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17 minutes ago, graham67 said:

 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.

Thanks Graham, I might just do that. Now I've found the key info, I'm content. The SPA-4 appears to be approx 50% more powerful than the IA-4 into 8ohms. If I ever make a move up the Sugden ladder, the most obvious place to go is a separate pre and power with the latter being beefier. As long as that beefiness does not compromise the Sugden sound of course.

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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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1 minute ago, lower bullens said:

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.

The A21a and 1SC combo is a partnership of legends. That must have been pretty special. Glad you're happy with your Oto though.

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I'm quite a way from moving upwards and onwards from the fabulous IA-4 and the most likely scenario is that I'll still be a very contented IA-4 owner two years from now. But if anyone is seriously thinking of forking out for a new IA-4 and would settle for a mint one instead, PM me with your interest.

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6 minutes ago, lower bullens said:

. 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.

Your fellow winners are all very bad influences.

We all like spending other people's money 🤑

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1 hour ago, graham67 said:

 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.

I went to the factory when my Musicmaster blew a fuse or two. Sat in there listening room, they had a on trial cdplayer in bits, parts dangling and other bits dumped on cardboard. They just said it sounds good like that!. I was there a good hour or so as they checked over my amp. No fault found. I mentioned about maybe having more power. The chap said there would be a queue for my Musicmaster if i traded it in for a A21 etc. Then another older chap frowned. I got that look off Dave Speirs a few times too when talking about swapping my amp out.

@plasticpenguin Im not sure of the sound signature of Sugden as i havent listened to many except at shows.

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3 minutes ago, graham67 said:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/264710556161

Bonkers cabling upgrade to A21.  I wonder if this was a definitive job as Kevin always liked this amp.

Im sure @notevenclose did something similar. Maybe its his old amp?

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11 hours ago, graham67 said:

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.

Interesting in that each model has its own sound signature. Most amps are speaker dependent. Generally what are the best speakers to recommend and avoid?

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11 hours ago, Lee M said:

Im sure @notevenclose did something similar. Maybe its his old amp?

You've got a good memory. Yup, serial no. 0469, internal cabling replaced with Kondo silver wiring by Pete at Definitive. It was originally done as something of an experiment, as a temporary measure to partner with a Kondo M7 pre-amp until something better came along. At the time my entire system was wired with Kondo silver from the wall to the speaker terminals, so in for a penny...

A mate of mine did something similar, except in his case there were some component upgrades as well. His plans did come to fruition (mine turned to dust), he moved on from the Sugden to an LV turbo'd Art Adagio and now has a Kondo power amp.

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15 hours ago, graham67 said:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/264710556161

Bonkers cabling upgrade to A21.  I wonder if this was a definitive job as Kevin always liked this amp.

It was. February 2009. Funny thing was, after fitting all that fancy wire, it sounded exactly the same when it came back.

Just kidding...

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5 hours ago, notevenclose said:

It was. February 2009. Funny thing was, after fitting all that fancy wire, it sounded exactly the same when it came back.

Just kidding...

Hehe, I imagine the cabling cost more than the amp 🙂.

  Out of interest, what difference did it make?

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His wallet was lighter.

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1 minute ago, graham67 said:

Hehe, I imagine the cabling cost more than the amp 🙂.

No.

Actually, it cost a lot more than the amp.

1 minute ago, graham67 said:

  Out of interest, what difference did it make?

a] Obviously none. It's only a few centimetres of wire, how could it possibly make any difference? Didn't even get a nice graph afterwards.

or

b] I've said before that Kondo-San used to refer to 'stretch' in his musings. Originally I thought this probably wasn't really the right term, that something had been lost in translation. Later I came to realise that 'stretch' was exactly the right term.

So the upgraded amp sounded like a Sugden, only stretchier.

I remember speaking to Kevin while this was running in for a few days at Definitive after the upgrade, and him commenting that there was no way you'd ever think this was a solid state amp.

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