AGD Tempo in the house

It is very interesting to spend time with amps.  You go to shows or even go to someone's house and listen to and amp and because it isn't on your gear and in your environment, it sounds good but it is insanely difficult to judge vs other gear.  

So AGD is a brand I had been flirting with and finally a customer asked for a demo so I put in my order and a few days later the Tempo arrived.  I dropped in into my system and all I can say is WOW.  It has all the grunt required to drive my Vivids.  Is warm and sweet with an extremely wide sound stage. 

Even fresh out of the flight case, (no box here) it didn't sound digital at all.  This sounds closer to Class A to me than Class D.  I have not heard a different GaN at this point but I am fascinated by this and how good it sounds compared to other Class Ds and even Class ABs.  

The other surprising part is this unit is about 1/3 the size of a normal component. I know I am a hair late to the game with GaN but damn, is it ever too late to celebrate a product.   


I'm always keen to learn more about the AGD products.  Other people have also noticed this similarity with Class A and some have suggested SET tube sound.

I have read only one review that was of a disinterested disposition where by definition the reviewer was objective and without any conflict of interest, real or perceived.

He had some criticisms which nobody else had mentioned. 

Class A, yes.  It is warmer and seems to have tons of power despite the modest rating.  SET…no.  Certainly not my 300B I have sitting right next to it.  I have not really heard anything that can replicate a SET.  Even the First Watt stuff falls a hair short despite its relative brilliance.  

What will be interesting is when I do a compare between the AGD and my reference KT88 monos on a speaker with proper impedance for the monos.  That will expose flaws/shortcomings. 

The shock was more from a prior experience.  I dropped an NAD C298 into my system and it was a push vs the amp in my integrated.  I enjoyed that amp immensely and understood completely how it got an A rating.  The AGD was obviously better than my two integrated amps.  Not saying it is flawless by any stretch, but it is very, very good.  When you consider size, energy efficient  and price, it is a fascinating amp.  

Scott, Glad to hear you finally have heard an AGD amp. Wait till you hear the Grand Vivace! If you ever want to hear the GV, you know where to find me.

I have just received the Tempo as well. It is early yet to form an opinion as it is just a few hours in the system.  I am also waiting to receive an improved rca IC which will enable better potential. 

Even fresh out of the flight case, (no box here) it didn't sound digital at all.

@verdantaudio Why would it? Class D amps are not digital- they are analog. The 'D' is just a bad coincidence, since 'A', 'B' and 'C' were already taken. Class D was first proposed in the tube era, about 1958 or so. Class D is a switching technology just as digital is- further increasing confusion...

@atmasphere Fair enough.  That being said, I have had multiple Class D amps that sound cold and unnatural fresh out of the box and warm over time.  I also have had some that have never improved and sound cold and unnatural forever.  Of course, I can think of some Class AB and A amps that are just as bad.  

Use of "digital" was poor phrasing.  


Thanks for taking the time to post your impressions of the Tempo. I think many of us are interested in how well it pairs with different preamps and it’s ability to drive a range of speakers.

@voodoochillin  I don't have a ton of preamps here to test.  That is a bit of a shortcoming with my current inventory.  I did have it paired with an AVM 5.2 which was quite nice.  

Regarding a range of speakers, that will build through time.  When the amp comes back from my customer I will test it with my own speakers (Verdant Brand) and hopefully my new Wilson Benesch's will be in.  It is going to get a workout breaking those in when they arrive.  

I can say it is pairs nicely with my Vivids which are a bit forward but are also miserable to drive.  The stated min impedance is 2.8 ohms, stereophile measurements said 2.4 ohms.  It handled the Kaya 45s well.  I would probably avoid warmer speakers like Vandersteens as the system might sound a little dark.  Otherwise, neutral to forward speakers are likely to do well.  

I have had multiple Class D amps that sound cold and unnatural fresh out of the box and warm over time.  I also have had some that have never improved and sound cold and unnatural forever.  Of course, I can think of some Class AB and A amps that are just as bad.  

@verdantaudio In all those cases you're hearing the distortion signature of the amp. Since you can never get rid of distortion, the distortion you do get should be innocuous as much as possible. Its nice when the designer gets that bit right, huh 😀?

@ron1264 All class D amps are analog. If its digital, its not class D. FWIW the on and off states in a digital word have significance whereas the on and off states of a class D do not. So I doubt there is any such thing as a 'digital amplifier'; there are DACs integrated into an amplifier system that employ a class D at the output.

The manufacturers that make digital input amps that change PCM to PWM call their amps "digital'.  Yes, the output stage is class D so it is not digital but the input stage is you might call it a half digital/half class D amp.  However, I think it is a good idea to call these amps digital because you then know what you are dealing with.  Some of these "digital amps" use no feedback....since they have no analog stages to take feedback to. Technics, Tact, and Lyndorf use this kind of "digital" amp.  I am sure there are others.  There are no DACs in a "digital amp".....they only need a digital signal.  However, some "digital amps' have analog inputs and then they use an ADC to change the signal to PCM and then convert to PWM for the output amp stage.

