Adcom GFA-5300 Amplifiers

Adcom GFA-5300 Amplifiers 

DESCRIPTION

Number of channels: 2, Watts per channel into 8 ohms:80, Watts per channel into 4 ohms:125

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 32  
[Aug 25, 2019]
mcintosh


Strength:

Non fatiguing sound with extended but smooth highs. Renders a deep soundstage with good inner detail.

Weakness:

No negatives. Nelson Pass designed this amp to run a bit hot keeping the MOSFET outputs in class A for the first watts.

Purchased:
Used  
OVERALL
RATING
5
[Mar 12, 2017]
TomH
AudioPhile

I own an array of systems and amplifiers including Conrad Johnson, Sonic Frontiers, Adcom and Parasound.

The Adcom GFA 5802 and it's smaller brother the GFA 5300 are excellent sounding amplifiers based on a 3 gain stage design leveraging International Rectifier HexFets. The design by Nelson Pass produces a very good soundstage with strong inner detail and a smooth high end compared to many bi-polar output designs. If any amp is old and poorly ventilated, the caps in the gain stages can skew off spec and cause a degradation in the sound quality.

All older amps should have all push on connectors cleaned with ProGold and the bias and AC balance set prior to critical listening. If these Adcom amps are in spec, they will compete favorably with many amps currently on the market.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jan 17, 2013]
greg degelman
Audio Enthusiast

Adcom GFA-5300 Power Amp, I have been a audio fanatic for longer then i want to remember, All as i can stay ,Any body staying that the Adcom GFA-5300 Power amp doesn,t sound good, Has a piss pure sounding preamp hooked up to it, To make a long story short, As i found out with the one i have,I had a Nikko Betta 30 Preamp hooked up to it at first ,The low end was like it wasn,t there, Then i got a hold of a Kenwood Basic C-2.Preamp, I could not belive the differance in how the system sounded, It blew me away, How much more the music was define with the kenwood preamp,

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Aug 10, 2011]
t-bones
AudioPhile

Now that prices have come down on the older Adcoms I decided to upgrade to all power amps for my home theater. I have a friend who designs equipment and I asked him if he could do a custom modification to my 5300 to be bridgable. He did and while he was at it he tested the RMS power output with both channels driven. That little 5300 puts out 120W x2@8ohm, 175 x2@4ohms and 350w x1@ 8ohms! Those are RMS outputs, not peak. Adcom seems to under rate their amplifiers.

In a direct comparison to the older GFA555 the newer MOSFET amps seem to have better control on the lows and are a little more laid back highs. I tested both my GFA5500, 5300, and 555. All sound great however I am still amazed at the clean power the little 5300 puts out.

I conducted the comparisons using WAV files on my laptop and a set of Energy 6 1/2 inch 2way connoisseur speakers.

Yes there are better sounding amps out there, but at 5 times the cost. With the prices of the 5300 under $200 on ebay, these amps are an under rated deal.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Feb 27, 2009]
William
AudioPhile

I have had lots of power amps through the years and can say that this amplifier sounds great. I have it driving a pair of old JBL L3's that I have biwired and it is incredible. Not too sure why some folks don't like the sound, but I prefer the sound of mosfet amps anyway. To me bipolar designs sound veiled, but not this amp, loads of detail, but still smooth and the low end sounds effortless and punchy. I got it cheap and consider it one of my best buys ever. I have owned lots of high end amplifiers over the years and to my ears this is a keeper. true it doesn't have any turn on thump/dc protection relay circuitry in it, which to me is good from an audio sound quality standpoint, no relay to degrade the output signal, I would buy another one if given the chance..

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Feb 25, 2008]
Ny240JBL
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Super clean power when paired with the proper speakers.

Weakness:

Not bridgable.

Recently my surround receiver just died, and I had to have something to power my speakers!! I purchased this from my grandmother (who is also an audio enthusiast, and a head banger!!!! LOL) This is tagged along with an Adcom stereo pre amp. I'm using this back and forth on a pair of JBL CF150's (325 watts max, 98db sensitivity 3-way w/15" woofer 8 ohms) and a pair of JBL E100's (250 watts max, 91db sensitivity 3-way w/ dual 10' woofers 8 ohms). With an optimus 10 band eq hooked into the ext. processor input on the pre amp (bass stays up!)

On the CF150's - At low to medium volume this amp does really good. high end is very crispy! This can really push the bass, but as soon as you hit high volume, when the bass hits, the distort light comes on and you can tell it's distorting! Now with the eq turned off, The volume can go much louder! Once it hits the loud point on these speakers, it truly distorts (not just from bass) It doesn't have enough wattage to get loud enough to pierce your ear drums, but if you don't need it that loud, It's perfectly fine.

