My Nak CA-5 started to create a humming noise so I decided to find a new preamp, as I'm disabled in the legs I figured a remote controled pre would be advantageous.
After a little research I picked one of these up for $265 delivered, insured from the original owner, the Phono circuit had never been used and the unit probably isn't even broken in yet, I'm using the direct bypass circuit as I've never liked tone controls and my Nak PA-7 sounded just fine on the CA-5 without them, hooked up to the 715 are a Nak CR-7A, Sony DVP-S9000ES, Sansui TU-9900 and a Music Hall MMF-9.
After a minute I noticed one of the two things about the 715 that made me give an only four star rating to it, the Nak CA-5 must have been a really hot preamp as to get the system to a good level I have to run the volumn control up past 1 o'clock on the dial with the 715, 10V ain't enough, also when you switch the 715 to the external processor mode the prior mode used light still stays lit up, does that mean that when I switch from CD to the processor the CD circuit still stays energized? to avoid this I run my processor through the Aux two circuit and the issue is moot but then I lose another high level input.
I feel that for sound quality the 715 is excellent and have no regrets buying it, all of my equipment sounds as good if not better than it did through the CA-5 which is no slouch either, a true audiophile preamp in any contest, the 715 has a DEAD BLACK background through all of it's inputs, the phono amp is excellent, my cart is the Music Hall Maestro, a high output moving coil, (modified Goldring Eroica) I can't wait till the phono section breaks in as it sounds great now.
A nice feature is that when you power the 715 on, the mute circuit is engaged for a few seconds so you have a chance to avoid a mishap, I always lower the volume before I shut it off but it's nice anyway, the preamp creates a very balanced presentation and is quite neutral, I can find nothing to complain about whatsoever, fit and finish is excellent, no issues with the controls exist and I don't have the problem of the remote volume increments being too large that was mentioned in another review.
This of couse is not the equal of the GFP-750 and would probably not run with the big dogs as they say but for the price it goes for new and used it's an absolute steal and for those on a budget i'd say don't even hesitate, just get one, when you upgrade again later on, the 715 will still deserve a place in your second system.
For the past year, I was thinking about replacing my trusty gfp 565 with the 715. Mainly, I wanted a remote but didnt want to risk losing audio quality since the 565 is a shining star in that dept. Also, with the changes at Adcom over the years, I didnt know what to expect in terms of product quality as compared to the units from the mid 90's. Anyway, i took the leap and got the 715 and have been comparing it to the 565 for the past week or so.
I've put about 100 hours on the 715 and in short, I feel both units are equal in terms of sound quality. If anything, it reminded me how great the 565 is after all these years and now comparing it to the latest and greatest from adcom's current (and only) production model preamp.
I tried redbook and SACD and both pre's sound great - almost indistinguishable even with the 715's "wide frequency" capabilitites which arent too much greater than what the 565 is capable of (on paper).
I only used the bypass outputs so none of the tone controls were compared. The gfp's are running through an adcom gfa 555 amp and for redbook, an adcom gda700 d/a converter.
In terms of build quality, both are similar. both are heavy and feel very solid. The red lights on the 715 seem to vary though. the power light on the 715 is a bit orange (when powered on) while the source buttons lights are more red. the 565 is more consistent. it's a silly point but still - thought i should mention it. Is it meant to be orange?
Also, the motorized/remote volume on the 715 raises and lowers the volume in increments that are too large. With a quick push of the remote button, the volume jumps up/down a bit too much. I find myself going up and down a few times before I find the sweet spot depending on the material i'm playing. And I wish, when using the remote to adjust the volume, that the volume knob LED blinked. from across the room, it's hard to see it the knob is turning....but then again, if you hear the change, you know it's working. just a design preference for next time :)
the phono section is also very good on the 715 - just as good as the 565 which in part, put it on the map in terms of legendary audio gear. I put about 20 hours of phono time on the 715 so far...using my thorens td 160 with a grado red cart.
One thing I didnt like about the 715 is that it lost the LAB output that the 565 had. it's not a big deal but still. Another loss is the number of power outlets. The 565 had 3 power outlets in the back but the 715 only has 1. and that one does not accomodate plugs with one spade being larger than the other. it will only accept plugs with same size (small) spades.
In the end, my dream adcom preamp would be to have a remote controlled gfp 565 but that aint happening so the 715 is the best adcom alternative within their current line up.
Was it worth $500 to upgrade? probably not. $350 would be a no brainer but you're not gaining anything over the 565 except a remote and maybe wide freq range which is not a big selling point for me.
I think i'm still going to keep my 565 and use it in another room. It's in mint condition and they're not too easy to find even on audiogon or ebay.
