Ampzilla Lives Again!
16 Ohms – minimum 150 watts 20Hz to 20kHz
8 Ohms – minimum 300 watts 20Hz to 20kHz
4 Ohms – minimum 500 watts 20Hz to 20kHz
The new Second Edition MK2 amps typically produce 340 watts into 8 ohms. They will drive any load of any speaker. They do 540 watts at 4 ohms and are stable below 1 ohm.
-Total T.H.D. & I.M. Distortion: 4-16 Ohms less than .05% @ any power level up to rated at any frequency or combination of frequencies between 20Hz-20kHz.
-Input Impedance and Sensitivity: 1 volt R.M.S. across 50kohms for 300 watts into 8 ohms on the unbalanced input.
(note: the impedance value can be adjusted to any value up to 1 mega ohm-consult the factory)
+/- 1 volt R.M.S. across +/- 70kohms for 300 watts into 8 ohms on the balanced input.
-Input selector switch for balanced or unbalanced
-Frequency response and power bandwidth at rated power
8 ohms – better than +/- .2 dB 20Hz to 20kHz
4 ohms – better than +/- .3 dB 20Hz to 20kHz
-Stability: 100% stable @ any load angle 0-90 degrees,
capacitive or inductive, regardless of wave shape
-Damping factor: Greater than 250 at 20Hz
-Noise: Better than -120dB relative to full rated power
-Protection Power switch/circuit breaker 4 DC power supply fuses with indicators
-Gold plated input and dual output jacks
-All steel 14 ga. Chassis, powder coat finish Peak clipping indicator LED, thermal LED
-The entire amplifier circuitry (except the power output stages) is contained on one main drive card which also contains the input jacks. This means that the amplifier is completely upgradeable with future circuit improvements. It measures approximately 12w x 9H x 15D
Some other details are as follows. All of the metalwork (except heat sinks) is of 14 Ga. steel. All transformers are our own design and are made in house. The amplifier weighs approximately 52 lbs. All input and output jacks are gold plated and of the highest quality. The line cord is 12 Ga. with “welded connectors” instead of crimped. All internal connectors are gold plated.
Without question, this new Ampzilla 2000 2nd Edition will be a new dimension in amplifier technology for the next millennium and with-out a doubt, as in the past, will be copied by others.
All the transformers are custom built and designed by James Bongiorno himself. He is a trained transformer designer and his designs are superb. Real world noise levels are super low. Compare these amps with any solid state amps made as they are that good. Read the info below for more details.
The original Ampzilla set a standard, which has been copied, in topological form, for almost the last 30 years. Obviously something must have been right about it in the first place. Subsequently, the Sumo balanced topology has also been copied for the last 10 or 15 years.
The new Ampzilla 2000 2nd Edition is a radical departure in amplifier topology. Not many designers can make a claim like this. The only other designer capable of true innovation is Bob Carver although his application of technology and marketing go in different directions. Needless to say, James has created something truly new and innovative. All that can be said is, “Its about time.”
The new Ampzilla 2000 2nd Edition uses a completely new variation of the Forward Gain topology to achieve unprecedented improvements in linearity. As a matter of fact, the new circuit is so smooth, that it can be actually listened to OPEN LOOP, WITH NO FEEDBACK. Of course, they aren’t going to make it that way. The PROPER use of feedback is necessary in order to tie down all of the operating points so there will be no variations in performance from unit to unit.
Here is a one mans review;
and another at 10 Audio Here (They got a “Perfect 10” Rating)
Current Pricing is $8500 for the Pair of Monoblocs.
4 completely separate sets of transformer windings which power the four main sections of the preamp. These four sections are moving coil, moving magnet, line, and display and control. Each section in addition has its own multiple regulators (16 regulators in all).
3 main inputs (CD, FM, AUX) plus one combo XLR jack that can be either balanced or unbalanced. Separate tone controls for each channel, both bass and treble, with 4 different inflection points each selectable via main menu.
-Worlds most exotic power transformer Triple shielded with Fe bands plus inter layer grounded shields, plus complete mu metal wrap, plus complete seamless Fe can.