Technics and Lyndorf to name a few are digital. Even the manufacturer states this.

Tempo di Gan in the house!  First impressions, paired with my Harbeth 40.2s: I can endorse most all of the positive comments so far.  What really struck me: bass and bass control.  The last two amps I've had in house (both monoblocks) were technically more powerful than the AGD, but the Tempo really impresses.  Other thing is definition/resolution.  Time to trot out one of those very well-worn audio cliches: put on a live recording of Eva Cassidy, and yes, I did hear for the first time a few details that I'd never heard before. (I usually roll my eyes my I read a reviewer writing that.)  Sonically, at least to my taste, it sounds very even-handed. middle of the road, neither markedly warm or cool.  Imaging and soundstaging are good.  Will follow up when it's had time to settle.  

Congratulations @twoleftears, on the new amp. Great first impressions. Looking forward to read about your thoughts once the amps have settled. I know you were in two thoughts about GaN vs Purifi. Glad that you made up your mind. What about the volume position on the Backert? You had to bump it up or down?


enjoy! alberto’s agd amps are real deal destination amps (i felt my audion monos were a good value at their price for what they deliver, now the one box tempo unit gets the cost entry down to ~5k... wow!!!)

unless one wants overt tubey goodness (and all the pro/cons that path brings), it is really really hard to find anything wanting about the incredible music these lovely amps make..

I would not buy this amp without directly comparing to the Atmasphere GaN amp....basically, the same price and the Atmasphere's are mono blocks.  Mono amps always sound better than stereo amps.  I am sure you could arrange to have both at the same time and decide between the two.   If manufacturers or dealers will not allow home trial's......this is not good.  I always sold my finished amps with a 30 day in house one ever sent one back.

 I’m enjoying the the AGD Audion’s now. If someone has the new Atmosphere GaN amps and are within a reasonable distance from (Maryland) I could bring the AGD’s over for a shoot-out. They are very lightweight and easy to transport.

I had a couple of Tempos ( bridged) for a couple of weeks in my system. Definitely sound good but a little soft in my system. Didn’t seem to have the grunt of my Odyssey monoblocks. 
these would be awesome amps mated with a high efficiency speaker or taking care of the mid-hi in a bi-amped system. 
if purchasing stay away from OCD Mike Powell. Alberto yanked his dealer status and it took him 10 weeks to get me back 9k on the amps as he said he spent my money. He is a real POS.  

Technics and Lyndorf to name a few are digital. Even the manufacturer states this.

Erroneously so, yes. What I've seen on the Technics site looks like it was written by the marketing department.

knowing ralph and his excellent reputation for quality of product and sound, i would agree that ralph’s new gan amp should be considered and compared against alberto’s tempo/audions

alberto does provide an in home trial period, he is based out of los angeles, ships fast, very responsive

am sure ralph will chime in with his policy in this regard, once he is ramped up and shipping his gan amps

I will loan my amp out for demo.  Depending on relationship with me will dictate terms.  If I don’t know you, I will require a deposit or at least a CC for my security.  You pay return shipping if you don’t buy one.  If you do, all shipping costs are credited. 

Another amp in this price range to consider is the Kinki EX-B7.  These 250 watt mono blocks are used by Srajen at 6 moons as his reference.....and he has heard the AGD Gran Vivace amps.  These amps are $3500 a pair and are made super well.  2.5 meg bandwidth.....all the input and output stages mounted on one board with input and output jacks directly soldered to that board.....very tweak.  Check this out:



As promised, one-week report on the AGD Tempo.  It's either been in standby or fully turned on for the week.  By the end of day 2 I noticed a deepening of the already good soundstage, but other than that there hasn't been much change.  I'm guessing that this is one product where you don't have to wait 200 hours or 500 hours to hear it at its best.

In the previous post I mentioned definition and resolution.  Over the week a third term came to me: clarity.  The Tempo is a precise instrument.  It's the most revealing amplifier I've had in the system, yet at the same time it successfully walks that tightrope of never sounding cold, or harsh, or unwelcoming.  It will depend on individuals' benchmarks as to whether they will find it sweet or not; for me, it's really middle of the road.  It's a reviewer's cliche, but the amp inserted into the system revealed more about the engineering of recordings than ever before.  Well-recorded music sounded great, while--yes--it could also show up shortcomings.  I listened to two CDs by an interesting 17C composer, Johann Heinrich Schmelzer, and the contrast was striking.  On one, the small group of musicians was located well beyond the front wall, and arrayed in an appropriate arc.  On the other, the slightly larger group was spread from speaker to speaker, but with little depth.

It's been well behaved, entirely silent (except when called upon to produce music) and only getting very slightly warm to the touch.  Highly recommended.

AGD is the real deal- started with Vivace then moved up to the Gran Vivace--putting the $$$ together to give his preamp (Andante) a go!!!! I think it will complete the system=-= 

Can anyone tell me what the input sensitivity of the Tempo is? It’s not listed on the AGD site.

