Adcom GFA-535MKII Amplifiers

GFA-535MKII

60 watt, high current amplifier

User Reviews (32)

Showing 1-10 of 32  
William Stevenson   AudioPhile [Dec 25, 2015]

For $100 used off of Craigslist this amp is an excellent bargain. I chose it over Hafler's in the same price range because I knew the sonic character of the amp--having owned this and the 555, 555 mk2 and 545 previously. For anyone unfamiliar with the Adcom 535 I would characterize it as forward or bright sounding and it will be on the shrill side till it has warmed up after a couple hours. Once it has warmed up it smooths out and provides detail without being too bright or harsh. For me it mates best with a laid back preamp--I've not liked the results using Adcom, Bryston and other brands which tend to be on the bright side. Of course what sounds best to you is subjective and your speakers and room acoustics will come into play.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
figaro   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 05, 2012]

Just bought this 535II on Ebay to use as a temporary amp until I can replace a Denon that died of old age. This amp was a surprise considering it cost very little. This is a serious dual mono amp that produces remarkable clarity and sound stage for it's size. I can now take my time finding a replacement for the Denon. I can listen to this Adcom without any major complaints. This amp is an incredible value.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Steve   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 16, 2009]

I purchased the Adcom GFA-355 mk2 on craigslist for $ 70. I did not hear it upon purchase and I
was furious when I arrived home to realize that it was blown. I took it to an audio tech shop and
he said he could fix it if I went for lunch somewhere ( about 2 hours ). It cost me $110. I got home
and connected it to a pair of old Bose 301, I could not beleive how GREAT it sounded. What a little
MONSTER amp.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
jeffspeak   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 20, 2009]

This little amp saved me. Bought new speakers and old classic Parasound died on me. HELP! Need something cheap and listenable. Adding Adcom to my tube preamp I got 80 to 90% of my high-end sound back. At moderate listening levels almost no difference. Parasound was twice as powerful. Only $100 on ebay, are you kidding me? A steal for $$. Match with modest (used) tube pre-amp and your set

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
jikester   AudioPhile [Jan 31, 2008]
Strength:

Musical, transparent and revealing. Sonically comparable to the best transistor amplifiers I've used.

Weakness:

None, although if it were bridgeable, that would be a nice feature.

The Adcom GFA-535 (and its successor, the GFA-535 Mk II) is truly one of those rare, amazing values in audio. I’ve used it to drive my Acoustat 1100, Magneplanar 2.6, NHT 3.3, B&W 801 Matrix II, and Martin Logan Sequel II loudspeakers and not once has it disappointed me or left me wanting. It may not have the power of my Krells or Aragon amps, but it can stand with them on clarity, timbre and presentation. It’s uncoloured without being cold or sterile; transparent while avoiding transistor shrill; and it is revealing enough to reveal very subtle differences in recordings as well as cable and equipment combinations.

One thing I’ve found is that like other good equipment, it is sensitive to cabling, interconnects and warm-up. Some of those who haven’t been pleased with it, I can only imagine that they either have a bad combination or maybe it’s a defective unit. Of the half dozen 535 amps I’ve used, one did fall into the latter category.

Loudspeakers: Martin Logan Sequel II, NHT 3.3, B&W 801 Matrix II
Source: Krell Digital, Adcom
Preamp: Audio Research, Adcom, Mark Levinson
Cables: AudioQuest, Monster Cable, KimberKable

Similar Products Used: Audio Research, Aragon, Krell, Mark Levinson, Sunfire, NAD, other Adcom
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Craig Luna   AudioPhile [Jan 31, 2008]
Strength:

Musical, clear and transparent, comparable to the best transistor amplifiers I've used, thus it is an amazing value.

Weakness:

None, however if it were bridgeable, that would be a nice feature.

The Adcom GFA-535 (and its successor, the GFA-535 Mk II) is truly one of those rare, amazing values in audio. I’ve used it to drive my Acoustat 1100, Magneplanar 2.6, NHT 3.3, B&W 801 Matrix II, and Martin Logan Sequel II loudspeakers and not once has it disappointed me or left me wanting. It may not have the power of my Krells or Aragon amps, but it can stand with them on clarity, timbre and presentation. It’s uncoloured without being cold or sterile; transparent while avoiding transistor shrill; and it is revealing enough to reveal very subtle differences in recordings as well as cable and equipment combinations.

One thing I’ve found is that like other good equipment, it is sensitive to cabling, interconnects and warm-up. Some of those who haven’t been pleased with it, I can only imagine that they either have a bad combination or maybe it’s a defective unit. Of the half dozen 535 amps I’ve used, one did fall into the latter category.

