Marsh A400s Amplifier

So...I decided to give my tubes a little rest and I picked up this Marsh A400s amplifier, after all, I had a Sunfire TGR401 solid state pre-amp collecting dust...

Other equipment used:

Tidal
Cary X-Citer dac (spdif! ONLY way this dac shines also!) @tonyb
Bel-Canto uLink
Tyler Acoustics D10's

This amplifier shines when using the Balanced XLR circuit, but not so much, using the unbalanced RCA's. BIG DIFFERENCE!

unbalanced sounded like it only had half the gain and lacked all the sound details. When I purchased this amplifier I asked the previous owner what he used and he said he only used the unbalanced section... He mentioned he went with a Parasound A21 and he preferred that over the Marsh. I'm guessing he never fully experienced the Marsh! I tried both ways and the Balanced XLR's makes this amplifier a different beast! PERIOD!

Let me put it to you this way, I played Take 5 by Dave Brubek and my 12 year old son came downstairs to see what I was playing because it sounded so good. He plays the Sax and said he wanted to learn that song because he loved how it sounded.

This amplifier is a keeper! BUT you must use BALANCED or you will never know what this thing is capable of.

NOTE: the speakers were bi-wired as recommended by the manufacturer of the amplifier. I did not try it jumpered.

Hopefully some day I can try a McCormack amp, just to compare.....for now I am super happy with the Marsh!

Juan

Comments

  • tonybtonyb Posts: 30,161
    Marsh is no slouch , nice grab....congrats.
    HT SYSTEM-2 channel
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Dynaudio Audience 72
    Polk FX500 surrounds
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    Joule la-100 pre
    B&k Ref 4420 amp

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Analysis plus crystal oval ic's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    B&k 1430
    Tad 803 speakers
  • kharp1kharp1 Posts: 2,582
    I agree that the sound was improved with the balanced connection on the 200 I had.
    Main System:
    Joule-Electra LA 100 MKIII
    Pass Labs Aleph 30, McCormack DNA-125, Parasound A21
    Marantz SA-14S1
    Usher CP-6311/Tyler Acoustics Taylo Reference Monitor, LSA-1
    Dual SVS SB2000
    Wireworld Equinox 7 bi-wire, Wireworld Silver Eclipse 7 IC

    Secondary Rig:
    Parasound P5, Audio Electronics by Cary Constellation
    Marsh a200s, Audio Elecrtonics by Cary Hercules
    Pioneer Elite DV-45a, Denon DVD-2910
    Klipsch Epic CF-1, Vandersteen 3CE sig
    Analysus Plus Oval

  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,941
    Did you take any pics of the guts?
  • JuanRJuanR Posts: 685
    Clipdat wrote: »
    Did you take any pics of the guts?

    I did not open her up, and I don't have plans to do so in the near future. I will tell you that this amp is very musical and should be able to handle most speakers out there. I bet your LSiM 703's would sound fantastic...
  • erniejadeerniejade Posts: 4,281
    Sweet. Nice pickup. That amp would have good synergy with the Tyler’s that’s for sure.
    Lumin D1,Wireworld Silver Eclipse 7, KEF LS50 Wireless, Velodyne SPL1200, Technics 1200, Denon DL160, Jolida D9,
    USB helpers: w4s Recovery
    Living Room Elite SC27, LSI25
    Have but haven't used in a while: LH Labs VI Dac, Cayin SCD50T

  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,941
    Found a nice review: https://hometheaterhifi.com/volume_7_3/marsh-sound-design-a-400-amplifier-8-2000.html

    Interesting: "Also included is a power filter integrated into the power supply so that even those without line conditioning should enjoy excellent performance from this amplifier."
  • JuanRJuanR Posts: 685
    If you have a balanced pre-amp and your speakers can be bi-wired.....this amplifier can make music sing, your speakers will shine. I got lucky and got it from the original owner, BUT - he said he never tried the balanced section...and that is the BEST section on this amplifier. Unbalanced - this amplifier is totally different and I can see why he wasn't totally satisfied.
  • JuanRJuanR Posts: 685
    Clipdat wrote: »
    Found a nice review: https://hometheaterhifi.com/volume_7_3/marsh-sound-design-a-400-amplifier-8-2000.html

    Interesting: "Also included is a power filter integrated into the power supply so that even those without line conditioning should enjoy excellent performance from this amplifier."

    I guess it has its own built in power filter... I'll take it!
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