Need to replace my Sonic Frontiers Power 3's

One of my Sonic Frontiers Power 3's just fried. I smelled something burning as it blew out. So, at this point, given their age (though I love them) I'm not sure it's worth putting a lot of money into them (curious what others think). If I were to replace them, I'm curious what people would recommend. I have Avalon speakers, and EAR cd player and a Conrad Johnson pre-amp. Any opinions/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. 


I would take the effort to find out what needs to be fixed before deciding on a replacement.


thanks. I brought one in for repair about a decade ago and the guy is still in biz so spoke him and without his having seen the unit he said I could be talking of upwards of $6-$10k (I smelled something burning in the amp just before it blew). No not sure that's right and I know it's problemmatic diagnosing the problem without seeing the patient but if that is what i'm looking at not sure it is worth it at this point given the age of the amps which is why I was asking for suggestions in case i need to or decide to replace them. Thanks for your response and suggestion.

If you get that kinda bill, Please IM me. I might be interested to purchase as-is.

It should NOT be that high of a bill for a tube amp. It should be most-likely within $1k depending on parts. 

PCB can be re-ordered or fried part can be wired p2p and I see nowhere it should be $6k+

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+ 1, Chris At Parts Connection.

Sad to hear about the amp. The problem could be something simple or something really bad and expensive.

I take it the AC line fuse didn’t blow. Was it the correct ampere value?

How old, How many hours, are on the power tubes? Did you bias the power tubes regularly? By chance did you hear a loud pop before the burning smell? Was there any smoke coming out from the amp?

If you are up to it I would suggest you remove the bottom cover from the amp and have a close look around the inside with a flashlight and look for a burnt component like a resistor. Like maybe, hopefully only a power tube(s) screen resistor. Look for any blown capacitors in the power supply. Use your nose to smell for the strongest burnt smell.

At the back of the amp you should see wires coming down from the Power transformer, and the output transformer. Look for any signs of burnt wires or a black soot, carbon, like substance on any of the wiring from the transformers locations.

Last but not least pull the top box enclosure off the transformers. Look at the transformers closely... These are high dollar items. Good chance a bad one can be rewound.

Post pictures if possible.

Operating Manual for the Sonic Frontiers Power 3 Amplifiers

Nice looking amps

Given the age and original performance of these amps I would look at this as an opportunity to upgrade. I was familiar with Sonic Fontiers equipment around the turn of the millennium, I owned one of their CD players and one could do much better. I would have a look at CJ, Audio Research, and VAC amps.

I had an Anthem Amp 1 , a SF product at the time.  Whenever a tube failed , it took out a cathode resistor.  I called Sonic Frontiers and Chris answered.   He was kind enough to send me a few resistors.  They were easy to replace.    Take the cage off and look for a burned resistor near the tube sockets....could be that simple.  Cause a flash, puff of smoke and a nasty smell.   I thought it was toast 

SF uses sacrificial resistors to protect the amp from a failing tube.  It could something as simple as a burnt resistor.