This is to review the rare Gamut D100M3. Only 100 watts at 8 ohms, but otherwise identical to the D200M3. In Revue du Son, French single-end maven Jean Hiraga highly praised the D200M3 as one of the great amps ever, but stated that he would have loved to heard the same circuit in a lower-power implementation, say 60 watts. This gem is what he would have really, really loved.
I've had this amp for 8 years, which is an eternity for me. I've used it with Quad ESL-63, various Spendors and Harbeths, and Gallo 3.1. Preamps have been Accuphase, Aesthetix Calypso and Mark Levinson, all balanced. For many years I had an RSL sub along for the ride, but with full-range speakers (Spendor S9e), the sub is gone.
Other power amps over the years have included various Naim and Mission systems, BEL monoblocks, Perreaux, Krell and some other decent stuff, and I've heard some great systems in other homes, so I have some basis for comparison.
Also, one other background fact - I was a pro trombonist for many years and currently play electric bass, with a lot of stage and studio exposure - what I'm listening for may not be the same as you, as I'm looking for the heart of the music through micro-resolution of timbre, time and dynamics, rather than imaging/soundstage...although, with a few exceptions, equipment that gets all of that stuff right also performs well on the spatial resolution thing, and depending on speakers and source, I've heard enormous soundstages (depth, width, and sometimes even height) and detailed placement with this amp.
This amp has performed superbly in EVERY context I've thrown at it, without a hiccup.
When first turned on, it takes about 1/2 hour to warm up, but the improvement is subtle, and you can leave it on for days without it getting hot.
It drove the Quad 63's like heaven - but for concerns for my kid and my wife's displeasure with those big, wide screens, the Gamut/Quad rig would still be my system. I've otherwise driven pretty benign loads, and have NEVER heard stress, soundstage collapse, timbral anomalies, loss of steam, or any of the other signs of an overtaxed amp. (disclousure - my listening space is such that I don't have to push real hard to fill the room). And I listen to all kinds of music, including rabble-rousers of the Orchestral and Punk persuausions.
If your speakers and source will provide timbral accuracy, then the Gamut D/M3 will not be your problem.
If your speakers and source will provide good time values "PRAT," as our British cousins might say, then the Gamut D/M3 will not limit your performance. Likewise with micro and macro dynamics.
The ability to adjust the gain, via internal jumpers, maximizes pre-amp matching.
I couldn't be more enthusiastic about this amp. When used with appropriate equipment (I've not forced it to feed anything too demanding), it's really, really good. Really.
I understand that the D/M3 series were the last amps to be tweaked by the founder of Gamut before he sold the company, and I can't speak for their current offerings. I rarely see the D100M3 or D200M3 used, and suspect its because folks hold on to them. I gather that part of the design mojo is use of huge MOSFETs so that you're not running into phase/time/consistency problems that arise from use of many matched pairs in order to generate wattage. Whatever Ole Lund Christiansen did in designing this amp, it's very, very right.
Full disclosure - I'm evaluating some active ATC SCM 50ASL speakers at home, and if I make that leap, I'll no longer need this amp. But I have a lot of reluctance to sell it, even though I need to in order swing into the very expensive ATCs. For musicality and reliability, at this range of power, it's an incredibly hard amp to beat.
Five Stars all around, even for value...especially at likely used prices.
This is the good stuff. Best amp ive come across in my time (16 years of listening). Since I havent listened to every amp on the planet, I cant say its the best on the planet, but its the best ive heard.
The amazing amount of air/ 3d-ness, natural sound, and power/authority mixed with detail it delivers was actually amazing to me when I first heard it.
I didnt think all those virtues could be mixed into one amp, especially a solid state amp. By comparison it made the Bryston sound flat, mechanical, grainy and weaker. Bryston already being a good amp in itself. I still like the Bryston and will recommend it, but there is quite a step up going to the Gamut.
The pass labs were a bit closer to the Gamut........but there is no mistake the Gamut is the better amp.
Ive had it for a few years now, and until I hear something better, it will stay in my system. It is the reference solid state for me.
Yes a i am agree, it is one of the best, and much cheaper than Krell,Mark Levinson,ETC,Audionet Max have little more accuraty upper area,Audio Physic digitalmono is better every area but cost much more, and Mastersound 845 tube amp is my favorite but cannot drive my Wilson Maxx 2 easily,but Gamut is one of the best iam sure that.
Gamut D200 MK3. I got my Gamut upgraded about a year ago to the mark 3 version. It took a good month before the amp really started to perform at its best. The MK2 was already a good power amp but this took its performance to another level. The first thing I noticed was just how much more get up and go the amp had, its grip on the music was really tight. Also the bass had improved, more richer and deeper than before. Somehow the amp those all this and manages to stay musical throughout. It also dose all the usual stuff like great soundstagging, micro and macro dynamics, detail and imaging.
What is really great about the design is its moduliar design, as Gamut upgrades its amp you can get your existing amp upgraded to the new standards, Thus saving a lot on upgrading the whole amp.