Adcom GFA 545

I might have a lead on a recently professionally recapped Adcom GFA 545 (version 1) for $125. I know that is a pretty good deal but I have read some conflicting reviews and wanted to know if anyone can give me their experience.

The main issue I have heard is harsh high end, I am using my SDA2B with the Rd0194 tweeters, upgraded crossovers (Sonicap for the high pass) and will be throwing my Denon PRA1200 in as my preamp which I feel is pretty neutral and doesn't exasperate any specific frequency.

I do prefer a warmer sound but if the high frequencies are the same as my current Yamaha then no big deal, I just want my sound to be less congested in the sound stage which I contribute to the Yammy being strained once turned up a bit.

Thanks in advance!
Just a dude doing dude-ly things

"Temptation is the manifestation of desire which equals necessity." - Mikey081057
" I have always had a champange taste with a beer budget" - Rick88
"Just because the thread is getting views don't mean much .. I like a good train wreck doesn't mean i want to be in one..." - pitdogg2
"Those that don't know, don't know that they don't know." - heiney9
"Audiophiles are the male equivalent of cat ladies." - Audiokarma Member
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Comments

  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 24,125
    edited August 2018
    I had one for years before my Aleph. The 545 is excellent and the sweet spot in the line. $125 for a recapped unit is a good price, go for it.

    Never had any issues with it being harsh. I suspect those that did find it harsh had a mediocre pre-amp and/or standard I/C's.

    It will be much better in all area's than your Yammy. You'll notice much more tactful and tuneful bass, better image weight as well as an expanded soundstage.

    If for some odd reason you don't care for it's presentation, you can flip it for no loss.

    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!
  • VR3VR3 Posts: 23,562
    I've always thought that the first series was warmer than the second
    - Not Tom

    "No, that's silly talk. Dude, you can't possibly be this audio dumb so quit the act." - Doro
  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 24,125
    I always preferred the first series too, as it was the "purest" and simplest.
    "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!
  • codycatalistcodycatalist Posts: 2,567
    Thanks for sharing your experiences gents! I have to go Saturday and audition it, will bring my multi meter to ensure I don't see any issues on the output as he stated the recap was done just to the output stage.
    Just a dude doing dude-ly things

    "Temptation is the manifestation of desire which equals necessity." - Mikey081057
    " I have always had a champange taste with a beer budget" - Rick88
    "Just because the thread is getting views don't mean much .. I like a good train wreck doesn't mean i want to be in one..." - pitdogg2
    "Those that don't know, don't know that they don't know." - heiney9
    "Audiophiles are the male equivalent of cat ladies." - Audiokarma Member
  • PSOVLSKPSOVLSK Posts: 4,140
    That's the amp that got me started down the rabbit hole. $125 AND recapped makes it a no brainer IMO.
    Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.-John Wooden
  • codycatalistcodycatalist Posts: 2,567
    PSOVLSK wrote: »
    That's the amp that got me started down the rabbit hole. $125 AND recapped makes it a no brainer IMO.

    The recap is what caught my eye, one less thing to worry about.
    Just a dude doing dude-ly things

    "Temptation is the manifestation of desire which equals necessity." - Mikey081057
    " I have always had a champange taste with a beer budget" - Rick88
    "Just because the thread is getting views don't mean much .. I like a good train wreck doesn't mean i want to be in one..." - pitdogg2
    "Those that don't know, don't know that they don't know." - heiney9
    "Audiophiles are the male equivalent of cat ladies." - Audiokarma Member
  • skrolskrol Posts: 2,830
    That is the amp that I was seeking until I fell down the Parasound rabbit hole. Not sure how it compares to a souped up HCA-1000A but it is a really nice amp. Just go for it.
    Stan

    Main 2ch:
    Polk LSi15 (DB840 upgrade), Parasound: P/LD-1100, HCA-1000A; Denon: DVD-2910, DRM-800A; Monster HTS3600-MKII, Grado SR-225i; Technics SL-J2, Parasound PPH-100.

    HT:
    Marantz SR7010, Polk: RTA11TL (RDO198-1, XO and Damping Upgrades), S4, CS250, PSW10 (DXi104 upgrade), Marantz UD5005, Pioneer PL-530, Panasonic TC-P42S60

    Other stuff:
    Denon: DRA-835R, AVR-888, DCD-660, DRM-700A, DRR-780; Polk: S8, Monitor 5A, 5B, TSi100, RM7; Pioneer: CT-6R; Onkyo CP-1046F; Ortofon OM5E, Marantz: PM5004, CD5004, CDR-615; Parasound C/PT-600, HCA-800ii, Sony CDP-650ESD, Technics SA 5070, B&W DM601
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 23,602
    Price certainly sounds right to me.
  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 24,125
    Bottom line, it's an excellent performer, has a great reputation, was made in the hey day of Adcom, it's been recapped and $125 is a great deal and it's should sound better and perform better than the Yammy you have.

    Certainly audition if you can, verify the re-cap, but even if you can't audition ideally, go for it for the price.

    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!
  • codycatalistcodycatalist Posts: 2,567
    heiney9 wrote: »
    Bottom line, it's an excellent performer, has a great reputation, was made in the hey day of Adcom, it's been recapped and $125 is a great deal and it's should sound better and perform better than the Yammy you have.

    Certainly audition if you can, verify the re-cap, but even if you can't audition ideally, go for it for the price.

    H9

    I should be meeting up with him today after work. I brought my multimeter and plan to have him audition. After that ill bring her home, hook it up to my New Large Advents to make sure I don't have any issues and then hook it up to the SDAs.

    Super excited, been VERY patient waiting for the right deal on the right level equipment. Will report back tomorrow on how it all went.


    Thank you everyone!
    Just a dude doing dude-ly things

    "Temptation is the manifestation of desire which equals necessity." - Mikey081057
    " I have always had a champange taste with a beer budget" - Rick88
    "Just because the thread is getting views don't mean much .. I like a good train wreck doesn't mean i want to be in one..." - pitdogg2
    "Those that don't know, don't know that they don't know." - heiney9
    "Audiophiles are the male equivalent of cat ladies." - Audiokarma Member
  • CH46ECH46E Posts: 1,260
    edited August 2018
    I had the mkii and regret letting it go.
  • la2vegasla2vegas Posts: 3,803
    Forget about buying that one. I found another one with similar upgrades for 5 dollars less. This one is only $120. cbrfua3nk76d.jpghttps://phoenix.craigslist.org/evl/ele/d/adcom-gfa-545-stereo/6662422436.html
  • codycatalistcodycatalist Posts: 2,567
    la2vegas wrote: »
    Forget about buying that one. I found another one with similar upgrades for 5 dollars less. This one is only $120. cbrfua3nk76d.jpghttps://phoenix.craigslist.org/evl/ele/d/adcom-gfa-545-stereo/6662422436.html

    That's actually the same one I am going to get today! I read $125 but hey I save $5 (we are going to sizzler tonight baby!), he invited me to his place for an audition after work. Adcom pops up from time to time here in Phoenix but usually not at a good enough price for me to want to jump.

    Thanks for looking out thought @la2vegas, I appreciate you taking the time to make sure I am getting the best deal possible!
    Just a dude doing dude-ly things

    "Temptation is the manifestation of desire which equals necessity." - Mikey081057
    " I have always had a champange taste with a beer budget" - Rick88
    "Just because the thread is getting views don't mean much .. I like a good train wreck doesn't mean i want to be in one..." - pitdogg2
    "Those that don't know, don't know that they don't know." - heiney9
    "Audiophiles are the male equivalent of cat ladies." - Audiokarma Member
  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 24,125
    Upon power-up a thump is normal and on power down if you don't turn the pre off first, you get a farting/squealing noise, which is normal. That's just the caps draining

    This can be avoided by proper start up/power down procedure.
    "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!
  • la2vegasla2vegas Posts: 3,803
    I also saw this other ad for a 2535. It looks kinda rough, but it's a hundred bucks. If it were in better shape I'd have more interest in it.4yibfu7s231p.jpghttps://phoenix.craigslist.org/evl/ele/d/adcom-model-2535-multi/6665167116.html
  • codycatalistcodycatalist Posts: 2,567
    la2vegas wrote: »
    I also saw this other ad for a 2535. It looks kinda rough, but it's a hundred bucks. If it were in better shape I'd have more interest in it.4yibfu7s231p.jpghttps://phoenix.craigslist.org/evl/ele/d/adcom-model-2535-multi/6665167116.html

    I have heard the earlier models GFA - 5XX are better than the GFA - XXXX models. With that being a 4 channel at 60 watts and bridgeable into 200 wouldn't that cause issues with my SDAs? I didn't think I would be able to bridge amps with the SDA cable and no dreadnaught.
    Just a dude doing dude-ly things

    "Temptation is the manifestation of desire which equals necessity." - Mikey081057
    " I have always had a champange taste with a beer budget" - Rick88
    "Just because the thread is getting views don't mean much .. I like a good train wreck doesn't mean i want to be in one..." - pitdogg2
    "Those that don't know, don't know that they don't know." - heiney9
    "Audiophiles are the male equivalent of cat ladies." - Audiokarma Member
  • codycatalistcodycatalist Posts: 2,567
    heiney9 wrote: »
    Upon power-up a thump is normal and on power down if you don't turn the pre off first, you get a farting/squealing noise, which is normal. That's just the caps draining

    This can be avoided by proper start up/power down procedure.

