Adcom GSA-700 Preamplifiers

GSA-700

Preamp/Processor/3-Channel amp

User Reviews (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10  
Travis Kelley   AudioPhile [Apr 26, 2002]
Strength:

Power, cleanliness, dynamic headroom through the roof

Weakness:

power button

I just wanted to update my prior review. my system now is adcom gtp450 adcom gsa700 adcom 5500 klipsch Forte II (My Loves) klipsch c7 center Two 8" drivers &horn klipsch ss1 rears Panasonic prog scan dvd Mitsubushi 55" hd Adcom gdd1 processor monster power cleaner prot. Boston pv 600 powered sub Marvelous full sound no frequency is favored ....... There is a Brand new IMAX in town and people are more impressed with mine ......... For the money i have in this you couldn''t touch this sound for 3x the cost

Similar Products Used: adcom 555 adcom 545 denon yamaha carver diff $ Range but similar power
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Don   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 08, 2000]
Strength:

AC-3 analog inputs,remote switching to AC-3,excellent Dolby Pro Logic decoding, 5 channel stereo

Weakness:

No S-video jacks, no front panel display

I have used this unit for about a year and a half. As an add-on to an existing stereo system, I think it is tough to beat. Unless you want to make the jump to +$2000 pre-amp/processors. I don't think it is overly bright as some as stated, let it warm up. It also depends on source material. I initially purchased a mid-priced Denon receiver to use as the front end but took it back due to very thin sounding center channel.

As mentioned, this unit accepts Dolby Digital inputs through a DB-25 input, easy to assemble/solder one if you don't want to purchase. I am using in conjunction with a Panasonic A-310 DVD, which has great built-in decoders. Also, you can switch to Dolby Digital input remotely, something you can't do with some of the older Rotels and other models. Even for the future, DVD audio players are coming out with built in DACs for DVD audio and DTS. At the clearance prices they are going for now, it is a good way to go; even if you do something different later.

Similar Products Used: Onkyo 3 channel add-on
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
cengiz sarikcioglu   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 04, 2001]
Strength:

solid construction, very clean sound

Weakness:

very picky on source quality, extremely bright output, needs more features, but for price i should stop complaining

Yes, this unit has an extremely bright amplifier section. The trade off is it is very clean and particularly unforgiving of a poor source signal. I have had the unit for almost a year, and have noticed if the unit warms up for 1 to 2 hours the brightness does calm down quite a bit. It is extremely transparent for an integrated unit and decoding is some of the best i've heard for a prologic unit, currently trying to track down an adcom gdd1 to couple with it. Back to the unforgiving part, 1st when i recieved it i had to pay adcom $10 for a cable line ground loop isolator because of an annoying hum that i could not get rid of, worked perfectly. 2nd i get pops in the rear speakers during prologic mode, but it is only during cable television use, if i use a dvd, vhs or cd player the distortion goes away and performs perfectly. For $219 it can't be beat.
my system;

ADCOM GSA-700, 545II, GTP400
DENON DVD-1000, DCM-370
SONY VHF 900 HIFI VHS
DAHLQUIST PDQ 26 & 16
BIC VENTURI DV62CLR CENTER CHANNEL
RCA 27" TELEVISION

Similar Products Used: onkyo dvp 600, ps audio
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
travis kelley   Audiophile [Feb 17, 2001]
Strength:

i bought this because i couldnt beat the price to move up to a home theater setup.

Weakness:

no s video in out

system:adcom gtp450
gsa5500
gsa700
klipsch klf10
klf c 7
mitsubushi55" hdtv
toshiba dvd

i have a few items to add yet rears, sub, power filter/ surge suppressor. so far this unit blends beautifully with my system the gtp450 and gsa700 and geared to set up together in the ext. proccessor loop which at the push of a button im back in direct stereo mode. i do prefer the bass eq to the contour button on the 450. you tell me is it worth buying gsa7703 $1000 and a gtp650 $700 just to add on home theater. my mains alone astonished people in movies, now i messmeriem' adcom & klipsch are still for the money the best combo around. p.s. im looking for a pair of klipsch forte's or forte II. just cuz they were one of the best speakers ever created.

Similar Products Used: yamaha denon
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Steve   an Audio Enthusiast [Aug 02, 1999]

I recently purchased a GSA-700 from www.etown.com for the paltry sum of $349.00 plus shipping. I have learned that it has since been discontinued by Adcom, which explains the hefty discount off retail. It has already been pulled from the etown store.
Although the GSA-700 is primarily designed as an add-on to an existing 2 channel system, it has the versatility of two A/V inputs as well as two Audio only inputs, so that it can be used as a standalone preamp. I have chosen to use it this way, since my only audio source is CD. It comes with a rather peculiar DB-25 connection for a DD/DTS processor. Thankfully, I was able to buy a Carver adapter from www.onecall.com to use it with the processor of my choice (Technics SH-AC500D, which I already owned) which uses standard 5.1 RCA outputs.

As a standalone music preamp, I was favorably impressed with the performance of the GSA-700. It has a very neutral yet detailed sound which belies its versatility. I have an Acurus A150 amplifier driving my Magneplanar MMG speakers, and I find that the GSA-700 is the equal to my last preamp, an Audio Alchemy DLC. It also has a subwoofer output which I use to drive my Mirage powered subwoofer. For your reference, my CD system includes a Sony ES 5 disc changer, Theta TLC jitter box, PS Audio DL-3 D/A, and Musical Fidelity X-10D.

As a home theater processor/3-channel amp, I find that the GSA-700 is almost the complete opposite of many Japanese receivers which have every conceivable bell and whistle. It has only a handful of surround modes (none of which I use for music), and a minimalist remote control. All of my video sources, save my VCR, are connected for audio purposes to the Technics processor (DSS, Laserdisc). The DSS is connected via S-video directly to the TV, while the Laserdisc video is first run through the GSA-700 before being sent to the TV. The built-in amplifiers are quite powerful (100 to the center, 50 to each surround), so there is no problem driving my speakers. It also includes a rudimentary on screen display which is helpful in setting up the system balance.

All things being equal, I am very happy with my purchase. There is no comparison between the GSA-700 and a similar Yamaha product (DSP-E492) which it now replaces. Sonically, the GSA-700 is head and shoulders better in every respect.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Steve   Audiophile [Nov 12, 1999]
Strength:

Great concept which allows you to add home theater to existing two-channel system.

Weakness:

Poor execution of great idea. VERY bright sounding as a stereo preamp.

As many know, these are being blown out on eBay, presumably by people buying them on uBid for about $200-250. As noted above, I had a lengthy experience with a similar Yamaha product, and thought that the Adcom would be a worthy upgrade. Although I have no doubt that the amplifiers were of higher quality than the Yamaha as far as driving difficult loads, it was a real disappointment when used in stereo mode. While a bright sound is bearable in home theater, with music it can be totally distracting. Hearing every S sound like cutting glass gets old fast. It proved to be even brighter than the Yamaha I was replacing. In the end, I sold it for about what I paid for it, so it worked out okay, and then I bought a Sony STR-DB830, which has preouts for all channels and allows for the same type of use. While it is not the last word on transparency or detail, most of its defects are subtractive in nature. It is more or less neutral sounding, and about 1000% more flexible than the Adcom could ever dream of being. Not only does it already have DD and DTS, it has 5.1 RCA inputs for future formats. No need to buy a special DB25 cable in the future. Moreover, as anyone can tell you who has added a DD decoder to a DD-ready receiver or processor, it becomes a logistical nightmare switching from one format to the next. Much easier to accomplish in an all-in-one product such as the STR-DB830, and far more cost effective to boot.

To anyone tempted to buy this product, don't. Your money is much better spent elsewhere.

