Most Respected Amplifier Designers

wil

Well-Known Member
Jul 22, 2015
234
93
58
#1
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.
 
Last edited:

sbo6

Well-Known Member
May 19, 2014
982
102
105
Round Rock, TX
#2
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
Dec 25, 2011
4,825
43
210
The tube lair in beautiful Rock Hill, SC
#4
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.

VIP/Donor
Sep 10, 2013
5,366
967
238
Greater Boston
#5
Andreas Hoffman, Octave Audio.

Ken Stevens, CAT.

Nelson Pass.

Spectral was already mentioned.
 
Mar 8, 2015
181
80
135
58
Canada
#8
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
 
Last edited:

Sablon Audio

Industry Expert, VIP Donor
May 22, 2015
850
432
203
#9
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.
 
Likes: musicfirst100

joaovieira

Well-Known Member
Feb 16, 2013
230
89
110
Brazil
#12
Eduardo de Lima - Audiopax
 

asindc

Well-Known Member
Sep 27, 2012
157
8
93
#14
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.
 

KeithR

VIP/Donor
May 7, 2010
4,177
1,247
328
Marina del Rey, CA
#15
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.
 
Likes: tima

Gregadd

WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
7,152
238
280
Metro DC
#20
I'm getting old. It took me a little time to remember the Dynaco designer. David Hafler.
 

About us

  • What’s Best Forum is THE forum for high-end audio, product reviews, advice and sharing experiences on the best of everything else. A place where audiophiles and audio companies discuss existing and new audio products, music servers, music streamers and computer audio, digital to audio converters, turntables, phono stages, cartridges, reel to reel, speakers, headphones, tube amplifiers and solid state amplification. Founded in 2010 What's Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing