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The Bada DC-225 is a dual transformer hybrid amp capable of 95 watts per channel into 8 ohms and 190 watts into 4 ohms.
Runs Class "A" mode with quiescent current increased to just over 1/2 of the peak speaker current.
A “hybrid” integrated amplifier uses vacuum tubes in the preamp section and solid state transistors in the output section.
An attractive jet black finish, soft start, mute, 4 inputs, line out , dual lug speaker jacks.
The DC-225 has a built in AC filter network, dual transformers and audiophile Toshiba Output Transistors
The DC-225 is based on the DC-222, which an outstanding repair record of < 3% since 2005
From Bada, which is one of the premier OEM factories, comes an upgraded version of the coveted DC-222 hybrid amplifier, the Bada DC-225. The Bada DC-225 has a shiny black finish, Class “A” operation, 95 watts per channel (190 watts into 4 ohms), upgraded Preamp to amp coupling caps and remote.
Not enough can be said about the Bada DC-225’s build quality. Two internal transformers: a torodial for power amp section and a low noise R-Core for the preamp section. An complex AC filter network, designed to filter AC without limiting power, make up the power supply section. The preamp section is driven by 4 12AU7 tubes in an SRPP configuration.The preamp is coupled to the amplifier section via 4 very high grade polypropylene Clarity capacitors. The amplifier section features audiophile Toshiba output transistors (Google:Toshiba Output Transistors) known for their tube-like sound and high dynamic range.
The Bada DC-225 has plenty of features that ensure its long life and ease of use. There are five high level inputs, soft start, mute, auto cut off in the event of excessive DC and remote.
The Bada DC-225
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The Bada DC-225 can be used to give a tube like sound to difficult to drive speakers. Speakers that performed well were: Magneplanars, Quads, Martin Logans, Von Schweikerts, Soundlabs, Monitor Audio Platinum, B& W Matrix 801s, Definitive Technology Mythos, Vandersteens and Triangles. Overall, the Bada prefers full range speakers where you will get the most bang for your buck in driving earth shattering bass to delicate highs.
Bass: Bold, dynamic bass with energy and power. Well damped.
Mids: The tube preamp effortlessly passes music through the Toshiba power transistors that add very little to the sound. In other words, there is no solid state glass on the sound in this area.
Highs: Clean and articulate with no brassy hang over.
Dynamics: Skilled at articulating dynamics in front of a dead silent background. This was especially revealing around planar speakers.
Air around instruments: You are not going to get vacuum tube air around instruments. Look for pin-point accuracy in the soundstage in lieu of this.
Body and Weight: Actors (vocalists and instruments) had body and weight that was slightly above average.
Warm/Cold: Slightly warm / neutral presentation, but the amp aims for accuracy over a warm presentation.
Imaging / Sound Stage: Superb and ironically slightly laid back – surprising - since the amp is not that warm when compared to tube amps or other tube preamps / amps, yet acted like it was.
Resolution / Detail: Strong ability to resolve and render without being fatiguing.
Value: Consider the dual transformers, parts quality and the doubling of output power into 4 ohms, we give this high marks for value.
Output: Maximum output power 95W+95W (8 @Ohms) 190W+190W (4 @ ohms)
Frequency response :20Hz~20kHz (+1.5dB)
Harmonic distortion :<0.5% (1kHz 10W)
Signal to noise:> 85dB
Power Requirements: ~120V 60Hz
Power Consumption: 350W
Tube Complement: (4) 12AU7 Tubes in Preamp Section
Inputs: 5 inputs
Speaker Jacks: Plated universal binding posts
Dimensions: 17 X 13 X 5
The Bada DC-225 was evaluated using CyberServer, Lite DAC 83, Musiland MD 11, Aune Cyclone Transport, Lite CD 21 transport, Doge 6 CD player, Linn Sondek Turntables with Decca and Magnepan tone arms mounted with Dennon and Sonus Blue cartridges, B&W matrix 801 speakers, Magnepan MG III, Magnepan 1.6, Quad ESL 57 speakers, Quad ELS 63 Speakers, Proac Response 2 s, Vandersteen IIC speakers.
There have been many modifications to the original Bada DC-222. One of the mods carried the price tag to over $3000 and made the sound top notch, so much so, that it was compared to amps costing 20K or more. Hence, the 3K was a real bargain. The weak link in the Bada DC-222 has always the coupling between the very well designed preamp section and the superb Toshiba driven amplifier. Improving the preamp coupling made a world of a difference. Through circuit design, a re-tuning of the amp’s bias and some pricey caps, we have more than a decent upgrade here.
The Bada DC-225 is a very different sounding amplifier and we personally worked with Bada to perfect the sound. It was specifically made to drive Magnepans, electrostats, Joseph and Von Schweikerts speakers. So if you have speakers that sound like these (Polks, Acoustats, Quads, Focals and full range Triangles) then you are in for a real treat as this amp can really show you a low end.
Next is the midrange, where we specifically chose capacitor and tube combinations that could really push midrange into the room without sounding congested. With a “trick” of an amp bias, we tuned it so low level passages are behind a quiet background with articulation and listening room presence that heard in the finest jazz clubs and orchestra halls.
The high end extends and forgives as poorly recorded music is tamed down. The smooth high end is a result of the 12AU7 tube and Toshiba transistor tandem that create the smoothness and detail. The amp runs a little hot, but do to its special class A idle current calibration, not as hot as some other Class "A" amps. It is thus capable of running to high power outputs to 95 watts. Although, it is not single ended.
Overall, you can sense our bias here as we had a hand in making this amp. But we are sure the DC-225 will not disappoint. Our suspicion is that it will be highly reviewed and taken quite seriously in Audiophile circles.
Heard around the water cooler:
We tried many tube combinations for the preamp section incluidng the durable 6189 tubes. The 6189s, although they worked on previous versions of this amp, were a tad too bright. We settled on the German NOS 12AU7 RFTs and we are shipping this amp with those tubes installed (while they last). You may also want to try the plethora of 12AU7 equivelents (5963, 6189, 6201 etc..) The RCA 5963s or GE 5963s (again, cheap and readily available) are worth trying and the RCA 6201s were by far the cleanest and most resolving of the bunch. If it is delicate sound you are after because you have monitor bookshelf speakers (Harbeths, Proacs, Monitor Audio or FOCALS), you might want to keep the RFT 12AU7s.
For the RIGHT tube, its Tube Righteousness !
You can greatly change the sound of this product by following these guidelines:
I tried out the Bada-222 a while back because it looked good on paper, but something just didn't sound right to me, so I returned it. I took a chance and tried the new Bada-225, and Winner/keeper. It is the only hybrid i've owned (And I've owned a few) that is able to string the music together into a holistic entity. As I write I have my infinitely more expensive solid state amp. and tube pre-amp up for sale. That should say it all.
This product is: Good Tonal Balance, Clean Low Bass, Good Dynamic Range, Excellent Focus and Snap, Excellent Fit And Finish, Great Value For The Money, Extended, Unfatiguing High End
Integrated buy of the year
Review from Anonymous at IP address: 126.96.36.199, Seasoned Audiophile
Rating: 5 Stars
Amazing sound stage and depth of field. Super clean, built like a tank, very smooth and warm sounding but never muddy or murky. Crystal clear