-Balanced input circuit has an anti-common-mode driver to prevent common mode distortion.
-Discrete power buffers will drive any headphones known to man. 2 pairs on the front panel. Main outputs are single ended (2 pairs) and balanced, 2 pairs.
-Complete tape copy and monitor functions for 2 decks.
-Completely separate and dedicated inputs and outputs for both MC and MM cartridges (as well as through tape functions). Both phono sections are completely separate each with their own Power supply regulators. Each phono section has its own selectable 20Hz low cut filter.
-All grounding has been engineered to completely eliminate any possibilities of grounding interference or ground loops.
The user interface system in the Ambrosia is all electronic. There are no physical switches on controls of any kind in the signal path. All functions are 100% microprocessor controlled. On the front panel there are 5 push button momentary switches and a main optical shaft encoder. These 6 functions are exactly duplicated on the remote control (supplied). The entire operation of the system is menu driven which makes functionality a breeze. Once learned, youll never use another preamp without it.
-Phono inputs: MC gain 64dB, 58dB, 52dB selectable, MM 42dB
-Line: 20dB to plus output, Balanced: 20dB
-Maximum output: 10Volts RMS unbalanced
-Output impedance: 50 Ohms, all outputs
Headphone output: 1 Ohm
-Noise (all referred to input) (20-20kHz):
MC 70nV, 32nV (400-20kHz)
MM: .4u, Line: 2uV
-Tone Controls: +/- 12 dB nominal,
Turnover points: Bass: 200, 300, 400, 500 Hz, Treble: 2kHz, 3kHz, 4kHz, 5kHz nominal
-THD: .01% max inputs to main outputs @ 2V RMS rated output,
20Hz to 20kHz.
Phono, RIAA Equalized, 20Hz to 20kHz, +/- .5dB max deviation
Line, 20Hz to 20kHz, +/- .25dB max deviation
The Ambrosia is also available as a line stage only – without phono stage.
The Spread Spectrum Technologies Ambrosia preamp just received an awesome review in the January 2012 Absolute Sound. (Current Preamps are available in BLACK)
The folks at TAS considered both the Ambrosia preamp and Ampzilla amplifier to be truly statement-level products which are among the finest products of their type available; far less expensive than their six-figure competition!
The Ambrosia stereo preamp is from Jim Bongiorno, the maker of the Ampzilla power amps, is a superb, full featured solid state preamplifier. This 50 pound fully balanced preamp has giant power supplies, one of the best remote controls made and a world class MM/MC phono stage. It also has excellent tone controls and a balance control.
The user interface system in the Ambrosia is all electronic. There are no physical switches on controls of any kind in the signal path. All functions are 100% microprocessor controlled. All functions can be controlled from both the front panel as well as the remote control.
Dick Olsher loved the Ambrosia; reviewing it in March, 2008. Olsher felt like the Ambrosia was a piece that bridged the gap between solid state and tubes, and commented very favorably on both the quality of the phono stage and the flexibility provided by the surprisingly good tone controls.
Read the entire review at:
The Ambrosia outweighs many power amplifiers at 50 pounds net. Most of the weight is due to a huge low EMI power transformer mounted in its own can. It features four secondary windings that are used to power each circuitry section independently, and in the process eliminate ground loops. In addition, 15 independent power supply regulators are employed throughout for immunity against AC mains fluctuations. This is one serious piece of work.
Please call me at 609-228-6699 to discuss pricing on this amazing preamp ($8500 retail with Phono Stage) as well as the matching Ampzilla 2000 MK2 power amps. ($8500 for the Pair.)
Son of Ampzilla 2000
Stereo power amplifier
Power Output: 100 wpc into 8 Ohm
THD: < 0.05% 20 Hz – 20 kHz
Noise: – 110 dB
Input Impedance: 33 kOhm
Sensitivity: Balanced inputs: 0.707V for 100 watts; Unbalanced inputs: 1.414V for 100 watts
Dimensions: 9 x 12 x 15 (HxWxD in inches)
Weight: 52 lbs.
Retail Price is $4250.00
Coming Soon, MKII Versions with new form factor and more affordable pricing.