    So Start up: Pre on first > turn on power amp

    Shut down: Turn off Pre then turn off Power amp?
    Just a dude doing dude-ly things

    "Temptation is the manifestation of desire which equals necessity." - Mikey081057
    " I have always had a champange taste with a beer budget" - Rick88
    "Just because the thread is getting views don't mean much .. I like a good train wreck doesn't mean i want to be in one..." - pitdogg2
    "Those that don't know, don't know that they don't know." - heiney9
    "Audiophiles are the male equivalent of cat ladies." - Audiokarma Member
  • DaveHoDaveHo Posts: 2,492
    I currently own the 535, 545, & 555 and have owned numerous of these over the years. I've always turned amp off first & waited for the red power indicator to go out. That way you avoid amplifying any noises the pre might make when it's powered down. Every single one has thumped on turn on & squealed on power down. It won't damage anything.
  • codycatalistcodycatalist Posts: 2,567
    DaveHo wrote: »
    I currently own the 535, 545, & 555 and have owned numerous of these over the years. I've always turned amp off first & waited for the red power indicator to go out. That way you avoid amplifying any noises the pre might make when it's powered down. Every single one has thumped on turn on & squealed on power down. It won't damage anything.

    Thanks for the clarification!
    Just a dude doing dude-ly things

    "Temptation is the manifestation of desire which equals necessity." - Mikey081057
    " I have always had a champange taste with a beer budget" - Rick88
    "Just because the thread is getting views don't mean much .. I like a good train wreck doesn't mean i want to be in one..." - pitdogg2
    "Those that don't know, don't know that they don't know." - heiney9
    "Audiophiles are the male equivalent of cat ladies." - Audiokarma Member
  • codycatalistcodycatalist Posts: 2,567
    edited August 2018
    Got the amp! Now I am going to give it a few days to mess around and get used to the sound. Initial impressions are meh, although it has finesse with the low end in spades it is a tad brighter than my Yamaha. I had to tone down the treble a bit on the pre to get comfortable.

    In the middle of a lightning storm so didn’t have a chance to listen for more than 30 minutes. I’ll report back soon.
    Just a dude doing dude-ly things

    "Temptation is the manifestation of desire which equals necessity." - Mikey081057
    " I have always had a champange taste with a beer budget" - Rick88
    "Just because the thread is getting views don't mean much .. I like a good train wreck doesn't mean i want to be in one..." - pitdogg2
    "Those that don't know, don't know that they don't know." - heiney9
    "Audiophiles are the male equivalent of cat ladies." - Audiokarma Member
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 6,010
    Stay safe Cody! Phoenix is nuts right now with that storm!
    Living Room 2.1: Dynaudio Contour 1.3mkii; Energy s10.2 sub; Cambridge Azur 851a; Cambridge Azur 752BD; Bryston BPD-1; NVidia ShieldTV
    Game Room HT: Denon AVR-X4200w; Definitive Technology SM350; Definitive Technology LCR2000; Definitive Technology Procinema 800; Mirage Nanasats; Sub - HSU VTF-2 MK5; LG UP870 4K BDP;
    ; Master Bedroom
    Cambridge Azur 551r; Definitive Technology SM45, ACI Titan Subwoofer Squeezebox Touch
  • codycatalistcodycatalist Posts: 2,567
    Thanks @rooftop59! The east valley has rained and flooded for the last three days or so but I haven’t had any issues besides driving unwanted critters in.
    Just a dude doing dude-ly things

    "Temptation is the manifestation of desire which equals necessity." - Mikey081057
    " I have always had a champange taste with a beer budget" - Rick88
    "Just because the thread is getting views don't mean much .. I like a good train wreck doesn't mean i want to be in one..." - pitdogg2
    "Those that don't know, don't know that they don't know." - heiney9
    "Audiophiles are the male equivalent of cat ladies." - Audiokarma Member
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 6,010
    That’s good man! I am from the area (now in Texas) and am with the in laws in Colorado who are from way northwest valley. They are reading about everything and freaking out a bit!

