Adcom GFA-5500 Amplifiers

Adcom GFA-5500 Amplifiers 

DESCRIPTION

·· 200 Watts continuous average power into 8 ohms at any frequency between 20Hz and 20kHz with both channels driven at less than 0.18% THD.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 69  
[Nov 09, 2020]
Jikester69


Strength:

Smooth and sweet tube-like sound except with more authority in the lower registers. Sounds wonderful with the Magneplanar 20.7 but also sings with the 800 D3. A slightly warmer sound than the Nelson Pass designed GFA-5xx series yet retains those amps' strong foundation and bass control. Being voltage-driven devices (like valves), MOSFETS tend to be more tube-sounding and the 5500 exemplifies this. Bias (like other Adcom amplifiers) is toward class A, so it runs warm but not overly so. They won't heat the room like my old Krell monoblocks. But it's also smoother sounding and less transistor sounding than my Krells. I'd say the sound is smoother yet less veiled, more like a Threshold (which I ran it compared it to in my system). Highly recommended.

Weakness:

Runs warm, nothing else.

OVERALL
RATING
5
[Aug 23, 2020]
TubeDude7


Strength:

Clean detailed tube like sound (and have VTL MB 450s to compare to) can’t fault this amp at all its a classic Nelson Pass design!

Weakness:

Gets nice and warm otherwise perfect SS Amp

Price Paid:
700
Purchased:
Used  
Model Year:
1990
OVERALL
RATING
5
[Jun 01, 2020]
panamawest


Strength:

Warm , non fatiguing , very good low end . Very good power supply , difficult to overwork .

Weakness:

Sound stage and upper registry could be more detailed , but never harsh .

Price Paid:
400
Purchased:
Used  
Model Year:
1998
OVERALL
RATING
4
[Mar 12, 2020]
audiodrummer


Strength:

The GFA - 5500 is a 200 watt per channel version of the larger 5802 power amplifier. Both are based on a Nelson Pass 3 stage amplifier design that leverage MosFet (HexFet) outputs. These amplifiers are excellent. I had the prior versions (GFA555 series 2 and the 565 mono blocks, both bipolar). The MosFet amps render a smoother sound with more detail and a better soundstage with less listening fatigue than the bipolar based prior models. The MosFet series amplifiers have excellent low level detail as well as a smooth wide frequency response that is not fatiguing. These amps run class AB1 and run class A for the first watts out of the amp. The result is excellent sound reproduction.

Weakness:

These amps produce a lot of heat because of their bias running partially class A.

Purchased:
Used  
OVERALL
RATING
5
[Jul 13, 2018]
dimedrol


Strength:

GFA-5500 is a very analog, smooth sounding amp with great dynamics. It might not be super resolving or studio grade accurate, but it just sounds pleasing especially in the bass area. After a couple of years of using it I am completely in love and I realized, it's the kind of sound I have always been looking for. It turned out to be a very good match with my Dynaudio Contour speakers too. For the money it's an absolute steal. And even for 4x the price it's still a very competitive amplifier, based on my personal experience. As to the maintenance, I only had to replace a few small capacitors, the big ones were like new, even after 20 years of use.

Weakness:

Runs hot, weights a ton, the military grade power switch, no power saving mode, no remote control

Price Paid:
600
Purchased:
Used  
Model Year:
1996
OVERALL
RATING
5
[Nov 06, 2014]
Keith Blacks
AudioPhile

I paid $1000 for this amplifier a number of years ago. It's worth every penny of that $1000 today. I've owned countless amplifiers over the years and this one sounds as good as any of the best. The specs are first rate and the sound is accurate and powerful. Pair this amplifier with nice speakers and an ADCOM preamp I run the legendary ADCOM GFP-555II and the sound is unreal. I have had friends over to listen that cannot believe the sound this pair creates. You tell folks the price these go for on the used market and they are floored! ADCOM gear is truly and Audiophiles best friend.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Mar 08, 2013]
Shaftish
Audio Enthusiast

