AudioSource Amp Three or Adcom GFA-5300

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speedknot

Enthusiast
Ratings
4
#1
Its time to start thinning the heard. Which amp am I keeping? This is for a simple 2 channel audio only system. I hooked both of them up and they sounded great. Cant keep both though. Need some foks here who have some knowledge of these two amps to chime in.

Adcom GFA-5300
Power output: 80 watts per channel into 8Ω (stereo)
Frequency response: 10Hz to 20kHz
Total harmonic distortion: 0.18%
Damping factor: 350
Gain: 29 dB
Input sensitivity: 0.9V
Signal to noise ratio: 100dB

OR

AudioSource Amp Three
Output: 150W RMS Power Per Channel AT 8ohm
THD (Total Harmonic Distortion): 0.04 %
Frequency Response 20Hz-20kHz
Signal to Noise Ratio: 110dB
Input Sensitivity: 0.8v


Mated components:
Parasound 2100
Klipsch R-820F
 
Kvn_Walker

Kvn_Walker

Full Audioholic
Ratings
172
#3
all else being equal, always choose more power. Always good to have that extra headroom, and you never know what your next speakers are going to be.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Seriously, I have no life.
Ratings
7,091 17 6
#4
Adcom or AudioSource amp?

They're not even in the same league IMO.

No way I'm letting any Audiosource amp powering my speakers.

Adcom is in the same class as Anthem, Parasound, Sunfire, Rotel, ATI (and all ATI-associated amps).
 
j_garcia

j_garcia

Audioholic Jedi
Ratings
7,252 8 26
#5
Adcom.

The old Audiosource amps were not bad but not what I would necessarily call critical listening amps. They were bought some years back and the old amp engineering crew are no longer there, so I'd say I wouldn't go with them today. I own a few of the older ones still, but they're all sitting in their boxes. Great for outdoor or distributed speakers or the garage, which is why I keep them around.
 
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PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
4,972 7 1
#7
I know nothing about the newer Audiosource amps, but I trust that 80 W Adcom was designed to be transparent so it gets my vote.
 
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speedknot

Enthusiast
Ratings
4
#8
I have the Adcom hooked up now so I'll most likely just leave it as is. Is 99'ish manufacture considered newer/older AudioSource? The Amp Three that I have now seems head and shoulders about the newer stuff they're pushing out now. This thing is built like a tank weighing in at almost 30lbs. The specs seem to be a bit better than the Adcom.
 
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PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
4,972 7 1
#9
I have the Adcom hooked up now so I'll most likely just leave it as is. Is 99'ish manufacture considered newer/older AudioSource? The Amp Three that I have now seems head and shoulders about the newer stuff they're pushing out now. This thing is built like a tank weighing in at almost 30lbs. The specs seem to be a bit better than the Adcom.
That would be an older model. It should be a good one but I still trust Adcom more regardless of the specs.
 
Kvn_Walker

Kvn_Walker

Full Audioholic
Ratings
172
#10
I have the Adcom hooked up now so I'll most likely just leave it as is. Is 99'ish manufacture considered newer/older AudioSource? The Amp Three that I have now seems head and shoulders about the newer stuff they're pushing out now. This thing is built like a tank weighing in at almost 30lbs. The specs seem to be a bit better than the Adcom.
Turn of the century is when I bought the Audiosource amps/EQ's I once had, so those would be considered the "older" ones.

Looks like I got voted off the island and you should keep the Adcom! :D
 
Mikado463

Mikado463

Audioholic Chief
Ratings
374 4 28
#12
I have the Adcom hooked up now so I'll most likely just leave it as is. Is 99'ish manufacture considered newer/older AudioSource? The Amp Three that I have now seems head and shoulders about the newer stuff they're pushing out now. This thing is built like a tank weighing in at almost 30lbs. The specs seem to be a bit better than the Adcom.
depending on how well the ventilation for your amps was handled 20 years might be pushing it as far as caps go. I would think the Adcom has better parts. As for the AudioSource being a 'tank' @ 30 lbs, I'd say more like a 'Deuce and a Half' !
 
S

speedknot

Enthusiast
Ratings
4
#13
I dunno looks like the Audiosource is the more powerful unit, just not as popular with "audiophiles" :)
I'd be lying if I said I was an audiophile, but by the numbers, the AudioSource appears to be a better amp. Numbers can be skewed though, and that's why I ask the more experienced guys here who might know the brand better than I. Hey Mikado... I like the deuce and 1/2 analogy. lol
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
4,747 18 47
#15
I'd be lying if I said I was an audiophile, but by the numbers, the AudioSource appears to be a better amp. Numbers can be skewed though, and that's why I ask the more experienced guys here who might know the brand better than I. Hey Mikado... I like the deuce and 1/2 analogy. lol
Actually you're as much an audiophile as many just by pursuing hi-fi audio reproduction. That's all it means.

again, as I said earlier I'm in the Adcom camp and you're right numbers can be skewed. Here's a little reading for you ......

http://www.audioreview.com/product/amplification/amplifiers/adcom/gfa-5300.html
Not too definitive as this site is all user written. I don't bother using this site for much of anything in the way of details, mostly a bunch of fans of their own gear for the most part. Yes, it may be conservatively rated but that's pretty different from the Adcom spec to be that different from the friends' "testing". Who knows what frequency range or distortion rating with that "test"? If using audioreview.com then use it for both amps, the Audiosource Amp 3 got higher ratings....for whatever that's worth. Some folk get real excited about Adcom and one of the designers that did some work for them (Pass).
 
