Threshold T-200 Vintage Solid State Amplifier - Stereophile Class A!
Here we have a great 1990's vintage amp from Threshold in superb cosmetic and working condition. Carried a $4,200 MSRP when released, equaling $7,000 in today's dollars.
Designed by Nelson Pass, this amplifier operates in Class A providing 100W into 8 ohms.
If you have a second unit you could run it mono for an astounding 350W!
If you haven't tried a Class A amplifier you owe it to yourself for sure.
More on this piece from Stereophile:
Description & design
Except for the binding posts, which appear to be your standard-issue plastic-knob variety, the T-200 has the quality look and feel of a true high-end amplifier. Fit and finish are excellent, and the 5/8"-thick faceplate sports sculpted handles. Inputs are switch-selectable between unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR. Another switch (safety-locked) selects between stereo and mono operation. Rated at 100Wpc into 8 ohms, the T-200 can be bridged for mono operation, in which case it puts out 350W into 8 ohms. Although the amp is quite heavy, the front and rear handles make it easy to move around.
Perhaps it's ironic, given the difficulty I had driving the T-200 in the balanced mode, but the best word I can think of to characterize the amplifier's performance is balanced. Through changes in associated equipment and in listening to a wide range of music, I was continually struck by the T-200's ability to present music in a coherent, everything-in- proper-proportion manner. This is not to imply that the amp sounded bland or uninvolving—when the recording itself was exciting, the T-200 allowed all the excitement to come through, neither sharpening nor softening timbres or dynamic contrasts.
Given the right associated components, the Threshold T-200 can be the centerpiece of an audio system which offers tonal neutrality, precise imaging, and lively dynamics. It gives subjectively equal weight to bass, midrange, and treble, with a high degree of transparency throughout the entire range. Its presentation is neither forward nor laid-back. Although the T-200 is outpointed in certain respects by competing products (eg, the Bryston 7Bs have even greater authority in the bass), the T-200's carefully balanced array of virtues is such that, in my opinion, it crosses the, well, threshold, to Class A.Given the right associated components, the Threshold T-200 can be the centerpiece of an audio system which offers tonal neutrality, precise imaging, and lively dynamics. It gives subjectively equal weight to bass, midrange, and treble, with a high degree of transparency throughout the entire range. Its presentation is neither forward nor laid-back. Although the T-200 is outpointed in certain respects by competing products (eg, the Bryston 7Bs have even greater authority in the bass), the T-200's carefully balanced array of virtues is such that, in my opinion, it crosses the, well, threshold, to Class A.
100W into 8 ohms (20dBW)
200W into 4 ohms (20dBW)
350W into 2 ohms (19.4dBW)
Full Power Bandwidth:
1.13V unbalanced to produce 100W into 8 ohms
50k ohms unbalanced
2k ohms balanced
Up to 12A full output in mono
18.25" W by 9.25" H by 16" D
The SkyFi Testing Process for Amplifiers (Solid State):
We start with a visual inspection of all internal components to make sure there are no signs of stress or aging. Capacitors are checked for telltale sings of bulging or leaking, resistors are checked for signs of overheating or cracking, and transistors are checked for signs of stress or damage.
We then power up the unit carefully and run a simple 1k sine wave while monitoring the output on an oscilloscope for signs of distortion or noise. Finally, we run the amplifier to its full rated power into the appropriate resistive load provided by our Sencore amplifier tester. If there is an issue, it will usually be noticeable at this point. If everything reads clean, we will often test for THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) measured by our Keithley distortion meter, and compare it against the original manufacturers specifications. The amplifier then remains powered on to "burn in" on our test bench for a few hours to make sure there are no heat related issues. If there are balanced inputs available they will be also be tested.
Final testing involves pushing actual music thorough the amplifier. We've learned over time that some issues are only noticeable to a trained ear while listening to familiar source material. Our test bench has reference vintage KEF speakers that we're very familiar with which quickly reveal any discrepancies. Some amplifiers will then move into our listening room where they are tested with our in-house reference speakers of choice.
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