I bought this amp new back in 1995 I guess, I realy cant remember exactly.
It have been hooked to a pair of Mirage speakers who is tough to make them "sing"
I tried out a number of amps but all of them were to weak not being able to make the umphf I was looking for. When I tried the Adcom amp I knew I was home, this was it, never ran out of power, to my neighburgs complaint, bas steady as a rock.
If any, there could be a touch of more resolution i in the highend, well well.
My preamp, a Edisone one, tube RIAA and a passive line preamp I used for quite a while.
When playing LP´s it sounded exellent! When playing CD´s it needed something else.
When I stoped buying LP´s I bought a Rotel preamp & a Rotel CD.

I still have it & I wont sell it

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Dec 03, 2011]
Bangnovice
Casual Listener

I just got older Adcom GFA 5500 amplifier (and switch for shifting sound to other rooms) and Bang and Olufsen active Penta III speakers. What is best way to hook up iPod or iPad to 5500? If I wanted to add other audio inputs or TV sound, what is best solution?

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Aug 19, 2011]
t-bones
AudioPhile

Price paid: $350 from a friend.

The Adcom 5500 is a fantastic amplifier. I use mine along with a 555 and 5300 for my home theater system. I have done direct listening comparisons between all of the above amps using the same pair of Energy Connoisseur 6 ½ inch 2-way speakers for comparisons. I have noticed the newer Adcom MOSFET amps have a very controlled low end and very smooth highs compared to the older GFA555, which is still a very detailed amplifier. As others have stated the Adcom will bring out all the good and bad of any speaker as I did switch to a less expensive pair of older Pinnacle AC800s while testing the sound of the amps.

I don’t quite understand some of the reviews of the 5500 being dead, fatiguing, or even one review stating it’s not powerful enough! Can’t help but think the reviewers may have been using lower quality speakers, poor program sources, or may be hard of hearing. The friend I purchased mine from upgraded to all McIntosh equipment. He used to design amplifiers for phase Linear for a living and custom modified my GFA5300 to be bridgeable (see my review on that in the GFA5300 reviews). He stated that his $5000 McIntosh does sound a touch smoother, but has the same or less output power and is also rated at 200 watts per channel.

There are better amplifiers out there, but you will pay 5 times the price for 5 percent better sound. The Adcom is built like a tank, runs hot even at idle, and is not energy star compliant by any means! But it sounds smooth and refined, has more than enough power for any home environment, and at $500 or less on ebay, is an audio bargain.


OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jun 23, 2007]
Mordant Short
AudioPhile

Strength:

POWER! POWER! POWER! Without losing fidelity.

Weakness:

This amplifier doesn't have vue meters like the Yamaha M-80. That's all I could think of that this amplifier lacks.

The Adcom GFA 5500 is a great amp. Too bad Adcom is no longer making power amplifiers. I wanted to purchase the GFA 5802, but their were none to be found brand new at the time I wanted to purchase an amplifier. Discontinued items suck. Adcom definetly needs to manufacture more power amplifiers like they have in the past. I hate 3 to 7 channel amplifiers for audio, they're okay for surround sound but not for audio reproduction. I haven't been disapointed by purchasing this amplifier, it produces clean sharp bass. Tight bass. Real tight bass. If you're the type of person who likes muddy bass, this amp is NOT for you!!! The distortion LEDs work! They let you know when the source music is crappy or there's just too much umph from the source calling for bass. This amp definetly rocks! I've got a fan installed on the back of the enclosure I placed the amp in because of my old Yamaha M-80 power amplifier. Even with the fan the Yamaha got hot, the Adcom stays cool with the fan going, it's awesome and I'm driving this amplifier @ 2 Ohms driving 2 Cerwin-Vega DX-9s per channel, this baby cranks!!!

Customer Service

Adcom told me this amplifier couldn't drive a 2 Ohm load. I've got a fan going on it from start to end of listening sessions. Make sure you cool this amp by using a fan!!!

Similar Products Used:

Yamaha M-80

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 69  

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