Reliability that you can depend upon combined with musical accuracy and emotional authority is what these amplifiers promise - and deliver. They are able to switch operation modes allowing the listener to choose between the sonically seductive qualities of triode and the more powerful tetrode configuration. Manly uses big, beefy reservoir capacitors in the high voltage supplies, giving plenty of instant energy for dynamic performance of transient peaks and bass impact and weight which often exceeds that of rival solid-state amplifiers. Manley runs high voltages on the plates of the output tubes but operates them at lower current which will result in their longer life. Although each output tube has its own bias-adjust, Manley carefully fit each amplifier with computer-batched tubes for optimum performance. The bias adjustment pots and measuring points are conveniently located behind the oval front panel insert.
To avoid a heavy power drain when the cold amplifier is first switched on, Manley conceived a "Soft-Start" mode which also functions as an "Ever-Warm" position allowing the amplifiers to be always warmed up for pleasurable listening. Each amplifier only consumes 30 watts of power in Ever-Warm mode. A blinking green LED reminds the user that the amplifier is in warm-up mode because as all the power supplies are at half-voltage, the amplifier will still play tunes (albeit not-so-great-sounding-tunes) when the Ever-Warm mode is engaged.
Manley added a front-panel mute switch and created a new angled-back chassis to make it easier to hook up the interconnects, speaker cables, and IEC power cord.
A satisfied customer wrote to Manley Labs about his 500's:
"Bass performance is astonishing in either tetrode or triode mode. It is deeper and fuller with more bloom and extension, while at the same time being faster and tighter than my solid state units. The lower midrange to deep bass is seamless and lends a satisfying richness to the musical content as a whole. From Paul Chambers' acoustic bass to Peter Gabriel's megabass, wow!
As great as the bass is, the midrange is killer. It has a smoothness and richness which is just breathtaking. Gobs of detail, with crisp attack. And long decay notes defining spatial imaging beyond expectation. The high end is even more extended and lacks the grain and edge of solid state amps. It is sweeter and more detailed. Listening sessions last a long time. Friends won't go home! Thanks again for a great product at a great price. Best regards, Geoffrey Wyshak"
- All-tube monoblock design 10 x KT90EH Electro-Harmonix Russian output tubes
- High current double 6414W GE driver stage
- 12AT7EH large plate Electro-Harmonix Russian input tube
- XLR & RCA inputs (switchable)
- Mute switch
- Triode / Ultra-Linear switching
- Soft-start, Ever-warm standby mode
- MANLEY Precision output transformer
- Factory set for 5 Ohms nominal
- Front panel bias measurement and adjust (hiding under the black insert)
- Large filter / reservoir capacitors 3800uF x 2
- Angled rear of chassis provides for easy connections
- WBT binding posts
- Input sensitivity: 1V
- Gain: 32dB tetrode; 30dB in triode
- Input Impedance RCA: 116 kOhm @ 1KHz
- Input Impedance XLR: 270 kOhm @ 1KHz; 20 kOhms @ 20KHz; 38 kOhm @ 20Hz
- Noise Floor: Tetrode: -67dB; Triode -65dB typical
- S/N Ratio: -80 dB
- Dynamic Range: 96dB
- FLAT frequency response: 10 Hz - 30 KHz continuous
- Power Consumption: 30 Watts in "EVER-WARM"
- Full power (tetrode): 500W
- Full power (triode): 275W
- Dimensions: 227 x 483 x 330mm (HxWxD)
- Shipping Weight: 37kg each