Aragon 4004 MK II Amplifiers

4004 MK II

200X2 @ 8 Ohms Amp 400X2 @ 4 Ohms

User Reviews (15)

Showing 1-10 of 15  
Audiofreak71   AudioPhile [Nov 08, 2017]

Was in the market for a good high end amp to drive my Vandersteen 2ce signature ii's and found this Aragon 4004MKII that had been serviced and we'll taken care off. I had owned a Krell 300i Integrated in the past and it didn't pair well with my Paradigm signature 6's, so this time around I thought I would give the Mondial family a try again. This amp is excellent in every way paired with my Vandersteens, it drives the 86db vandys with authority yet has finesse. This amp comes highly recommended especially for the steal you can get it for these days they can it the poor man's Krell, I don't like that saying rather I think it's the smart man's Krell. The Aragon 4004MKII is well worth it if looking for plenty of power and excellent sound to go with it.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
instant happiness   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 09, 2008]
Strength:

Build, sound and value. Looks.

Weakness:

Could have used a second pair of speakers.

Got the Aragon 4004 about three years ago, when the audio bug bit me, and the more I get exposed to other gear, the more impressed i am with it. I use it with floorstanding Polk speakers, Marantz Esotec SC-6 preamp and an ADC sound shaper 3 equalizer.

First - it is built like a brick, and weighs like a ton of bricks: I think it weighs about 50 Kg, and only when i got it I realised why shipping was so costly.

Second - it is a no nonsense amplifier: it has an on/off knob on its face, and thats it. This amp is purely for 2 channel listening, and not a home theatre amp packed with toys nobody ever gets to use. I would have liked to have the ability to hook a second pair of speakers or a sub though. Its look is distinct with that "A" like groove: very understated and yet a statement. Looks borderline industrial with that metal black brushed metal face. Actually, up close and personal, this amp looks better than it does in photos.

Third - the sound: BOY, DOES THAT AMP SOUND HEAVENLY! Although its rated at 200W per channel, I doubt anyone here ever uses a half of it, and I can testify that the volume knob on my Marantz Esotec SC-6 (a perfect preamp - period)rarely moves more that a tenth of a turn, before the volume reaches "the police at the door" range. Seriosly. Anyway, the Aragon 4004 works magic even at low volume, which is where most of us listen, making it practical - the bass is always there, heavy footted and sure. Seperation is wonderful: although I think that seperation is mostly a preamp job, the amp, being the last link in the chain may ruin it - but not the Aragon. It really does a magnificent job sound wise. I read that the team that designed this amp is a Krell team, and although I have not done a face to face comparason with a Krell, my cousin's Krell's sound has the same "charachter", and that says a lot about the Aragon.

One comment though: Before i paired the Aragon with the Polk and Esotec, i paired it with a pair of bookshelf KEF Cresta 2 and a McIntosh C-28. The KEF Cresta 2 are excellent little speakers, but hardly enough for that amp. The McIntosh sounded poorly when paired with the Aragon, and I was disappointed at first. But than i moved the C-28 to the home office where it was paired with a Hitachi HMA-7500 amp (a fantastic sleeper IMHO - got the HCA-7500 too, and boy these are good for rock and pop but not classical and blues) and a pair of KEF Chorales and WOW! Point made: Components need to be carefully matched before deciding.

Customer Service

Never used.

Similar Products Used: Hitachi HMA-7500
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
ritesh_laud   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 09, 2003]
Strength:

Good bass response Detailed mids and highs Neutral sound

Weakness:

For $650-$900 on the used market this amplifier's a steal and I can't think of any real weaknesses! It is quite heavy and probably wife-unfriendly.

A couple months ago I upgraded my speakers to Sonus Faber Concertos. At 86 dB sensitivity they require some muscle to drive. With my Harman Kardon AVR 55 receiver the sound was very thin and lacking bass. I got this unit off Ebay (in fact, bought it from the previous reviewer) and boy is this thing a brick. At 70 lbs it's twice the weight of the HK receiver, which has five channels of high-current amplification! It utilizes a dual mono design and has the signature notched vent to allow stacking of other components on top. I believe it runs in Class A because it gets quite warm regardless of whether it receives a signal. Once I hooked it up I noticed an immediate improvement in the bass. The Concertos need a subwoofer for full-range sound, but there was a definite increase in the lower frequencies. In addition, the Aragon is more neutral than the HK and tames some of the natural forwardness of these speakers. However, the high end is still very detailed and crisp. I have an audiophile friend who owns a massive Krell amp and he's impressed by the sound from my system as well as the solid build quality of the 4004. Later I got a Parasound HCA-806 multiamplifier for my other channels. I did an A/B comparison with the Aragon on the front channels. With the HCA-806 the bass dropped off significantly but the midrange became louder. The 4004 is more neutral and I think it sounds more natural. However, there were a couple songs I preferred on the HCA-806 even if it made the Concertos even more forward than before. I'm very happy with this purchase. After upgrading to other hi-fi components (listed below) I can honestly say that music has never sounded better on my system. Aragon Soundstage preamp processor Ah! Njoe Tjoeb 4000 CD player Sonus Faber Concerto speakers

