|Adcom GFA-7805 Multi-channel Power Amplifier|
|Home Theater Power Amplifiers Multi-Channel Amplifiers|
|Written by Bryan Dailey|
|Wednesday, 01 June 2005|
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The necessary 20-amp service required to run this amp is going to be an issue for many who are not in the process of building a new home. Unless your house was built in the last few years, it likely has 15-amp outlets throughout the house. Retrofitting an existing outlet is no easy task in many cases and calling an electrician will set you back at least a few hundred dollars. I tested the amp on 15-amp outlets at my old and new homes, and in both cases, I popped the breaker, so you need not run your own experiment. If you are unsure of your outlets, you can go to your breaker panel, identify which breaker goes to your outlet and look at the number on the breaker. If it has a 20, you are in luck. Otherwise, you will need to consider the cost of upgrade into your purchase price.
The styling of the GFA-7805 is a little on the sterile side. The silver and black combination with completely square lines tell you that the amp is more about sounding great than looking pretty, as you might expect of an amp costing many times more.
The GFA-7805 provided me with huge reserves of power and performed at a level considerably beyond its price. It’s massive in stature, yet it remained liquid and nimble.
I have had a chance to evaluate a similar set-up, featuring the comparably-priced and much-respected Anthem Statement A5 amplifier. Like the Adcom, this is an outstanding power amp for the price. The Statement A5 is an amp with a little less power (180 watts RMS x five into eight Ohms; 265 watts RMS x five into four Ohms) and is about 30 pounds lighter. The lighter and smaller Anthem integrated into my cabinet a little easier, but when it came to comparing sound of the two amps, both had punch in the low end. I’d give the slight edge to the Adcom and a virtual tie to them in the midrange. Each has its own flavor. I found the Adcom to be more favorable to music, while the Anthem seemed to produce slightly more detail when watching movies. Both amps make beautiful sound for the money and you’d owe it to yourself to hear both of them if you are the market for a surround sound amplifier.
Adcom’s engineers used the large case of the GFA-7805 to its full potential by packing a lot of horsepower inside. Movie soundtracks and dialogue sound killer on my system now, but surround and two-channel music is what really shines. Despite its cold, hard design lines, this solid-state amp is warm and inviting when listening to music but not so rolled off on the top that the music lacks detail. It ends up making for long, easy listening sessions that don’t become fatiguing on the ears. The GFA-7805 lives up to its acronym. It really is a great f’ing amp for the money.