GRAAF GM 200 OTL Amplifiers

5/5 (4 Reviews) MSRP : $12500.00


Product Description

Power Amplifier


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Reviews 1 - 4 (4 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Don a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: August 15, 2012

Bottom Line:   
So is this amp a handful to deal with? It can be. Can one achieve great sound without attending to 40 thermionic tubes (I use single ended only and the balanced tube buffer is removed from my amplifier)? Sure, my Acoustic Reality Thaumaturges, based on ICE modules but highly highly modified and with prodigious amounts of pure silver ribbon wire utilized, ($24,500.00 when new) sound absolutely stunningly beautiful. Are their other OTL amplifiers that don't suck down 800 watts at idle? Yes, my Graaf Modena only pulls 450 watts (chuckle) at idle.

So why the case for the GM 200? Quite simply because NO OTHER amplifier that I have ever heard can do what this amplifier can for vocals. It quite simply offers a spectacular assault on what reproduced music can offer in the home. Yes, I bias and adjust the DC off-set with just about every pressing of the "Start"..., I mean On-Switch (this thing does remind one of a Ferrari and it is painted in Modena Italy in the Ferrari Factory).

To quote Ferris Bueller.., "It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up." or Two...

I also own the Graaf Modena which is basically a Signature version of the GM20. The Modena was the first to offer the solid copper bus bars on those smelting devices known as the 6C33C-B tube, this later trickled down to the GM20. Love that tube and I am designing a S.E. amp based on it, but man that thing is a mini furnace unto itself.

Ok, back on point... The Modena (GM20) is supremely musical with an openness rarely if ever achieved by SS or transformer-coupled amplification. It also has a certain texture to the music which makes it sound all the more real. Now my Acoustic Reality ICE based amps come very very close to the Modena, but that was after I opened them and outfitted the amps with (2) 15A AMR fuses (2 for each monoblock). The two amps (AR and GM20) sound very much alike and I easily go from one to the other with no reservations. The difference is in texture with the Modena able to conjure just a little bit more of that magic.., think of the gravely sound that gives Nat King Cole his famous signature. I am not saying the AR can't do it, I am simply using that as an analogue for the two amps signatures.

The Modena has bested many a kilo-buck machine and I am talking amplifiers over $30K.

Now comes the GM200. After wrestling with this beast (apparently it did not like DHL's handling it) and replacing a blown internal fuse after only a few hours use... I can say that NOTHING AND I MEAN NOTHING I have heard in my 14 years as an audiophile touches this thing in the way it handles midrange vocals. It has a magic about the midrange and treble that no S.E., P.P. or any other topology (that I've been privy to) has been able to match let alone best. Now having said all that, a GM20 with cca's and Svetlana 6C33-C (properly burned in) can come close... but it will not get you to that special place the GM 200 can take one. This is no one trick pony (or rather no two trick pony) the bass is full and powerful if less pistonic than some solid staters.

Beauty has its' price and it comes in the form of having to source 32 matched output tubes, biasing the beast and keeping an eye on the dc-offset. Also don't forget at full tilt 1,600 watts are being sucked from the wall.., and your pocket.

All in all this is a connoisseurs device. It is beautiful and can deliver beyond beautiful music. The lay person will not understand the rituals which one must go through to maintain this machine; that is until they are able to sit back and experience Laura Fygi for instance singing "Good Morning Heartache". If they still are unable to grasp the gestalt of this device, you may be entertaining a Philistine :)

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2004



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mark Allen a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: March 26, 2011

Bottom Line:   
There is a mixed set of emotions when you first see the Graaf GM-200.

There is an appreciation of superb quality and of a strange functional beauty, a sense of awe and excitement when you see that many power tubes waiting to be fired up, and a sense of anticipation. There is also a moment of hesitation when you put your finger on that green power button... a bit like pausing on the start button of a Ferrari... it's a bit scary waking up all those tubes and having them at your complete command!

The Graaf is a very special amplifier. That an electrical component can evoke those kind of emotions before it is even switched on is quite an astonishing accomplishment. And then you hear it and you know that this is it. This is the difference between watching a game on TV and smelling the popcorn in the stadium. This is not an incremental change that you are hearing... this is a shocked look and an expletive. An intoxicating combination of smoothness, control, beauty, clarity, presence, extension. A relaxed ease, power and grace that reminds you of the Oracle trimaran powering past Alinghi in the America's Cup.

This is a very, very special amplifier... I can't think of anything even close... and I have listened to everything from Wolcotts, to Lamms, to NuForce switching amps, to the best that Musical Fidelity can produce. This amplifier is at the very pinnacle of the art of audio design and I would suggest that you avoid hearing it unless you can find one to buy, as you will not be satisfied until you have one.

Now, having said that, this is a demanding amplifier to live with. You will be checking bias and offset values regularly. If a tube blows (and it happens...) you will be turning a 60lb amplifier, bristling with tubes, upside down to take off the bottom plate and soldering on a new 1 ohm fused resistor under the failed tube! This is a demanding amplifier, but oh, the sound it gives you makes you forgive it its Italian temperament in a heartbeat.

Very simply the best amplifier that there is. Period! No competitors at all.

Equipment:
Esoteric SA60 CD player
Wilson Benesch Bishop speakers
JA Michell Orbe turntable
Wilson Benesch Act Two arm
Ortofon Jubilee cartridge
Nordost cables and interconnects

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2002



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by sams a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: April 7, 2005

Bottom Line:   
This is the best amp I have ever heard. The emotional immediacy with the music is intense. Incredible speediness and amazing transparency. Also dead quiet, this quality makes a tremondous difference when comparing to other amps ss or tube, its astonishing. The bass is layered. Brass is wonderful, you feel the strings. Instruments are truly 3d.
Vocals are mesmorising. Plenty of power. Very romantic smooth seductive sounding amp.
This amp replaced the Graaf gm20 amp in my system and has made a huge difference, mostly with overall control and much more detailed. (the gm20 is very good but my speakers needed more power)

Cyrus cd + tuner
Graaf 13.5b preamp
Graaf gm200
Sonus Faber Guarneri's
Kimber select 1021 black pearl silver

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2004

Purchased At:   alephtec



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Sam a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: August 12, 2004

Bottom Line:   
Emotional, intelligent, sensible... most of all amazingly musical amp.
beautiful OTL design.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $6500.00

Purchased At:   used




Reviews 1 - 4 (4 Reviews Total)

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