Adcom GTP-500II Preamplifiers

Adcom GTP-500II Preamplifiers 

DESCRIPTION

Preamp w/tuner

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 10  
[Aug 09, 2008]
KefKing
AudioPhile

Strength:

Expansive soundstage and frequency response
Excellent bass response and overall transparency
Affordable
Heavy, sturdy construction
USA made

Weakness:

Remote need more features

This preamp/tuner is outstanding at its price point. I use an Arcam Alpha 8SE hdcd/cd player and an Adcom GFA-555 (200 wpc) amp into KEF Reference 103/4 loudspeakers, and the sound is unbelievable. Noticibly better than systems costing much more. Unitl I purchased the GTP-500II, I was using my Onkyo Integra A/V receiver as my preamp. I is an expensive A/V receiver with preamp outputs, so I expected it would be OK. Well it was, but man when I switched to the Adcom preamp the system really came alive!! Somehow the Integra was sapping or robbing the bass response, and I was on the verge of a subwoofer purchase. The Adcom, however, has a made a sub out of the question. The power flows through the Adcom so smoothly and freely, and the bass just came alive!! The soundstage and stereo separation is excellent, as it was using the receiver, but the frequency range and especially the bass is strong, clear and tight. The GTP-500II offers two sets of rca outputs; one labeled "Lab" and one labeled "norm". The owner's manual states that "Lab" is for the more critical listener, and allows the full frequency range, while "Norm" uses filters to protect the system. I'm using the "Lab" outputs with nice Audioquest Hyperlitz interconnects, and the sound is fantastic..Remote control is a little limited and outdated, but overall an excellent preamp.

Similar Products Used:

Pioneer Elite
Onkyo Integra
B&K PSP III

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Aug 14, 2007]
bcastine
AudioPhile

Strength:

Very good phono section, be tough to find better without getting into the thousands of dollars.
Very neutral with tone controls bypassed
Has a good fm tuner
It has a remote

Weakness:

Am tuner jumping by 9khz instead of the standard 5-10khz increments.
Cheapish feel of volume knob

Never skipped a beat in the years i've owned this pre amp. I use the 500II biamped with 2 adcom 545II's to power a set of original infinity kappa 8.0's. The majority of critical listening consists of listening to albums, and the phono section of the 500II will not dissappoint. The phono section certainly isn't bright, only transparent while reproduceing the most delicate sounds accurately. In fact the 500II bigger brother the 555 preamp had one of the best phono sections ever tested by stereophile mag. at any price range!
In retrospect I should have gotten the 555 over the 500II as I rarely use the tuner, but it does do a very good job of pulling in FM. AM is a different story, I love talk radio, and can't tune to the majority of channels. Example if I wanted to listen to 850, it goes from 846 to 855 and won't pull 850. A minor annoyance.
Build quality is acceptable, looks weaker then it really is, mine has been shipped around the world and back and survived. Only issue is the volume knob has some some slop if pulling outwards, which does give a cheapish feel but doesn't affect performance, probably an easy fix. Also after 12yrs. of ownership the balance control needs to be cleaned, if adjusted, it snap crackles and pops.

Similar Products Used:

Audio Research, PS Audio, Carver crap.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jul 22, 2005]
prc
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Good overall build quality and sound (remember that it doesn't a college education). 2 tape loops. good tuner section

Weakness:

a bit bright

Had this product since new back in late '94. Haven't had a single problem with it in the past 11 yrs. As mentioned it is a bit bright, but as with all products it needs to be partnered carefully. Tuner section is excellent. Highly rate this product for the price, especially @ what you can get them off e-bay.

Similar Products Used:

many... presently at naim 92R

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Dec 25, 2002]
Dean Martin
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Tuner,price for these units on ebay,lab outputs,phono input

Weakness:

No digital input for CD

Sound quality is acceptable for the price I paid for the unit.The tuner is better than I expected it to be and a cut above the tuner in the Yamaha receiver in my A/V main system.I don't belive you would wnt to match this pre up with a brght sounding speaker.I've paired it with Celestion DL-8'sand Ohm Walsh 2's and it sounded fine.

Similar Products Used:

Various receivers,no previous preamp only.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
[Dec 02, 2002]
Fly Boy
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Build quality...Remote...seperate listen/record functions...lovely sound characteristics...inexpensive for the amount of sound it delivers...excellent S/N Ratio for the Tuner section

Weakness:

N/A

I have had this preamp/tuner since the early 90's w/o so much as a hic-up of a problem. I matched this with my Proton AA-1150 DPD amp and they make beautiful music together. Maybe I like high-highs, but this is one of the best products to come from Adcom. The last guy must have received a damaged/sub-par unit or has an extremely silver-spoon taste. Paired with my JBL L-100's, this system is the envy of my friends. No-nonsense great music.

Similar Products Used:

Adcom 565 & Nakamichi CA-101

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Nov 09, 2002]
stretta
AudioPhile

Strength:

None.

Weakness:

Sound quality.

