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Discussion Starter #1
Just curious what everyone's thoughts are on the "entry" models of the high end brands compared to the quality of an old school high end amp- assuming the input is the same on both and both amps are in good working order.

For example- an i-Force Zapco vs a P series a/d/s/ amp. I only use those two brands because I have a few mint a/d/s/ amps and I just saw a Zapco in the classified section- so those two are just fresh in my mind. I am sure there are other comparisons of brands/models that could be compared also. But, overall I am just how the two styles compare in terms of clarity and sound reproduction.
 

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Amp design isn't rocket science, "SQ" in the raw gain stage hasn't improved in any meaningful way for 20 years or more.

Modern amps can be physically smaller, more powerfull, more power efficient and contain more built in tuning features however.

I happily use old school gear of various types and my boss competes with a system that has the majority of the components over 15 years old.

If the old school amp has the x-overs ect and is of suitable power for what you want then it is "as good" as a modern amp imo.
 

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My only word of caution regarding the old school amplifiers would be to change out the electrolytic capacitors if they have been in use for more than 10 years. It is really depressing when one of those power supply caps lets loose and takes a whole row of FETs with it. It is even more depressing knowing it could have been prevented for less than $20 in parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
That's a good tip. I only used my P840 for about 4k miles worth of driving- so it hasn't seen many hours. Both of the P4100's I have appear new- so I doubt they have much use on them, but I don't know since I bought them second hand.

I'm not sure what I want to do. On one hand- I really liked my a/d/s/ amp when I used it- so I'd like to us it in this install also. However- the 7 channel Zapco would be nice because it would take up less space than 2-3 a/d/s/ amps, not to mention just being easier to install/wire since there's only one amp. It would also be nice to "save" my cherry a/d/s/ gear for another day- although I have no idea when that "day" might come.
 

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Hmm, specs on the current i-force range are somewhat brief and I'm always suspicious of that-the Powerslab's were great amps I used to sell them in the UK and they always impressed-I've spent some time trying to track some down over here but gave up and went for Genesis instead.

The older i-force stuff looks pretty lame IMO (both specs and styling) and don't know whether the specs as well as the styling have been tweeked for the later ranges.

Stick to the a/d/s IMO
 

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Amp design isn't rocket science, "SQ" in the raw gain stage hasn't improved in any meaningful way for 20 years or more.

Modern amps can be physically smaller, more powerfull, more power efficient and contain more built in tuning features however.
What he wrote.

My only word of caution regarding the old school amplifiers would be to change out the electrolytic capacitors if they have been in use for more than 10 years.
Also very true.

Bottom line is, IMO, if you like the looks of a given old-school amp and can afford it, get it but get some preventative maintenance done on it. If you don't have a specific desire for a specific old school amp, get a new one that looks appealing to you.
 
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