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15 minutes ago, radiant red said:

I would agree that the A21Se has a greater dynamic sound in the vocals, I would put that down to a greater accuracy than the pulse. In 2009 I had a Pulse on loan for a few weeks and thought it was a great amp. When I had the SE after, it was streets ahead on texture, soundstage and accuracy. Like all amps, they strive for tonal balance but not always do they satisfy in all areas. 
Both the Sugden and the Leema were driving the Harbeth C7s and given these two amps as the only choice, I’d choose the Sugden. In those days, they were both cheaper. The Sugden was under 2k and the A21a was around 1.4K. This is the reason I went for the A21a as imo, it was better all round than both the aforementioned amps, it’s why it’s stood the test of time over the years. Barely does the dial go past 9 on volume and provides ample current to deliver the sweetest textured sound your going to hear and in some cases, better than amps at twice the price.

The Signature version of the 21se is said to be more in line with what I’m looking for. 
Take nothing away from the Pulse, it’s a great all rounder and imo, better than the following amps that replaced it.  

The only reason for mentioning this is because you have a bias towards Sugden, as I do with Leema. This poster had only owned the Leema for a couple of months or so (he purchased the Leema on my recommendation) and wasn't aligned to any particular brand. It was interesting to get an unbiased view. As I've never heard any Sugdens I'm just having to go by your and others appraisal of the brand.

This was in 2014 and the Sugden SE was retailing at £2500, whereas the Pulse retailed - before being replaced - at £1200ish.

My curiosity will get the better of me at some point, although the only thing that puts me off is the amount of time I use it for. I've had the amp on since 6am and there's not a hint of any heat. Class A, so I've read, heats up quite quickly.

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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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4 minutes ago, plasticpenguin said:

The only reason for mentioning this is because you have a bias towards Sugden, as I do with Leema. This poster had only owned the Leema for a couple of months or so (he purchased the Leema on my recommendation) and wasn't aligned to any particular brand. It was interesting to get an unbiased view. As I've never heard any Sugdens I'm just having to go by your and others appraisal of the brand.

This was in 2014 and the Sugden SE was retailing at £2500, whereas the Pulse retailed - before being replaced - at £1200ish.

My curiosity will get the better of me at some point, although the only thing that puts me off is the amount of time I use it for. I've had the amp on since 6am and there's not a hint of any heat. Class A, so I've read, heats up quite quickly.

I have no bias PP. a friend is still using his mk1 pulse amp and CDP from when I recommended them to him. 
the A21Se is not for me, it can get lethargic in the wrong system. The signature version is different so I am waiting for a loaner and a loner ANV50 to try. 
what I will say, is no two Sugden amps sound the same. 

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27 minutes ago, radiant red said:

I have no bias PP. a friend is still using his mk1 pulse amp and CDP from when I recommended them to him. 
the A21Se is not for me, it can get lethargic in the wrong system. The signature version is different so I am waiting for a loaner and a loner ANV50 to try. 
what I will say, is no two Sugden amps sound the same. 

IME there's a trade-off with nearly all reasonably price amps, including mine. But the A21 SE should sound fine with the Exposure CDP, which has the PRaT of the Leema. 

Does the A21 have a built-in phono stage, or do you have to seek out a module/external phono stage? If it's the latter I can't be doing with ar###g around. Had all that with the Tucana.

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6 minutes ago, plasticpenguin said:

IME there's a trade-off with nearly all reasonably price amps, including mine. But the A21 SE should sound fine with the Exposure CDP, which has the PRaT of the Leema. 

Does the A21 have a built-in phono stage, or do you have to seek out a module/external phono stage? If it's the latter I can't be doing with ar###g around. Had all that with the Tucana.

The A21a does, if you specify it new or can be fitted later. It’s mm/mc if the amp doesn’t have one it’s known as the A21a L (line) 

Mine below which is the slot in circuit board. 389F5B12-BFAB-431C-8483-2C063E6EEA70.thumb.jpeg.a540775d94e66c916c221b8e3eccb5c5.jpeg

Its a good board better than the average stage but it’s no Sugden masterclass stage, ear Phonobox or Bigbottle beater 😊

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A few years ago I borrowed an A21a Signature from a dealer. He wouldn't sell the A21SE has to him it wasn't a "proper" Sugden. Something to do with the circuit not being as good asa the A21a model. 

The A21a is one of the best amps I have tried - I wish in hindsight that I had bought it as I think it would have seen me right for a few years. I had two amps on loan for a couple of weeks - the Sugden and a Unison Research Simply Italy. In many respects they sounded similar to each other but the idea of owning a SET amp at the time was too strong. Fool that I am. 