Pedro Alvarado

Pedro Alvarado

Audioholic
Ratings
22 1 1
#16
audiosource

i recently bought that exact audiosource model a little while ago for less than $40.

for the price i paid i was obviously impressed with it.

ultimately your ears have the final say though right
 
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paradiddle33

Audiophyte
#17
I own both an Adcom 5400 (125w/ch) and an Audiosource amp310 (150 w/ch)and could not hear any discernible difference through my B&W LCR60's. The main difference is clearly in headroom where the Adcom would clip much sooner despite the small difference in power ratings. Both sounded very good to my ears. I tried both amps with my Pioneer HPM 100's and thought the HPM's had a more authoritative sound with the Audiosource but still very close and perhaps it was just a bias towards the underdog. Both sounded the same through my Paradigms and Kef Q35's, Q150's as well as AR 2Ax's. The Audiosource is significantly heavier as well. However, the Adcom costs signicantly more. The audiosource is also better with lower impedances and runs cooler. So, in terms of best bang for the buck, I would have to say Audiosource although the Adcom gives me more bragging rights for whatever that's worth and it aint worth much. I'd still rather save my money and drive a Camry then spend more for the Bimmer. But that's more apples to oranges. It's all about the music!
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Seriously, I have no life.
Ratings
7,091 17 6
#18
I own both an Adcom 5400 (125w/ch) and an Audiosource amp310 (150 w/ch)and could not hear any discernible difference through my B&W LCR60's. The main difference is clearly in headroom where the Adcom would clip much sooner despite the small difference in power ratings. Both sounded very good to my ears. I tried both amps with my Pioneer HPM 100's and thought the HPM's had a more authoritative sound with the Audiosource but still very close and perhaps it was just a bias towards the underdog. Both sounded the same through my Paradigms and Kef Q35's, Q150's as well as AR 2Ax's. The Audiosource is significantly heavier as well. However, the Adcom costs signicantly more. The audiosource is also better with lower impedances and runs cooler. So, in terms of best bang for the buck, I would have to say Audiosource although the Adcom gives me more bragging rights for whatever that's worth and it aint worth much. I'd still rather save my money and drive a Camry then spend more for the Bimmer. But that's more apples to oranges. It's all about the music!
I would be more concerned about using cheaper components that might be more harmful and/or less protective for my expensive speakers than actual sound differences.

I guess back when I was using $100 speakers, I didn’t care as much.

Although my biggest problem with the Audiosource amps was the freaking loud hissing noise it produced on the speakers. I’ve heard hiss noise from other amps before. But the noise from the Audiosource amps was the loudest I’ve heard.

For my high quality expensive speakers, I prefer my amps to be high quality, dead silent, and have plenty of speaker protection circuits.
 
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paradiddle33

Audiophyte
#19
I would be more concerned about using cheaper components that might be more harmful and/or less protective for my expensive speakers than actual sound differences.

I guess back when I was using $100 speakers, I didn’t care as much.

Although my biggest problem with the Audiosource amps was the freaking loud hissing noise it produced on the speakers. I’ve heard hiss noise from other amps before. But the noise from the Audiosource amps was the loudest I’ve heard.

For my high quality expensive speakers, I prefer my amps to be high quality, dead silent, and have plenty of speaker protection circuits.
Ive heard no "hiss" from either the Audiosource Amp310 or Amp100. I have an Amp 3 (for $70 eBay) on the way and I will report back on my initial listening experience with that amp. I'm not a big "pro audiosource" guy by any means but I just think for someone on a serious budget where the Parasounds or Emotiva's (to name a couple) are just too out of reach, they are hard to beat for the money, at least their older used amps. I'm not so sure or confident of the latest generation. They are way better than any amplifier section on most affordable A/V receivers and with preamp outputs on those receivers, it's an inexpensive upgrade and pathway to better audio that could also allow for more money to be invested in better speakers. Just IMHO
 
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PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
4,972 7 1
#20
They are way better than any amplifier section on most affordable A/V receivers and with preamp outputs on those receivers, it's an inexpensive upgrade and pathway to better audio that could also allow for more money to be invested in better speakers. Just IMHO
It depends, if you are referring to mid level ones such as D&M's X3X00H, SR-601X, Yamaha's RX-A10X0 and up, then more likely the opposite would be true, though I wouldn't say "way better..." either way.
 
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