Gemstone Blue Diamond Owner's Thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 59 Old 01-16-2009, 08:41 AM - Thread Starter
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I have not come across an owner's thread for Gemstone though i know quite a few people have used/ are still using it.

I am driving my Dali Helicon's through the Gemstone and can't believe how effortless and powerful this amp is. It's also sad that not a whole lot of people are aware of this amp which(IMHO) is a great value for money in light of what it offers.

I believe the Gemstone scored very high points in the amp shootout done a few years ago here at AVS as well.

Here is the link to their website that also has the specs listed.

http://www.gemstoneaudio.com/amplifi...ue_diamond.php

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post #2 of 59 Old 01-16-2009, 09:04 AM
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It's probably the one piece of gear I have held on to the longest. Before I had the lpa-1, and the sherbourn 7/2100. This amp is great and a steal IMO.
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post #3 of 59 Old 01-16-2009, 09:18 AM
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I don't own the Gemstone anymore due to changing of speakers. When I did own it I had the Meridian 861 with 7 M&K S-5000's. I was running all balanced cables. With all of the amps I have owned(alot within 4 years) if someone is looking for a very clear, neutral and powerful amp for movies or music this is the one. I now have horns and I bet it would still sound great but I am trying out McIntosh for the slight warmth. Did I just call an amp warm.
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post #4 of 59 Old 01-16-2009, 10:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biffbyun View Post

It's probably the one piece of gear I have held on to the longest. Before I had the lpa-1, and the sherbourn 7/2100. This amp is great and a steal IMO.

Great to hear from fellow owners I agree with you, this is one piece in my gear that i don't envision having to change for a very long time... I'm very impressed at how effortlessly it delivers. Even after the hardest of driving i have never noticed it even slightly warm to the touch.

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I don't own the Gemstone anymore due to changing of speakers. When I did own it I had the Meridian 861 with 7 M&K S-5000's. I was running all balanced cables. With all of the amps I have owned(alot within 4 years) if someone is looking for a very clear, neutral and powerful amp for movies or music this is the one. I now have horns and I bet it would still sound great but I am trying out McIntosh for the slight warmth. Did I just call an amp warm.

thanks for replying! I'm sure that McIntosh gear would be very nice! Not to mention how attractive their amps always are.

I can totally relate to your statement of clear, neutral and powerful.. the Gemstone basically outputs what you give it and very cleanly. I have a Marantz AV8003 Pre-Pro that helps in the warmness area instead

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post #5 of 59 Old 01-16-2009, 11:46 AM
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I have been through acsends, paradigm reference, b&w nautilius, energy veritas, rockets, aerials, x-statiks, and not psb synchronys not to much various prepros and receivers. The gemstone has run them all effortlessly. There is something to say about the neutrality and control this amp has. Very refined.
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post #6 of 59 Old 01-16-2009, 12:14 PM
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Have any of you guys any comparisons to ICE powered amps such as something from W4S or D-Sonic?

I ask because I'm amp shopping. I always manage to sneak a look at the Gemstone and have it on my list. Its the only non D class amp on it.

I currently run an 7125 Outlaw and while I can't say anything bad about it per se, I want more power right now. Right now its probably down to a W4S 7x 250 or the Gemstone.

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post #7 of 59 Old 01-16-2009, 12:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by HT_n_Me View Post

Have any of you guys any comparisons to ICE powered amps such as something from W4S or D-Sonic?

I ask because I'm amp shopping. I always manage to sneak a look at the Gemstone and have it on my list. Its the only non D class amp on it.

I currently run an 7125 Outlaw and while I can't say anything bad about it per se, I want more power right now. Right now its probably down to a W4S 7x 250 or the Gemstone.

Sorry Wally, i myself do not have experience with either of those amps.. but i have read comments from lot of happy Gemstone owners who have been amazed by its performance.

I had a B&K earlier to compare with the Gemstone and the Gemstone while sonically is not too different, it brought a certain airiness and openness to the soundstage and felt really clean and effortless.

I know all these things are hard to quantify in real terms but that is the general feeling i get from it. I feel it takes the whole part of even thinking about an amp out of equation in your setup(which is a good thing)... kind of like being a very strong link that you never have to worry about.

