NAD 275BEE vs Adcom 5500 or 555SE

munkmunk Posts: 258
edited August 2010 in 2 Channel Audio
The world is passing me by and I haven't kept up with amplifier technology. It appears that class A construction is starting to take hold.

I'm not sure I understand the differences between the Adcom models, but the 5500 seems to have class A in the 'front end' while the 555SE is a improved version of the older model, class D? Specs are similar but the 5500 has headroom of 1.7 while the 555SE is at 2.5

I thought the NAD 275Bee was also a good value. It's power is somewhat below the Adcom's though it seems they measure their power differently. I'm looking to spend no more than a thousand. There's an outside chance of picking up a used Rotel in the 200 wpc category.

I've a Sunfire reference pre amp which I'm keeping, and some very much older Polks which will be replaced in the next major leap forward. These leaps forward don't take place very often. I'm forced to feed and clothe my three sons instead.

You guys are always the first place I go for knowledgable advice. I've never found a better forum.

munk
Post edited by munk on

Comments

  • jaxwiredjaxwired Posts: 201
    edited August 2010
    Hi Munk,

    I can't comment on the Adcom gear, but I spent months with the C275 and it's partner preamp and it is one of the best values in 2 channel audio IMO. And not just my opinion it has received accolades from several respected reviewers. It is the most neutral and accurate amp that NAD has ever produced for its classic series. The bass is outstanding in particular, but everything this amp does is first rate. Additionally, I can guarantee you it has bags of power. I have a 300 w/ch amp now and I often feel the NAD seemed to be more powerful. Highly recommended
    2 Channel
    NAD C545 -> Benchmark DAC1 -> Bryston BP6 -> Bryston 4B SST2 -> Dynaudio Contour S1.4
  • munkmunk Posts: 258
    edited August 2010
    I have a NAD CD player. I thought their amp would be good. I've read some reviews on it. Spearit sound has the best customer service; they immediately replaced a cd changer that was stuck in random play mode.

    Is there any question about NAD longevity or durability?

    I did some searching here and found a reccomendation for Emotiva as well. The snr was 110 dec which seem just a little lower than the competition, though they offer more watts of power.

    Reviews are tricky; if a person gets a Carver, they like Carver. If they get the Adcom, Adcom is what they know....very few of us get to actually listen to multiple components. That's what the professional reviews are supposed to do...I'm in the wilds of Montana and the nearest 'higher end' store is many hundreds of miles away, and they'll only have the items they promote.

    I sure appreciate your help.
  • jaxwiredjaxwired Posts: 201
    edited August 2010
    I agree about spearitsound. That's one class act. Very highly recommended. However, with that said, sound by singer is liquidating all their demo gear and they've got a couple NAD C375 integrated amps marked down under $800. That's a rockin' deal. Google them for more info. They might have a C275 also if you call them.

    And of course there's always audiogon...
    2 Channel
    NAD C545 -> Benchmark DAC1 -> Bryston BP6 -> Bryston 4B SST2 -> Dynaudio Contour S1.4
  • nclh7nclh7 Posts: 38
    edited August 2010
    A class A "front end" does not make a class A amp, it's a marketing gimmick. Ive got NAD, Adcom, Carver, Rotel, Nakamichi, ADS, Sony, Proton and Acurus amps. All keep me happy.

    The current trend in amps seems to be the digital class "D". Smaller, cooler and more energy efficient. Even names such as Audio Research have gone D.

    A lot of the bias against class of amps is simply personal preference, few people can tell the difference in a AB/X comparison as has been demonstrated on a number of occasions.

    Yep, even the guys at Stereophile can't tell the difference between a coat hanger and thousand dollar "peach" cables.
  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 23,459
    edited August 2010
    nclh7 wrote: »
    a class a "front end" does not make a class a amp, it's a marketing gimmick. Ive got nad, adcom, carver, rotel, nakamichi, ads, sony, proton and acurus amps. All keep me happy.

    The current trend in amps seems to be the digital class "d". Smaller, cooler and more energy efficient. Even names such as audio research have gone d.

    A lot of the bias against class of amps is simply personal preference, few people can tell the difference in a ab/x comparison as has been demonstrated on a number of occasions.

    Yep, even the guys at stereophile can't tell the difference between a coat hanger and thousand dollar "peach" cables.


    fail.

    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 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Plus DAC | MIT Shotgun S3 | MIT Z P/C's | updated SDA 1C| SQ Box Touch/Welbourne Labs P/S- Tubes add soul!
  • reeltrouble1reeltrouble1 Posts: 9,313
    edited August 2010
    Anti HiFi Audio Insurgent Sighting
    REEL TIME THEATRE
    Onkyo-TX-NR5007
    B&K 7270 amplifier
    Polk SWA-500 Subwoofer amplifier
    OppO BDP-83
    Pioneer Elite 50"
    Polk LCi-RTS-105;LCi-RTS-C;LCi-RTSFx;LCi80Fx
    Subs-Twin Polk CSW200
    HTS5000



    Everthing Matters...Tubes Rule...and It's Over until it's Not Over
  • cstmar01cstmar01 Posts: 4,398
    edited August 2010
    nclh7 wrote: »
    A class A "front end" does not make a class A amp, it's a marketing gimmick. Ive got NAD, Adcom, Carver, Rotel, Nakamichi, ADS, Sony, Proton and Acurus amps. All keep me happy.

