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Adcom GFA-7605 Seven-Channel Amplifier Review

Adcom is one of the most historically significant electronics companies in audio history, as they are widely credited with making popular the idea of separating the preamp from the amp. After receiving boatloads of rave reviews, Adcom grew to become a huge player in the audiophile world during the 1980s as the most affordable step up from an audio receiver or integrated amp. While the company lost some of its mojo as it tried to adapt to the home theater market in the early 2000s, Adcom is now back and they have some hot new home theater products that are clearly tied to their impressive linage.

The Adcom GFA-7605 is a 125-watt x five-channel amplifier, priced at $888 retail. This "great mooing amp" (yes, that is what GFA stands for) is designed to be priced to compete with mid- to upper-level AV receivers when paired with an AV preamp, which Adcom also now manufactures. The GFA-7605 boasts big toroidal transformers and is based around F.A.T. technology, which stands for Fast Analog Technology. When put through listening tests, this provides nice control over the bass and, while not as resolved on the high end as the lower-priced digital switching amps, it has an overall sound that has more heft.

High Points
• The Adcom GFA-7605 is a better amplifier than you will find in any receiver costing $1,000 and perhaps as much as $2,000 or more.
• The upgrade path of separate electronics is always a smart way to go, as you aren't trying to run an entire home theater from one big black box.
• The aesthetics of the Adcom GFA-7605 are better than I expected, considering its relatively low cost and high power output.

Low Points
• For big rooms, 125 watts per channel might not be enough muscle to really make the paint fall off the ceiling, depending on the efficiency of your speakers. For more money, Adcom has other amps with more power.

Conclusion
Adcom is back and their GFA-7605 is a solid receiver alternative. Compare this affordable amp with those from Outlaw Audio, NAD, Anthem and other performance-based players in the market. Adcom has the sound, the look, the power and the pedigree to make it into your system and, with this amp, it may never leave.
 
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