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Halo88

Plinius SA250.

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dusty;173059 wrote:
What is a ground lift switch, and why would a power amp have one?

 

Its for the Earth and most Power Amps have one - at least NZ made ones do (probably because of the way our electricity supply is configured)...

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Indeed.. NZ uses an earth return for the power distribution. Can cause problems...

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Halo88;173048 wrote:
Greetings All,

 

I know & understand that some individuals bestow an iconic status on the Plinius SA250, but isn't this one getting at bit over priced? :confused:

 

 

To

 

Or perhaps I'm out of touch. :rolleyes:

 

 

 

Regards.

 

Its worth there abouts to at least a couple of people. So Market rules, therefore you're definitely out of touch! :-) :-)

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If I hadn't recently acquired one, after looking everywhere, I would happily pay five grand for this one - and maybe more. They seldom turn up on the used market, so ask yourself why. A friend of mine AB'ed his with Halcro monoblocks and stuck with the Plinius. Mine is the best upgrade I have yet made (or maybe as big as going from my Shahinian Arcs to the Quad ESL 2905s). If you look at the replacement cost for the new equivalent five grand does not seem so bad.

Ultimately Newbie is right - it is worth what the law of supply and demand dictates, and it only takes two to make an auction. That said, I have noticed the value of second hand Plinius SA models rising on TMe. I think an SA100 Mk1 went recently for about $2400.

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They never have done a hell of a lot for me to be honest, and at the "replacement" cost of one, there are far better amp's IMO. Good thing for Plinius that everyone has a different opinion!

 

The SA100 was a different beast, I very nearly bought one at one point for my Electra's as it really upped the game over the Rotel 991 I had at the time. Yet the SA250 mk4 I also tried sounded really quite a step down to my ears, although it obviously had more power.

 

On Audiogon or Ebay, $5K will buy you some very nice amplification - maybe not the heavy hitting power ratings of the SA250, but certainly some stiff competition in terms of musicality. Of course, there is the cost and hassle of getting it to NZ.....

 

But in spite of what I think - there are people who absolutely love their SA250's, and people who will pay a lot for them.

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Interesting. My SA 250 was a clear and huge step up from the SA100 it replaced. No doubt it all relates to the context of the system you are using it with. I went from an SA100 to Quad 40 valve monoblocks to the SA 250 within the space of a couple of months. The SA250 was a huge leap ahead of them all. That said, the Quad ESL 2905s are extremely revealing of the smallest changes - with lesser speakers differences might be less apparent.

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I think the ground lift switch disconnects the signal ground from the chassis ground and so may reduce noise introduced from the earth wire.

 

I think NZ uses the TN-C-S earthing system which is pretty common world-wide (same as Australia).

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Tim1;173083 wrote:
Interesting. My SA 250 was a clear and huge step up from the SA100 it replaced. No doubt it all relates to the context of the system you are using it with. I went from an SA100 to Quad 40 valve monoblocks to the SA 250 within the space of a couple of months. The SA250 was a huge leap ahead of them all. That said, the Quad ESL 2905s are extremely revealing of the smallest changes - with lesser speakers differences might be less apparent.

 

I found that the warmth and finesse were lost in going from the 100 to the 250 - an experience mirrored by several others I discussed it with. The Electras are also extremely revealing of anything upstream - but they also present a pretty benign load on the amplifier, not an inductive/capacitive load which I have seen most Electrostats produce in abundance ( hence amplification choice is very important with them), so maybe the extra current capabilities of the 250 were required to get the Quads to perform as they should? I believe also that the Quads are incredibly insensitive, measuring somewhere near 83dB/w/1m - whereas the Electras are rated at I think 93dB - or very sensitive - meaning that I was operating in a very different part of the power range to that of where you have to operate to get similar SPL's.

 

I think that to say "with lesser speakers" is a somewhat unusual way to put it, unless you have experience with the speakers being used in comparison - I have heard the Quad 2905's on demo at Soundline and they are possibly the electrostat which comes closest to that of which I could live with - I really quite enjoyed some of the aspects of their presentation, but there are some quite low priced ( lesser? ) speakers which just as clearly would demonstrate the upstream components and differences therein.

 

Maybe "less demanding on the amplifer speakers" might be a better term?

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An unfortunate choice of words in hindsight - sorry, did not mean to come across as arrogant, although I have owned a wide variety of top end speakers over the past fourty years of audiophilia. I would agree with you that the 250 does not have the warmth of the SA100, but in my case the Quads needed that to tame the bottom end which in my room was a little loose. I do think the 250 is more controlled and detailed. In saying that the 250 I own is a one off and was tweaked at the time of manufacture with upgraded capacitors and internal wiring and lord knows what else, so I am a little fortunate in that regard. My friend with a 250 went from two 100s in monoblock configuration (into the top Proacs) to the 250 a few years ago and tells me that it was a clear upgrade - again in the context of his system.

