Handling Heavy Amps

There are several amps I’m interested in possibly purchasing but I’m dissuaded because of their weight. I’ve had lower back issues so I need to be careful. I live alone. Even if my wife was still alive she would not have been able to help much. Also Children live far. I see that many of you have these 60-100 pound behemoths and I wonder how do you manage. If I buy from my dealer he’ll load it in my SUV. However when I get home it will be difficult to get it out and onto the garage floor where I can place it on my handcart. Then when I get it next to my rack I need to maneuver it out of the box and up onto the rack. I guess I would need to see if my dealer would deliver it and place it on the rack. Probably for a fee. So that may work. But then if I need to paint, move furniture, resell the unit whatever I would need help. I think I can handle up to 40lbs. So how do you handle these amps? Is it a concern for you?  I’m spoiled by my Benchmark 12 lb AHB2. It’s also the reason I’ve been investigating Class D amps. 

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If you insist on getting a component too large or too heavy to handle by yourself, then hire movers to do the heavy lifting.  If you want to go all out you could even hire piano movers.

I believe that Cary listed my V 12 to be eighty pounds and change. I bought it in ’01 when I was 41 and in great shape. I actually had to climb up a few steps on a ladder to put it where I had it at the time.  The last time I had to move it from the present listening room to kitchen table to do some work on it and then back again I was thinking to myself that the time may be coming (sooner than I want it to) that I may not be able to do this any longer.

I can see where that is a concern grounded in reality. Is there a neighbor who could assist you on the (probably few) times you would need assistance?

I have a single 60 lb beast on a Butcher Block Acoustics rack.  If I had dual mono's I'd put them on pedestals on the floor. A hand truck of course is good for maneuvering, but having a rack that is open enough and strong enough really helps things along.  Usually I just lift the amp up, put the rear feet onto the rack and push it in.

I have the same problems as you. Over the last few years I realized heavy amps are no problem if you think about it. I own a hand truck and carpet sliders with a little fulcrum to lift stuff up a couple inches. It is simple. Even boxing and unboxing 150 lb monsters. You look at the box, think about each movement required and you can remove it from the box or put it back easily. Rolling things gets into packaging… etc. all this is last resort. Remember you could easily move it in position and never again touch it.


1) Buy from a dealer and have him deliver and install. Your guy should be asking if you would like it installed, your not looking old enough… hunch over when you talk to him).

2) Give a big tip to the delivery guys (they usually love this and are happy to do it) and have them put the box in front of the position it is in.

3) Hire someone to install … or just carry it.


I would never compromise my audio system for an inconvenience. Once in place the are hundreds of hours of enjoyment in front of you.



 My speakers are Harbeth C7es-XD at nominal 6 ohms. 
Neighbors around me probably in worse shape than me.  
Not interested in Tubes. Been there.

I like the easy relaxed sound of the Class amps which tend to be heavy even though low powered. 

Right now considering the CODA 5.5 Class A which is 45 lbs. Would have to buy online without demoing. 

Why don't you post your hometown here with a request for a member to help you get your new amp unboxed and on the rack.

Worst case would be to leave it on the floor until you could arrange to have some help. I wouldn’t let the inconvenience dissuade you.

@jfrmusic I would help you but I’m in another part of Jersey.
I do like @dill ’s idea though. You don’t want to do this type of heavy lifting yourself. If you pop a hemorrhoid you won’t be able to sit down and listen to your system for about a week. It will be a pain in the ass.

Ask audio friends for help. You probably need just 1 more person to move 60 - 100 lbs amplifier.  I had to hire 4 people to move 368 lbs per monoblock amplifier. You don't want to break your back.

I am pretty strong, and I recently carried my CODA #16 up the stairs to the office. That thing weighs about 110 lbs and I was thinking this is way too dangerous. It is not just the weight but how you need to carry the gear.

BTW - if the CODA 5.5 (or is it 6.5) is similar to the #16 as described in the other CODA thread then it would be a good match for the Harbeth. However, for my ears that match may not be perfect. I like the brighter AHB2 more with warm speakers like Harbeths.

I paired my Yamaha NS5000 with CODA #16 and got amazing results, say 95/100. That 5% was a little bit too much warmth with the slightly warmish NS5000 and the same warmish #16.

I now have the #16 in the office with my $1000 Magnepan LRS+. The LRS+ is a tiny bit bright. The LRS+ and the #16 pairing is incredible, 100/100. A better match for my ears than the much better NS5000 speaker and the CODA #16.

Another amp that you may like (built by CODA) is the Sanders Magtech. I got mine from Sanders for $4k used with 1-year warranty. The Sanders weighs about 45 lls and is sonically in-between the AHB2 and the CODA #16. It is very powerful amp, and I would bet great with Harbeth.

Another amp I am considering for my NS5000 is the SimAudio North Collection 761 or 861. The older Sim 860A that I heard was closer to the AHB2 than the #16 so that maybe a good match for me. The 761 is not too heavy.



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If I buy from my dealer he’ll load it in my SUV. However when I get home it will be difficult to get it out and onto the garage floor where I can place it on my handcart. Then when I get it next to my rack I need to maneuver it out of the box and up onto the rack.

A scissor lift hydraulic table cart is your friend!



There is not an item of HiFi worthwhile having, if it comes with a risk to health, especially if a underlying health condition is known off. 

Speak to a medical professional about your concerns and options on weights you are able to  consider to get equivalent function from alternate devices. 

The answer will be very clear, select what is best for your looking after ones Skeletal Joints.

I myself with knee conditions have been very satisfied with my discoveries of lightweight alternative materials which are now being used in my Audio System. 

Thanks for all the responses. I really appreciate it and you’ve given me a lot to think about. 

once my new streamer and DAC arrive I will test out the AHB2 which is my current amp. Then decide my next step. 

That hydraulic lift is wild. 

I appreciate the interest in this thread.  I have the same concerns with amps as well as speakers, which both seem to increase in weight as they increase in quality.  Regarding amps, I've recently discovered Linear Tube Audio amps, which appear to be high quality and not too heavy.

Several good suggestions, if I live in your area I would definitely help you. I also use sliders on the bottom of the amp legs to slide when on the rack and then remove.

Ran into the same thing with my MAC7200.

It arrived via FedEx, double boxed and strapped to a pallet. The driver took it off the pallet and rolled it into the house on a hand truck.

A couple of local AV installation guys unboxed it and placed it where it now resides.

I'll call them back if I ever want to move it...

During my last move made a mental note of the weight of my amp and decided not to move again.  At 67 it was more than I wanted to handle. I think around 75lbs.  It also had 8 power tubes which put me over the edge - cost to replace and heat!   Ended up with AGD Audion monos paired with a Cary SLP 05.   Could not be happier.  I owned the pre so that decision was easy.  Anyway I share your pain.  By the way the Audions sound great (to me) and weigh 5 lbs a piece. 

My criteria of any component purchase is I have to be able to comfortably carry it alone, unaided. It used to be 100 lbs about 20 years ago. These days it’s 65 lbs.

I won’t consider any heavy gear I am unable to handle alone, even though it may sound a million bucks.

Pair of 100+  pound mono blocks...2 friends set up on arrival...another 2 for placing Mapleshade cones  underneath...but in 4 1/2 years there has been no need to move them...

Parasound A23+ is only 27lbs. You could run 2 in mono. It's Class A/AB, 500W/channel @8 ohms in bridged mode. 

I agree, hire an INSURED furniture mover, a piano mover for something huge needing care.

IF a friend unable to help had a brother, son, etc, that might work.

Coincidentally, looking for powerful amp/mono blocks: I thought, the front handles can help when repositioning something already in place, but nearly worthless lifting/putting in place.

Also, in-place, access to in/out connectors must be solved safely.

I’m in the same boat as you.  Tried the Class D route but now sorry I did.  You’re probably looking at several thousand dollars for your new amp.  Hire someone if your dealer won’t do it, buying used or need to move it again.  Feeling pain for maybe the rest of your life just isn’t worth it.  Most areas have handyman services.  That’s who I use now.  Shouldn’t cost you more than about 100 bucks and again worth every penny.

@jfrmusic Yes, no-hashtag metoo. I have C7ES’s, lower-back problems, no local dealers, and no family members or local friends who can help me with heavy components.

Last year, I spent several months comparing integrateds for a major upgrade, with an eye on weight. I’ve had Class D amps, but have always found them to be too harsh, grainy, analytical, whatever you want to call it. I understand that newer Class D designs, which use GaN FETs, resolve many of these problems, but have had no opporutnity to hear them myself.

What I found was that the best option was the Ayre line. Ayre’s products are based on the brilliant Charlie Hansen’s adaptation of "diamond" output-stage circuitry, which produces power much more efficiently than do more conventional designs.

E.g., check out Stereophile/Absolute Sound’s reviews of Ayre's EX-8 v.2 integrated, about $10K, 300+ wpc, very broad functionaity & flexible connectivity, and including an integrated DAC that is really quite impressive for an embedded component. All clocking in at  24 pounds, most of which is the weight of the unit’s transformers.

A runner-up, that offers the same rarified class of SQ, is the Hegel line.  High-powered, beautifully designed & built, great functionality & connectivity, and even the integrated, I believe, is something like 45 pounds.

Both of these lines have a reputation for being a particularly good match with Harbeths.

If you're considering tubes, there are options like ARC’s $8500 VSi75 & $5500 i/50 integrateds, 50/75wpc & 40/37 pounds -- relatively limited connectivity, and maybe not a great match for the Harbeths' high-end, but still great products.

Bottom line is that llighter-weight products are out there, but there aren’t many.  Broader adoption of GaN Class Ds may create more opportunities this year.

I realize that you’ve been bombarded with help since posting your original message, but I hope these suggestions are helpful.