If its power you want there is no way you would be disappointed with the Gemstone believe me.. its 200X7 at 8ohms and doubles down to 400 under 4 ohm loads. If you were closer i would have loved to give you a demo.. maybe you can find a dealer/owner in Chicago area. Wish you all the best in your quest and whatever amp you end up deciding on.

There is an old thread here somewhere about the amp shootout, ill try to find it and post a link for comparisons. I believe they compared the amp very favourably with other amps costing twice the money.

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post #8 of 59 Old 01-16-2009, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Found the link to the shootout after some googling..

http://archive.avsforum.com/avs-vb/s...0&pagenumber=1

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post #9 of 59 Old 01-16-2009, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daman S View Post

Found the link to the shootout after some googling..

http://archive.avsforum.com/avs-vb/s...0&pagenumber=1

Hey thanks for the URL! I've been amp shopping for several months and I did see some of those posts from that shootout.

I appreciate your comments and thoughts about the amp as well. I am one that agrees with your comments about not knowing an amp is even part of the equation. To be honest, the Outlaw has done a good job in that respect - no complaints. I think the Gemstone will provide the power I'm looking for though. I'm looking for "coverage" power not sustained at the peak type. My speakers can go to 4 ohms and even to 2 under the right conditions - and I want the right amp; I don't want to be buying an amp every year.

I've read some wonderful stuff about the W4S amps ability to provide a wide soundstage and "depth" I guess would be an apt term. I like the low heat and light weight of the D class amps too. I believe either one would work well for me.

Thanks again for the help.

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post #10 of 59 Old 01-16-2009, 03:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HT_n_Me View Post

Hey thanks for the URL! I've been amp shopping for several months and I did see some of those posts from that shootout.

I appreciate your comments and thoughts about the amp as well. I am one that agrees with your comments about not knowing an amp is even part of the equation. To be honest, the Outlaw has done a good job in that respect - no complaints. I think the Gemstone will provide the power I'm looking for though. I'm looking for "coverage" power not sustained at the peak type. My speakers can go to 4 ohms and even to 2 under the right conditions - and I want the right amp; I don't want to be buying an amp every year.

I've read some wonderful stuff about the W4S amps ability to provide a wide soundstage and "depth" I guess would be an apt term. I like the low heat and light weight of the D class amps too. I believe either one would work well for me.

Thanks again for the help.

I hear you Wally! Amp is something i would also not want to upgrade in my setup for a long time(and currently i feel this will be case). The light weight of the D class amps seems attractive.. the gemstone is really heavy. Regarding the heat factor, i can comment from Gemstones perspective that i have never felt it even warm after the heaviest of driving so they may fare equally there. Let us know what you end up choosing!

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post #11 of 59 Old 01-16-2009, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HT_n_Me View Post

Hey thanks for the URL! I've been amp shopping for several months and I did see some of those posts from that shootout.

I appreciate your comments and thoughts about the amp as well. I am one that agrees with your comments about not knowing an amp is even part of the equation. To be honest, the Outlaw has done a good job in that respect - no complaints. I think the Gemstone will provide the power I'm looking for though. I'm looking for "coverage" power not sustained at the peak type. My speakers can go to 4 ohms and even to 2 under the right conditions - and I want the right amp; I don't want to be buying an amp every year.

I've read some wonderful stuff about the W4S amps ability to provide a wide soundstage and "depth" I guess would be an apt term. I like the low heat and light weight of the D class amps too. I believe either one would work well for me.

Thanks again for the help.

My Von Schweikert VR-4JR are 2.4Ohms from 60-160Hz, and the Gemstone has no problems driving them at very high volumes. This amp is a keeper.

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post #12 of 59 Old 01-27-2009, 08:46 AM
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I have a gemstone that has been faithfully driving both my system, REF50S2, SF Cremona and Polk LSi's, since 2005. Very happy with it. Haven't been tempted to upgrade for a long time, thanks to Gemstone.


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post #13 of 59 Old 01-27-2009, 09:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by fhidayat View Post

I have a gemstone that has been faithfully driving both my system, REF50S2, SF Cremona and Polk LSi's, since 2005. Very happy with it. Haven't been tempted to upgrade for a long time, thanks to Gemstone.

