When is an amp ‘just too old? ’ To buy?

Hello sports fans!!

I’m seriously tossing around the idea to get into another amp (s) as I’m simply not playing mine as I should. 20 hours in the last year or so is about all. I’ve been using both my office and now BR systems far, far more as they’re handier and simpler to manage now.

Switching speaker wires, and re-checking bias from extended lengthy periods of non use causes me to not use my monos enough to keep them or so Im thinking.

Add to that my vision is apparently going away now at a faster clip than I’d prefer too …. It all adds up… so there they sit. 20 hrs. over a whole year. It’s embarrassing.

So I’m thinking SS. Or self biasing amps now as replacements, IF I decide to go that way and it’s looking more & more as I will.

I’ve always thought amps under 5 yr and preferably under 3 or less, as the ones I’d prefer to take a shot with, but am seeing more and more amps now with 5, 6, 8, 9, even 10 years from date of production and am wondering, just when is an amp (s) old enough to forget about or when one should really consider some other amps.

Do you all feel SS amps have a different criteria than do HS amps in terms of longevity?

Or is it vice versa, with tube amps lasting longer, generally speaking?

How old is just too damn old! As it relates to amps for sale… in your opinion, of course????

Thanks much.
I own a 13 year old bryston and 17 year old classe preamp. They both work perfectly and are used daily in my 2 channel h/t setup. I have never had a problem with them. (knock on wood!!)

I also own 2 marantz recievers that are over 30 years old (both late 70's models) and they both still function like new.

It’s a visual issue and configuration issue all rolled into one. Mostly though it’s visual. That and the fact I’m awfully pedantic about tweeking/aligning bias… well past the norm or usual, and it’s gotten more than tedious a task for me to accomplish. Soon enough it’s going to be beyond me entirely.

Plus there’s all that climbing in behind the racks to switch spkr wires too which is a trick in itself.

Time for a change it seems.

I’m not going to do class D. Period. I don’t feel amps in that class contain that which I seek… could well be wrong about that too, but I’ve been wrong before and lived thru it. My thinking there is they aren’t going to provide me any pportion of the voicing tubes give in the range I can afford.

The Prima Luna Dialogue monos interest me a fair amount as they’re self biased. Very flexible. Not terrifically expensive either. The issue there is I’d opt for another pr of speakers and setup in my BR. This could prove more pricey overall though adding in another pr of squeakers.

The current thinking is to migrate a couple dedicated lines into the listening room. Sell the Dodds. Buy another easier to operate amp. Speaker cables. Then merely switch spkr cables off the Sonata Iiis for 2 ch times. This seems the more plausible scenario for me.

The SS portion comes in to better control the speakers with, as I’ve seen from the Odyssey and Butler amps, they work better with more power than 100w and according to my own preffs as well.

I agree with much of your post… I’d bet they also feel that those in the game… ‘us’ … aren’t ever going to be married or joined at the hip to any item for too too long, and we’ll opt for some other item in due time. Of course we know too there’s more to support time frames as well. 5 – 7 yrs is about on par for amps. Bryston is the exception by far.

If you think only in terms of support, keeping on hand five years out parts inventory is a chore all by itself with decent sales production.


Owning a BAT 500 previously, I liked that sound best so far of the BK & Krell & Rotel & Odyssey SS amps I’ve owned. I didn’t like it’s heat production or heft. Actually it’s heat. I can still sling it’s bulk about.

30 yrs!?

With all the talk here on Bryston & Classe, and they are both on my list… could anyone or others gain me some insight on their particular voice and or differences from one to the other?

Do either sound anything near the bAT vk500?

RE power
I don’t feel the Sonata IIIs are power hungry mavens, but some does seem to help… around 200 – 240 SS watts seems in order. Past that, well we’re back to the same old argument/debate and mo’ won’t hurt if judiciously applied I’m sure.

That said… I’ve been very happy with the 120w or less, the Dodd monos put out… so theres that…. It’s always in the eye or ear of the beholder, the room, etc, right?

I still agree too that 5 yrs old is the prudent top end for selecting one's amp of choice for preposed incident free operation going forward... on most any anp.

If the Butler 250 would allow for rolling its tubes, I might not have even posted this question.
My amp is about 40 years old and satisfies my audio needs. I guess I'm biased but if it sounds good it is good.

When you can no longer replace the components in the unit with exact or comparable parts. A good tech can get most amps back to good working order albeit not always identical to the original in some instances.

congratulations! We have a new leader on the board!



Well, then, at that refurbished point, one has a different amp than they had just a bit before.... could be better or could be worse, but it's definitely not the same amp then.

that would be the time IMHO to upgrade whatever was broken... if one knew what to upgrade to which would improve the audio quality, of course.