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I just asked Alberto.  He said the gain for the unit is 23dB and sensitivity is 2V RMS input.  

BTW....I continue to LOVE the Tempo which is a wonderful amp.  I have also had the Alto and Andante preamps here and the Gran Vivace power amps.  They are all shockingly good at the prices they sell at.  I have done some direct comparisons vs. some expensive gear and have been pleasantly surprised.  I would say all of these units represent a value, even flagship stuff.  

How would you say the Tempo compares to the pricier models?  I’d guess the law of diminishing returns kicks in rather hard but love to hear your impressions.  Surprised you don’t have the Audions. 

They get progressively better.  That said, the Tempo can and does compete sonically with amps that are in the $10-$15K range.  I say that without a hair of hesitation.   

As you rise in quality, the amps progressively get better.  The move from Tempo to Audion is noticeable as you are moving to two separate PSs so any risk of crosstalk is gone.  As you rise further, parts, filtering, etc... gets better.  But it is evolution, not revolution.  It is obvious they are from the same company and if you listen to the Tempo vs the other amps you would say they are progressively a little better.  It never works that amps that are 3x more expensive are 3x better. 

Vs external competitors, I would tell you that each amp is fairly priced in terms of the quality it delivers.  Vs other AGD amps it is tough because the Tempo sets a high bar for their entry level amp.  

Eventually I will have one of each of these (tempo, audion, gran vivace, alto and andante) to loan out.  I need to sell enough to justify that investment and the Tempo represents the line quite well.  

I know this is an old thread, but I just ran across it. I have a pair of Tempo that I bi-amp my Fyne F1.8s with. That with a Backert Rythm pre, and it is heavenly!

@kayakerf Yes. Definitely better than bridging them. I believe this way is called vertical bi-amping.

@markmuse - I’d welcome your thoughts on the sound not the tempo. I was told the tempo was more tube like than the Audion. I’ve not heard either, but have been intrigued with the positive feedback I’ve heard.

What is the sonic signature of the tempo? 

The sound is clean, but not sterile; smooth; dimensional; lots of ’inner detail’. The only amp I did a fair comparison with (all the same components except the Pass requires RCA cables from pre to amp) was a Pass XA 25. The Pass was a little more laid back, was clearly less smooth, was less detailed, and was less musical. I haven’t had a tube amp since the late ’60s, so I can’t comment on that comparison. My preamp is tube.

I hope that helps. I’m sure you realize my comments are are about performance in the context of my system, my room, and my particular hearing and tastes. I do think the AGD products are superb.

I have the Tempo di Gan paired with the Meitner MA-3 DAC/Streamer.  It has been said that the Tempo competes with $10-15K amps.  I believe that this is absolutely true.  It replaced a Boulder 866 which is many times the price of the Tempo.  The Tempo drives the Maggie .7's or RAAL Requisite "headphones" both of which combine very nicely with the REL Carbon Limited sub.  Being retired, somedays I listen for 6-8 hours with absolutely no fatigue but incredible detail.  The sounstage is very wide and deep as well. My cables are all Siltech and a Puritan 156 and Puron conditioner feed the system.  I have owned many Pass amps and a Gryphon Diablo among others.  The Tempo is easily the best of them all combined with the Meitner MA-3.  I can only imagine how good the top offerings are from AGD.  I am entirely pleased with the Tempo!

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Better check Alberto's website.  Mike Powell is listed as a dealer.  Eleven Stereo is Mike Powell's.

I believe AGD dropped him as a dealer some time ago.  Some short time after that event OCD came out with a video saying some Jeff Roland class D amp was better.

I got my Tempo from Verdant.

I dealt with Alberto direct as I am in the UK (although I think he now has a UK dealer). He is super responsive and a pleasure to deal with. 

I just emailed AGD. They responded: Yes, 11Stereo is an authorized AGD Dealer for the state of Georgia.

Can somebody compare the Tempo with the Audion MK3? Any real sonic differences? Does one have a more tube-like tonality than the other?


The problem is B.S. is spread so THICK in these forums and you guys believe whats posted here. 

Consider the possibility propaganda and lies are spread here.

I have ALWAYS sold AGD, and if my opinion 2 years ago was that one Rowland model was a better value than one revision of one model AGD, why in Gods green earth would that be proof I dont carry AGD ? Do you realize how under the ether many of you are ? You are conditioned to believing the narrative on these forums which are RIFE with misinformation. Look at WHO leads it... the guys with over 5,000 posts... ever ask yourself WHO these guys are and WHY they sit on here EVERY DAY all day long ?? Smell the coffee guys, dont be cows in a herd.. 

Lula I can totally compare the two for you and am available every day.

All the best..  


Again, the 2 guys on this thread leading the misinformation and one with a direct LIE (his comment will be removed its reported) are your little "pied piper" over 5000 post forum slogs.. QUESTION THE INTENT OF THESE MEMBERS