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Thoughts on Sugden a21a and speaker matching.

Discussion in 'audio' started by Sugarman, Jul 11, 2022.

  1. Sugarman

    Sugarman Active Member

    Hi all, new to this excellent forum. I've been running a Sugden a21a - looks like a 90s model - for about 6 months now, it replaced an Audio Innovations s500 (fettled) with pleasing results, I've yet to switch back to the S500, and I'm sure that will be interesting, it's a great amp, but I felt it wasn't able to deal with more demanding genres like rock and classical, hence the Sugden. My speakers are Audio Note Js,I'm well aware of their design difference from many other speakers, and like the valve amp, that they can struggle with more complex music. So I thought I'd try a more neutral speaker, and have been told Proac might be a good option. I see a few cheapish models on the 2nd hand market, and would appreciate any help with their sonic character, The studio 140 and the rather older super towers. Thanks in advance.
  2. Gervais Cote

    Gervais Cote Predator

    If you can find some Proac D18 at a good price, this could be a good choice.
    I'm not sure about their efficiency vs the output power of the Sugden though so make sure it will be enough for your room and personal needs.
  3. Hooch500

    Hooch500 pfm Member

    I can’t speak for the Sugden, but I’ve had quite a few pairs of Proac’s ( and still have ). They generally are an easy load but not especially efficient. They really do wake up with some good push/pull or solid state power.
  4. Amormusic

    Amormusic pfm Member

    Fantastic choice in amp, Sir. I have an A21a Signature and I am utterly in love with it.

    I spent quite a while and did a fairly hefty quest touring shops with the amp in tow.

    To add to your list of possibles:
    Yes, ProAc are a beautiful marriage. The pick of the current bunch are the DB1's which are superb on the end of it.

    Harbeth, also excellent. I owned some M30's and they paired fantastically with it, despite being 86bd efficient.

    I personally didn't like AN's that much.

    If you can be arsed to look it up there's many pages of my ramblings about different speakers I put on the end of it on the Wam, the thread is called 'listening day'.
    Sugarman likes this.
  5. Amormusic

    Amormusic pfm Member

    It will have enough grunt. I tried a few different ProAcs on the end of mine.
  6. Amormusic

    Amormusic pfm Member

    @myles of this parish has his with some Tannoys on the end. So that works too.
    myles likes this.
  7. notevenclose

    notevenclose pfm Member

    Hmm. The a21's not exactly fleet of foot either, especially at the bottom end. That said of course, its many qualities make it a firm favourite but bass speed and definition are never going to be its greatest strengths. I ran an a21 with AN-Ks then LVs in a second (office) system a few years back, and in both cases it was a combination which rarely failed to delight, albeit with an awareness that in some instances it was kind of making it up as it went along, particularly with the AN-Ks.

    Pro-Ac and Sugden is a well-regarded combination, but in truth if I have ever heard it, I've long forgotten about it. I think I'd counsel trying a pair of your preferred Pro-Acs at home before commiting to anything else, you don't want to end up throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
    Sugarman likes this.
  8. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

  9. Dozey

    Dozey Air guitar member

    The Proac Studio 140s should work well. I heard them with a Nytech CA202 and they were great as long as you didn't want to listen very loud.
  10. Fretbuzz

    Fretbuzz pfm Member

    I had the ProAc 140 (v2) and AN-Es in the same room. Just to point out the ANs worked in the corners but the ProAcs really needed more space around them, if that's an issue.

    Really liked the ProAcs, other than they didn't work when we moved in to that particular house.
  11. hifinutt

    hifinutt hifinutt

  12. Amormusic

    Amormusic pfm Member

    Deffo get a listen first with these ProAcs. I thought they were bass monsters to the extreme. I would have loved them in my 20's but they lack finesse.

    It might help if you outline a budget?

    EDIT - tried them on the end of my Suggie. A bit meh for me.
    hifinutt likes this.
  13. Darren L

    Darren L pfm Member

    gavreid likes this.
  14. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    I suspect little Neats would work nicely too.
  15. James Evans

    James Evans Bedroom Bodger

    I have Proac DB3s on the end of a Sugden and they work very nicely indeed. I imagine the DB1s are that bit better. Neither come up 2nd hand much though.
  16. Sugarman

    Sugarman Active Member

    Nope, tried a pair of Neat motive sx2, didn't like em at all, too small sound, thin and reedy, though with techno they were better. Need something in between that and the rather flabby sound of the ANJs.
  17. Wright

    Wright Active Member

    Russell K 100 would be a nice match.
  18. gavreid

    gavreid pfm Member

    Shame. That wasn't really what I had in mind by little though, more the SX3 or Petites maybe. I'm using bigger Neat Momentums but that's with the much bigger Masterclass amps. They sound fabulous with any Blue Note lp ;)
  19. Lowand

    Lowand Don't tell the humans

    Just picking up on the comments above. The Arros which I'm selling were originally paired with an A21a which I idiotically sold. If I could afford a new Sugden I'd probably keep em !
  20. Tigerjones

    Tigerjones Bagpuss

    This made me laugh, and having spent many a year with Sugden amplifiers I know exactly what you mean.
    Alex S likes this.

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