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9 minutes ago, HouseElf said:

A few years ago I borrowed an A21a Signature from a dealer. He wouldn't sell the A21SE has to him it wasn't a "proper" Sugden. Something to do with the circuit not being as good asa the A21a model. 

The A21a is one of the best amps I have tried - I wish in hindsight that I had bought it as I think it would have seen me right for a few years. I had two amps on loan for a couple of weeks - the Sugden and a Unison Research Simply Italy. In many respect sounded similar to each other but the idea of owning a SET amp at the time was too strong. Fool that I am. 

The A21a doesn’t look much, I don’t like the speaker terminals either but the statement Sugden make about it being the only amp you will ever need ain’t far from the truth. 
I think a lot of people don’t understand watts and current delivery. Having said that. Would I turn down the Sapphire duo? Hmmmm

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13 minutes ago, radiant red said:

The A21a doesn’t look much, I don’t like the speaker terminals either but the statement Sugden make about it being the only amp you will ever need ain’t far from the truth. 
I think a lot of people don’t understand watts and current delivery. Having said that. Would I turn down the Sapphire duo? Hmmmm

I certainly wouldn't turn down the Sapphire range either. Would love to hear what they sound like. There was a Sapphire power amp on eBay for a bargain price - well a bargain if you can afford to buy the pre-amp too!

When I was on the phone to Sugden the other day I told them I have the ANV-50. They reckon it is one of the best circuits they have ever developed. They have created a 100w version too but not sure if is a market for it. 

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6 minutes ago, HouseElf said:

I certainly wouldn't turn down the Sapphire range either. Would love to hear what they sound like. There is a Sapphire power amp on eBay at the moment for a bargain price - well a bargain if you can afford to buy the pre-amp too!

When I was on the phone to Sugden the other day I told them I have the ANV-50. They reckon it is one of the best circuits they have ever developed. They have created a 100w version too but not sure if is a market for it. 

Funny tho, it’s not the watts, it’s what can be done with them. Having had the Luxman 507 and the Pathos which have incredible drive and fantastic ability to portray music so well, I missed the A21a’s charm and texture retrieval. Everyone’s ears are different and definitely the speaker choice is part of it. As my Harbeths are the most expensive part of my system, I like to work with them. Had I have kept the Luxman, I think something like the Kef Reference series may have exploited the Luxman’s trump card. 
Ive sat and listened to some of the most expensive systems in the past including ARC and Wilson and they have taken my breath away with what they can do for 200k 😊

I’m never going to be in that league but to my ears, I have 80% of what they can do at a fraction of the price and in my house and not someone else’s 

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The sugden..harbeth is a good marriage ......there are other marriages though....but the suggie harb is one you can recommend .

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Watched this and he is reasonably accurate but a review without the right speakers unfortunately 

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20 hours ago, radiant red said:

The A21a does, if you specify it new or can be fitted later. It’s mm/mc if the amp doesn’t have one it’s known as the A21a L (line) 

Mine below which is the slot in circuit board. 389F5B12-BFAB-431C-8483-2C063E6EEA70.thumb.jpeg.a540775d94e66c916c221b8e3eccb5c5.jpeg

Its a good board better than the average stage but it’s no Sugden masterclass stage, ear Phonobox or Bigbottle beater 😊

So, overall, the A21A is the better all-rounder?

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16 hours ago, radiant red said:

Watched this and he is reasonably accurate but a review without the right speakers unfortunately 

Very interesting. Sugden has lovely build quality. It'll look great in graphite, not overly keen on silver for that shape.

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6 minutes ago, plasticpenguin said:

So, overall, the A21A is the better all-rounder?

I think so, closer to the true A class heritage. Absolutely love the combination with the Harbeth C7 and a few others I could mention such as Vienna acoustics Hayden Grand 

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Just now, radiant red said:

I think so, closer to the true A class heritage. Absolutely love the combination with the Harbeth C7 and a few others I could mention such as Vienna acoustics Hayden Grand 

This is where my logic falls short. I've only demoed a couple of true Class A amps: Musical Fidelity and Audio Analogue. They were okay but found them too warm and syrupy fo my taste.

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2 minutes ago, plasticpenguin said:

This is where my logic falls short. I've only demoed a couple of true Class A amps: Musical Fidelity and Audio Analogue. They were okay but found them too warm and syrupy fo my taste.

This is where system matching is so important. Which MF?

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