Similar Products Used: Yamaha DSP-E492
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
Mike   an Audio Enthusiast [Oct 02, 1999]

I've had this unit for a couple of years and am moderately happy with it. It does have a few shortcomings however, the main one being it's lack of source inputs. It only has four. I had to purchase another preamp (NAD 114), to help handle the number of sources I've acquired, with the main outs from the NAD feeding 1 input of the Adcom. This hasn't hurt sound quality as I feel that the NAD is sonically a bit more neutral sounding than this Adcom. Also, I've always had a fair amount of a pumping hiss and distortion at very low levels in the DPL surround mode in the rear speakers. It's not very noticeable with video, but when playing CD's in the DPL or nightclub mode it becomes apparent enough at low volumes (when a song on a CD fades to silence for example), that I can't really enjoy these modes for music listening. The 5 channel stereo mode doesn't exhibit this behavior, but doesn't have the rear channel ambience that I prefer. Rather, it just routes the left and right stereo unprocessed to the rears with a center mono "fill" channel. One more quirky thing about it is it's remote. Sometimes it tries to control the last button you pressed rather than the one you are currently pressing. This only happens if you are a fast button presser though. Overall, I'm happy with the sound, the seemingly unbound power supply, and the convenience of having the audio portion of eight audio and video souces (half through the NAD), controlled by the one Adcom remote. One last thing, If you plan on going DD/DTS with this unit, you'd better plan on getting a DB-25 cable because that's the only type of 5.1 input connection that this unit has. Would I do it all over again? Probably not.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
Eric   an Audiophile [Oct 01, 1999]

I find the Adcom GSA-700 to be a very nice piece of equipment. I recently bought it as an add-on to my Beosystem 5500 and Klipsch Forte. I am using Klipsch Reference-3 surround speakers. The Adcom provides a useful means of turning an audiophile system into a home theater as well. It has 4 surround modes along with dolby digital ready capabilities and 2-channel stereo bypass mode. If any speakers lean toward the bright side, its the horn loaded Klipsch. Believe me, this system isn't bright however, its just transparent and clear. I highly recommend the Adcom GSA-700 to those with higher end systems that want to add a surround processor/amplifier.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Frank   an Audio Enthusiast [Sep 20, 1999]

There has been a mass blowout of this product, first at ubid.com, and now on eBay. I spent some time with this product, using it for music and home theater. On movies, it offers passable performance, save an overly bright treble presentation which can become quite bothersome for dialogue. Since there are no tone controls, there is nothing that can be done. However, for music purposes, this tendency towards brightness is completely unbearable. It literally drove me out of the room. Perhaps my revealing speakers are to blame, but this is a mid-fi tendency towards brightness which is totally unacceptable from a quasi-high-end company like Adcom.
For these reasons, I can only award two stars.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
The Defiler   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 14, 2000]
Strength:

The Adcom has a knack for picking up details,whether you want them or not.

Weakness:

I paid too much for mine.


Like any audiophile I became infected by the upgrade bug and decided to replace my Adcom GSA-700 with a P.S. Audio 6.0 Preamplifier. In the begining I was impressed with the P.S. Audio's lovely appearance and extremely sensitive buttons,which appear to be electrically rather than kineticlly activated. My enthusiasm for the P.S. Audio pre-amplifier quickly wore off as I realized that the intimate details I was so accustomed to hearing in my CD's with Adcom were no longer there. Although the Adcom certainly doesn't "candy coat" music it does a good dare I say excellent job of bringing out the details from any source. The remote is certainly a great boon compared to fancier "high end" pieces such as the P.S. Audio 6.0,after all who wants to actually walk over to a preamplifier to turn it off or adjust the volume. Even though the GSA 700 may not be the end all and be all of pre-amplifiers its an excellent product that reproduces music with honesty and fidelity.

Similar Products Used: P.S. audio 6.0
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 10  

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