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  1. #1
    RGA
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    Some small budget amps...

    I was looking over PS Audio and saw an interesting $999 power amplifier.

    Any of you gguys tried this? http://www.psaudio.com/ps/products/d...fier?cat=audio

    They made a popular amp in the HCA-2 a few years ago but the new ones are smaller, cheaper and who know maybe as good or better. I am exploring some budget power amp options and I like the ease of switching to mono. This reminds me of the Sugden Headmaster series with small unobtrusive components.

  2. #2
    Suspended
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    RGA, I recently picked up a Bryston 3BST, the first Bryston I've heard, I'm just using an Emotiva front end and Heresy speakers and this amp is amazing. If this is a typical example of Bryston you and I definitely don't hear the same. You are way off base in bad mouthing the company. Of course, this could be the only amp they ever built that sounds great...... not likely but until I hear other samples.

  3. #3
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    RGA, I recently picked up a Bryston 3BST, the first Bryston I've heard, I'm just using an Emotiva front end and Heresy speakers and this amp is amazing. If this is a typical example of Bryston you and I definitely don't hear the same. You are way off base in bad mouthing the company. Of course, this could be the only amp they ever built that sounds great...... not likely but until I hear other samples.
    Did you get that life time warranty with it? I hear they are transferable.
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  4. #4
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    RGA, I recently picked up a Bryston 3BST, the first Bryston I've heard, I'm just using an Emotiva front end and Heresy speakers and this amp is amazing. If this is a typical example of Bryston you and I definitely don't hear the same. You are way off base in bad mouthing the company. Of course, this could be the only amp they ever built that sounds great...... not likely but until I hear other samples.

    Rich began his journey as a Bryston fan. I'm quite certain he has owned a couple different models, and has extensive experience.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Rock solid and cool running
    The Trio A-100 is based on the same technology found in our G Series of power amplifiers: ICE analog power switching. These amps are dual mono, completely independent channels running at 90% efficiency, with true balanced performance in either RCA single ended or XLR balanced mode.


    The ICE is an amp module designed by B&O.

    ICEPowerŪ
    'Intelligence, Compactness & Efficiency'

    ICEPowerŪ is a switching power conversion technology used for audio reproduction. ICEPowerŪ units are characterised by being Intelligent, Compact and Efficient. The ICEPowerŪ series require hardly any cooling; have superb sound quality and competitive total cost efficiency.

    Intelligent, Compact and Efficient - and it's a revolution in amplifier technology from Bang & Olufsen. It offers more power for less energy and produces a minimum of unwanted excess heat. With a size that's only slightly bigger than a matchbox, it offers incredible freedom to continue to challenge conventional loudspeaker design.

    I am not sure if you would like the sound of a switching/class D amp. It has been a long while since I have listened to an amp with the ICE module. Most of my switching amp listening was with the Onkyo A-9555 which faired well in Stereophile but not with me after awhile. I began to feel like something was missing. I could not put my finger on it but there was something non musical about it. Interesting technology but not ready for prime time.
    JohnMichael
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  6. #6
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    Since I have these guys, I've thought about that amp. I like the idea of a mini-system with nothing but that amp and a GCPH, turntable and speakers.


  7. #7
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    02audionoob that would make for a nice looking system.

    I have read where the PS Audio amps that used their gain cell technology were superior to the ICE based amps.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
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  8. #8
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    RGA, I recently picked up a Bryston 3BST, the first Bryston I've heard, I'm just using an Emotiva front end and Heresy speakers and this amp is amazing. If this is a typical example of Bryston you and I definitely don't hear the same. You are way off base in bad mouthing the company. Of course, this could be the only amp they ever built that sounds great...... not likely but until I hear other samples.

    Glad to hear you like the Bryston amp Mr P.. I've always liked the Bryston sound. Just like any other amp they need proper pairing with other gear. I've always thought that people on this forum gave Bryston a bad rap.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  9. #9
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    Rich began his journey as a Bryston fan. I'm quite certain he has owned a couple different models, and has extensive experience.
    Yes I began as a bryston fan and had them in my home but never owned one. Though the 3BST was a target for a time. Time marched on and I don't care for their presentation with the speakers I have owned. I may be off base but UHF magazine reviewed the 3BST and felt the same as me. It's really strange because it seems like Bryston is a kind of right of passage. They're the first major amp for a lot of audiophiles because they are built like tanks, used in studios, great noise floor, low distortion impressive specs. And the virtually everyone I know who has it moves on to something else - that's nto an insult it just seems to be the case based on the people I know and how many used ones are always available.

    UHF and I prefer the sound of the 2B LP from the older Bryston designer. And I also prefer the B60 integrated over the new one. The LB is a bit softer sounding and probably a little less accurate but for home listening it's the one to get IMO.

  10. #10
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMichael
    02audionoob that would make for a nice looking system.

    I have read where the PS Audio amps that used their gain cell technology were superior to the ICE based amps.
    yes I discussed it with my local dealer who is very high on PS audio - just the ones in the 1970s. Apparently there were two designers who originated the company - the one who left might be the one to follow. But since I have not heard any of the old ones it is merely hearsay - I like to try them myself - for $999 they look intriguing. FWIW I liked the Sonic Impact Class T amp that sold for $39. It had no business sounding as good as it did - in fact it sounded nicer than a $1000 Celeste Power amp in direct comparison. I will give the Celeste the benefit of the doubt and assume it needed new caps or something.