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
pangl   AudioPhile [Sep 24, 2003]
Strength:

Beefy power, clarify, very clean attack, deep bass, lively soundstage.

Weakness:

Require careful, quality equipment matching for optimal performance.

The Aragon 4004 MkII has been around for the longest time in my audio collection. Back then, around 1993, this amp has been used numerous time by various Stereophile reviewers as the reference amp to evalulate other products. So I jumped on the bandwagon as well. Since this amp is designed by the principal engineer at Krell (I guess it is an subcontract deal between Aragon & Krell), you'd expect the Krell sound. And you are right! This is absolutely an poor-man's Krell! Like the superb Krell 300i integrated amp that I put my $0.02 in this forum, Aragon 4004Mk II is a great amp only if you have the right equipment. It is absolutely ruthless, garbage in garbage out. You may find one in the used market from $700-$1250, but don't contempt to pair the amp with cheap pre-amp and CD source. This amp sounds best with a warmer, more musical tube pre-amp such as Music Reference RM 5 or Sonic Frontiers LINE 3. or an VAC preamps. Speaker matching is crucial as well - I won't recommend any bright, very forward sounding speakers unless you like the typical Krell sound. If you use an musical tube preamp, and match the 4004 Mk II with electrostatic or planar (I know Magneplan 3.6R and 1.6QA sound absolutely stunning in this setup), you get yourself pretty darn close to audio nirvana land without an home equity loan.

Similar Products Used: Mark Levinson #23, Krell 300i, ASL DT 1006 (845) monoblocks, Rotel (God please forgive my sin on this one), Classe CA200, Conrad Johnson 2300A, Musical Fidelity A300, I can't remember all.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
monm   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 22, 2002]
Strength:

Tight bass;clarity and detail. Will drive "hard to drive" loudspeakers at mid levels.

Weakness:

heavy;distortion starts at high volume levels.

This brute surely has a lot of power to drive my vintage AR90. Distortion is minimal but it starts to present itself past the 12o''clock(volume knob)mark of my Aragon 24k preamp. It has impressive low to mid listening level detail and clarity.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Alex   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 23, 2002]
Strength:

Soundstage (extends way beyond the speakers) detail, clarity, mids(especially vocals-Diana Krall), darkness, transparency, involement. Does everything with grace and smoothness.

Weakness:

I don''t have two of them.

Back again! Problem solved. I bought some Anaysis Oval Nine cables, and presto - it''s showtime! I have had and heard quite a few amplifiers in the past, probably enough to open my own stereo shop,but the Aragon seems to stand alone in its ablility to everything right. I have owned Krell, Linn, Conrad Johnson, and Ayre amps and they don''t seem to have the personality and involement, with the exception of the Ayre, that the Aragon brings to the table. I am going to to upgrade to the 8008bb in April. I would like to audition the 8008MKII, but living in the great northwest, I have not found an Aragon dealer. I have to rely on audiogon to provide the merchandise! I will keep the 4004MKII and use it for a center amp. Equipment used: Aragon 4004MKII Audio Research LS-15 Cal Audio Delta Meridian 563 DAC Epos ES14 KEF Q60 MIT XLRs Analysis Oval Nine 11'' cables (great cables, especially after havein Nordst, MIT, Straightwire, Transparent, AudioQuest, and Monster!)

Similar Products Used: Krell, Linn, Conrad Johnson, Ayre(2nd favorite), Counterpoint, PSE monos,
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
shirrell   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 15, 2002]
Strength:

Massive power, soundstage, bass, mids, highs, build.

