Great American Sound Son of Ampzilla Amplifiers

Son of Ampzilla

80 Watt Power Amplifier (1977-1982)

User Reviews (13)

Showing 1-10 of 13  
Dave Lowery   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 17, 2008]
Strength:

Clean and powerful. Awesome soundstage.

Ingenius design by James Borgiono. Elegant in it's simplicity.

Weakness:

Old style 2 channel. No remote control.

I purchased this amp new in 1978. I was always amazed by it's power, especially for only 80 watts per channel. Never did I realize how good this thing was until after I sold it in 1981. I had went the cheap route with receivers of various makes. 18 years later I bought it back when I happen to meet the guy I sold it to. This was a freak chance meeting while walking down the street during business in a town I did not live in. It was like this amp (and it's Thalia preamp) wanted to come back to me after all those years! Both units were no longer working but in those 18 years I had become very proficient at electronics and brought both back to life. I totally rebuilt the Son and repaired the main problem which was bad differential input transistors.

I have cheap speakers but the amp makes up for it impressively.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
mikemorrow   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 17, 2007]
Strength:

30 years and they never made a better home amp.

I bought this new. Worked wonderful untel 2000. I put it on a shelf. Last year I was moving and sold most of my stereo, but couldn't part with this amp. I moved and decided to get it fixed. The repair shop tried to trade me for a Phase Linear, I said no.I was told that he was very backed up and it would take some time. I said cool take your time, as I have not had it working for 6 years time was not a problen. 3 months later I got my call. It was the best 250 dollars I have ever spent! What a wonderful amp! The repair man told me that I did right by not taking the trade. He said it is the best amp he has heard.

Similar Products Used: GAS Thalia
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
tyrebyter   Audio Enthusiast [May 12, 2006]
Strength:

Elegant Simplicity and sound quality.

Weakness:

Not still made.

What a wonderful beast. It outclassed almost everything else in it's day and still troops on. It is my everyday amp and has done duty in sound reinforcement and as my son's bass guitar amplilfier. It still sounds better than any receiver I've ever heard (OK. maybe the Denon is close). I wish Mr. B the best with whatever he's designing now.

Customer Service

Why?

Similar Products Used: Crown, Accuphase
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
SAE   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 04, 2003]
Strength:

Powerful, sturdy and stable to 2 ohms and bridgable.

Weakness:

I understand the use of aluminum in the heat sinks and body, but the aluminum screws tend to get stripped easiliy.

I absolutely adore my Son of Ampzilla. The quality is evident, as is the genius in its engineering. It was given to me several years ago, and with the exception of a burnt backlight (which was replaced) it has been nothing but a pleasure. Although the low end frequency range tapers a little too quickly for my taste, GAS' Son of Ampzilla has been the best amplifier i have ever experienced. Sadly, I am moving from my present residence, and am unable take with me some of my stereo equipment. If anyone is interested in buying a Son of Ampzilla amplifier (excellent working condition, some chips in the paint, but nothing too obvious) contact me at yourstroud@hotmail.com by January 18th.

Similar Products Used: AudioSource, Onkyo
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
GaryHeadlee   AudioPhile [Jun 09, 2003]
Strength:

Clean, Pure, excellent design.

Weakness:

Over-engineered servo front end, them IC's were new toys then, he just had to put one somewhere. Poor grounding techniques throughout the GAS line-up made for sound quality and stabiliy that quickly degraded as the metals oxidized, if you have one of the Mike Bettinger re-builds, these problems are illiminated, I can't say about the

Listening to an Ampzilla or Son of on my ancient Accustats is one of very few true joys in my life. James Bongiorno, did a great job with the GAS products be like His SAE designs, tends to over engineer the product, In the early 90's I worked for a die hard audio purist (bet he still only allows vinyl in his nirvana/listening room), he custom rebuilt several thousand GAS amps using only the best components available with precise re-engineering & silver re-enforcement along all power traces, magically turned the James Bongiorno masterpieces into Audio amplifiers that are blessed by Gods with sensitive ears and hypersensitive compassion for true musical artists....... a great amp ! And if you are lucky enough to own a Mike Bettinger version, even in 2003, I don't think you will find a truer/non colored/ real power when needed, purist amplifier. Question is, what are you driving it with and what is it driving?

Similar Products Used: SAE, Audio Research, Carver, Quad, Sunfire, Marrantz 500, My own builds.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
juan fco dolores marrero   AudioPhile [Oct 16, 2002]

I need information about that ampzilla II power amplifier and the component (transistor how to buy it), I need repair.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Darrell   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 04, 2002]
Strength:

Build quality and sound.

I have 5 pieces of GAS equipment, both preamps, 2 Sons (one totally upgraded by GASWORKS) and 1 Grandson. This is fun stuff and I am amazed at the quality of these old products. To bad the company is not aroound anymore.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Peter Klein   Audiophile [Feb 18, 2000]
Strength:

high current, excellent build quality

Weakness:

not made anymore

The Great American Sound Co.' Son of Ampzilla was a very popular amplifier because it was reasonbly priced and had very high current, and rise time with very low distortion. It was capable of driving very difficult loads like the Quad electrostatics. The Son offers a taste of what made the Ampzilla IIa a fantastic amplifier. The last company that Jim Bongiorno, the founder-designer of G.A.S., was involved with..Sumo Corp., can supply anyone with a parts identifying list as well as upgrades. The ultimate fixers out there may well be "Gasworks".

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Dick Lague   Audiophile [Apr 13, 2001]
Weakness:

Meters tend to get get "sticky" and break. No power switch.

When I first moved to California in 1976, I went to a going out of business auction in Chatsworth for Great American Sound. I did not know much about the company at the time, but fell in love with the equipment. I also could not afford anything that day. Later I bought every bit of GAS equipment I could find. I now have an Ampzilla II [in need of restoration],a Grandson, and 2 Son of Ampzillas. One of the Sons is totally stock and to my knowledge has been working well for over 25 years. The other I just had rebuilt by the orginal designer James Bongiorno. James replaces all the capacitors, resistors, transistors and add a servo board along with all new connectors and lots of wiring, then burns it in. Best $300.00 I have ever spent. The modified amp is awesome. You can reach James at sstinc@earthlink.net

Similar Products Used: GAS Ampzilla II, GAS Grandson, NAD C350
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Andy   an Audio Enthusiast [Dec 31, 1998]

This was a great amplifier, 80 watts per channel. The company , which was in Chatsworth, CA is long since defunct. I threw one of these away last year when a local shop told me it couldn't be repaired because they couldn't get parts!


Only later did I discover that there is a company that specializes in the repair and reconditioning of these old great amps. The web page for anyone who might need to know is: http://www.gasaudio.com/index.html

I have not done business with them, nor am I affiliated with them.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 13  

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