Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Sumo Gold Power Amplifier

Every once in a while Mike feels a need to remind me that should I ever stumble across any Sumo amp, he wants it. Sumo was the creation of audio legend James Bongiorno of SAE and GAS (Great American Sound) fame and Bongiorno is one of Mike's heroes. Since I evidently don't get out much, my exposure to Sumo had been limited to the delightfully named Charlie (the tuner) until last Saturday when a Sumo Gold walked through Mike's door.

That is a bit of an exaggeration since Sumo amps are huge and need significant help moving around. Here it is:
The Gold was in very respectable shape with just a dent on the lower right corner, the bane of many a very heavy amp. It was in for a very brief check up and put on an impressive demonstration with the Infinity Quantum 2 speakers just visible in the photo above. Mike's Quantums are not exactly favorites of mine, but they sounded good driven by the Sumo. The bass extension and control was absolutely stellar on Mike's organ demo disk.

Here is a photo of Jay, the proud owner of the Gold:

Jay, you are now officially famous, an intrinsic part of the Great Internet. For those of you not from Austin, this is how all of us look. Gimme caps, tee shirts and stubble are what make Austin great. Well, that and a local beer in hand like a Shiner or a Real Ale from Blanco, Texas.

Yesterday, Jay and his friend Tom informed me that they had each just purchased Sumo 9 amps (sort of) via eBay although eBay had messed with them quite seriously. With luck the 9s will be documented in the not so distant future. (And many of us are debating how long before eBay just crumbles under its own jerkiness. Maybe more on that sometime in the future.)

In the interest of completeness, here is a photo of the Gold, just a bit naked:

Jay was driving the Sumo with the interesting Northern tube preamp, pictured below. It drove the amp quite nicely and the build quality seemed good. I think this is Chinese made, proof yet again China can be more than just crappy DVD players sold at Walmart. See the earlier article Bill did on the Yaqin amp.

And one last photo of Mike, bopping to Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man:

All Austinites are required to wear tie dye at least one day a year. Mike takes his tie dye seriously and tries to observe at least one day a week. Mike is also wearing the mandatory magnifyer (techs only) but he is in serious violation of Austin's smoking phobia. We are still working on that aspect of Mike.

Lastly, thanks to Kevin for the photos. (And let me be the first to congratulate him on the web for his future arrival. No, not an amp: Kevin is going to be a father! The Stereo Club is thrilled at having a new junior member and vows to outbid People Magazine for the first photos.)


Wayne Sundstrom said...

I have a Sumo Nine and an Electra Plus that are in excelent shape and working order. They are being used daily and have manuals and original packaging. For those interested you cane-mail me at

Lynn said...

I have a SUMO Gold I'm looking to sell but don't know what to ask for it. It works and is in good physical condition except for a bottom corner that was bent in a journey from Japan. Do you have any clue how much I should ask for it?
Thanks a lot.