What's your amp history?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Strat-Mangler, Aug 2, 2021.

  1. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Personal Survival Daily Record-Breaker Thread Starter

    It could be integrated or separates. For myself...

    As a young boy, my mom gave me one of those all-in-one turntable/amp combo units that was a half-sphere. No idea of the brand or model.

    Got a Sanyo boombox as a 10-year old.

    When my aunt moved when I was about 17, she gave me a wonderful Sansui receiver, along with a couple of Sansui speakers. No idea of the exact model but it sounded infinitely better than the ol' boombox and I was thrilled!

    When I moved into an apartment, I ended up using Klipsch ProMedia speakers through my PC.

    Roughly at 35, I got an Arcam AVR350.

    For my 40th birthday, I upgraded to a Line Magnetic 508IA. The last 2 upgrades were as seismic as a 9.0 earthquake in significance and impact on SQ!

    What's your amp history?
  2. Soundslave

    Soundslave Forum Resident

    First my uncle gave me Technics SU-V500, so it became my first integrated because he upgraded to a better vintage amp and speakers.
    That happened in like 2012-2013. After that, he received a job offer and decided to move, leaving his then current amp and speakers to me. That's how I got Pioneer SA9900 which is the basis of my CD-LP system.
    jesterthejedi and jonwoody like this.
  3. Apesbrain

    Apesbrain Forum Resident

    East Coast, USA
    50 years: Lafayette > Pioneer > Sansui > Tandberg > Carver > Melos/Cambridge > Threshold.
    Alan2 and jonwoody like this.
  4. Erocka2000

    Erocka2000 Forum Resident

    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    Technics HD-55 mini-system
    Quad 303 (used with a cheap passive preamp)
    Sansui 9090DB
    Rogue Audio Cronus
    Line Magnetic 216IA
    Leben CS600
    Shindo Montille CV391
    Line Magnetic 518IA
    Shindo Cortese F2a
    Luxman MQ-88uC
  5. onemug

    onemug Forum Resident

    Ah, Memory Lane. Let's see...

    Starting in the 70's and onward...

    McIntosh 2105>2205>2255>MC500>MC1000's>Krell KSA250>MC275CE>MC2000>Welborne DRD300b SET monos>
    Cary 300b push pull>Pass XA30.5>Pass XA100.5's>Bedini 45/45>custom 300b SET + custom 2a3 SET (together in bi-amp form)>Marantz 8b>8>9's>Mc275-6.

    Still have and use the amps from the Welborne on.
    mreeter, jonwoody and Strat-Mangler like this.
  6. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage

    Technics integrated in the 80's - Luxman integrated (one of the cheaper models) in the 90's - Quad 33+303 in the 00's - Parasound a23, followed by Parasound a21 from 2018 on.

    Just like OP these last 2 changes (Quad + Parasound) were huge and opened my ears to the importance of amps.
  7. luiscardoso88

    luiscardoso88 Forum Resident

    I started with a used Arcam Delta 290 back in 2009. Then I got a Marantz PM7005 and now I’m using an Audiolab 6000A.

    Didn’t notice any particular jumps in SQ.
    mreeter, Bananas&blow and Soundslave like this.
  8. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Forum Resident

    South Bend, IN
    Just going with my audio room:

    B&K multichannel amp
    NuPrime ST-9
    NuPrime ST-9 (upgraded modules)
    Odyssey Stratos Extreme, fully upgraded
    Bedini 200/200
    McCormack DNA-125, now modified heavily by SMC Audio

    I feel like I'm forgetting one, but that's the gist. The progression has been one of increased authority and increased dynamic capability, with the modded DNA-125 adding a layer of refinement that somehow makes a very warm, approachable sound but maintains ferocity (for metal and rock) and detail. It's just a killer amp. The Bedini before it was super nice, very authoritative and controlling, but lacked some upper end sparkle and transparency.
  9. Rick58

    Rick58 Forum Resident

    Eagle, ID, USA
    Parents’ all in one (1970s)
    Pioneer SX-450 1977
    Kenwood receiver 1982ish? Traded for Thorens TD-145 TT soon after
    Yamaha A-700 integrated amp 1984
    Dynaco SCA-35 tube integrated 1994
    Audio Analogue Puccini SE integrated 2002
    Bottlehead Paramount 300B kits (200x? whenever they were released)
    (Puccini as pre, then McIntosh C220, then Parasound P 7)
    Bottlehead Paramount 300B kits (unbalanced outs on P7)
    Parasound A 21 (balanced outs on P 7)
    mreeter and jonwoody like this.
  10. Ingenieur

    Ingenieur Going with the flow...

    45 years with gaps
    Old tube amp pulled from console
    Dynaco ST70 (kit) wish I still had it
    Dynaco ST120 (kit)
    Hafler DH220 (kit) I still have it
    Mac MA6300 current

    a period review (reprinted 1975?) of the ST120
    Dynaco Stereo 120 transistor power amplifier

    J Gordon Holt
    Summing up, then, we are finally forced to do an about-face on our long-held conviction that transistor amps are not for the perfectionist. Not only does this one seem to have no sound of its own, it also makes most loudspeakers sound betterthan do tube amplifiers. This kind of performance, finally, justifies switching from tubes to transistors. It's a sad commentary on the industry that the justification had to come three years after the switch.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2021
    Tim 2 and Paully like this.
  11. Tim 2


    Alberta Canada
    From the earliest, probably missed some.
    Power amps and integrated only.

    Luxman - two units
    Conrad Johnson - Premier 11
    Graff - GM 200
    Cary - SLM-100
    Jadis - SE300B's
    Mac MC2000
    Mark Levinson - 20.6 - 336- 431- 532
    Audio Research - VS110 - VTM200
    Ayre - MX-R
    Ayre - AX5 Twenty

    There's a few from my vintage collection that I didn't use daily so I omitted.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2021
  12. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    Got a couple hours?
    LeBud, B. Scarpia, nm_west and 9 others like this.
  13. Lenny99

    Lenny99 The truth sets you free.

    Clarksburg WV
    First decent amp was a Pioneer 20 w Receiver about 1985

    Sony Receiver 2020
    Yamaha Receiver 2021
    Yamaha integrated amp 2021
    mreeter, jesterthejedi and Rick58 like this.
  14. Gi54

    Gi54 Forum Resident

    1) Marantz - can't remember the model but it lacked power and was rather too smooth for my younger ears. There was also a trial of a NAD 3020 and a Rotel (again can't remember model) but was inspired by.....
    2) Cyrus 1 - well that got everything sizzling nicely!
    3) Cyrus 2 + PSX - more power for floorstanders and bigger rooms.
    4) Primare i30 - lots of power and a more refined and neutral SQ than the Cyrus.

    Not too many amps for 30+ years, and still own the two Cyrus amps.

    Next up? - maybe a class A Sugden or a big Yamaha or Luxman, but am in no hurry.
    mreeter and jonwoody like this.
  15. Jaytor

    Jaytor Forum Resident

    Main System

    Cheap amp built into a stereo record player with separate speakers
    Tube amp pulled from a Magnavox console
    Kenwood integrated (circa '75) with about 70 w/ch.
    SAE 2200
    Mark Levinson ML2
    Mark Levinson ML3
    Mark Levinson No 23.5
    Krell MDA-300 monoblocks
    Krell FPB-300
    Nord NC500 monoblocks
    Parasound JC-5
    DIY amps - Firstwatt F5T monoblocks, Neurochrome Modulus-286 monoblocks, Purifi monoblocks
    Pass XA-60.8 monoblocks

    Other systems

    Mark Levinson 333
    Proceed HPA3
    Mark Levinson 383 integrated
    Bryston ST-4b
    Krell KAV-200
    Sunfire Theater Grand
    mreeter, dj_w, timind and 1 other person like this.
  16. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host


    Concord 1972
    Sony (1973-75)
    Pioneer 1010 (1975 to 1992)


    Adcom 565 (1992)
    McIntosh 275 (1993-1995)
    Cary 805 (1995-97)
    Concert Fidelity
    Audio Note UK
  17. Paully

    Paully De gustibus non est disputandum

    Some receiver
    Dynaco ST-70
    Bottlehead Paramours

    Currently I swap between
    Home built 45 (doesn’t see much action)
    Dynaco ST-70 (I missed the old one so I rebuilt another although it also sees little use)
    Home built 300B amplifier
    Dynaco ST-35
  18. motorstereo

    motorstereo Forum Resident

    Started with a Pioneer sx434 several decades ago and ended up with Mcintosh mc1201's. Far too many amps in between for me to remember even half of them.
  19. luckybaer

    luckybaer Thinks The Devil actually beat Johnny

    Onkyo TX-8555
    Rotel RB-1582 MkII, Parasound 2125v2

    I'm a big believer in getting the "MkII," "v2," etc. versions of gear.

    Just kidding about that, folks.
    mreeter, timind, Rick58 and 1 other person like this.
  20. Wenthrope

    Wenthrope Well-Known Member

    Mine started with a Sanyo boom box in high school…I wonder if it was the same one as OP. After college, did the whole home theater thing with a Sony 5.1 AVR. I stuck with that until buying an Outlaw RR2150 in 2012 - which was my first entry into stereo. I just upgraded to a Parasound A21+ last year.
    mreeter and timind like this.
  21. The Pinhead

    The Pinhead SUDACA ROÑOSO

    1980 Kenwood KA-30025wpc

    1990 JVC SEA JR-S201 receiver 35wpc

    1993 current Pioneer SX-980 80wpc receiver+ Technics SU-V5 60wpc amp (second system)
    Manimal and mreeter like this.
  22. tmtomh

    tmtomh Forum Resident

    • 1982-ish: Sony STR-VX22 (or similar, can't remember precisely) receiver
    • 1991: Adcom GFA-535 power amp (college graduation gift from my father; paired with a GTP-450 tuner/preamp)
    • 2015: had the GFA-535 serviced and rebuilt
    • 2017: Adcom GFA-5400 (first paired with GFP-565 preamp, then run directly from Oppo BDP-105 and then UDP-205)
    • 2020: Audiophonics HPA-S400ET Purifi-based power amp (still fed from the UDP-205)
    Every step produced a clearly audible improvement.
    mreeter likes this.
  23. jonwoody

    jonwoody Tragically Unhip

    Washington DC
    Bryston B-60
    conrad-johnson premier 11a
    Cary 300b Sig monos
    Air Tight ATM-1
    KR Audio Monstrosity
    Graafiti GM5050
    Deja Vu Custom EL-34 amp- current last 14 years
    Edge M4- bought this just to help trace some noise issues wanted a SS amp resold it after two weeks
    Deja Vu Custom 2a3PP amp- on loan now while my amps power supply is being rebuilt

    I think that's it!
    mreeter, onemug, timind and 2 others like this.
  24. Blair G.

    Blair G. Senior Member

    Delta, BC, Canada
    1977 Kenwood KA3500 Integrated
    1983 Apt Holman Preamp/Apt 1 Power Amp
    2001 Arcam A85 Integrated
    2014 Modwright KWI200 Integrated
    mreeter, Adam9 and timind like this.
  25. chili555

    chili555 Forum Resident

    Harmon-Kardon Citation 12C
    PS Audio 2C+
    GAS Grandson
    Audio-Research D-76a
    Marantz 8b – twice!
    McIntosh MC60 – all too briefly
    B&K ST-140
    Ayre V-5xe

    Probably a few others that I’ve forgotten.

Share This Page