Horace's continuing history of self immolating amplifiers

I haven’t had the best of luck with amplifiers over the years. I’ve had valve amps that tried to burn my house down, transistor amps that tried to launch speaker cones into orbit, and a varied assortment of other annoying breakages and failures.
This time, it’s a digital amp (my Gato Dia-250). I left it powered up while I looked for a CD. Suddenly, there was a loud, rapid mechanical clicking from the rear of the amp, accompanied by low level noise (like an out of tune radio) from the speakers. No error codes on the display. The clicking changes pitch and volume as I cycle through the inputs.

My best guess is that the module that handles the input switching has failed, or maybe a power supply issue?

Bugger. Whatever it is, I fear a frightening repair bill.

I’ve emailed Gato and await their response.

Will the amp need to go back to the distributor, or would any decent repairer be able to handle it?


Most repair people have their comfort zone - and it’s usually mainstream kit. High end tweaky stuff is not likely to be it, so you’ll have to choose carefully I suggest. I’d go to the manufacturer and see who they suggest.

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It just fell apart in my hands, honest. :slight_smile:


Yes, that’s plan A.

Fingers crossed.

Hmm, maybe I like it a little less now :thinking:

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You killed my old Gato Martin? :confounded: How very dare you? I suppose this means that those monos you gave me will get all NVA with my speakers the next time I turn them on. I had best destroy them with a hammer just in case. More fool me for not investing in the reliability and build quality of Steepletone. I’m not going to make that mistake again!!


I didn’t kill it - it was suicide. Must be those long, dark Scandinavian winters.

I’ll get it fixed, but in the meantime will need to find a replacement (I don’t keep any spare kit since the Great Argument of 2015, when the boxes of surplus hifi became the flash point for war).

Can anyone recommend a cheap amp that will drive my H2s while the Gato is sick?


What’s your definition of cheap?

I have a Lyngdorf SDA1 2175?? you are welcome to borrow, if you are able to collect.


If you can find one, a Kelvin Labs integrated, 15W of pure class A love.

I feel your pain, one of my class D amps went nova on itself last week.

Thanks chaps - I face a bit of a dilemma. Will need to keep funds (no idea how much as yet) available to pay for the repair, so am probably limited to about £300-£400 or so if I buy something else as a temporary replacement.

A loaner would be most welcome (many thanks indeed). I’m in Northumberland, but could travel to collect.

The Gato drives the H2s very well. Other H2 owners seem to think they need sturdy current rather than hefty watts up em.

In any case, I have no amp, so anything that works will be better than nowt.



You and me, we are the same… :joy:

Grab one of those T amp thingies off ebay for between £30 - £100 quid. SMSL seem pretty good.

Understand. I was going to say that I have a Quad 909 which I’ve been playing with my Ta’us for a change, would be ideal as its got just the right mix of current and midrange texture. But I think that’s just out of your budget for a stand in whilst you’re waiting for the Gato to be repaired.

Sincere thanks to Gregg for the offer of a loan of his Lyngdorf.
I’m going to wait for a repair quote/timescale before going any further.

Will keep you posted.


It’s a terrific amp. In fairness, I’m not aware of general reliability problems.

OTOH, based on my own experience alone, they are 100% unreliable. But hey, I’m just in a shitty mood…

Got a pair of Bantam monoblocks + power supply lurking somewhere, easy enough to post if you’re stuck.


Many thanks. Will bear that in mind.

I’m getting a strange warm feeling from the generosity displayed in this thread.

Either that, or I’ve wet myself. I’ll check.


I like this place, but we need a better selection of smiley emoticon thingies.

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I dunno really - puts out for a half of cider and a bag of chips, perhaps?

Happy to loan pro tem.