Most Respected Amplifier Designers

wil

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Jul 22, 2015
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I'm curious to hear names of amp designers over the years that you particularly respect. Whether well known, or under the radar, whose designs to you think are exceptionally innovative and well executed? I'm also not that curious about the super high end amps (where most of the value might be in chassis bling-bling) but perhaps more down to earth innovative designers.
 
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sbo6

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May 19, 2014
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Musical Fidelity comes to mind as creative and great bang for your $ amplifiers. I've owned 3 and they were all quite good. I think 2 of the 3 were Stereophile Class A rated for what that's worth.
 

treitz3

Super Moderator
Staff member
Dec 25, 2011
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Hi, sbo6. While I have heard other Musical Fidelity Amplifiers including the Tri Vista integrated, I do have have to agree with you. The little brother I have to yours is in its spot and have earned its spot because it is the most linear amplifier I have ran across in my rig. Nothing across the frequency spectrum is lacking or exaggerated. I'm actually afraid to try something different just because of that reason. I did not realize it until you mentioned it but mine is actually Stereophile Class A rated.

(I don't do rags, so I wouldn't have known this)

Also, my friend, Mr. Bob Carver for his tube amps.

Tom
 

Al M.

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Sep 10, 2013
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Andreas Hoffman, Octave Audio.

Ken Stevens, CAT.

Nelson Pass.

Spectral was already mentioned.
 

Solypsa

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Jun 7, 2017
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JC Morrison - Silbatone, custom, diy
Jeffrey Jackson - Emia, Experience Music
Bruno Putzeys - Mr. Class D
 
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musicfirst1

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In a stream of consciousness order..

Tubes:
André Calmettes - Jadis
Ken Stevens - CAT
Dusan Klimo - Klimo Audio
David Berning - Berning Audio

SS:
Yves Bernard Andre - YBA and Goldmund
Dave Reisch - Classe and Theta
Nelson Pass - First Watt and Pass Labs

Hybrid/Tube
Vladimir Lamm - Lamm Industries
 
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Sablon Audio

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May 22, 2015
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David Berning and Nelson Pass would be at the top of my list though it may be worth considering that there are many talented unknown engineers working for large corporates whose contributions may go unrecognised.
 
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sujay

Member Sponsor
May 5, 2012
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Dieter Burmester - while I do realise I am biased, I have heard a few including Pass Labs, Sim Audio, ML, Audionet, and each have their strengths but I never felt the urge to shift in 12 years.
 

joaovieira

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Feb 16, 2013
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Eduardo de Lima - Audiopax
 

asindc

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Sep 27, 2012
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John Curl- Parasound and Constellation. The JC1 is the best SS amp available for under 10K.

Wilson Shen- Clayton. Having just bought a pair of M-300, I can tell you that this boutique designer belongs in this conversation.
 
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KeithR

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May 7, 2010
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Cue amp designers of amps posters own lol...

You probably need to go back to Saul Marantz/Sidney Smith, Sidney Corderman, etc. I'd think. Most of today's circuits are based on stuff from decades ago. I don't have the background to assess since I wasn't born until the late 70s.

Nelson Pass is one of the more interesting designers today because of his FirstWatt product, which sounds better than the more typical Pass Labs gear and uses unusual circuits. I think most of the designers listed on this thread are good, but not legendary and even derivative at times. Ymmv.
 
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Joe P

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Scott Frankland - Wavestream Kinetics; The Audio Archive; MFA (Moore, Frankland, Associates).
 
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Mr Rickz

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Dec 27, 2019
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Gregadd

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Apr 20, 2010
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I'm getting old. It took me a little time to remember the Dynaco designer. David Hafler.
 

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