Conventional construction allows for the pricing difference as well as higher volume of production! And a new Thoebe preamp!
The Son is expected to sell for $3000. The Thoebe II is expected at $3000 for a line preamp, $3750 with phono or $3500 with DAC or $4000 for the phono and DAC version!
Some “crappy” pictures found on the internet:
Ampzilla was created by world famous designer, James Bongiorno in 1974. At the time, James was the director of engineering at SAE. Prior to that he had been the director of engineering at Dynaco where he created the renowned Dynaco 400. While at SAE, James conceived the concept of the full dual differential full complementary amplifier topology which has since, for the last 27 years, become the defacto world standard road map for virtually all high end power amplifiers made today. Ampzilla was originally designed as a construction project for Popular Electronics Magazine. However, the response was so overwhelming, after the rave reviews, that James left SAE to found “The Great American Sound Co. Inc.” (GAS CO.). The rest was history.
The Ampzilla circuitry was a refinement of the original circuit created at SAE and the subsequent Ampzilla II, for the first time in history, introduced the world to servo-controlled amplification. It is interesting to note that servo-control has also become a defacto standard on virtually all modern power amplifiers. Subsequently, James, always searching for new and better concepts, sold his interest in GAS and founded Sumo Electric Co. Ltd. for the purpose of introducing yet another completely new concept in amplification. What emerged was the four-quadrant full complementary differential balanced power amplifier, “The Power”. At the time, this was the largest power amplifier ever made at 450 Watts per channel into 8 ohms. In addition, James received a patent on a very unique pure class A power amplifier wherein the bias was controlled by a very clever mechanism which allowed the circuit to REMAIN in pure class A all the way down to a short circuit.
Unfortunately, disaster struck and James was afflicted with life threatening liver problems. James has fought this battle for almost 20 years and finally is back to health. During this long absence, James has had plenty of time to assess the current state of amplification. Surprise, surprise!! Since his departure in 1982, there has been no conceptual topological discoveries whatsoever. NONE!! Hard to believe, but true. This is not to say that there aren’t any fine amplifiers being made, as there are quite a few. However, virtually every one of them uses the same tried (or tired) and true circuits created by James way back when, with a lot of variations on a theme.
One thing is for sure. The cost of today’s gear has gone astronomical to say the least. It is just simply not possible to make the kind of super quality 200 watt amplifier today for the same price that existed 20 years ago that is, with the commensurate attention to detail that audio consumers expect today. However, some companies have definitely gone to the moon with megabuck pricing that is positively insane and an insult to consumers in general. James has always been known for producing the finest gear at the most reasonable prices so that the maximum number of people could afford to own them. James still has that same commitment however, today, in order to make a super quality 200 watt amplifier with NO limitations, the retail price must be in the neighborhood of $3000.00 per channel when producing a MONOBLOC.
Twenty-Seven years ago James wrote a brochure describing the “Ultimate Amplifier” while at SAE. Of course, every engineer believes that their current work is the ultimate machine. However, it should be understood that this “Ultimate” design could only be as of the moment. The truth is that there never has been nor will there ever be an absolute “ultimate” perfect amplifier. Hard as we try, we get closer and closer but in reality, we’ll never approach perfection. Therein lies the enigma. Who defines what is perfect? What are the rules, the conditions, the standards, etc. The original Ampzilla set a standard, which has been copied, in topological form, for almost the last 30 years. Obviously something must have been right about it in the first place. Subsequently, the Sumo balanced topology has also been copied for the last 10 or 15 years. As we are now entering the new millennium, it is time for another breakthrough in the original tradition defined by the first Ampzilla.
The new Ampzilla 2000 is a radical departure in amplifier topology. Not many designers can make a claim like this. The only other designer capable of true innovation is Bob Carver although his application of technology and marketing go in different directions. Needless to say, James has created something truly new and innovative. All that can be said is, “It’s about time.” To expound on this theme a little, the following words will describe amplifier topological “styles” of which the descriptions are ours alone and are not to be found in any reference.