I have not heard Electras so stand corrected by you on that point. I was not making any comparison to them. Anyway, the mix and match nature of top end hifi, the never ending search for audio perfection and the subjectivity of our opinions and ears is what makes it so interesting, I find (not to mention the music!).

Cheers, Tim

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I couldn't believe what that 100 went for on Trade Me. I used to have an SA100 Mk1 and M15 pre. I probably would never had sold it if I reversed the way I upgraded to my present system. At that time I had some average Audioquest cables and they were matched to a pair of Lamberts SP280's. The 100 sounded good with that pre. The 250 to me was subtly quite a different beast, more laid back, yet more authorative, more texture. Anyways when I got the Perreauxs everything sounded better. Miss that class A tho.

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Again, at this level it all boils down to the context of the system with which it is being used.

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Newbie;173128 wrote:

 

 

 

What's the collective opinion on these?

 

I've been happy with my set. One day I might try the Class A experience and upgrade the amp but no complaints.

 

The price is pretty reasonable but the black colour might put off some and, perhaps, reduce options to match with other plinius kit later. I'd like to know the upgrades that have been done before buying, too, but they should sell around that amount.

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Big Brothers to the 9100 / 9200 series Integrated series... Everything I've seen about them is positive, albeit from the 2004-2005 era - so not sure how they rank now against some of the newer models... FWIW I briefly considered these (and their Musical Fidelity equivalents) in lieu of an Integrated equivalent when they came out about 2004 but at the time they were a bit of a stretch financially (so I went integrated with the 9200) and as a result I didn't get around to demoing them at home, etc...

 

What-HiFi in the UK rated the M8 Pre highly (5/5) at the time they came out - albeit paired with a P10:

 

 

 

For: Immense punch and control; speed and agility combined with an impressively powerful bass performance; fine build and finish.

 

 

 

Against: Lean balance means you have to take care in system-matching.

 

http://www.whathifi.com/Review/Plinius-M8/

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$5250 now, I recall the MK4 sold around that price before? The bidder must love the SA250 so much...

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mycenius;173136 wrote:

 

 

 

What-HiFi in the UK rated the M8 Pre highly (5/5) at the time they came out - albeit paired with a P10:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a modern plinius sounding lean ???

 

:rolleyes:

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Just read the extremely positive Stereophile review of the SA250 Mk4, I think published in 2006. The price quoted is US$14495-00. A far cry from NZ $5250 methinks ;).

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Tim, when I was looking at buying the Mk4 it was offered for around $8K - discounted from $10K if I remember correctly.

 

Stereophile reviews are the only ones I bother reading - as they offer objective measurements which support the subjective reviews.

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I suppose that makes sense, nice to find a manufacturer who doesn't ramp up the local price once they are achieving success overseas. I was responding to Hopeman who thought the Mk4 sold new in NZ for about $5250.

I think the point sometimes gets lost that TradeMe is an auction site and so long as you have two bidders then an item is worth whatever the highest bidder wants to pay. Its value to the bidder may be totally different to its value to you or me, but that does not make the final price any less valid. I only paid $2500 for my SA250 a few months ago, it appeared I think as $1000 no reserve or $2500 buy now. At the time I thought I was paying top dollar but I took the gamble with the Buy Now as I was quite certain that the amp would resolve a few issues in my system, and wanted to avoid the possibility of a bidding war. After watching this auction I now realise I was actually very fortunate.

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Tim1;173179 wrote:
...I only paid $2500 for my SA250 a few months ago, it appeared I think as $1000 no reserve or $2500 buy now. At the time I thought I was paying top dollar but I took the gamble with the Buy Now... After watching this auction I now realise I was actually very fortunate.

 

Yep, a very good price. The seller obviously either didn't appreciate the value/demand it my have, or was in a a rush to sell... You did well.

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The yin and yang of hifi really. While I made a good buy on the 250 I had to drop $1500 on the Quad II-40s I had purchased a few weeks earlier only to find they weren't really what I was looking for ( and I had given them a home trial).

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I agree Tim, "in-situ" rarely exists on TM. Regards the 250, it might be worth X at retail, brother may have sold for x a few weeks ago...but is the amp worth what price expectations are? For 4-5k there are plenty of other amps around, so the opportunity costs becomes very relevant. Personally I think the last few Plinius sales have been over valued, not that that in itself is of any relevance.

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