GFA-585 and Big Sky Audio

littlewoodboats
littlewoodboats Posts: 826
edited October 2012 in 2 Channel Audio
WOW!!!!!

First off, those of you who saw the "cooling fin" thread caught a crap packing job. Rick packs for Armageddon.

In my excitement I did not think to take pics but will when everything comes out of the cabinet once again. With the cover off, everything was clean enough to eat off. Obvious attention to detail.

The bill was a ****. As had been stated by another forum member who does business with Big Sky the amp was not in the condition represented. I think the amp had been used past the point of cap failure, then used more until it went into protection. I paid $250.00 plus $30.00 in shipping to Montana. For those of you considering Adcom, Rick is the only guy west of the Mississippi would discuss upgrades as opposed to stock part replacement. (the guys in Austin to remain nameless) I am into this amp for $1,100.00 That said, a new amp with similar specs would be more and still not have upgrades.

On to the good stuff. Adcom in and Yammie out. Not so fast. This Sucker is big. It is 19" form factor and leaves room at the back of the cabinet. It is taller than one might think. Everyone reads the physical dimensions but this sucker is big. Gets warm also

I was working when the delivery came in so obviously I stopped everything to have a look. I would fire me in a heartbeat if I did not own the company.

I was listening to AM talk radio when I shut down the cabinet so that is what it came back up with. Nothing special noted. Voices clean with no noise as it should be and was with the Yamaha.

Off of the clock so time to listen. I did strap the grounds H9 et all (thanks).

When I really want to critically listen I start with solo piano. From there I got to Tijuana Brass then back to stings. If the piano sounds right and the horns do not offend then go back to subtle with strings to see if what you first thought is still correct. Not everyone's method.

My first thought is there is nothing special. Then one realizes there is nothing special. Only clean power. Not bass heavy. Not Treble heavy. It simply amplifies input from the GFP-750 out to the 2A's. Maybe it is the upgrade process but I hear none of the "Adcom sounds like this" from this amp. Dead, flat, response

Sounds great to me. I have a loaner analyzer coming so will post back as to the flatness I think exists. (is flatness a word?)

Anyone looking to do an upgrade could do much worse than going to Big Sky. Coms is via e-mail only but he does answer. I got him on the phone when I was looking for an amp but that may have been a fluke.

I am a happy Polkie
Post edited by littlewoodboats on

Comments

  • Clipdat
    Clipdat Posts: 9,486
    edited September 2012
    Glad to hear that Big Sky could bring the amp back to life and then some! Too bad the previous owner was clueless and abused the amp. Nice to hear you've given it a good home!
  • drumminman
    drumminman Posts: 3,396
    edited October 2012
    I'll bet the sound will improve after several hundred hours of burn in. All those new parts need some juice run through 'em to sound their best.
    "Science is suppose to explain observations not dismiss them as impossible" - Norm on AA; 2.3TL's w/sonicaps/mills/jantzen inductors, Gimpod's boards, Lg Solen SDA inductors, RD-0198's, MW's dynamatted, Armaflex speaker gaskets, H-nuts, brass spikes, Cardas CCGR BP's, upgraded IC Cable, Black Hole Damping Sheet strips, interior of cabinets sealed with Loctite Power Grab, AI-1 interface with 1000VA A-L transformer
  • littlewoodboats
    littlewoodboats Posts: 826
    edited October 2012
    Is that just time powered on or does there need to program material running through?

    I bought the amp from the son of the owner who had passed away. I was told the amp had been taken out of service to sit in a closet for quite some time. The images sent showed everything in detail but the leakage was pretty bad and seems to have affected every board. Lots of new parts.

    I think it sounds great and will be the first to admit that I am anything but an educated listener. Someone else might say it is average but not god awful. I was reading threads that referred to the different "amp" sounds. Someone might ask for recommendations and replies would give suggestions based on the listening preferences. this one might be warm, or another is known to be bass heavy, everyone here has seen the threads. I am not noticing anything like that. Good bass response without being boomy. Nice high end but not in my face about it.
  • Outfitter03
    Outfitter03 Posts: 563
    edited October 2012
    The burn in time will be with a signal running through the amp. Low to moderate volumes are fine. Without a signal the signal path components that were replaced, particularly the capacitors will not break in.

    Depending on the component type the change can be quite dramatic at first. On the several speaker crossovers that I have upgraded with better film caps, the music barely passed through initially and really opened up in the first hour. The sound quality went up and down until stabilizing out at between 250-500 hours. I just put a cd player on a loop during the day and let it run for a couple of weeks and then listened from then on.
  • drumminman
    drumminman Posts: 3,396
    edited October 2012
    Yep, need a signal run through it. When I got my new dual mono in July, I connected it to the front L-R mains in the HT, and dialed up one of the cable music channels. Ran it for 16 hours per day to accelerate the process! Saved wear and tear on the CDP.
    I figured it was burned in at 300 hours, but I still hear improvements the more I use it.

