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Power amp - old or new - March vs Carver Sunfire


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Looking for any suggestions/advise.

 

I am looking for a power amp to run my VAF DCX Gen 4s.

 

Currently available to me is an old Carver Sunfire 300, and also in same price point is multiple new products from March Audio, both watt outputs are  similar.

 

As an Electrician by trade the idea of old electronics reliability is not something that sounds greatly appealing to me, but is it worth considering some of the older high end product?  

 

I dont have any audiable experience with high end vintage equipment, should it be something I look/listen into?

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I'm into vintage gear, so there is a bias(?) Most amps 30+ years old will need some work. Vaguely recall that the Sunfire 300 is a nice amp though unsure if it has a speaker protection circuit, a must for all amps. The Sunfire 300 listed on gumtree looks nice however no mention of recent refurb, so the $1290- asking seems high. Plenty of good vintage amps (HK citation, yamaha,,,) that will do the job, once refurbished. If you don't want to do the work then suggest looking at new, March audio had a "return it within 2 weeks if you don't like it" clause. I've got a phase linear 400 that I will do the "white oak" upgrade, said to put a smile on everyones face. HK Cit 19 will do for time being.

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Can't really comment on Carver Sunfire 300, but the Purifi amp from March Audio is better than many Class A AB amps. 

The MA amp has not had any review that I know of, but check out this video to give you some ideas.

 

 

 

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Depends on your budget and what you are trying to setup as a system. There are many cheap old amps still running and sounding good, even with electronics old and off spec and needing attention at some point or just around the corner.

 

Also, depends on the original value of the vintage gear and whether it’s worth pursuing to get a sample of some unobtanium potentially  incredible value stuff back in the day that you would not be able to acquire by today’s prices. For example, a bit of gear that sold for $2k in the 70-80s when the average salary was about $5k, by today’s standards such gear being $20-30k+ and the sound being sometimes not greatly better. For example, a 40 yr old Krell KSA 50 power amp will still give many modern stuff a run for the money make one question if things have advanced enough or just reinventing the wheel. Another example, an old Yamaha PA2200 200w power for $300 is very little money but potential new caps and parts may cost $600-1000 if the smooth sound bothers you from the old electronics.

 

Perhaps try and find reviews of the Carver amp and see if it’s worth pursuing.

 

Here is a short list of new amps 

 

Edited by Al.M
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I use to run my Vaf DCX with a Hafler DH-200 amplifier and DH-101 Preamp  with great success.The Vaf DCX would be suited to a  range of vintage gear.Put the word out to borrow and try a few out.

Stump

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I’ve got a pair of Vaf  DCX and I’ve got a Sunfire Theatre Amp (5 x 250w) coming next week ....so I might be able to tell you !

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On 02/01/2021 at 1:16 PM, Trevm said:

I dont have any audiable experience with high end vintage equipment, should it be something I look/listen into?

 

I have had quite a few amps around my home and run separates. Both vintage and current stuff.

 

I would probably just buy new for the warranty and because around 50% of the second hand gear I have purchased has been either modified or repaired badly by tradesmen or by amateurs. Mind you none of these issues were raised at the time of sale.

That's fine if you can fix it and you most likely can but it's a pain when you've already spent good money. 

 

The only thing that has really blown everything away was a high end Sansui intergrated with a separate preamp bypassing it's internal pre-amp. I have now replaced it because it was generating too much heat. I now use a Cyrus One which is honestly just as good, it lacks the dynamics but matches the Sansui in every other department.

 

Buy new and choose the preamp you prefer (choose your colour basically e.g. warm, cool, detailed, smooth). Don't worry about someone else's problem.

Edited by Mungbean66
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