Weakness:

Not a weakness, but it would be nice if it had balanced outputs

I bought this unit a couple of days ago and I fell in love with it! It fatigued my ears to the point where I could not listen more than a few minutes! After being gravely disappointed I discovered yesterday that it was a speaker wire incompatibility! I changed the cables and presto, instant happiness. I had been using Monster "Z" series and apparently the two do not mate up! I purchased the Aragon based on the reviews that I have read here! Everything that was written about it was true! When you plug this puppy in it is like opening a can of audio whoop ass! It has more power than a demented dictator! The soundstage is incredible and dead accurate. I do not have to go listen to anything else, the search is over! In one of the reviews I read that it does not mate well with tube preamps. I am using an Audio Research L15 and apparently the Aragon is not aware that it doesn''t mate well with tubes! I have instruments jumping around all over my living room and I have heard little subtle sounds and instruments that I was unaware of! God bless the makers of Aragon! Aragon 4004MKII Audio Research L15 Cal Audio Labs Delta Meridian 563 DAC KEF Q60 Speakers Still looking for good speaker cables!

Similar Products Used: Linn 5105AV, Conrad Johnson, Counterpoint 200, Adcom 555III, B&K
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Alex   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 13, 2002]
Strength:

Power, soundstaging, clarity, bass, quality.

Weakness:

This bad boy is fatiquing my ears only after a few minutes of listening!

I bought this unit because I have had my eye on it for several months. I finally made a decision based on the reviews that I read in Audioreview. I had originally planned to get the 8008BB, but the 4004II was available locally so I jumped on it. When I brought this puppy home it had the sound staging and clarity that I had been looking for! Problem: after ten minutes my ears were tore up. Fatique to the max! I don''t know what to do! I can not listen to the unit for more than a few minutes, then I have to turn it off! I am hoping that chaning speaker cable will bring a solution about because I really like the amp! I have it hooked up to a Audio Research L15 and the instruments are floating around my living room and then after 10 minutes I have to send them away! I had an Adcom 555II which was bearable to a degree but I could listen to all day long, even though it was lacking the punch and dynamic soundstaging that the Aragon produces. If anyone has any suggestions I would appreciate it. I give it a four because I am hoping that I can find a way to keep it from driving me away!

Similar Products Used: Linn 5105, Condrad Johnson, Adcom 555II
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Kevin Magee   Audiophile [Mar 23, 2000]
Strength:

Good clean treble and ample bass

Weakness:

Not as transparent as 8008 series

Amplifier is well built as are all Aragon products. Bass is very good though not s controlled as 8008 and the treble does not have the air that the 8008 does. Differences are slight though and for the price of these amps the 4004MKII is a steal. I am well pleased that I bought the amp and also can feel that real improvements were made in the 8008 series. Do not misunderstand me, this is an excellent amp but has been improved. I listened carefully and it is a very close match for my 8008 and will perform surround channel duty in my system. If you want to spend under 1000.00 on an amp but want true hifi sound buy this amp. There are few except maybe Bryston which will compare to it at this price. I am giving the amp 5 stars for its value and 5 for sound. If I could I would give it 4.5 stars for sound as it is bettered by the 8008 slighthy and at over twice the price for a new 8008.

Similar Products Used: Aragon 8008
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Ken Taraszka   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 11, 2000]
Strength:

Solid construction, massive power supply, able to drive almost any load, cool looking with excellent sound.

Weakness:

Binding posts are very close to inputs-makes using speaker wire with large spades difficult.

I've had this amp for some 6 months now and love it! This amp has lots of power with great clean bass, upper mids are a little bright, but in no way annoying. I've used it to drive many different speakers B&W 803's, KEF 107/2's, JSE Infinite Slope 1.0's and Snell monitors, this amp has power to spare with all of them!

My neighbors hate it but....

I've had not, outside of these reviews, heard of the problems with the electronics, my only problem was in demoing the Monster Cable m2.4s biwires the connectors on the amp end were so damn big (Kimber too)that I accidently contacted the output to the input (Oooops!), blowing the fuses in the power supply. That took a screw driver and $1.39 at Radio Shack to fix though!

I picked this amp up as part of a system, and got a great deal on it, they are often available for from $600-900 and in that price range they are a steal. I'd challenge you to find a better sounding amp with this kind of power in twice that price range. Not quite as musical as the Levinsopns, but at a third the price, who cares! I give it a solid 5 stars for value, and 5 for overall as well, partly because of the excellent value.

This amp is built like a tank and seeing how mine is some 5 years old and still working flawlessly I expect many more years or service out of it!

Similar Products Used: Krell, Levinson, Acurus
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 15  

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.

audioreview.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

Other Web Sites in the ConsumerReview Network:

mtbr.com | roadbikereview.com | carreview.com | photographyreview.com | audioreview.com