Loudspeakers: Martin Logan Sequel II, NHT 3.3, B&W 801 Matrix II
Source: Krell Digital, Adcom
Preamp: Audio Research, Adcom, Mark Levinson
Cables: AudioQuest, Monster Cable, KimberKable

Similar Products Used: Krell, Aragon, Mark Levinson, NAD, Carver, other Adcom
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Tony Patterson   Casual Listener [Dec 17, 2006]
Strength:

Packed with crystal clean power, does everything it is supposed to do. Very seamless. Excellent value and bang for the buck. Small compact size, with very attractive design.

Weakness:

None. Exceeds all expectations.

Very impressed with the GFA 535 II. Very powerful. Delivers extremely clean sound reproduction. The bass is tight, the mids and treble are crystal clear. Plenty of power on reserve. You probably won't need it. I'm using an Adcom 506 Pre Amp Tuner, with a new Denon CD DVD player. The speakers are B&W bookcase.
I love it.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
tomh   AudioPhile [Apr 24, 2006]
Strength:

Great soundstage and imaging
Excellent transient response
Very good build quality
Bullet proof reliability
Good power output into real speaker loads (complex loads with resistance and inductance)

Weakness:

Too heavy for its size (hurts me to lift it)
Plain looks (Black box) no bling bling
Not enough power for really big rooms and ear blasting sound pressure

I've enjoyed hifi for years and have a number of tube and solid state systems including Conrad Johnson, Sonic Frontiers and Adcom GFA 5802. I've owned a lot of Adcom gear in the past including GFA 555s and 565 monoblocks.

I purchased this amp for one of my kids and compared it extensively to other options. For the money this amp is unbeatable and in many respects sonically better than the GFA 555 and GFA 565s. It does not match the GFA 5802.

So why do I say this after some comparisons? Well the GFA555 and 565s have incredible speaker control and bass slam as well as great power. The GFA 535 benefits in terms of inner detail and imaging. At the end of the day it has essentially the same front end with fewer bipolar outputs than the bigger GFAs. This reduces the number of devices in the output and possibly reduces coloration. When this amp is properly warmed up and driven by a good front end system it produces good dynamics, a deep soundstage, good detail and fast transients.

Customer Service

Never had an issue

Similar Products Used: GFA 565 monoblocks
GFA 555
GFA 5802 (really a great amp!)
Sonic Frontier SF40
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
gmood1   AudioPhile [Dec 19, 2003]
Strength:

Crystal clear highs,Transparency in spades, Throws a soundstage as good as any amplifier I have owned.Quiet and unobtrusive on the music.Solidly built and will last for many years.Build quality is simply and to the point.

Weakness:

Cheap rail fuses.6 or 7 dollars will fix that!

When I first plugged the unit up it sounded compressed and lacked the air I am familiar with.This was noticeable even after warm up. I stubbled upon something..I decided to change the crappy rail fuses and power fuse to ceramics and upped the value a hair.Well it is a day and night difference.The 535 just opened up with a beautiful midrange. Bass is accurate and fast.Highs have a sweetness thats undeniable.This is probably the cheapest upgrade that one can do and hear a noticeable difference.Totally unfatiguing and musical.. hooked to a pair of Green Mountain Audio Europas. Playing some Alison Krauss the images are solid without etch.There's also depth and a connection with the music. These amps should be paired accordingly with the proper speakers.One cannot expect a 60 wpc amp to push inefficient behemoths.Pair these little amplifier with a decent monitor and cables.And you might be surprised just how musical the 535 can be. And don't forget to change the fuses to a higher quality.Without a doubt a best buy for anyone looking for great sound for an affordable price.I've had $$8000.00 plus in two channel systems and this budget system for around $1200.00 trounces it for pure musical enjoyment. How many other amplifierss with dual transformers can you buy for under $200.00? I only know of one!

Similar Products Used: Adcom 585 limited edition,Music Reference RM9,McIntosh,Berning,Amber,Monarchy and others
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
ejvd   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 22, 2002]
Strength:

Good response across the frequency range, well built, good value for the price, very adequate power for most speakers, excellent for a reliable secondary system (e.g. den or bedroom) if you like separates.

Weakness:

Doesn't have the euphonic burnish in the midrange that a tube amp will give you.

This is the GFA-535II model, with the improved speaker binding attachments, gold input jacks, and some improved components (capacitors?). It is a very solidly made, excellent solid-state amp. It provides very nice detail, has excellent response in the bass, midrange, and treble. Very even responsiveness, sweet sounding, neutral in comparison with a tube amp (which I also have several of), doesn't have the euphonic burnish of a tube amp, but one wouldn't expect that from such an amp, and maybe the euphonic glimmer is distortion, anyway...?!

Similar Products Used: I have used a Dynaco st-120 in the past, mostly tube equipment (Dynaco st-70, Scott LK-48, Harman Kardon a-230), I also have an NAD 3220 integrated amp that the Adcom sounds somewhat similar to. Am cu
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 32  

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