Nice! How do the Sonus Faber's sound with the Gemstone.. i had them shortlisted along with Dali when choosing my speakers a few years back.

Would love to see some photos of your setup if you have em.

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post #14 of 59 Old 01-27-2009, 11:21 AM
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I really love this amp as well.
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post #15 of 59 Old 01-27-2009, 12:09 PM
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Hey Steve,
How is everything? I am back to McIntosh again since I have horn speakers. They do match very well together. I remember trying out amps when I had the Gemstone and the Gemstone just had that extra clarity and smoothness compared to the others. I even tried pure class a monoblocks in 2 channel versus 2 channels of the gemstone and the gemstone was still slightly better. Surely a great amp. If I ever change speakers again that are more neutral(you no me) expect another call. I keep hearing good things about the new Emotiva amps and are tempting to try out. I am happy right now running 320 watts per channel of Mac into big cinema horn speakers. Talk about a cinematic experience. Check out my signature.
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post #16 of 59 Old 01-27-2009, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH View Post

I really love this amp as well.

Welcome to the thread Steve and thanks for making such a fantastic amp I don't think i will ever feel the urge of upgrading from this for a long time.

The only thing i wish a little different was if it was a little smaller in length as im finding it hard to find normal av racks(like Salamander) to fit it. But i'm being nitpicky here so please don't mind.

Did I mention again how much i love this mated with the Dalis

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post #17 of 59 Old 01-27-2009, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daman S View Post

Welcome to the thread Steve and thanks for making such a fantastic amp I don't think i will ever feel the urge of upgrading from this for a long time.

The only thing i wish a little different was if it was a little smaller in length as im finding it hard to find normal av racks(like Salamander) to fit it. But i'm being nitpicky here so please don't mind.

Did I mention again how much i love this mated with the Dalis

Those Dali's are VERY nice looking speakers. In the right speaker I love ribbon tweeters...I take those Dali's are the RIGHT speaker?

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post #18 of 59 Old 01-27-2009, 08:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by HT_n_Me View Post

Those Dali's are VERY nice looking speakers. In the right speaker I love ribbon tweeters...I take those Dali's are the RIGHT speaker?

Oh they definitely are Wally! They sound incredible with both music and ht.. and the added fact that they are so beautifully crafted.. perfect

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post #19 of 59 Old 01-27-2009, 09:22 PM
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Hey Steve and fellow Gemstone owners, current and previous. Still have my Gemstone sitting nearby pumping out some good music while I type this. For the price, well actually quite a lot more, this is the best in regards to neutrality and clean power that I've had the pleasure of listening to over extended periods... not at shows with killer setups.
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post #20 of 59 Old 01-28-2009, 04:56 AM
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Daman;

Not to take this thread off course but I hope to add a pair of 2 ch speakers to my "stable" and those Dali's have just made my list.

Back on thread, I'm about this close to owning a Gemstone thanks to you guys and a pretty cool discussion with Steve. Once the frozen tundra weather releases it's grasp on the Upper Midwest, I'm going to jump on one of my motorbikes and go visit Steve in MN. Give me a chance to check out a real store too.

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post #21 of 59 Old 01-28-2009, 06:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by HT_n_Me View Post

Daman;

Not to take this thread off course but I hope to add a pair of 2 ch speakers to my "stable" and those Dali's have just made my list.

Back on thread, I'm about this close to owning a Gemstone thanks to you guys and a pretty cool discussion with Steve. Once the frozen tundra weather releases it's grasp on the Upper Midwest, I'm going to jump on one of my motorbikes and go visit Steve in MN. Give me a chance to check out a real store too.

Sweet! You would love the Dali's! If you are going the 2ch route may i suggest that you take a look at the Helicon 800's also, they provide that extra bass and are perfect for 2ch from what i hear. Otherwise you can always add a sub to the 400's mix like i have. These baby's also really open up when bi-amped(which i have done with the gemstone).

Gemstone, Dali and bikes must have some co-relation i think I can't wait for the warmer weather to start riding mine again as well. A winter storm hitting here today, so i can only dream of warmer days

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post #22 of 59 Old 02-11-2009, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daman S View Post

Nice! How do the Sonus Faber's sound with the Gemstone.. i had them shortlisted along with Dali when choosing my speakers a few years back.

