correct fuse and so while I was running mine bridged, it went down. I mistakenly swapped all main rail fuses with correct & matching fuses but fired up the amp when connected to my beloved L150A's. it immediately blew up one of my freshly restored 128H's. Sad face. I now know why people are anti GFA 555 as they don't have speaker relay protection or whatever. Although I attribute the failure to my own ignorance, I should have fired up the amp with it unconnected to anything at first and then checked for DC at the speaker outputs. I do remember that in the three seconds it took for that Adcom to destroy the voice coil of my 128H, the clipping indicator was illuminated. My own stupidity, but definitely a lesson I'll never forget. I still love my Adcoms...

  10. #70
    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    PDX, 容gon
    Posts
    10,024
    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    Try a GFP-555? I think you'd dig it. I can't comment on the GFA 555 other than I really like the GFA 555 II. I've had to replace the rail fuses on my 555 II's, was fast and easily done via the rear of the amp. ..
    there are 2 power fuses on the back, but 2 each on top of the 2 rails. total=6

    555 was a nelson pass helped design, where many have complained that the II messed it up.
    I know my life would look all right ..
    if I could see it on the silver screen

  11. #71
    Senior Member DerekTheGreat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Warren, MI
    Posts
    165
    Quote Originally Posted by SEAWOLF97 View Post
    there are 2 power fuses on the back, but 2 each on top of the 2 rails. total=6

    555 was a nelson pass helped design, where many have complained that the II messed it up.
    The 555 II has one of those well, but with four for the rails conveniently located above them.

    Yep, I've heard that too- same kind of stuff people say about Crown amps and all that. Don't believe everything you read/hear until you've verified it for yeself. Everyone says Marantz is great and even in my memory it was! That in addition to me fawning over nostalgia sucked me right in. And I was a believer until I got other stuff to put it up against.. I like that the II has thermal protection as well as easy fuse accessibility. Probably not a big deal if you don't bridge them. I went with the "II" because there was one locally in my area and another one going for cheap on the 'bay. I'm open to auditioning the OG Pass design, but the II puts a smile on my face.

  12. #72
    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    PDX, 容gon
    Posts
    10,024
    The 555 has one weird quirk.

    The caps take a little while to empty as you power down ... when they do , there is a little audible chirp ... we call it a "fairy fart"

    got mine for free ... PO blew a rail fuse , thot there were only the rear ones, changed those and gave up & gave away.
    I know my life would look all right ..
    if I could see it on the silver screen

  13. #73
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    10,790
    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    I read great reviews about the Marantz 3600 and people practically drool on it but now that I've heard better, I can't get over how veiled and fuzzy sounding it is. Vintage Marantz gear has to be my biggest audio disappointment to date. Also a great reminder that just because it costs more, doesn't mean it's better. Going to take advantage of high resale on that stuff though, I'm absolutely stunned at what it's now going for.
    Most reviews are not very useful. I bought my Marantz 3800 and matching 510 amp new decades ago when I was young and easily swayed by reputation and the specs. I traded my Marantz 3800 a couple of years later for a Threshold NS10. The Threshold didn't have loudness compensation or the fancy EQ of the Marantz, but was also SILENT, and pretty darned transparent... a very wonderful piece of gear back in the late '70s. The amp hung around a few more years for bass duty in my tri-amped system.

    As for prices vs. quality... there are all manner of pieces of collectable gear that are bought sold and treasured based on reputation. Many pieces that are highly sought after and coveted I really wouldn't want to listen to. That doesn't mean that I don't appreciate them and may even covet them myself, but if the goal is the best listening experience... for example the JBL Paragon is in the coveted group, but it doesn't make the listening room cut.


    Widget

  14. #74
    Senior Member DerekTheGreat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Warren, MI
    Posts
    165
    Quote Originally Posted by SEAWOLF97 View Post
    The 555 has one weird quirk.

    The caps take a little while to empty as you power down ... when they do , there is a little audible chirp ... we call it a "fairy fart"

    got mine for free ... PO blew a rail fuse , thot there were only the rear ones, changed those and gave up & gave away.
    Oh yeah, they sure do. Both of mine sound like someone going "tap..tap" on a counter just as the red light fade out from each. And when they switch on, the woofer gets sucked into the cabinet until the caps charge up. Kind of freaked me out at first, but I guess that's normal for amps without speaker relays?

    Nice score. After my snafu, I realized I should check any other amp I get to ensure the correct stuff is in place. Just because it works and isn't sending DC through the speaker terminals doesn't mean it's happy...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget View Post
    Most reviews are not very useful. I bought my Marantz 3800 and matching 510 amp new decades ago when I was young and easily swayed by reputation and the specs. I traded my Marantz 3800 a couple of years later for a Threshold NS10. The Threshold didn't have loudness compensation or the fancy EQ of the Marantz, but was also SILENT, and pretty darned transparent... a very wonderful piece of gear back in the late '70s. The amp hung around a few more years for bass duty in my tri-amped system.

    As for prices vs. quality... there are all manner of pieces of collectable gear that are bought sold and treasured based on reputation. Many pieces that are highly sought after and coveted I really wouldn't want to listen to. That doesn't mean that I don't appreciate them and may even covet them myself, but if the goal is the best listening experience... for example the JBL Paragon is in the coveted group, but it doesn't make the listening room cut.