    I remember that old listening session with the Celeste and Sonic Impact amp - didn't have a picture of it but the AN K was nice on the $39 amp and the Gershman's always sound rich and classy.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Some small budget amps...-shootout_061905_01.jpg  

  11. #11
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMichael
    02audionoob that would make for a nice looking system.

    I have read where the PS Audio amps that used their gain cell technology were superior to the ICE based amps.
    Actually the "Gain-Cell" technology was used in concert with the ICE tech in the latest versions of PS Audio's intergrated amps. The Gain Cell eliminates one of the major problems of all preamps which is the need to pass the signal through an attenuator.

    I had toyed with the idea of vertical stacking the PS Audio Trio amps in my rig. I heard a "hot rodded" version of my speakers with bypassed crossovers and multiple monoblock amps. It was stupid good, but between the amps and the cusom cabling it cost 4x what the speakers cost. I thought you could come close to that with a pair of these Trios for what would be just the cost of a decent amp.
    Audio;
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  12. #12
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    As for "small" and "budget", for those with modest DIY ability, I can recommend a Class D Audio amp kit such as I assembled and review recently. As for small, I put mine a full-sized case, (17x12x4"), but everything might have been put in much smaller case.

    As for "budget", nor much arguement there: 250 wpc 8 ohms for about $500, or less depending on CDA model, including case and hardware.

    As for sound, I prefer this anything I've heard at home, including the Monarchys I still own. (The Monarchy isn't quite as transparent and not as accurate overall, but it is a smoother, mellower-sound that many people will prefer -- for those who like their reality with cream & sugar.)

  13. #13
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Feanor, I see you purchased one of the class D amps from the post in the audio circles forum. I'm going to buy the CDA-254 for my son along with a cheap chinese tube preamp, unless the SDS out performs my Parasound. For $210 for the kit its a no brainer. If I like it better than the Parasound, I will buy a second and run them as mono blocks.

    Have you found an affordable chassi?

    http://classdaudio.com/index.php/
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  14. #14
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven
    Feanor, I see you purchased one of the class D amps from the post in the audio circles forum. I'm going to buy the CDA-254 for my son along with a cheap chinese tube preamp, unless the SDS out performs my Parasound. For $210 for the kit its a no brainer. If I like it better than the Parasound, I will buy a second and run them as mono blocks.

    Have you found an affordable chassi?

    http://classdaudio.com/index.php/
    The CDA or the SDS? The word is that the SDS is a bit more refined, but I haven't hear the CDA so I have no opinion.

    I put a SDS-258 review in at Audio Asylum, HERE, and made so comments as you mentioned at Audio Circles, in THIS thread.

    Those enamoured of a very smooth sound might fine the SDS a bit bright, but that will depend on associated equipment and, of course, personal taste. Right now I'm still appreciation what I feel is a more accurate overall sound vs. my Monarchys which I'm hanging on to 'till I give them at least one more comparative run.

    In the spirit of cheapness I opted to build my own case, which you can see HERE. The case offered by CDA was $190 at the time, since dropped to $150.

  15. #15
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    The CDA or the SDS? The word is that the SDS is a bit more refined, but I haven't hear the CDA so I have no opinion.

    I put a SDS-258 review in at Audio Asylum, HERE, and made so comments as you mentioned at Audio Circles, in THIS thread.

    Those enamoured of a very smooth sound might fine the SDS a bit bright, but that will depend on associated equipment and, of course, personal taste. Right now I'm still appreciation what I feel is a more accurate overall sound vs. my Monarchys which I'm hanging on to 'till I give them at least one more comparative run.

    In the spirit of cheapness I opted to build my own case, which you can see HERE. The case offered by CDA was $190 at the time, since dropped to $150.

    Nice review and even better case!

    I think that I am going to buy this chassi for the amp if the parts will fit.

    http://www.8audio-mall.com/servlet/t...um-Case/Detail

    Here's another one-

    http://www.vt4c.com/shop/program/mai...032&group_id=2
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  16. #16
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven
    Nice review and even better case!

    I think that I am going to buy this chassi for the amp if the parts will fit.

    http://www.8audio-mall.com/servlet/t...um-Case/Detail

    Here's another one-

    http://www.vt4c.com/shop/program/mai...032&group_id=2
    Nice looking case for 8Audio! But it would be tight fit. For one thing, the transformer with the SDS-258 Kit I bought is almost 3" in height whereas 8Audio is only 2" high internally.

    VT4C has a very nice selection but it seems to me by the time you get to the larger cases with precut holes, you're spending as much as CDA's offering.

  17. #17
    Ajani
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    A really cheap option ($200) that requires no assembly (but patience, as it has not been released yet) is the Emotiva MPA1. Here's a small crappy pic from Emofest (happened yesterday):


  18. #18
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    Nice looking case for 8Audio! But it would be tight fit. For one thing, the transformer with the SDS-258 Kit I bought is almost 3" in height whereas 8Audio is only 2" high internally.

    VT4C has a very nice selection but it seems to me by the time you get to the larger cases with precut holes, you're spending as much as CDA's offering.
    I kind of thought that the 8Audio would not fit.

    I will just cut the holes myself on the VT4C. There are a couple of other chassi's that I found as well.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  19. #19
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    I hate to recommend something I own, but Tim Rawson's PASS Labs Aleph clone can still be had used on Agon for around $400. Tim doesn't sell them anymore....
    It's about 25 watt each, while my monoblocks put out over 70/8ohm, 100/4ohm. They are simply amazing.

    JRA

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