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Adcom Stages Comeback With Updated Classic Amps

Adcom GFA 915

Adcom GFA 915


  • Product Name: GFA-6002, GFA-565se, GFA-585se, GFA-555ms,GFA-555se
  • Manufacturer: Adcom
  • Review Date: February 16, 2024 00:00
  • MSRP: $450 - GFA-6002, $1,900 - GFA-565se, $3,800 - GFA-585se, $1,400 - GFA-555ms, $1,700 - GFA-555se
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool

Adcom is back! The storied audio electronics brand is staging a comeback under the auspices of J&B Distribution, a company out of New Jersey that also distributes the Czech audio brand Acoustique Quality and the American brand Amped. Although Adcom got its start making moving-coil phono cartridges in the 1970s, the company became a household name in the audio industry thanks to its AV electronics — especially amplifiers — in the ‘80s and ‘90s. The brand was known for making gear that offered high performance and excellent value, but its two decades of success were followed by harder times. The story really starts with the groundbreaking GFA-1 power amplifier from 1979, which boasted 200 watts per channel — an unusually high number back then — and enough current to drive the most difficult loudspeaker designs of the day. The GFA-1, along with the follow-up GFA-1A, launched Adcom into the audio major leagues. But it was the GFA-555, a power amplifier designed by Nelson Pass, that earned the brand worldwide acclaim in 1985. When home theater took off in the 1990s, Adcom responded with successful products like the GTP-600 audio-video tuner/preamp and the matching GFA-6000 5-channel power amplifier.

But the company faltered thereafter, and was purchased by Quality Technology Electronics, an engineering, design, and manufacturing company headquartered in Thailand. Under new ownership and with a new corporate structure, Adcom hoped to rebuild its reputation with a new range of products launched in 2009 and 2010. I saw these on display at CES 2011, but the re-launch was more of a false start here in the United States. Now in 2024, Thailand’s Everest World Company Ltd. owns the Adcom brand name and all associated intellectual property, including its original circuit designs. Once again, Adcom is ready for a fresh start, and J&B Distribution has announced that the firm will be introducing “updated and modernized versions” of its classic products, including the legendary GFA-555 stereo power amplifier. Two versions of the GFA-555 will be available. The GFA-555ms ($1,399) offers 125 watts per channel, while the GFA-555se ($1,699) dishes out 200 watts per channel (all ratings into 8 ohms).

This Nelson Pass design broke ground when it came out in the ’80s, getting rave reviews and providing tank-like reliability at a decent price. That these amplifiers are much in demand after so much time is strong testament to their value and durability.

— Adcom

Adcom GFA 555ms rear

The Adcom lineup also includes the 70-watt GFA-6002 ($449), the 250-watt GFA-565se ($1,899), and the 450-watt GFA-585se ($3,799). All of the new amps are reportedly bridgeable into powerful monoblocks. The GFA-555se, GFA-565se, and GFA-585se feature balanced inputs; the matching GFP-915 stereo preamplifier ($999) has balanced outputs in addition to unbalanced RCA. The preamp also offers optical and USB digital inputs, and bluetooth connectivity. The GFP-915 offers five line-level analog inputs, plus both moving-magnet and moving-coil phono inputs.

Adcom GFA 555se

ADCOM is back with a few updated legacy products that we will be selling directly to consumers starting in 2024. Audiophiles should expect to see more products coming later in the year including new-school, Class-D switching amps that will have the performance that we expect from the best tube and Class-A amps, but without any of the hassles. Our new amps will use less power, create less heat, and will provide huge volumes of power in our next generation of product. Our legacy products are better than ever and represent a great mid-fi value to anyone looking to make great sound in their AV system without breaking the bank.

— Boris Meltsner, co-founder of J&B Distribution

Adcom products can be ordered from theaudiolegacy.com.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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Jacob is a music-lover and audiophile who enjoys convincing his friends to buy audio gear that they can't afford. He's also a freelance writer and editor based in Los Angeles.

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