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Aragon 2004 MK II Review (Vintage Amplifier)

Rate this amplifier:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 49 32.2%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 74 48.7%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 20 13.2%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 9 5.9%

  • Total voters
    152

tvrgeek

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I totally disagree with PMA. I would love to see it tested re-caped. I remember when these were new. Almost bought one as it was the cleanest sounding amp at any price I heard. I am including Levinson, Peruex, Krell, and others. Boulder Sound Gallery had an amp of the week for a while. Alas, I was poor and bought a B&K. They still bring big bucks used. If I had bought it, I probably would not have had to buy a bunch since.*

What this review should show folks is they need to be maintained. The average lifespan of electronics is about 7 years. A lot of things degrade. Complicated actually. Caps are just one. It probably needs the the balance tweaked and spreader adjusted. I don't remember if they have output relays, but most that old are corroded. Most used electros on the input and in the feedback that need replacing. I would have to dig up a schematic. Even with the age, S/N was over 100dB. Nothing to dismiss. Remember, we were playing records with a noise floor of -65! Distortion mostly even order. Yea, sweet rather than harsh.

Just refurbished my old MOSFET. Line noise went from humming along with the tunes to below the noise floor of my Focusrite. With my finger on the woofer, I feel nothing. The other great amp was the Nakamichi P5 and P7. A sleeper was Acusa or something like that.

* 3 Haflers, 3 Parasounds, 1 B&K, and 2 Rotels, and then I built my amp about 7 or 8 years ago which I just put back in service. Oh, I still have my Creek. Needs re-capping.
 

EJ3

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Yes I agree with tvrgeek! My resto-modded (no change in circuit design) NAD 2200 measured (by Amirm under NAD 2200 Vintage Amplifier Review would break into the excellent rating of 96 if it had a rating 3 more higher than it's 93 in the Amplifier SINAD at 5 Watt/4 Ohm Load (higher better) chart. As it stands, the 93 puts it just a few down from the top of the very good/good portion of the chart. The lowest excellent rating is at 95. Dis-regard the mark and look at the 6th down from the left in the green part of the chart.
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A Little R&R

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2021
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I still don't take real issue. I think $700 is a little steep for one of these, but it has a neat look and is built like a tank. Schematics are available, and these should be quite reliable and easy to maintain, even at their current age. Output devices look like they're MJ15003 and MJ15004 (old, slow, bulletproof TO3 devices).

It sucks if all you look at is SINAD / Dollar, but there are other things I look for in a power amp as well.

Agreed. I sold a (more powerful) Aragon 4004 MkII to the Music Room last year for $550. I think they sold it for around $750. It was a great amp. Mine wasn't recapped but it hadn't been used for about a dozen years of its lifetime so I'd like to thinks the caps were still close (enough) to spec.
 

Head_Unit

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The 3000 mile oil change was perpetrated by the oil companies & filter (oil & air) manufacturers (who enlisted the new car manufacturers to put short oil change mileage or times in the owners manual, to sell more oil & filters.
...witness how now, when various brands like BMW offer free maintenance, the interval is way higher. One BMW test car we were driving indicated the first oil change at 14k miles. Plus now at least in America* there's a lot of leasing, and the brands really don't give a rat's arse about longevity so long as the vehicle is good for sale under the "certified" scam.
 

Head_Unit

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For now, SINAD of 65 dB is well below the average...Dynamic range is actually very good:
Wait, what?!? I've re-looked at this but don't get it. With so much noise how is the dynamic range good?
 

DonH56

Master Contributor
Technical Expert
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Mar 15, 2016
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Monument, CO
Wait, what?!? I've re-looked at this but don't get it. With so much noise how is the dynamic range good?
It is still CD quality or better SNR (96+ dB) despite the high distortion level that reduces SINAD.
 

30 Ounce

Active Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2019
Messages
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160
I have the 4004 version of this amp and a common fault from age is the relays oxidize which could cause the poor performance here. The fix is to open the sealed relay and sand the contacts with a fine finger nail type file. I did this to mine and it transformed the sound! Of course this one could possibly need new caps too but I’d put $$ on the known relay problem.
 
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