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 65  
[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
[Apr 22, 2006]
Renegade5
AudioPhile

Strength:

Detailed sound stage, ability to drive finicky low impeadance speakers, seemingly unlimited power, rugged construction

Weakness:

Runs hot, feel of the power button, power consumption

The ADCOM GAF-5500 has been a welcome addition to my audio system for over a month now. I find it absolutely superb. I was a little reluctant to purchasing this unit because of some of the reviews that was posted on this site, but after listening to it in my system I have no regrets. The entire musical range is very detailed at any listing level. I am particularly impressed by listening at high sound levels for extended periods without fatigue. I have no idea what another reviewer meant by saying that it got dull and tiring. I have several pairs of speakers including, Infinity Kappa 6, Infinity RS-6b, Rectilinear III, and a pair of speaker that I built myself. This amp has no problem driving any of them. Since it has so much clean power, ear shattering volumes can be obtained in my rather large family room without any clipping. This is a truly impressive amp for the money. Certainly, there are many amplifiers on the market that sound better if you are willing to pay considerably more. Overall, the ADCOM GAF-5500 is an excellent sounding amplifier and is hard to beat in its price range. I am really puzzled by the widely contrasting reviews. I guess with this amp, you either love it or hate it. I would strongly recommend this amp to anyone that is interested in purchasing an amplifier in this price range.

Similar Products Used:

Harmon Kardon Citation 16, Sony TA-N330, Maranz 250, Dynaco 400, Dynaco 120, BGW 500

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jan 02, 2004]
asok
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

powerful within its limitations very reliable a bargain

Weakness:

limitations become apparent with real good speakers.

I haved used this amp for over two years, to drive NHT 3.3s. Pre-amp Adcom GFP 750, Philips SACD 1000, Marantz CC9100 CDP, MIT Terminator 2 cables, DH Labs/Monster ICs. I think this is an excellent amp and is a real value for money. It also extremely reliable, works flawlessly. This said, I cannot wait to upgrade to a more powerful amp - it somehow does not drive the gorgeous NHT 3.3s the way a real beast can. After a lot of research I have decided to replace this with an used Krell 100S. My thought is - if you are driving average speakers, this is a great choice and is a real bargain (can be found real cheap at audiogon). But if you want to do justice to your full-range, 350W + speakers, something with more power and speed becomes essential.

Similar Products Used:

None, but audtioned Krell, CJ, Plinius (at least 3 times the price)

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Sep 05, 2003]
Rod
Casual Listener

Strength:

Very nice upper end from lower mids on up to very top,detailing very good.Great micro-dynamics(once warmed up)and good liquidity.Very good in all aspects for image wide,deep,detail up to point it goes into class AB.

Weakness:

Warmer bass(weakness for me)runs hot,long warm-up.Springy power switch creeps me out every time I turn it on(but it has worked all these years knock-on-wood) Chassis and heat-sinking seem to be where Adcom cut building cost,put it on really solid surface.

Following up after several years use... Earlier I would say good amplifier. Now after 7 years use in many various sytem arrangements,several speakers,and cabling changes....this is a really exellent power amp.Here is what I have learned so far,Adcom 5500 rewards you with care in set-up.I re-read most of the 56 other posts.I agree with these earlier observations;Reaches equalibrium at 2 plus hours music signal.Use really good cables and pre-amp this amp keeps up.Put it on a very solid stand(may I recomend stone slabs x2 with lead between.Give it lots of air to cool.Good power outlet like 20 amp service.Decent source/speakers like you might pair with $2500-3000 level amps. Makes exellent top amp in giant killer bi-amp set-up.(have had fun seeing reactions to listeners of my medium room rig) Run short interconnects,and speaker leads. Use in a bi-amp config but try pairing it with the much cooler running efficient 555II doing bass duty(very cheap used) The 555II will reach best sound faster so hold out thru 2 plus hour warm-up.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Aug 22, 2002]
Sanlyn
AudioPhile

Strength:

absolutely no audible distortion whatosever.

Weakness:

Sounds dead. No oomph.

Very clean. You don't get any cleaner, at any price. But poor dynamics gets dull after a while, soon tiring, and eventually irritating. How can a 200-watt amp sound so dead? I sent it to a Chicago custom-mod shop that made the midrange sparkle a bit, but it's still a lifeless amp. Finally sold it and returned to my old Dynaco Stereo A410, with new Dynaco audio transformers from a British supplier (took forever for them to ship here). Sorry, but the old Dyna is still a masterpiece. I'd have to spend upwards of $10,000 to do better. As for the Adcom, it's a pleasant chunk for those who like a really laid-back sound, but those who want something akin to live music will have to look elsewhere.

Similar Products Used:

Dynaco Stereo A410

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
Showing 1-10 of 65  

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