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  1. #1
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    Friend borrowed my AMP 8

    I loaned a friend (president of our audio club) my AMP 8. I borrowed his SST Son of Ampzilla II to check it out. The thinking was to see if the SON's extra power would be good with my Maggie's. He wanted to see how the T+A would work in his second system.

    He texted me last night that although it was still early in his checking out the AMP 8, it was very smooth and musical! The bass is balanced and articulate. It was very hard to shut down the listening session for the evening because the amp sounded so good!

    I kept telling him this so now he has seen for himself ....
    Amps: Hattor "The Big" w/AMRG Trans, Hattor Tube Active Stage, Bel Canto REF500S, McIntosh MC754
    Vinyl: Rega RP8 w/Rega Neo PSU, Technics SL-1500C, Moon by SimAudio NEO 310LP, Record Doctor VI, Hexmat Yellow Bird
    Cartridges: Rega Ania Pro, Ortofon 2M Red, Audio Technica VM740ML
    Digital: Falcon Northwest PC Server, T+A DAC 8 DSD, W4S Recovery, Roon & HQPlayer, Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Astell & Kern SE200
    Transducers: Magnepan MG .7's w/Magna Riser Stands, Rythmik L12's (x2), Abyss Diana Phi's
    Other: McIntosh MR7083, Oppo BDP105, AudioQuest Niagara 1000, Astell & Kern AK240 (for sale)

  2. #2
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    Re: Friend borrowed my AMP 8

    I have owned my SST Son of Ampzilla II for over a year and have been very pleased with the sound stage, musicality, and available power. The combination of the Son of Ampzilla II and the SST Ambrosia 2000 Second Edition Preamp outperform anything I have used in the past. The SST designer of these two components, James Bongiorno, was a genius.

    Stunning combination (to my ears and for my budget).
    MAIN SYSTEM - SST Ambrosia 2000 Second Edition Preamp and SST Son of Ampzilla II Amp, Bricasti M3 DAC/Streamer w/MDX upgrade, PS Audio P3 Power Plant, Focal Sopra No. 1 Speakers, JL Audio F112 Subwoofer, Elac SUB3070 Subwoofer, 20TB Synology NAS

    HOME OFFICE SYSTEM - KEF Nocturne LS50W Speakers with Roon

  3. #3
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    Re: Friend borrowed my AMP 8

    So how did your listening session go? I've heard good things on Ampzilla
    Aurender ACS10 w/AQ Diamond,
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  4. #4
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    Re: Friend borrowed my AMP 8

    I have not spent much time with it yet with the Maggie's. I did own one in the past and it was a good amp.

    The Son of Ampzilla II was a co-design between James and EJ. EJ owns the SST company now along with Wyred 4 Sound, Carver and others.
    Amps: Hattor "The Big" w/AMRG Trans, Hattor Tube Active Stage, Bel Canto REF500S, McIntosh MC754
    Vinyl: Rega RP8 w/Rega Neo PSU, Technics SL-1500C, Moon by SimAudio NEO 310LP, Record Doctor VI, Hexmat Yellow Bird
    Cartridges: Rega Ania Pro, Ortofon 2M Red, Audio Technica VM740ML
    Digital: Falcon Northwest PC Server, T+A DAC 8 DSD, W4S Recovery, Roon & HQPlayer, Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Astell & Kern SE200
    Transducers: Magnepan MG .7's w/Magna Riser Stands, Rythmik L12's (x2), Abyss Diana Phi's
    Other: McIntosh MR7083, Oppo BDP105, AudioQuest Niagara 1000, Astell & Kern AK240 (for sale)

  5. #5
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    Re: Friend borrowed my AMP 8

    After a couple days listening to the SST Son of Ampzilla II and comparing back and forth with the Bel Canto it is clear to me that the SON has a nice open top end; it has very detailed high frequencies but lower frequencies seem to be subdued. I would say that both the T+A and Bel Canto have very pleasing and articulate high frequencies, very inviting sounding and I would also say that both are more full range and musical. These two are more similar and the SON is definitely a different sounding amplifier all together.

    The biggest difference in the three amplifiers is how they handle the lower frequencies. The Bel Canto and T+A amplifiers both have very tight and present bass while with the SON the bottom end is a bit loose and not as present. It feels like the room is too reflective and emphasizing the high frequencies while the other two amps are more balanced, like the room has a nice mixture of reflective and absorbent materials. With the SST amplifier I felt I might need to use a equalizer to balance it out a bit more, and I never use an EQ.