Would love to see some photos of your setup if you have em.

Daman, my apology, somehow I missed your post, and the fact that I haven't been spending much time in the forum anymore. To answer your question: I am loving it. With the right CD/SACD with clean mastering (I put the caveat since the system is very revealing on not so great recordings) the bass is tight, wide soundstage, mid is very clean especially on those lusty Diana Krall's vocal, and high is as always nice courtesy of Vifa tweets. My setup consist of:

Philips SACD1000 APL HiFi modded (tube-based output stage)
B&K Ref50S2
Gemstone BD
SF Cremona
an some other various gears for HT and surrounds


In the beginning..
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post #23 of 59 Old 02-12-2009, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fhidayat View Post

Daman, my apology, somehow I missed your post, and the fact that I haven't been spending much time in the forum anymore. To answer your question: I am loving it. With the right CD/SACD with clean mastering (I put the caveat since the system is very revealing on not so great recordings) the bass is tight, wide soundstage, mid is very clean especially on those lusty Diana Krall's vocal, and high is as always nice courtesy of Vifa tweets. My setup consist of:

Philips SACD1000 APL HiFi modded (tube-based output stage)
B&K Ref50S2
Gemstone BD
SF Cremona
an some other various gears for HT and surrounds

Wonderful!! I would love to see some pics of your setup if you have em.

I also have some Diana Krall SACD's and i agree her vocals are fantastic, more so on the right speakers.

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post #24 of 59 Old 02-12-2009, 12:56 PM
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Hey Daman, here is a pic. The setup is in the living room, so it may not an ideal, but two channels is where I spend most of my time listening. Movies are great too, sub is Velodyne DD-15, with Samsung BD-UP5000 duo player as the video workhorse.

Shout out to Steve_H, Hope all is well. Have been happy with the Gemstone, and not ready to give up the REF50 yet..
LL


In the beginning..
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post #25 of 59 Old 02-12-2009, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey Daman, here is a pic. The setup is in the living room, so it may not an ideal, but two channels is where I spend most of my time listening. Movies are great too, sub is Velodyne DD-15, with Samsung BD-UP5000 duo player as the video workhorse.

Shout out to Steve_H, Hope all is well. Have been happy with the Gemstone, and not ready to give up the REF50 yet..

Fantastic! Your picture made me remember again why i loved the look of the Sonus Faber's so much. They are more like a piece of expensive Italian furniture than just speakers(which they are aplenty as well) thanks for sharing!

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post #26 of 59 Old 02-12-2009, 02:45 PM
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thanks, Daman. Your Helicon is to die for too. I love the shiny finish to it. Your setup is top notch. I wish I have your setup. Have you seen the SF Anniversario? talk about a nice looking Italian furniture grade that will complement any decor.

I am waiting for the bailout check before I can afford anymore upgrade...


In the beginning..
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post #27 of 59 Old 02-13-2009, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by fhidayat View Post

thanks, Daman. Your Helicon is to die for too. I love the shiny finish to it. Your setup is top notch. I wish I have your setup. Have you seen the SF Anniversario? talk about a nice looking Italian furniture grade that will complement any decor.

I am waiting for the bailout check before I can afford anymore upgrade...

Thanks so much for the kind words! The Helicons and the SF's were the final 2 standing on my list and i ended up with the Dali's.. but i digress. I'll google up the SF Anniversario

I also hope that bailout check comes soon, but i fear the wife factor would not let me spend it this time around

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post #28 of 59 Old 02-13-2009, 09:20 AM
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Steve, is Gemstone still doing business?

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post #29 of 59 Old 02-13-2009, 06:31 PM
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I have been wondering how the Cinenova 7 compares to the Gemstone? Anyone do a compare, or have had both? Speakers will be Magnepan.

Thanks

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post #30 of 59 Old 04-20-2009, 08:15 PM - Thread Starter
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One of the channels of my Gemstone short around a month back(probably my 1 and half yr old daughter had something to do with it ) I talked to Steve and he said Gemstone is not made to protect against shorts as it compromises the dynamics.

I have sent it out for repairs(its been a month now), hoping i would get it back soon as im really missing it

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