There are basically five classes of topologies that can be used to make an amplifier. These are:
Forward gain topology has without a doubt been the standard bearer of solid state circuits for the last 35 years. It is virtually impossible to make a tube power amplifier with this topology. However, the latest “foolhardy” rage of single ended tube amplifiers does use this topology WHEN THERE IS ONLY A SINGLE OUTPUT TUBE (OR PARALLEL TUBES) in the entire amplifier. So much for that nonsense.
Reverse gain is the absolute defacto standard for tube amplifier topologies although, some of the earliest solid state amplifiers used this style before all of us engineers learned how to use complementary devices properly.
Quasi-infinite gain topology is something totally new that is being currently worked on however, it will be a while before all of the philosophy of this style is cemented.
Likewise for common-mode gain topology which in the future may become the defacto standard circuitry for the next millennium.
Finally we come to what we call Remodulation gain topology. This topological family includes any and all types of switching, PWM, FM, etc., circuitry. It is our belief that enough damage has already been done to the signal. Why screw it up even more by converting to another format and then have to convert back again?
The new Ampzilla 2000 uses a completely new variation of the Forward Gain topology to achieve unprecedented improvements in linearity. As a matter of fact, the new circuit is so smooth, that it can be actually listened to OPEN LOOP, WITH NO FEEDBACK. Of course, we aren’t going to make it that way. The PROPER use of feedback is necessary in order to tie down all of the operating points so there will be no variations in performance from unit to unit. The new Ampzilla 2000 uses 12 250-watt output devices per monobloc. This is 3 times more devices than the original Ampzilla. In addition, since it is a monobloc, there is a separate 2000VA transformer for each. In addition, the amount of heat sink radiating area is 3 times greater than the original meaning that there is NO fan. Also, the B+ and B- supply fuses are EXTERNAL. Also, The entire circuit is totally balanced from input to output although there is a totally and uniquely new un-balanced to balanced converter for single ended inputs. Each monobloc has 100,000 ufd of power supply filtering with dual rectification as pioneered in the original Sumo’s.
James Bongiorno A Documented History of Designs
Hadley Laboratories 622C Power Amplifier, contributing engineer
Marantz Model 15 Power Amplifier, contributing engineer
Dynaco Stereo 400 Power Amplifier, Designer
Dynaco AF-6 AM/FM Tuner, contributing engineer
SAE (Scientific Audio Engineering)
XXXIB Power Amplifier, Designer
IIIC/CM Power Amplifier, Designer
IVD/DM Power Amplifier, Designer
VIB Stereo Tuner, contributing engineer
IC Stereo Preamplifier, contributing engineer
The following products continued to use my circuit topology:
2200, 2300, 2400, 2500, 2600, “A” series, “X” series
GAS (The Great American Sound Co.) Chief Designer
Ampzilla Power Amplifier
Ampzilla II (World’s first servo-controlled power amplifier)
Thaedra Preamplifier (World’s first (and only) servo controlled preamp
Son of Ampzilla Power Amplifier
Grandson Power Amplifier
Sleeping Beauty Moving Coil Cartridges
Sumo Electric Co. Ltd. Chief Designer
The Power, World’s first 450 watt/channel fully balanced Bridge Power Amp
The Gold, World’s first patented solid state Class A Power Amplifier
The Nine, World’s first low cost solid state class A power amplifier
The Nine+, Ruggedized version
“Charlie” the Tuner, world’s first premium low cost stereo tuner
The Half-power, stereo power amplifier
Andromeda, world’s first low cost solid state class AB Balanced Power Amp
The Sumo I, Magnetic Phono Cartridge
The Sumo II, Moving coil Phono Cartridge
Harmon-Kardon, Consultant, Completely redesigned the Citation 23 Tuner
Crown Radio, Japan, 4 luxurious Power amps, 2 Luxuious Preamps, a fully
Equalized (phase & amplitude) 3-way electronic crossover.
Spread Spectrum Technologies Inc.. Chief Designer
Ampzilla 2000, fully balanced monobloc power amplifier
Ask about Combination Packages and also “Open Box” or Used Amplifiers and Preamplifiers!