    Now granted these differences are subtle, but definitely there. I would say the T+A is the most musical of the three, however with my Magnepan speakers having a bit more power is desirable, not that I listen loud often. Therefore any of the three can get the volume to a nice level for me, but the T+A has to be pushed a bit more. Therefore the SST and Bel Canto amps definitely provide a bit more of the power that the Maggie's crave. These two amplifiers definitely give a completely different flavor of power and both provide a bit more dynamics because of the reserve watts.

    Any two of the three would make a nice complementary change of pace of the others. The Bel Canto I would consider my "main" amplifier at this point. I am not sure which I would rather have as the secondary "change of pace" A/B amplifier versus the Class D Bel Canto. The more robust power of the SST or the more articulate musicality of the T+A. We will see how it all plays out as I continue this comparison endeavor.

    As an added thought; I do also have my classic McIntosh amplifier to throw in the mix. While not as dynamic or detailed as any of these "modern" designs it provides the classic McIntosh sound. So for a true change of pace and especially for certain types of music it is a pleasure to occasionally pop the speaker wires on to the MC754. For acoustics and vocals it is silky smooth and provides a listening experience that is to die for!
    Amps: Hattor "The Big" w/AMRG Trans, Hattor Tube Active Stage, Bel Canto REF500S, McIntosh MC754
    Vinyl: Rega RP8 w/Rega Neo PSU, Technics SL-1500C, Moon by SimAudio NEO 310LP, Record Doctor VI, Hexmat Yellow Bird
    Cartridges: Rega Ania Pro, Ortofon 2M Red, Audio Technica VM740ML
    Digital: Falcon Northwest PC Server, T+A DAC 8 DSD, W4S Recovery, Roon & HQPlayer, Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Astell & Kern SE200
    Transducers: Magnepan MG .7's w/Magna Riser Stands, Rythmik L12's (x2), Abyss Diana Phi's
    Other: McIntosh MR7083, Oppo BDP105, AudioQuest Niagara 1000, Astell & Kern AK240 (for sale)

  6. #6
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    Re: Friend borrowed my AMP 8

    Nice write up. I put cash down for and SST, then got cold feet and backed out the next day. I'm still a tube guy. Haven't gone tonrhe dark side yet.

  7. #7
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    Re: Friend borrowed my AMP 8

    So my buddy that has been borrowing my Amp 8 text me last night that the T+A amplifier is more musical than his SST Son of Ampzilla II. His last text; "I think it's better than the SON".
    Amps: Hattor "The Big" w/AMRG Trans, Hattor Tube Active Stage, Bel Canto REF500S, McIntosh MC754
    Vinyl: Rega RP8 w/Rega Neo PSU, Technics SL-1500C, Moon by SimAudio NEO 310LP, Record Doctor VI, Hexmat Yellow Bird
    Cartridges: Rega Ania Pro, Ortofon 2M Red, Audio Technica VM740ML
    Digital: Falcon Northwest PC Server, T+A DAC 8 DSD, W4S Recovery, Roon & HQPlayer, Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Astell & Kern SE200
    Transducers: Magnepan MG .7's w/Magna Riser Stands, Rythmik L12's (x2), Abyss Diana Phi's
    Other: McIntosh MR7083, Oppo BDP105, AudioQuest Niagara 1000, Astell & Kern AK240 (for sale)

  8. #8
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    Re: Friend borrowed my AMP 8

    Sell it to him.
    T+A MP3100HV, T+A PA3100HV. Custom made Furutech cables with ETP-609 distributor with NCF outlets, Harbeth 40.2 Anniversaries.

