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Sugden A-21a
24 Reviews
rating  4.88 of 5
MSRP 
Description: 25 Watt Class A Power Amplifier


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Reviews 1 - 5 (24 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by macson a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: October 9, 2010

Bottom Line:   
Usually, I leave doing the reviewing to real audiophiles who change their stereo (or other) gear quite often.
My quandary has always been to get natural, convincing, engaging sound that would not make me dislike half of my cd collection only because the recording quality the music was not top-class. I am certainly a tube-wise listener who will simply not stand sharp-edginess and graininess in his home-made music ... but tube-amps do tend to be troublesome.
That said ... the Sugden did the job well at last. If you are an experienced listener and it's calm, near live-music experience you are after - provided room is not too big - this pure class A is probably all you need.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by philjul a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 18, 2008

Bottom Line:   
This is an excellent machine. It has a beautifully smooth sound and a fantastic soundstage. Certainly at this price range it has some limitations. Perhaps it lacks a bit of detail at times, it can be a tad slow, and it runs hot! However, it paints the music in such a wide palette of colours and provides a beautiful soundstage which makes it wonderful to listen to. It ialso is extremely musical. Previous to owning the Sugden I had a Nad C370 which although punchy sounds incredibly bleached compared to the Sugden.

If you like your music to be painted with authority this is a player for you.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $850.00

Purchased At:   Loud & Clear



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Valve - Nut a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: July 31, 2006

Bottom Line:   
I owned several SS integrated and pre-power before I switched to valve amp. I was especially particular in the mid and high reproduction, where most of the mid price SS gears failed to deliver what I want. One day in the showroom I heard the Sudgen driving a Spendor classic loudspeaker and I was very impressed with the sound - delicate, smooth and brilliant. I bought it home and compare to my valve pre-mono block which cost at least 4 times more. The A21a can do most what my valve amp does, only slightly lacking in authority and slightly thinner mid band. I was particularly impressed with the treble reproduction of A21a, which is the best I have come across, so sweet!

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2004

Price Paid:    $2100.00

Purchased At:   Electrades Audio Sin



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Paulallan a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: July 23, 2006

Bottom Line:   
This amp has a soul. You can tell cos it not only gets warm, but lights up inside if you look through the small vents on the top plate. Forget hifi, it is a great communicator and makes acoustic music and voice sound 'real'. The new cost is a very reasonable 1000.00 but thank god for ebay, I got a 5 year old one for 600.00. Unfortunately It arrived broken due to a bump in transit, but the guys @ Sugden sorted it out and without charging me a fortune!!!

I read a lot about speaker matching and it kind of put me off, but a call to the factory put me dead straight and they were spot on with some sensible advice. I had some old Rogers LS6 that were used and abused but worked quite well with the A21. I knew they had to go and invested in a pair of Proac One SC (ex dem) and I'm mega chuffed.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   ebay



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jaeoh Park a Casual Listener

Date Reviewed: March 19, 2006

Bottom Line:   
Everyone has mentioned how good this amp is, so I'm going to save my words describing how good this amp is. After some research I just felt like I had to get this amp and I did so by getting it 2nd hand from eBay (This amp doesn't seem to be on sale here in Australia). Gosh, was I amazed. The sound is smooth as silk and it's pretty much awesome in every respect of the sound. People tend to say this amp is not really flat sounded but no matter what, it sounds great after all - with all types of music.

So why did I decide to leave a comment here?
I thought I had to warn people about the amp's stability.

There is a person down below who mentions about their reliability problems.
I didn't want to believe him but I have to admit that I agree with him now.

When this amp arrived it had already broken its knobs at the front panel.
That was something I can understand, since it wasn't well-boxed.

But now, after using it for a year, it is showing some problem.
I have to say that they are in fact amplifiers strictly for music listening.
These days, after turning it on for a while, it's failing to properly output
the sound to the speakers, as the sound sort of jiggles, fading in and out rapidly.
I think the problem was that I left it on for a long time every now and then,
and I suspect that its circuits have been damaged, may be due to extreme heat.
There was no problem with ventilation so I don't think I did something seriously wrong. I connect my amps to the computer and leave it on for hours every single day.

Don't get me wrong, I love this jewel of an amplifier, as can be seen with my ratings on it. But people, please be careful on its maintenance. People like me who like to turn them on most of the time should especially be aware of this. I am wondering if I should upgrade it after a few months when I have some budget saved. I don't think there are many amps out there which can match its sound qualities at this price point so I'm a bit hesitant though. But if I have to worry about it being turned on, I don't think it's such a great situation. Even though it is better than having to listen to crude sounding amps. I guess I'll probably change it if a similar problem occurs within a relatively short time period.

I won't be so definitive on their stability problems since there seem to be people who enjoy this amp for a long time. But just be warned that it can happen, and be careful with the maintenance.

Oh, I have to also mention that they do sound better after being turned on for 30 minutes~2 hours or so. No doubts on its sound quality.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Casual Listener

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $1700.00

Purchased At:   eBay




Reviews 1 - 5 (24 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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