Having listened to literally dozens of preamps over the last several years in the $500-$1000 range, I really don't understand the previous reviewers beef with this Adcom preamp. The GFP-715 is as good as anything in that price range, and considerably better than most. I should know, as I auditioned them all and happily settled on this unit two years ago. Adcom has a long history of great and innovative preamps, and the GFP-715 is no exception.
With the GFP-715, music emerges with great detail, clarity, presense and dynamic contrast from a jet black background of DEAD SILENCE, due to its incredibly low "noise floor." It is as purely musical and totally neutral as any preamp I've owned for under $1000, and, as I said, that's been many.
Additionally, it has the classic, understated, and, IMO, quite attractive Adcom styling, with their usual top-notch materials and world-class "fit & finish."
It has gold plated inputs for phono, CD, tuner, & video/aux, PLUS a tape loop, an external processor loop, TWO sets of pre-outs, etc... In short, all the features needed for complete versatility.
Lastly, it has a very nicely laid out, compact and uncluttered remote control.
I'd initially purchased the Adcom GFP-175 to replace my relatively new but inexpensive Parasound P/HP-850 preamp. Since I record cassette tapes from time to time from my fairly extensive vinyl collection, I'd been looking around for a preamp with good sound and a tape monitor function. I generally use the cassettes as a master tape when transferring my vinyl to CD. After searching the internet for a couple of weeks I'd settled on the Adcom unit. It seemed to have all of the qualities I'd been searching for.
The list price for this unit is around $650 USD, so I don’t consider it a budget unit. I’d managed to find a unit for $450 which was “B-stock” having been reconditioned at the factory.
Once I’d hooked the GFP-715 into my system and fired it up, I have to sum up the experience as ranging from underwhelming to extremely boring. It wasn’t bad in the traditional sense of the word, but it didn’t make me feel anything at all. Granted, the unit wasn’t broken in, but at no time did it give the feeling of being able to have the potential to be good at all…ever.
I’ll compare the Adcom unit to my current Parasound unit. I’d purchased the Parasound preamp about a year before getting the Adcom. Purchase price was $125. It was to have been an emergency replacement for my now dead Carver CT-6. When listening to the Adcom unit, the music became decidedly un-musical. Everything was coated in a grey haze with little dynamics and less drive. All of the snappiness and punch of the Parasound was completely gone. Adjusting the tone controls had no real effect at low volume levels where they should be most effective and they have a huge effect at high volume levels where they really need to be more subtle.
Since I have a separate phono amp, I ran that input into the “aux” connection. I soon noticed that if I left my phono amp on and then switched to any other input, the Adcom preamp would buzz, with the buzz increasing with an increase in volume controls. The only input that didn’t buzz was the aux input. The right channel of the headphone jack didn’t work at all.
I honestly did everything I could think of to drag some music out of this unit. I switched plugs, re-routed cables, tried different media, but the Adcom unit just couldn’t make music. Actually I couldn’t wait to get it out of my system. I reconnected the Parasound to make sure my system was not as crappy as I was hearing and the result was simply a big relief. The dynamics, the snap and the music all came back. I was worried for a second there.
While the Adcom has fantastic specifications, I think the engineers spent too much time watching waveforms on their test equipment and not enough time actually listening to the sounds coming from the unit. I’d thought Adcom made a good product, but this is singularly the worse piece of audio gear I’ve ever purchased. At this price point, there is no excuse for this unit to be as bad as it is. Luckily, I have a 30 return on the unit and it’s packed and ready to go.
This is my first audio review,so please have patience with my failings. I'm posting this review mostly because this product has not been reviewed
About a year ago, having grown tired of the limitations of my mediocre Onkyo integrated amplifier, I proceeded to upgrade my system in almost every way I could think of. The adcom 715 seemed a good chioce because it fit my buget and was an active preamplifier.
I did'nt want a passive preamp because some of my equipment puts out a .5 volt signal and most amplifiers expect 2 volts input. There were many good reviews for the ADCOM 750 but I could'nt rationalize $1200 for what is largely an input device.
Having traded many cables on the inputs and outputs of this device, I can say this is a very good product and a reasonable value for the price range. All of the characteristics of different amplifiers and cables were evident. One thing that made a huge difference in performance was the installation of a premium power cord. This might not seem obvious to some because the device has a nearly constant power draw at only 10 watts.
The 715 preamp has a wide frequency range as advertized. With the right cables you can hear the fade of a drum cymbal.
The main weakness is the signal to noise ratio, which is only about 100 db. Clarity is not as optimal as I would like. Having said this however, you'll find it hard to find a truly open sounding active preamplifier for under $1000.
The 715 has bypass ouputs and tone outputs. Bypass outputs are excellent, but tone control outputs are just good. This agrees with prevoious reviews of similarly priced ADCOM preamplifiers.
There is virtually no hum that was'nt introduced by an input device.
I have no problem recommending this product and it is a solid value.