On the E100's - Pretty much same as above, but these speakers really show you how clean the power is from the amp. The high end is perfectly clear and realisticly smooth! Midrange is realisticly warm, Bottom end is super deep, not exaggurated. But these speakers clip the amp a little sooner, even with the eq off. But wow, The clarity!!!

I did try it paired with a set of JBL CF100's and a set of JBL E50's - verdict on that--- All the good things from above, minus all the bad things. Perfect for small and medium speakers!

I guess this turned out to be a quadruple review, But you still get the idea of what the amp can do. It sounds beautiful, It's just not made for the flagship model speakers!! If you want extreme volume from this amp, you need highly efficient speakers, or smaller ones, or if you dont need it that loud, I guess go for it no matter what you got!

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Dec 28, 2007]
mywifespissed
AudioPhile

Strength:

Build, overall sound

Weakness:

None for under $200.

I bought this for $175 a couple of weeks ago, and it is a total value at that price. Mine has the fixed cord and I bet the sound difference reported by disgruntiled users is purely subjective. Invest in a line conditioner if you want to make a difference in front of an amp.

I have been an audio enthusiast for many years with many systems, and I know good sound. I own Krell, Bryston, various single ended and PP tube amps, and can say that this little Adcom does plenty right and nothing wrong. This amp is in my second system, and I have paired the GFA 5300 with 1970's A/D/S L630 three-way speakers, which are a touch warm of neutral. The bass is full and tight, and has great resolution at it's price. It's shortcomings only become evident in direct comparison to my Krell KST-100 ( which has a more liquid coherent sound and WAY more bass impact at 6 times the price). When played loud, the Adcom gets a little compressed, but again only in comparison to much more expensive amps, and the sound never gets irritating unless it's running hard and the recording is bright. It is a bit cold sounding compared to my Golden Tube SE amp, but those sell for 3 times what I paid for the GFA 5300.

Build quality is high for it's pricepoint. Massive torroid tranny, heatsinks, and discrete components and boards. Mine never gets beyond barely warm, contrary to other's reports of hot operation. Can't do better for the money.

Similar Products Used:

Krell, Bryston, B&K, various tube amps

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Apr 30, 2006]
Eric
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Great while it lasted.

Weakness:

Did not last long enough for an Adcom. It should have lasted at least 10 years. What happened to quality without selling your right arm for quality.

I think I had problem from day one but it always fixed it self so I thought it was fine until the end. The left channel died completely a couple of weeks ago. Thinking of whether to fix it but too costly. It powered my B&W 805 great but had to turn it up at least half way to hear a sound. Now it is dead. Looking on ebay for a replacement but they want as much as I paid for the same model and used. My speakers sounded great but now they set and wait for power. sad

Customer Service

They never got back to me

Similar Products Used:

First Adcom, sony before but would turn on by it self.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
2
[Aug 23, 2005]
prisoners
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Very solid build. Good all around sound throughout the audible range. I listened for hours with no fatigue or thoughts of turning down the volume.

Weakness:

No signal trigger for powering up-but that's being picky. Not the absolute satisfying sound of a world class amp-but tough to beat in it's class.

This is the newer version w/ detachable power cord. I bought this to use while my Accuphase amp was being serviced,figuring I can use it for front L+R in the home theater room when the repairs were complete. After a couple of months of almost daily use I have to say it performed very well and sounds pretty good. Not quite as rich and full as the Accuphase but that's hardly a fair comparision. There was no harshness or brittle-sounding charachteristics at any volume and it ran only slightly warm after hours of use. My Meadowlark speakers can be very revealing but there was no unpleasant sounds from this amp. I have no regrets in buying it.

Similar Products Used:

In this price range: Marantz mono blocks,Denon ss amp, Acurus

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
[Jun 29, 2005]
edlchiang62
AudioPhile

Strength:

Excellent performance for the price. Five year warranty

Weakness:

Not made in the USA

Maybe I am not a critical enough listener, but I don't understand where the negative reviews of this amp are coming from. I bought this demo unit from Wild West Electronics (because it is being discontinued) and it does a superb job of driving my Paradigm 9 speakers. I don't here any of the "veilness" or "harshness" that other people write about. It plays all kinds of music very well by presenting an excellent 3-D soundstage and producing a neutral sound.

Similar Products Used:

Adcom 535-II amp,

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 32  

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