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  1. #1

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    Default Adcom GFA-545: The Little Amp That Could

    I recently sold one of my GFA-545's on ebay, but before I did, I wanted to test it out to make sure it still worked. At first I was going to throw it in a secondary system with some Monitor 5B's, where it would be perfectly comfortable, but then I thought, what the frick, let's see what she can do in the main system.

    So there she is, this little, dependable amp, powering my giant Magnepan 3.7's. These speakers are NOT easy to drive. 4ohms nominal with a sensitivity of only 86db.

    When I first started playing music I was VERY cautious with the volume knob... gradually bringing it up to the audible spectrum. It sounded good. Little more volume. It sounded better. Little more volume... wow, this sounds really good! Next thing I know, I'm running at full-on personal reference volume, and it sounds great!

    My first thought was "I can't believe how good this little $125 amp sounds!"... which was followed by "Why did I spend so much money on my BAT when a $100 amp sounds this good?!"

    Well I put the BAT back in and immediately remembered why I dropped the coin on it... but needless to say, the GFA-545 was very impressive.

    I will definitely be keeping at least one in the back pocket. This amp must represent the ultimate bang for the buck on the used 2-channel amp market.
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  2. #2

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    Great info for anyone interested in the GFA-545. The used price range should be able to fit into everyone's Budget, so why wait when one comes available and you are in the market.
    Home Theatre.............

    Pioneer SC-35
    Polk RTi10's Fronts
    Polk CSiA6 Center
    RTi4 Surrounds
    SVS PB-12 Sub


    2 Channel.............................

    Yaqin MC-100B
    Energy RC-70 Speakers
    Arcam CD-192 Disc Player
    Van Den Hul Interconnects

  3. #3

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    I still wish I had my old 585 that I had.
    Hot Rodded SDA 1.2TL's, SDA 1C's, SDA CRS+'s...
    Powered By Wyred 4 Sound, STP-SE, SX-1000...
    MIT-Shotgun's ...

  4. #4

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    Did you check to see how hot it was once you were done? I gave my brother my old 50wpc Rotel amp to drive his LSI 7s and while it sounded fantastic, you could fry an egg on top of the amp by the time we were done watching a movie.
    Sunfire TGP III PrePro, Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature 405wpc 5 ch. Amp, Rotel RCD-1072 CDP, Onkyo TA2600 Tape Deck, Pioneer Elite 47-A DVD, Sony 32" XBR TV, Polk RTA-8T Main Speakers, Boston VR-920 Center Channel, Boston PV-600 Subwoofer, Polk DSW 400 Subwoofer, Polk FXi-3 Surround Speakers

  5. #5

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    I got a 545 great little Amp, mine ran A pair of 2B's no problem, never got warm, I then got a 555II to run the 2B's and that 545 now runs a pair of CRS+s just fine. I also hooked it up to my AR58's and it also did a fine job. good thing your keeping one, I could not part with mine.

  6. #6

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    Glad you like the Adcom. Im in the market soon for another Adcom. They are very impressive & for what they tend to go for $$$ their a bang for the buck
    RANDY
    ~SDA2b Adcom gfa555 565pre 555t 600cd Pioneer PLa35d
    ~SDA1c Denon POA2200 Yamaha RX-V1(gold) HK25 AT-LP120tt-HT 4/rs Cs400i/cc Premier Acoustic PA-150 subwoofer
    ~Marantz 2252b 5025b 6300tt Tech-a4010s monitor 7b
    ~Yamaha cr2040 Advent2 Monitor 10a
    ~Rotel RV555 monitor 4 series 2 -office-
    ~Pioneer seQ404 2-4channel headphones

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by boston1450 View Post
    Glad you like the Adcom...
    I've known that I liked the 545 for some time now; I've used them very successfully with vintage Monitors, SDAs, LSis, etc.... I just never knew how good they could sound as a part of a higher-fi system.
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  8. #8

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    I bought a 545 not too long ago. I turned it on and it didn't work. So I returned it. #debbiedowner

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loud & Clear View Post
    I bought a 545 not too long ago. I turned it on and it didn't work. So I returned it. #debbiedowner
    Want another one? I got one more to get rid of... only keeping one for myslef.
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  10. #10

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    No thank you, sir. I think I've had my fill.

    By the way, you've got some really nice gear. Your systems are very well put together.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loud & Clear View Post
    By the way, you've got some really nice gear. Your systems are very well put together.
    Thanks, man. I've experimented with A LOT of speakers and components over the last few years, and I'm pretty happy with the synergy in both systems right now. If I were to make any immediate changes, it would be:

    - 2-channel: Replace DAC & USB > SPDIF converter with a better DAC that has USB built-in.
    - HT: Replace Pre/Pro with one that has Audyssey XT-32. I got to hear XT-32 in my system recently, and it's dramatically better... especially with dual subs.
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  12. #12

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    I just sold the 545 I had...back to the person I bought it from, for $125 as well! I have to agree, for that little bit of cash, that %$% is an overachiever!

  13. #13

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    Yeah, I LOVED my 545, I had it for 12 years before the Aleph 30. I think they sound better than the 555's tonally. It's a mighty little amp. When I sold audio back in the late 80's it would trounce the 300 wpc Yamaha's of the day running difficult loads. In fact the 535 played cleaner and louder on a difficult load than the 200 wpc Yamaha amps of the same vintage. Never did nor do I now understand why those old Yammy's are so coveted. Average at best.

    GFA - Great F#*king Amp.....LOL.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  14. #14

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    I alternate using the NAD below or an Adcom GFA-545. The Adcom has a bit more detail and oomph. The NAD is a tad warmer. You really can't beat those 545s for what they go for. Real giant killers in their day.

    cnh
    Onkyo TX-SR 805 System #1 HT AVR
    Office Two Channel: LSi-7s (Nakamichi CA-5, NAD 214, Pioneer BDP51fd)
    Vintage Polks: Polk Monitor 5As, Monitor 7Bs [HK 730], Monitor 10As [Marantz 2265], SDA-2Bs [Jolida JD-303, Jolida MV-MK4]
    Headphones: HD600, Q701, ATH-M50s etc. Bravo Audio Ocean amp., Onkyo P-304, Adcom GFA-555, Technics Direct Drive TT

  15. #15

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    Don't mean to threadjack, but what do you guys think about the GFA-5500? Got one not too long ago and kind of curious what the consensus is on it.
    Receiver: Yamaha RX-V667
    Fronts: Polk LS90 / Polk SDA-2
    Center: Polk CS350-LS
    Rear: Polk M3 II
    Sub: Polk DSW MP3K / Velodyne DEQ-10R
    Amp: Adcom GFA-5500 (Strapped for SDA's)
    Interconnect: Kimber Tonik
    Speaker Wire: Kimber 4PR

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