Thanks. The Ayre I need to check out. Don’t need an integrated. I have the Benchmark HPA4 and just bought an MSB Discrete DAC.  I’m also considering the Bryston 3B3 (35lbs)and the CODA 5.5 Class A (45lbs). 

@jfrmusic Well, let us know if you do go for the Bryston.  I bet that would be a great match & I'd be curious about how it works in your system.

Ayre makes discrete power amps, of course.  But they're a lot pricier than the integrated (the DAC module is optional).


@jfrmusic   Have you considered buying one of the new Class D amps?  People on this site claim they are excellent and you sound like the perfect candidate for the light weight that comes with Class D.  


I go to gym so I can handle heavy things. 100lb isn't too heavy after all. 

I did check out the Ayre VX-8 amp. It’s only 24lbs but it really runs hot.  113 degrees on top and 144 degrees on bottom according to Stereophile.  Plus it doesn’t sound like the kind of presentation I prefer. 

First, a decent dealer would accommodate you by delivering and installing the amps. Especially at your budget.

Second, I would be leery of Class D. I tried them and though they sounded good, they just didn’t sparkle- though the bass was excellent.

Third, I am an Ayre fan and the VX is a pretty old model. I would go with a newer model. I bet even an AX7e Integrated would work for your speakers.

I would also look into Belles amps. I use their monoblocks with my Vandersteen VLR's. They aren't heavy and have more than enough power.



@jfrmusic one amp I’ve tried that was light weight and sounded really nice was a Simaudio Moon 330A. I think it will be a good match with the warmer Harbeths. 
Under 40lbs. Incredible value if you find a used one. 


I’m in the same situation with a Pathos Heritage MKii integrated weighing almost 180lbs. Whenever it comes or goes for delivery or moving, I hire a guy from Dolly or Taskrabbit. Costs $100 for a hour but I’ve had good success.   Moving slightly for cable access, etc isn’t a problem as the stock footers slide on my wood floor.  Finding aftermarket footers that aren’t sticky or rubberized and which would make it difficult to move is a problem though.  I’d welcome any suggestions.  (Amp stand is not an option.)

@pindac has the best advice - NEVER risk your health for a hobby. Or anything else. Your back is FAR to precious to gamble with. And 100 lbs is plenty big enough to destroy your back if you trip, unless you’re built like a fullback.

I’ve never regretted a Bryston purchase. I’ve used 3B SST, 4B SST and 9B SST for planars and for ESL’s and to power an isobaric sub. My wife just ordered me a pair of 7B-SST3 (40 lbs) for the bass end. I’ve got stairs, so I lined up help - no question. Once more or less in place, you can slide a unit or lever it, but don’t try to lift it with a bad back. Please.

Thanks guys for all the suggestions. 

I have a really good preamp the HPA4 so an integrated is not what I would choose unless if had a switch to run it as an amp only but that would be paying for features I don’t want 


OMG! That’s a heavy unit. Hope it’s worth it. 


I'll check out the SimAudio  


By some Rowland class d monoblocks and call it a day. I have the old 501’s and they sound really good compared to my old class A krell. 
I’m not lifting 100lb amps anymore. 37 yrs as a carpenter and though I’m strong , my back just can’t take awkward lifting. Lift and twist and I’m out for 2 weeks. Go class D. The sound is great. 

We can recommend a pair of class a mono blocks that are stunning sounding musical yet transparent

Eelectrocompaniet Aw400 new 14 used 7k a pair


we can say they sound amazing 55lbs each so they are not too hard to move

Dave and Troy

Audio intellect  NJ

Coda dealers

I’m old.  I’ve had back surgery.  I did not let those considerations get in the way of moving Klipsch LaScalas up a set of stairs by myself.  Nor was I daunted by a Mac 130lb beast hoisted up into a pickup, out again, and up said stairs.  Ingenuity helped; using RaceRamp mechanics mats proved invaluable.  They slide over any surface and have a handle.  A dolly cart is helpful.  Beer dangled in front of a neighbor or buddy can be highly effective.  Point is, where there is a will …..

Since lower back pain is already an issue, please avoid aggravating it further. Perhaps a local electrician could install it for you? It would be a little costly but your back will thank you…..

I’d buy something I could handle and that would not cause me stress. It’s not worth bothering with for me, I have better things to do. Life’s too short to be a slave to stuff, at least for me in my 60’s. 

Hope you find something manageable that you love!



Have a Look at Mr Nixie Tube Amplifiers and don't go thinking they are Toy's.

My listening room is on my second floor. I carried my 180lb Krell FPB 600 upstairs by myself. Step by step. It also had handles only in the back and sharp thick hear sinks on the side. Was a bitch but I took my time. Then I upgraded to the Audio Research Ref 750s. Mono blocks. 180lb ea. They had handles on the front and back and no heatsinks. I grabbed the handles diagonally and lifting them one step at a time. I definitely thought I was gonna need help with them. But I did it myself. U never know what u can do if u have too. And by back is not great as I am now going on 58. Good luck. 👍 

Found some lighter weight options in the SimAudio line. 33lbs. Put them at the top of the list.