    Congrats on the amp! I would encourage you to run it flat and give your ears a chance to adjust. I don’t think it’s bright I just think your ears are used to rolled off highs...
    Living Room 2.1: Dynaudio Contour 1.3mkii; Energy s10.2 sub; Cambridge Azur 851a; Cambridge Azur 752BD; Bryston BPD-1; NVidia ShieldTV
    Game Room HT: Denon AVR-X4200w; Definitive Technology SM350; Definitive Technology LCR2000; Definitive Technology Procinema 800; Mirage Nanasats; Sub - HSU VTF-2 MK5; LG UP870 4K BDP;
    ; Master Bedroom
    Cambridge Azur 551r; Definitive Technology SM45, ACI Titan Subwoofer Squeezebox Touch
  • codycatalistcodycatalist Posts: 2,567
    I’m getting to the point that I think a lot of it has to do with too small of a room.
    Just a dude doing dude-ly things

    "Temptation is the manifestation of desire which equals necessity." - Mikey081057
    " I have always had a champange taste with a beer budget" - Rick88
    "Just because the thread is getting views don't mean much .. I like a good train wreck doesn't mean i want to be in one..." - pitdogg2
    "Those that don't know, don't know that they don't know." - heiney9
    "Audiophiles are the male equivalent of cat ladies." - Audiokarma Member
  • mlistens03mlistens03 Posts: 2,647
    Make sure everything is unplugged during the storm. A friend of mine lost a rather expensive gaming computer to a storm. Saved up three years of money for it, gone in a second.
    Stay safe.
    Not Tom or Trey or Jim just Micah
    KEF Q150s, NAD 1155 preamp and 4155 tuner courtesy of DaddyJT, NAD C352 playing power amp, BJC Belden cables, Technics SL3200, Marantz CD6004 courtesy of Clipdat, Salamander Archetype rack, Millenium Falcon :)
    I've always thought the goal of high-end audio was not to have your neighbors bang on the wall and say, 'Turn that darn music down' but to have your neighbors bang on the wall and say, 'Tell your friends to go home and you can practice later this week'.

    Resident Child of Club Polk
  • leftwinger57leftwinger57 Posts: 2,918
    You heard it many times for the work done your not going to beat the price unless gifted. I'm an owner of a GFA-555 and yes have heard the rap that it's a bright amplifier. All I can say it sounds great paired w/ my Onkyo p3150v and modded 2Bs. I have not heard any other amps to compare so no opinion there.
    2chl- Adcom GFA- 555-Onkyo P-3150v pre/amp- JVC-QL-A200 tt- Denon 1940 ci cdp- Adcom GFS-6 -Modded '87 SDA 2Bs - Dynamat Ext.- BH-5- X-Overs VR-3, RDO-194 tweeters, Larry's Rings, Speakon/Neutrik I/C- Cherry stain tops Advent Maestros,Ohm model E

    H/T- Toshiba au40" flat- Yamaha RX- V665 avr- YSD-11 Dock- I-Pod- Klipsch #400HD Speaker set-

    Bdrm- Nikko 6065 receiver- JBL -G-200s--Pioneer 305 headphones--Sony CE375-5 disc
  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 24,125
    Give it some time. just because it sounds brighter than the Yammy doesn't mean it's too bright. IMHO, Yammys have always been a bit flat up top, sort of their house sound. It's going to take some time to adjust. If after a couple 3 weeks it's still not a good fit, you'll have no problem flipping it.

    All gear is going to sound a bit different, but the key is giving it enough time to see if it fits your preference.

    Good luck

    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!
  • codycatalistcodycatalist Posts: 2,567
    I got a good hour or two of listening in today, all I can say is how wrong I was yesterday. Maybe it's due to judging the amp cold where as today I let it warm up.

    Soundstage depth, separation and a black background make all the difference.
    Just a dude doing dude-ly things

    "Temptation is the manifestation of desire which equals necessity." - Mikey081057
    " I have always had a champange taste with a beer budget" - Rick88
    "Just because the thread is getting views don't mean much .. I like a good train wreck doesn't mean i want to be in one..." - pitdogg2
    "Those that don't know, don't know that they don't know." - heiney9
    "Audiophiles are the male equivalent of cat ladies." - Audiokarma Member
  • codycatalistcodycatalist Posts: 2,567
    Now I am new to separates and have a question about volume.

    My preamp has output voltage of 1V, the Adcom input sensitivity is 1.25V. I do have to turn the volume up higher than on my Yamaha (I have no problem doing so except no damn remote!) and was curious if the same rule applies to not turn the preamp past noon on the volume controls. I find the best volume for me is around the 1 oclock position and I don't get any clipping indicators or hear any strain on the amp (barely gets warm after an hour). Sometimes after a drink or two I want to jam it and see what it can do but have been too worried about causing issues.

    I took the polyswitch off my tweeter circuit so I just don't want to fry anything here.
    Just a dude doing dude-ly things

    "Temptation is the manifestation of desire which equals necessity." - Mikey081057
    " I have always had a champange taste with a beer budget" - Rick88
    "Just because the thread is getting views don't mean much .. I like a good train wreck doesn't mean i want to be in one..." - pitdogg2
    "Those that don't know, don't know that they don't know." - heiney9
    "Audiophiles are the male equivalent of cat ladies." - Audiokarma Member
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