    You could accomplish the same thing with an FM radio.
    "Science is suppose to explain observations not dismiss them as impossible" - Norm on AA; 2.3TL's w/sonicaps/mills/jantzen inductors, Gimpod's boards, Lg Solen SDA inductors, RD-0198's, MW's dynamatted, Armaflex speaker gaskets, H-nuts, brass spikes, Cardas CCGR BP's, upgraded IC Cable, Black Hole Damping Sheet strips, interior of cabinets sealed with Loctite Power Grab, AI-1 interface with 1000VA A-L transformer
  • littlewoodboats
    littlewoodboats Posts: 826
    edited October 2012
    drumminman wrote: »
    You could accomplish the same thing with an FM radio.

    This is what I did. Last night after I was done with the TV I switched over to the tuner and let it go over night. My office is on the back wall of my TV/audio area. The radio runs all day every day and then goes to TV when I am done for the day. I am sure I lose program material running everything through the two channel rig but that is what I am doing for now. I take the two channel out on the Dish receiver to the GFP-750. I do the same with the BlueRay player.

    Thanks for all the info
  • kuntasensei
    kuntasensei Posts: 3,263
    edited October 2012
    Was glad to find this thread, 'cause I just e-mailed Big Sky about my ailing GFA-5503. The right channel intermittently crackles and loses bass response, and my local tech could never figure out why, even after putting it on a scope and checking every component on the board. Thinking it may merit a trip to Big Sky for both a repair and an upgrade, and I'm glad to see a positive review of their work.

    About how long did it take you to get it back once you sent it? Just wondering.
    Equipment list:
    Onkyo TX-NR3010 9.2 AVR
    Emotiva XPA-3 amp
    Polk RTi70 mains, CSi40 center, RTi38 surrounds, RTi28 rears and heights
    SVS 20-39CS+ subwoofer powered by Crown XLS1500
    Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray player
    DarbeeVision DVP5000 video processor
    Epson 8500UB 1080p projector
    Elite Screens Sable 120" CineWhite screen
  • littlewoodboats
    littlewoodboats Posts: 826
    edited October 2012
    From the time it got there from CA I had it here in Texas in less than a month. I am not sure I have seen any other Adcom threads on his work but several of the Parasound guys have done business there and have been happy.

    Big Sky is an Adcom authorized service center so if anyone can deal with it Rick should be able to sort it out for you. Mine was a mess and now seem to be working perfectly. The leaking cap cleaning was a more extensive than normal so my amp had to be torn down to Parade Rest so he could start building it over again. I have more new parts than original.

    Good luck. I was hoping some of the guys familiar with his work would chime in here. I posted a thread asking about them before deciding what I wanted to purchase and heard nothing but good things from the Polkies who have had work done.

    Based on my experience I would not hesitate to recommend their service.
  • littlewoodboats
    littlewoodboats Posts: 826
    edited October 2012
    JayCee just picked up a couple of Parasounds he did so he could also give you feedback. I went to them feeling good based on a conversation I had with him prior to my amp purchase.
  • littlewoodboats
    littlewoodboats Posts: 826
    edited October 2012
    I wish this thing would let me edit my posts without the timer.

    Here is the beginning of my rebuild saga, kuntasensei. Super clean on the outside, total mess inside.

    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?135790-Crap!-bent-cooling-fins
  • kuntasensei
    kuntasensei Posts: 3,263
    edited October 2012
    Rick got back to me pretty quick yesterday with a quote, so my Adcom will probably head his way within the week. He said the upgrade itself would replace most of the parts that could possibly cause the issue I'm having, so hopefully he can kill two birds with one stone. Fingers crossed.
    Equipment list:
    Onkyo TX-NR3010 9.2 AVR
    Emotiva XPA-3 amp
    Polk RTi70 mains, CSi40 center, RTi38 surrounds, RTi28 rears and heights
    SVS 20-39CS+ subwoofer powered by Crown XLS1500
    Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray player
    DarbeeVision DVP5000 video processor
    Epson 8500UB 1080p projector
    Elite Screens Sable 120" CineWhite screen
  • littlewoodboats
    littlewoodboats Posts: 826
    edited October 2012
    It will come home performing to spec. Mine was exceptionally bad and now it is good.

    I never recommend anyone as it only comes back too bite me on the ****. That said, Rick will take care of your Adcom.
  • kuntasensei
    kuntasensei Posts: 3,263
    edited October 2012
    Well, I was gonna send the Adcom off this week... and instead, I used the money to buy a Parasound HCA-2003 from the for sale forum. So looks like I'm gonna put off fixing the Adcom just yet. Looking forward to hearing how the Parasound compares!
    Equipment list:
    Onkyo TX-NR3010 9.2 AVR
    Emotiva XPA-3 amp
    Polk RTi70 mains, CSi40 center, RTi38 surrounds, RTi28 rears and heights
    SVS 20-39CS+ subwoofer powered by Crown XLS1500
    Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray player
    DarbeeVision DVP5000 video processor
    Epson 8500UB 1080p projector
    Elite Screens Sable 120" CineWhite screen
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