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New to the rack

Hello all Picked up my brand new IA4 yesterday and my room is very warm now. Took me about an hour to pull the trigger after having one on home demo a few weeks ago.  Decided after many years of

So, having been underwhelmed by the ANV-50 and as subsequently reported here: I took my Posselt Albatrosses to Fanthorpes in Hull and heard them driven by A21 Signature, A21SE and IA-4. The IA-4

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Just taking stock out of pure nosiness: who else here has the IA-4? What did it replace when, and is it still a keeper for you?

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I have one, replaced my a21a

Not sure it is as sweet sounding, but when you turn it up, oh boy!

Is it s keeper? Probably, but so was the a21!

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1 hour ago, Leem said:

I have one, replaced my a21a

Not sure it is as sweet sounding, but when you turn it up, oh boy!

Is it s keeper? Probably, but so was the a21!

Agreed. Loved the A21a, and recently bought an older one just for the hell of it, but the IA-4 is a more accomplished all-rounder IMHO.

I'd love to hear the LA-4 and SPA-4 combo too: at 75w a side vs the 33w of the IA-4, I'm betting that's pretty special...

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how would you guys describe the Sugden sound? It's a brand I've read so many good things about but never heard.

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3 minutes ago, plasticpenguin said:

how would you guys describe the Sugden sound? It's a brand I've read so many good things about but never heard.

Using very subjective terms - Musical and engaging.

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8 minutes ago, TheFlash said:

Agreed. Loved the A21a, and recently bought an older one just for the hell of it, but the IA-4 is a more accomplished all-rounder IMHO.

I'd love to hear the LA-4 and SPA-4 combo too: at 75w a side vs the 33w of the IA-4, I'm betting that's pretty special...

I barely get the IA4 past 25% so not sure I need more

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5 minutes ago, plasticpenguin said:

how would you guys describe the Sugden sound? It's a brand I've read so many good things about but never heard.

How do you describe it? If I could do that I'd be a hifi journalist. 

Clean, warm, but not so much as tubes, but can also sound  fast and precise. 

Lets put it this way, when I blew an output fuse I swapped in my Cyrus 3i, and that's not a bad amp but I didn't enjoy it, and was quite happy to go back to my phone and my dac nano until I got new fuses

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6 hours ago, CnoEvil said:

Using very subjective terms - Musical and engaging.

Strange, even though I didn't tell anyone... before I purchased the Pulse in 2010 I did look at the prospect of perhaps a Sugden (A21), but because I couldn't  find anyone that stocked the brand locally, I crossed it off the list. Then I did demo the Audio Analogue...

I seem to remember Colin purchased an A21a I think and he didn't think it was worth an extra grand over the new price of a Pulse, but did admit it sounded more powerful.

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6 hours ago, Leem said:

I barely get the IA4 past 25% so not sure I need more

It's rarely about more. I never really cranked my Audia Flight FLS10 (200w of Class A magic per side) but the sound at normal listening levels was a special thing indeed. I'm intrigued about the sound of the SPA-4 and dual mono MPA-4 but reviews are sparse.

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Does anyone have the manuals/specs for the SPA-4 or MPA-4 dual monos? They are not on hifiengine and I'm confused. My IA-4 is specified as 33w into 8ohms. At 75w I initially thought the SPA-4 was more tha twice as powerful but I've just noticed this is into 4ohms.

I'd like to know what the IA-4 is into 4ohms and/or what the SPA-4 is into 8ohms. For completeness, my Posselt Albatross speakers are 6ohms!

EDIT: forget that re SPA-4: courtesy of Guildford Audio website, the SPA-4 is 75w into 4ohms and 50w into 8ohms.

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9 hours ago, plasticpenguin said:

how would you guys describe the Sugden sound? It's a brand I've read so many good things about but never heard.

All the models have their own signature so will mainly restrict comments to the A21 which I owned for many years and do so again.

As always, its speaker dependent but I would describe it as having of touch of euphony in the mid and a crystalline delicacy to the top end.  But it's not overtly warm like a quad 405.  So voices are full without being plummy and the treble very open without being fatigueing.  The top end retains its composure and doesnt gets unpleasant so is well suited to older less sophisticated tweeters with a tendency to exhibit break up which is less of a problem with modern units.   The trade off is the slightly truncated bass and it struggles with some speakers, preferring those with a benign impedance.  Having except my old a21 was quite happy driving Sonus Faber grand piano sounding better than several expensive amp combos.  And of course there is the prodigious heat output.

As mentioned already, the Masterclass range is gruntier but loses some of the delicacy of the a21.

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 Hi Nige,

I would try contacting Patrick Miller at Sugden.

 I did so recently for information on my A21 poweramp and he sent me a copy of the manual.

I have always found Sugden to be very helpful with their support for new and old products. They really value the importance of after sales service and keeping customers (or potential customers) happy.

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10 hours ago, TheFlash said:

Just taking stock out of pure nosiness: who else here has the IA-4? What did it replace when, and is it still a keeper for you?

I replaced an A21a with an IA-4, but lurking at the back of my mind was the Oto I’d borrowed waiting for my A21a and I always thought I’d like a valve amp. So I bought a Mastersound 300b PSE and subsequently the Oto SE Sig I’ve got now. Approx 1998-2006-2012-2016. Sometimes I wonder why I ever sold the A21a ( and Proac 1sc’s) if I hadn’t signed up here Jan 2007 I’d probably still have them xD.

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  • oldius changed the title to Sugden

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