  9. #9
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    Re: Friend borrowed my AMP 8

    Nah, getting it back from him. Was talking about trading the SST amp for the T+A but I decided I would rather keep the T+A. We both agree it is a better amplifier then the SST, although they are both good amps.
    Amps: Hattor "The Big" w/AMRG Trans, Hattor Tube Active Stage, Bel Canto REF500S, McIntosh MC754
    Vinyl: Rega RP8 w/Rega Neo PSU, Technics SL-1500C, Moon by SimAudio NEO 310LP, Record Doctor VI, Hexmat Yellow Bird
    Cartridges: Rega Ania Pro, Ortofon 2M Red, Audio Technica VM740ML
    Digital: Falcon Northwest PC Server, T+A DAC 8 DSD, W4S Recovery, Roon & HQPlayer, Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Astell & Kern SE200
    Transducers: Magnepan MG .7's w/Magna Riser Stands, Rythmik L12's (x2), Abyss Diana Phi's
    Other: McIntosh MR7083, Oppo BDP105, AudioQuest Niagara 1000, Astell & Kern AK240 (for sale)

  10. #10
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    Re: Friend borrowed my AMP 8

    That's good to here specially as the AMP 8 is not much more than half the price of the Son. I've often thought about the AMP 8 but never gone there. Quite happy with the all-in-one I recently bought - saves a ton in cables and sounds great.
    Sources - NAD M50.2 (streamer, CD player, CD ripper, hard drive music store)
    Amplification - NAD M33, NAD M12, Consonance Cyber 845, NAD M32 for sale
    Speakers - Avantgarde Duo XD, Avantgarde Duo (2006 - aesthetically modified), Martin Logan Expression 13A (for sale)

  11. #11
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    Re: Friend borrowed my AMP 8

    They are both good amps however both of us felt that the AMP 8 was better. In actuality they are very similar in normal pricing. The Son of Ampzilla II is $4200 and the AMP 8 is $3600.
    Amps: Hattor "The Big" w/AMRG Trans, Hattor Tube Active Stage, Bel Canto REF500S, McIntosh MC754
    Vinyl: Rega RP8 w/Rega Neo PSU, Technics SL-1500C, Moon by SimAudio NEO 310LP, Record Doctor VI, Hexmat Yellow Bird
    Cartridges: Rega Ania Pro, Ortofon 2M Red, Audio Technica VM740ML
    Digital: Falcon Northwest PC Server, T+A DAC 8 DSD, W4S Recovery, Roon & HQPlayer, Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Astell & Kern SE200
    Transducers: Magnepan MG .7's w/Magna Riser Stands, Rythmik L12's (x2), Abyss Diana Phi's
    Other: McIntosh MR7083, Oppo BDP105, AudioQuest Niagara 1000, Astell & Kern AK240 (for sale)

  12. #12
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    Re: Friend borrowed my AMP 8

    In UK, the AMP 8 is listed by dealers at £1994 inc 20% VAT and the less well known Sun seems to be priced at £4200 or about €4600 in Europe

    Peter
    Sources - NAD M50.2 (streamer, CD player, CD ripper, hard drive music store)
    Amplification - NAD M33, NAD M12, Consonance Cyber 845, NAD M32 for sale
    Speakers - Avantgarde Duo XD, Avantgarde Duo (2006 - aesthetically modified), Martin Logan Expression 13A (for sale)

  13. #13
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    Re: Friend borrowed my AMP 8

    The Son of Ampzilla II (we simply call it the SON) is built by a friend of mine (his factory is about 30-40 minutes up the road) and I consider a good solid amplifier. A bit heavy versus my current amplifiers .... it does retail in the US for $4200. I have seen some strange pricing at times in Europe on T+A gear, and I have also seen them listed for incredibly low prices by dealers who are not T+A dealers... not sure how all of that works. I do know that when I purchased the AMP 8 it retailed for $3200 (if I am recalling correct) but, unless I am seriously mistaken, Mike recently told me that its current retail in the US is $3600.
    Amps: Hattor "The Big" w/AMRG Trans, Hattor Tube Active Stage, Bel Canto REF500S, McIntosh MC754
    Vinyl: Rega RP8 w/Rega Neo PSU, Technics SL-1500C, Moon by SimAudio NEO 310LP, Record Doctor VI, Hexmat Yellow Bird
    Cartridges: Rega Ania Pro, Ortofon 2M Red, Audio Technica VM740ML
    Digital: Falcon Northwest PC Server, T+A DAC 8 DSD, W4S Recovery, Roon & HQPlayer, Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Astell & Kern SE200
    Transducers: Magnepan MG .7's w/Magna Riser Stands, Rythmik L12's (x2), Abyss Diana Phi's
    Other: McIntosh MR7083, Oppo BDP105, AudioQuest Niagara 1000, Astell & Kern AK240 (for sale)

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Friend borrowed my AMP 8

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