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jajaja

Fatman 452 or iFi Retro 50 with Heresy I's?

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I'm on a seriously limited budget and need to replace a dying HK A300 integrated tube amp. I've got a set of original Heresy I's. I found 4 consecutive HI's at an estate sale thanks to a tip from one of you guys. I bought two and another Audiogon member bought the other 2!

I'm sticking with tubes and am limited to <1K, so I've been looking for a used amp. So far I've come across these two:

iFi Audio Retro Stereo 50 Integrated Amplifier $845
https://www.audiogon.com/listings/lisa59h2-ifi-audio-retro-stereo-50-system-tube-int-amp-and-speakers-tube

Fatman Audio 452 Integrated $750
https://www.audiogon.com/listings/lisa5a27-fatman-audio-452-integrated-amp-tube

I'm guessing the Fatman will deliver superior sound overall, but the iFi has more features that I would like but might be able to live without (headphone amp, bluetooth). Plus the Fatman does not appear to have a phono stage. Because I’ll be using the amp almost exclusively to drive my Technics turntable, a pre-amp would drive up the bottom line. Would it still be worth it to go with the Fatman?

Thanks for your thoughts!

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By the way, let me know if this thread belongs Talkin' Tubes area and I'll move it over!

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Too bad about the HK A300. They seem like pretty cool amps.

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Welcome to the forum!

If you want to move it over or a moderator may for you.

@dwilawyer... thanks.

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46 minutes ago, billybob said:

Welcome to the forum!

If you want to move it over or a moderator may for you.

@dwilawyer... thanks.

Thanks billybob. As soon as I posted that I realized I might not be able to figure out how to migrate it. Should I delete and repost or ask a mod? Thanks 👍

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52 minutes ago, No.4 said:

Too bad about the HK A300. They seem like pretty cool amps.

It was super cool! Decent sound, too. It was rebuilt by Don Sachs. I paid $675 and it lasted quite a while, but over the past few years I've had numerous minor issues. If I had technical skills I'd fix the problems myself, but around DC area techs charge an arm+leg to do even minor work. I just miss hearing my vinyl, so I'm looking for a lower maintenance amp.

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Asked one earlier. No biggie.

Was going to ask about repair.

Vinyl is a big one... good fortune.

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The iFi Audio Retro Stereo 50 looks in really mint condition and it is a no-brainer. When I was in my first steps into the journey through audiophile land, I came across one, being sold used in Bruges (Belgium). I hesitated because of the price (similar to yours) and then it was gone, of course. I've always regretted not buying it, because since then, I've never seen it again being sold pre-owned in my region.

At that price, the iFi is hard to beat. You can't even buy a diy-kit for that price/watt output and features.

 

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I moved this to Talkin Tubes so OP might get more response. There is a link from original post in Two Way to this thread so people will know where it went.

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On 10/8/2020 at 10:32 PM, jajaja said:

It was super cool! Decent sound, too. It was rebuilt by Don Sachs. I paid $675 and it lasted quite a while, but over the past few years I've had numerous minor issues. If I had technical skills I'd fix the problems myself, but around DC area techs charge an arm+leg to do even minor work. I just miss hearing my vinyl, so I'm looking for a lower maintenance amp.


 

What problems are you having with the A300?  It is not a difficult amp to service.

 

 

Maynard

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1 hour ago, tube fanatic said:

What problems are you having with the A300?  It is not a difficult amp to service.

 

 

Maynard

I had the same thought. 

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So @jajaja have you gotten any farther in finding a replacement?

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Thanks for your comments. I ended up going with the iFi Retro Stereo 50 and I'm very happy with it. Incidentally, at the same time I found a set of Forte's for $400 (!!!), so I put them all together and the sound is magical! I'll post pics soon...

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...and as to why I sold the A300, it was just too much maintenance. I had just taken it in for problems with problems with one channel, and it worked fine in the shop. As soon as I got it home I was having other problems with the audio cutting in and out. I was willing to sacrifice some audio quality for stability, which is why I went with the iFi. But as it turns out, it doesn't seem I've lost any quality at all. Of course, that may have a lot more to do with going from Heresy to Forte...

PXL_20201014_184554846.jpg

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13 hours ago, jajaja said:

...and as to why I sold the A300, it was just too much maintenance. I had just taken it in for problems with problems with one channel, and it worked fine in the shop. As soon as I got it home I was having other problems with the audio cutting in and out. I was willing to sacrifice some audio quality for stability, which is why I went with the iFi. But as it turns out, it doesn't seem I've lost any quality at all. Of course, that may have a lot more to do with going from Heresy to Forte...

 

I had never heard of the iFi but after searching and reading a little about it I believe you have a good deal at the price you paid. I like the sound of EL84 tubes. If I were you though I would move the amp from under the small place it is sitting in and give it some breathing room. Tubes generate a lot of heat and need air to keep them cool. Take a temp gun and measure a tube sometime and it will shock you how hot they get. It needs to sit with nothing above it if you want it to last. Or you could install a fan in the back of the cabinet. When I had a DC300A inside a shelf that is what I did, fan. It does not take much, a computer fan and a small cube switcher supply. 

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