    Widget
    That's pretty awesome Mr. Widget! I remember a few of your posts in my other thread when I was new to the vintage JBL scene with my L150A's. I recently asked my dad why he went with a Marantz 2275 instead of component stuff like the 3800 and 510M or even a 2325. He didn't know about the separates and while the 2325 was temping, he thought it would be too much for the BIC Venturi's he bought to go with the receiver.

    You're absolutely right about reviews, that's been my experience so far. I do appreciate the loudness feature with the 3600 and it is pleasing to look at. Guess that's why I haven't sold them yet. To be fair though, the 3600 has only just recently been dethroned. Like your experience, I was blown away by the transparency of the Dynaco PAT-5 preamp over the 3600. Definitely going to keep that little guy around, maybe it'll go in the garage now that I favor the Adcom GFP-555. Really want to see how those Cornwalls sound when amplified by the 555 II. I've only ever critically listened to them with the 510M and 3600. I worry that amping those Klipsch's with one of the Crown amps is just too much power. But then again, I think the garage is a sad fate for the Adcom stuff to end up with. Back to the topic of reviews, I'm just amazed with how good the GFP-555 is when most of the people who talk about Adcom preamps say the only one to even consider is the Pass designed GFP-750(?). Now I'm intrigued about that preamp, because if it gets better than the 555, what am I missing?? Oh, a remote would be nice

    I've heard that about the Paragon, and yes, those are beautiful to look at.

    I think another fun thread (if it doesn't already exist) would be, "What were your biggest audio disappointments and surprise smash hits?"

  15. #75
    Senior Member DerekTheGreat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Warren, MI
    Posts
    165
    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    ...I use an Ashly XR1000, have the lo pass set to 200hz/12dB for 2214H's, the rest of that goes to the other components, whatever they are

    They definitely do have too much power. JBL recommends 200w RMS max, but states they can handle peaks of 800w. I'm not sure about that latter part. ...Everything I read states the 2214H is an incredible woof. But compared to the 128H's in my L150A's, they're flabby & bloated. Running the K2 and MA2402 really tightened them up though! It was a kind of difference. But they can't play very loud before "brap! pop!" I don't know how much of that abuse they can take, so I'm afraid to crank it any more. Reconing isn't cheap, edgewound and I are on a first name basis as a result LoL..

    I think I need a lesson or five about speaker placement. I bet that's what my problems are. Old house, carpet and ancient drapes that ports of the XPL's are firing into. They're about 7 or 8 inches away from the walls (only the left is close to a corner) and toe'd in toward the listening position, which is a couch that is against the wall and about 10ft away from the XPL's. Whatever pointers you fellas could give, I'll listen.
    UPDATE!:

    I really feel like a dummy, now that I've fixed my issue with the 2214H's. Problem with the flabby bass and "BRAP!" or voice coil bottoming was all in my crossover settings. I did some digging, and while I couldn't find a detailed manual for an Ashly XR1000, I did find one for the XR1001. They list the attenuation slope of Likowitz/Reilly as being -6dB and I had it set to -12dB because I mistakenly thought this would cut the frequencies >200hz harder. Not true, so imagine my surprise when the -6dB setting both tightened things up and allowed me to kick out the jams.

    I got even better bass by re arranging my room. Both speakers are now in the lengthwise corner of the room with their own corner. They're toe'd into the listening position and equally spaced from the wall and each other. Listening & speaker position is everything! Learning so much. I knew it made a difference, but didn't know just how much until I realized how wrong it all has been. But holy hell, I can now feel the bass in my chest, hair & back while seated. It's incredible. Excited to get my L150A's back in shape to compare but I wouldn't be surprised if I now prefer the bass of the 2214H or if it's comparable.

    Really enjoying the combination of the Adcom GFP 555, Ashly XR1000 and twin Adcom GFA 555 II's vertically biamped. But, they just don't have enough steam to produce the SPL's I crave with certain material. So, despite their obnoxiously loud fans, I put both Crown Macro-Tech 2402's in place of the GFA's and hot damn- 500ish watts for mids/hi & woofers is where it's at. Not to mention these XPL200's seem like they can comfortably handle more. They just sound better and better as the volume increases.. But on that note I will say that the 2402's are a mighty fine amplifier- shame about the fans. They aren't as detailed or revealing in the mids & hi's but they are not at all fatiguing. Said it already but for what you can pick them up for, they're a steal. I don't even know what boutique amp I'd have to buy or how much I'd have to spend on it to exceed the sound quality. However, I'm going to look into another Crown K2 as they're fanless. I've heard the K1 is supposed to sound better but I'm not sure 350 watts @ 8 ohms is enough juice.


    So to you guys: Have any of you heard a K1 and K2? What would you say was the differences between them?

    Also, what "boutique" amplifiers out there deliver better sound quality over a Crown Macro-Tech 2402 as well as produce 450 watts or better @ 8 ohms?

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. An Affordable Music Server
    By Mr. Widget in forum General Audio Discussion
    Replies: 41
    Last Post: 02-02-2017, 08:20 PM
  2. Top Ten Affordable JBL Consumer Speakers
    By bill8888 in forum Lansing Product General Information
    Replies: 31
    Last Post: 01-14-2008, 08:56 AM
  3. Buy one get one free, affordable means.
    By JBL 4645 in forum Lansing Product DIY Forum
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 02-05-2007, 01:10 AM
  4. Amplifiers, preamps and EQ's Sub-Forum
    By boputnam in forum Forum Feedback
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 02-06-2006, 09:55 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •