What's your amp history?

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

  1. Humbuster

    Humbuster Big hat, no cattle

    1970 - Lafayette integrated

    1976 - Kenwood Receiver - 25 w p/ch

    1980 - Kenwood Receiver - 125 w p/ch

    1995 - Carver Amp (TFM35, I think) Carver Preamp/Tuner

    2013 - McIntosh MA6600 Integrated.
    Monty12 likes this.
  2. Ingenieur

    Ingenieur Forum Resident

    Latest chapter

  3. fish

    fish Forum Resident

    NY, USA
    Amps Ive owned, not ones I've had to listened to for some time.

    Kyocera 80's (Better than a McIntosh of the same time)
    Sansui Vintage 70's (early SS tryin to sound like a tube amp)
    Luxman Vintage 70's (still a favorite)
    Denon AVR (worst sounding I've ever owned)
    Sony AVR (2nd worst sounding I've ever owned)
    Pioneer Elite (lean, bright but competent for HT)
    Decware SET (Giant Killer)
    McAlister Audio SET (Kraken Killer! Can also subsidize your heating system)
    Various Tripath amps from China which rhymes with...
    Marantz Ruby (Sublime)

    looking forward to a late-model McIntosh or Luxman next.
    jusbe likes this.
  4. The Curator

    The Curator Forum Resident

    Main system:
    Bryan 9000
    Rotel RA-314
    Quad 34 + Quad 405-2 (grey)
    Exposure VI + VII + VIII
    Exposure XI + 2x VI + 2x Super VIII
    Exposure XVII + Super XVIII
    Today = Exposure Dual VII + 2x VI + Avondale M1 monoblocs

    Also tried/short-lived along the way:
    Naim NAP 90-3
    Denon PMA-250
    Quad 33
    Quad 405
    Quad 405-2 (olive)
    Avondale-modified Naim NAP 110
    Rotel RB-870
    Exposure Super XXVIII (kept in reserve)

    The vintage Exposure and Avondale character hits the sweet spot for me.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2021
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  5. edd2b

    edd2b Forum Resident

    Southsea UK
    Amps bought for systems of my own;

    JVC AX1. 1980 to 1989 (still used in workshop for background)
    Naim Nait 2 1989 to 1992 (last silver buffer unit in the shop prior to ‘olive’ range)
    Naim Nac 42.5/110. 1992 to 1997 (used item bought on trade in of Nait 2. With hindsight I should have also kept the Nait 2)
    Naim Nap 140. 1994 to 1997 (replaces Nap 110)
    Naim HICAP. 1994 to 1997
    Dense B-100 Mk 2 plus Densen DP-02 phono unit. 1997 to present (bought new inc p/ex Naim amps )
    Ion Obelisk 2. 1994 to present (bought for second system, but currently main amp pending repair or replacement of B-100)
    Monty12 likes this.
  6. Kyhl

    Kyhl On break

    Including stuff I bought that didn't last long.

    Yamaha RX-V750 I think. First real system in the early 90s. Sounded great.
    Denon AVR-4800. Maybe around 2001. Wanted to switch to something with discrete surround sound channels. Couldn't take it anymore after a couple weeks and started looking for a replacement. Lasted about a month.
    Anthem PVA5 - 2001. Went separate AVR pre and 5 channel amp.

    Lexicon NT-512. around 2002 (?). Bryston built 5 mono amps in a single box. Nice upgrade from the PVA5.

    2003 went a different direction. AE-25 SuperAmp Signature for the mains with the NT-512 working surround duty.
    Couldn't justify the NT-512 for just surround duty so sold it interestingly enough back to the guy I bought it from. He wanted it back.


    Quicksilver Mono-80 mono blocks also in 2003. They didn't last long even though they were a huge step up from anything previously. They broke up quickly if pushed even moderately. I assumed there was something wrong so they went back to the dealer that was selling them on consignment.

    VAC PA-100, 2004. Still playing after 17 years. Pic taken a couple weeks ago. Put in a new set of NOS RCA clear tops earlier that day.


    After a year with the VAC I picked up a VTL ST-150 locally in 2005. Went back and forth for a couple months but kept going back to the VAC.
    Can't believe it's been that long since the last amp change.

    Last edited: Oct 2, 2021
    Monty12, Ingenieur and mreeter like this.
  7. AL01

    AL01 Eh?

    2008-2020 - Phillips Micro Unit Thingy

    2020 - 2021 - Harman Kardon HK560

    2021 - Present - Sansui AU-517
    Monty12 likes this.
  8. jusbe

    jusbe Modern Melomaniac

    Auckland, NZ.
    How interesting. I see I'm not alone (Tripath > Marantz Class D, custom Hypex):

    70s Rotel amp (thanks Dad)
    Rotel RA920-AX
    NVA AP80 (Nene Valley Audio)
    Fi Xpre, Xph, X3
    Leak TL12
    Virtue Audio TWO (30v/130w psu)
    Klangfilm KL V502 monos
    Beam Echo (Avantic) DL7-35 monos
    Marantz Reference PM-10.
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  9. PopularChuck

    PopularChuck Forum Resident

    Bay Area
    I started with a cheap Chinese Fender knockoff, then an Egnater Tweaker, then a silverface Fender Champ before settling in with a Carr Mercury.

    Oh. Wait. Are we talking guitar amps?
    Monty12 likes this.
  10. Ontheone

    Ontheone Poorly Understood Member

    Two very different amps but love them both. Leben has a rich, mid-centric richness and punch and is a bit forward sounding...but still manages great bass extension. The Luxman is more balanced overall if not even more accurate to the recording. The Luxman provides a bit more detail and handles transients with more finesse and agility. It still has a great dynamic range with solid bass and sweet highs. The Leben pairs way better with my Forte III speakers than the Luxman does. Both pair amazingly well with my DeVore O/96's.
    jonwoody and fcdvpds like this.
  11. fcdvpds

    fcdvpds Forum Resident

    Hong Kong
    :) Thank you for the feedback.
    Ontheone likes this.
  12. fcdvpds

    fcdvpds Forum Resident

    Hong Kong
    Interesting that you moved from the Shindo Cortese F2a to the Luxman MQ-88uc...any regrets ? :)
  13. My first amp was so old instead of a circuit diagram printed on the top there’s a map for crossing the Delaware.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2021
  14. Erocka2000

    Erocka2000 Forum Resident

    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    None at all.
    fcdvpds likes this.
  15. Dennis Metz

    Dennis Metz Born In A Motor City south of Detroit

    Fonthill, Ontario
    My first real amp was a Rotel receiver in 1970. From there I went through a series of Marantz receivers ending with a 2325 that I sold in 1980. The 80s and 90s was all Yamaha. I now have a McIntosh MA352 in my basement system and a Naim NAP250 upstairs.
  16. jonwoody

    jonwoody Tragically Unhip

    Washington DC
    Updating my list with the amp I've been listening to as a loaner since late February a custom Deja Vu Audio pushpull 2a3 amp is here to say 15wpc and sounding fantastic.

    Ilusndweller, mreeter, Tlay and 2 others like this.
  17. Rens

    Rens Well-Known Member

    My first audio equipment was a receiver from Technics, I believe it was SA-103 (eighties), followed by a Kenwood integrated KA-550 (nineties). Years later I had a Linn Majik-I (2010) and only recently I upgrade my system to Linn Karin/Klout.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2021
  18. tiger roach

    tiger roach Forum Resident

    (note: all were integrated amps, years are approximate, and I won't be able to remember the model names for most)

    Kenwood 1979-1984
    Yamaha 1984-1990
    NAD 1990-1998
    Musical Fidelity 1998-2014
    inexpensive Chinese tube amp 2014-2015
    Rogue Audio Sphinx v1 2015-2021
    Peachtree Nova 150 2018-present (currently used as DAC and pre for headphone rig)
    Raven Audio Osprey MkIII 2021-?
    mreeter likes this.
  19. Hendertuckie

    Hendertuckie Forum Resident

    Belmont, Nevada
    Starting in 1974 Sansui integrated, Sherwood receiver, NAD integrated, B&K ST-202 power amp, Counterpoint SA 20 power amp, VTL 300 Deluxe MB power amp. I currently own VTL 450MKII power amp and a Jolida JD-1000a integrated.
    mreeter and SteveFord like this.
  20. rockclassics

    rockclassics Senior Member

    Mid-South US
    50+ years of receivers and amps.

    Allied (made by Pioneer)
    Kenwood 3400
    JVC RX 950V
    Yamaha RX 497
    Yamaha A-S 801
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  21. Tony Plachy

    Tony Plachy Senior Member

    Pleasantville, NY
    Stage 1
    Heathkit Integrated Amp ( home assembled ) 1970 - 1972
    Heathkit Receiver ( home assembled ) 1972 -1986

    Stage 2
    NAD Receiver 1986 - 2002

    Stage 3
    conrad-johnson Premier 15 ( phono preamp ), Premier 16 ( preamp ), Premier 12's ( monoblocks ) 2002-2018-19

    Stage 4
    conrad-johnson GAT ( preamp ) 2018 - present
    conrad-johsone TEA1 ( phono preamp ) 2019 - present
    Constellation Hercules II ( stereo power amp ) ( bought used ) 2019 - present
    mreeter and SteveFord like this.
  22. Manimal

    Manimal Forum Resident

    Southern US
    One that helped lure me into the trap was my roommate’s Parasound DR 25
    I’ve had and gave away 2 and will buy them when I find em. Wonderful
    Denon 2800 ( surround)
    Parasound CA250 ( same 80s amp as the DR 25) I’ve had two and will buy when I find
    Pioneer SX 750
    Pioneer SX 1250
    AMD 36-110 ( 10 watt tube amp from the late 60s refurbed)
    Wilsenton R8 tube
    I may be forgetting some bunk circuit city Kenwoods from my formative years:)
    Monty12 and jonwoody like this.
  23. AL01

    AL01 Eh?

    Here's an updated list:

    Phillips Micro-Center thingy.

    Harman Kardon HK 560.

    Sansui AU-517.

    And now...

    A Denon PMA-2000R.
  24. jeffmackwood

    jeffmackwood Forum Resident

    So I'll stick to "amp" only...

    I bought a Hitachi HMA-8300 "Dynaharmony" stereo power amp in 1980 for $699CDN. It was a brand new floor model at a shop located near my university dorm. $699CDN was an awful lot of money back then. (I even paid an extra $20 for the optional set of handles.) I couldn't afford it, but I had to have it.

    Even though it's not been used in the last couple of years, it has seen sometimes steady service over those 40+ years. It was fully-refurbished just before I put it in storage. It will get used again.

    It has sentimental value. None of my other amps can come close to it in that regard.

    Besides, it's a heck of an amp.

  25. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    New Orleans
    Starting around 1976….
    Kenwood KA-3500 (didn’t we all start here?!?)
    JVC Victor A-X9 (huge step up)
    Vector Research VA-1100
    (Completely forgettable 80’s receivers)
    Couple different Sony ES receivers
    Anthem MRX300
    Anthem MRX 510
    Bogen RP230
    Marantz 2220b
    Peachtree Decco65
    Parasound 2100/2250
    ARC SP16/VS110
    Rogue Cronos Magnum I
    NAD D3020 (current)
    Parasound P5/A23
    Rogue RP5
    ARC D240MKII
    JVC A-X5
    Yamaha CA2010 (current)
    Peachtree Nova150
    ARC LS27 / Ref75SE
    Peachtree Nova500
    Cayin A50T (current)
    ARC GSi75 (current)

    Not listing various others like Sonos and Bluesound that I have used as preamps and dedicated amps.

    I can say that I enjoyed nearly all of them except maybe the low end Parasound New Classic 2100/2250 which just didn't do it for me.
    The one I misssmost is the the old JVC A-X9. I am always looking for another one but they are very rare. Just an amazing integrated (of course nostalgia for ones first true love is not uncommon)
    jonwoody and Monty12 like this.

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