In my studio I use a set of Genelec 1037 audio monitors. Usually the output of my mixer is the source material for the Genelecs. I like to listen to recorded music on the monitors, but getting up to adjust the volume was getting a bit annoying so I've been shopping for a remote controlled preamp. I don't know much about consumer audio products, but I thought Adcom would be okay for casual listening. Seriously, how bad could it be? I can't really comment on the tone controls (everything disabled - clean as possible), the tuner, or the phono preamp. I needed the GTP-500 II to do one thing: attenuate a line level signal via remote control. That's it. It completely blows. As soon as I patched it in, the high end was extremely harsh and the lows basically disappeared. I auditioned all sorts of source material and everything uniformly sucked. A/B tests with my standard monitor section on my mixer and passive attenuator confirmed just how much the Adcom was screwing up the audio. Unbelievable! Maybe you're supposed to pair it with an amp & speakers that 'complement' the output of the preamp, but that seems rather retarded. How difficult is it to pass a clean signal? Total, complete garbage in my opinion. Not worth the $150 I paid for it.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
[Jan 23, 2001]
Wayne
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Strong rythmn and bass. Punchy sounding

Weakness:

A little colored in the mids, somewhat forward.

I bought this because my top of the line Yamaha AV receiver just was not cutting it on music. It is amazing what a difference this made in my system. The bass is all there, soundstage improved, and several layers of glaze are removed. Best of all, music is fun again.

I bought this used and it's a steal for what I paid - $150. I think at $250 or so it's still well worth it. Combine with a decent power amp and you can get great sound for $5-600. Well worth exploring for aspiring audiophiles, students, or anyone who wants convenience and good sound.

You absolutely can do better with Adcom's newer and upmarket pieces, and I'm sure many others. But for the money, I don't see how you can beat it... and I've been at this game for more years than I want to count.

I really think this is a 3 star product, but with the inflation I see here, I'll bump it to 4. Absolutely 5 on value, though.

Similar Products Used:

Marantz cc-52, Audio Alchemy 3.0, Yamaha 2092, Sound Dynamics 300ti. MIT/Kimber cables, Tripplite 1800

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Aug 07, 2001]
curt jameson
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

features, bulletproof!

Weakness:

a bit harsh

I've owned this piece for almost 7 or 8 years now and it has not let me down one bit. I wouldn't say I've abused it, but I have really USED it, without it failing or breaking or etc. Also has a nice feel that is above anything sony/panasonic/yamaha. True, it is not a piece of billeted aluminum a la mark levinson.

It has a wonderful tuner that, yes, can pull-in what many others won't. it also has a good phono section (if you use that anymore) and a tape loop so you can record a source while listening to another. I forget all the inputs, but at least tape1, tape2, tuner, cd and aux, maybe 2 aux's. in any event, plenty for a non home-theater setup. Simple knobs for balance, bass and treble and motorized volume which is remote capable. Also has a remote link so you can link a cd player (or tape deck?) to run off the preamp's remote. The remote controls almost all of the unit, with the exception of balance/bass/treble.

Sound is good, but not great. What I mean by that is that in conjunction with my adcom gcd 600 and adcom gfa 555mkII amp, the system is a bit bright or harsh on the highs. Some (much?) has to do with the amp since when I swap with an adcom gfa 535 it sounds better, although still a bit harsh. I have found that the brightness can be tempered well with 'warm' cables such as mit's or tara's. The preamp is well detailed, however, and doesn't seem to 'muddy the waters' excessively.

For comparisons, this is the best in its class in my opinion. No, it can't touch something 'real' like a mark levinson or a krell or anything tube or even bryston. But, it will beat the socks of anything aiwa, panasonic, technics. The middle ground is a bit tougher, but in my opinion it is better than yamaha or nad. better details and functions. Nakamichi is bit tougher, but I also think its better than what i've heard from nakamichi. remember, I'm comparing to nad/yamaha/nakamichi of similar vintage and not stuff from the past two or three years (which I have not heard).

my basic recomendation is that you can't go wrong here. plenty of features (without it being a freakin' toaster) and nice sound. Its the best of the mid-fi. i give a 5 on value and 4 on overall due to sound. this takes into account the trend here to bump everything up a bit.

Similar Products Used:

nad, yamaha, nakamichi

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[May 10, 2001]
Keith
Audiophile

Strength:

Nice looking. Good quality components inside.

Weakness:

Silly tone controls, confusing dual zone feature. Cheap buttons on face plate felt like they could break off.

Neat looking and less than stellar sound for the price. Spend the money on a dedicated preamp.

Similar Products Used:

NAD 917, NAD 110, NAD 116, Adcom GTP 450

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
[Oct 22, 1999]
Phillip
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Good Bass management system, built to last, Tuner section is excellent at this price, Good SN ratio.

Weakness:

Tended to colour the music quite a bit, not the last word on transparency

It's not often that I can give a product 5 stars on any level. I was purchasing an inexpensive system for my son. Although his taste in music is deplorable this pre-amp performed marvelously. Actually his selection of horribly recorded underground rock performed better on his system than my reference. Perhaps detail and transparency is not for all.

I purchased a GFA555mk2 along with the pre and the two compliment each other well. His speakers are NHT Superones. 5 stars for value if found used for under $300. Three stars overall because it certainly is not the last word in pre-amps, think Mark Levinson.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 10  

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