    The current trend in amps seems to be the digital class "D". Smaller, cooler and more energy efficient. Even names such as Audio Research have gone D.

    A lot of the bias against class of amps is simply personal preference, few people can tell the difference in a AB/X comparison as has been demonstrated on a number of occasions.

    Yep, even the guys at Stereophile can't tell the difference between a coat hanger and thousand dollar "peach" cables.

    and this was needed for what reason? thought we were talking about amps in this thread, not cables but ya know :rolleyes:
  • munkmunk Posts: 258
    edited August 2010
    Is there any reason to believe a NAD amp will not last long, or has any QA issues?
    I'm leaning towards the NAD but Ebay has adcom amps that are 20 years old. I think a good amp should last 20 years.

    My Carver did over 20 years and worked hard. An amp isn't a toaster but we live in a age of throwaway appliances.
  • dougydougy Posts: 182
    edited August 2010
    Just to add my 2 cents worth...

    I bought a new Adcom GFA-5500 a few weeks ago and it is a total beast. Built like a tank, it is. Bass all over the place. No knocks on NAD from me, though. In fact I was considering going that way, too. Came down to money (I got the 5500 from J&R for $899...or was it $799 -I forget.) and the fact I'm a wee bit partial to mos-fet output devices. They have a warm, organic, musical sound quality, to my ears. I really think you can't go wrong with either choice. They're both some of the best values in quality amplification, IMHO.
    THE MAN-CAVE 5.1 CHANNEL A/V RIG
    Sony KDS-60A3000
    a/d/s/ HT-400LCR (3)
    a/d/s/ HT-300 (2)
    Velodyne DLS-4000R (2)
    Pioneer Elite VSX-55TXi
    Pioneer Elite DV-47Ai
    Sony BDP-S300
    Sony SLV-779HF
    DirecTV HD sat. receiver

    MAN-CAVE 2-CHANNEL RIG (shares sources with a/v system)
    Adcom GFA-5500
    Bose 901 Series VI
    NAD C-165BEE
    Slim Devices Squeezebox Classic
    TEAC CD-RW890
    Technics SL-BD20D w/ Audio-Technica P34
    Akai HX-A3X
  • munkmunk Posts: 258
    edited August 2010
    You know what I went and did? Got a used Carver amp. The NAD refurbished only had a year warranty, and they wanted 300 dollars more for new and a two year warranty. The adcom 555se, which I would have purchased, I found at ECost for 900 dollars- but they were 'temporarily out of stock'. I saw the release date for the amp was late August, but got a Carver instead. This earned points with my wife, who'd been warned in early summer AN AMP WAS COMING.

    My original Carver 2000 did yeoman's duty, but went south after 20+ years. For the last several years, I've had a little Integra, 100 watts a channel, to tide me over.

    But enough was enough. I'm 54 and realised I could be 64, 74 and my wife STILL would not understand WHY I had to get a better amp. I love my wife, but she is a person for whom music is just not a big deal. There would never be the right time to sink a 1000 into an amplifier.

    If a loaf of bread cost over 3 dollars, then 1000 for an amplifer is not exactly an enormous expense. Anyway, I appreciate the good advice, and with the points earned at home for being frugal, I figure now I've some credit for better speakers....


    munk
  • sucks2bemesucks2beme Posts: 4,779
    edited August 2010
    nclh7 wrote: »
    A class A "front end" does not make a class A amp, it's a marketing gimmick. Ive got NAD, Adcom, Carver, Rotel, Nakamichi, ADS, Sony, Proton and Acurus amps. All keep me happy.

    The current trend in amps seems to be the digital class "D". Smaller, cooler and more energy efficient. Even names such as Audio Research have gone D.

    A lot of the bias against class of amps is simply personal preference, few people can tell the difference in a AB/X comparison as has been demonstrated on a number of occasions.

    Yep, even the guys at Stereophile can't tell the difference between a coat hanger and thousand dollar "peach" cables.



    Class d doesn't sound bad, but it clearly is not up to "a/b" or "a" sound.
    About 10 minutes in front of a system settled that for me. But I'm
    a tube kind of guy, and that last bit of sound quality is what I'm seeking.
    "The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." --Thomas Jefferson
  • nad c 326bee using as preamp
    for 2 x nad c275bee power amps

    runing the amps in vertical bi-amp on a set of Polk RTI a9's and 2 RTI PSW505 subs .. and you can bridge the 275bee as well they still sound clear but run hotter.. amazing solid thump i shake this house at low volumes just off the speakers low volume.. turn em up they lite right up solid crisp sound .. i think 1 c275bee power amp would be good enough in stereo should be close to what i have ... or if not the same if you don't crank the tunes
  • Tony MTony M Posts: 3,302
    edited November 6
    I've had a few NAD amps, Int. amps and a huge Receiver that worked and still do until I sold some and the ones I still have work and sound GREAT. One Int. ( C372..? )has been powering my SRS2's for a year or more and always seems to amaze me that it can power my 4 ohm giants and barely gets hot unless I really crank the rock & roll for a while. It usually gets just a little warm. Amazing.
    Most people just listen to music and watch movies . I am glad to be a part of a select group that tries to take our auditory and visual senses to a higher level: we EXPERIENCE them.... GOT SDA?... Got TFM ?
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