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  1. #51
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    Re: Help build my list of amps to try

    Quote Originally Posted by jmusica View Post
    This looks appealing.
    Here is a link to my review if you are interested-

    Review of the New DVA 225 Mono Block Amps

    And here is a review from an owner on the AC forum-

    "RETURN TO THE FAITH
    Well, I’m back.
    “Who are you, where are you back from, and why should I care?” I hear you ask.

    I am a Van Alstine disciple of the last 43 years, and have owned Frank’s gear from the days of Jensen’s Stereo Shop. I sort of fell away from the path of True Faith about seven years ago, and though I’ve always kept an AVA amp and preamp on hand, was seduced by the spell of gear with copious reviews and higher prices. It’s a long story, and boring too, so I won’t burden you with details. But even in my time of being lost in the hi-fi wilderness, I continued to recommend AVA gear to friends and family as a superb, cost-effective means to sonic enlightenment.

    The shining audio beacon that lights my return to the AVA fold is the DVA M225 amp. For the last year I have owned two very highly regarded Pass Labs monoblocks, and was initially quite happy with them. But I gradually became aware that although these amps did depth and detail and gravitas extremely well, I was missing out on at least a couple of attributes I really wanted. I was able to identify the lacking qualities as – to use the vernacular of our passion – soundstage and dynamics. No doubt the many adherents to the faith of Pass amplification will, at a minimum, be quick to call me crazy and question the acuity of my hearing. So be it. I am willing to go so far as to attribute my perceptions of problems to poor system synergy.

    But after a trial with the M225s, I have sold the Pass amps – which list at four times the price of the M225s – and am now enjoying music that calls out to me, demands my attention, and pulls me in. The M225s render a very accurate, clean and clear audio picture, and present a soundstage to die for. I am convinced that they are world-beaters, certainly at anything near the price point and probably several multiples of it. Some have called it the best amp Frank has even come out with, which is a bold statement but one I must agree with.

    To answer my opening questions: I am a happy audiophile, I have returned from a sojourn into non-AVA gear, and – OK, so you might not really care – I hope more audiophiles can experience this audio achievement that AVA has wrought.

    System Equipment: Martin Logan CLX speakers and BalancedForce subs, Audio Research Ref 6 preamp, PS Audio Stellar phono pre, Exemplar-modified Oppo UDP-205 CD deck, Denon DP-75 TT/Kuzma 4 Pt tonearm/My Sonic Labs cart."
    My Gear- Mains System-Pass X250 amp, BAT VK-51se preamp, Luxman DA-06 DAC, Magnepan 1.6's, Thorens TD-145 TT, Dual Martin Logan Subs, Vintage Luxman T-110 Tuner, Other systems- Parasound A21 amp,Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid tube DAC and Preamp, Magnepan MMG's, Monitor Audio S1's, PSB B6's, Def Tech Pro Monitor 1000's, Velodyne sub, Adcom GFR-700 AVR, Music Hall 25.2 modified CDP, Cables by Cardas Parsec, AQ Columbia DBS 72v, Wire World.

  2. #52
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    Re: Help build my list of amps to try

    Like Larry I'm a big fan of the current Van Alstine amps and own the Vision SET 400 in one of my systems but another option worth exploring are the two amps from Kinki Studio. I own the EX-M7 stereo amp but they are also available as mono amps the EX-B7's for the same price as the DVA-225's. Slightly different sound profiles but really good amps for the money. The Kinki amps have both SE and XLR inputs.
    Main - JVC QL-Y7/Denon DL-301 Mk II, Gold Note PH-10, Jays CDT3 Mk3 , Auralic Aries G1, Holo May KTE, Supratek Cabernet, Kinki Studio EX-M7, Verity Audio Otello, (2) Rythmik F12SE, Audio Envy IC, SC & PC's, Triode Wire Lab PC's, Inakustik USB and I2S, PS Audio Stellar P3, PI Audio Uberbuss, Timbernation rack

    Family Room - Oppo UDP-203, Auralic Aries, Aqua La Voce S3, Kinki Studio EX-M1+, Nola KO, (2) Rythmik F-12G, Wireworld SC & IC's, Neotech PC's, SurgeX SA-1810

    Greenville, SC- Jays CDT2 Mk 3, Auralic Aries G1, Holo Spring 3 KTE, Don Sachs Model 2, Van Alstine Vision SET 400, Rosso Fiorentino Volterra 2, (2) RSL Speedwoofers, iFi Audio Power Station, Wireworld IC's, Inakustik USB and I2s, Triode Wire Lab SC, Triode Wire Lab PC's, Furutech NCF Clear Line.

  3. #53
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    Re: Help build my list of amps to try

    I did listen to the E1x, I posted my impressions in a thread on the Bel Canto forum here if anyone is interested.
    Aurender ACS10 w/Audioquest Diamond USB,
    Mark Levinson #526, 532h, JBL 4367's
    Clearaudio Performance DC w/Maestro cart
    Clarus Concerto & their Crimson cables

    HT: Marantz AV8003, Linn 5125, JBL SAM3ha, Revel s30,
    SVS PC13 Ultra
    Transparent, Analysis Plus & Tributaries. PS Audio filtering
    Sony XBR-75X940D & BDP
    Parasound P6, Coda CSX, Artisan speakers

  4. #54
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    Re: Help build my list of amps to try

    Here's what I think my list has evolved to.

    Currently have the Enleum, and really enjoying it. I get more pleasure listening to my system than any other system I've had and I'm sure the Enleum is part of the reason, it will take a lot to replace it. I'm actually a bit hesitant to rotate others in because I'm having trouble imagining how much better something else could sound, but at the same time realize there's plenty out there, in my range, I could like more. But also out of laziness for the effort and not wanting to hear my girlfriend whining at me....

    1- Aavik i-280 (another Class D apparently, built on something called UMUC? Anyone familiar?). Hard to find pre-owned in US.
    2- NAD M23 (I don't need most of what the M33 has to offer, and the Lumin X1 has Leedh for volume control). I'm wondering if these can be used as dual mono's by buying 2.
    3- Pass Int-60 or 30.8. Everyone loves Pass. I get it. These are far bigger and heavier than what I'd like, but I'd try them if I could find one local (no shipping).

    Three that just depend if I can find one in my budget. Lots and lots of great things said.
    4- Soulution Int 330, or 311.
    5- Constellation Inspiration 1.0
    6- Bakoon 41 or 51

    Amps that interest me but I won't try because I worry about resale when I eventually get the bug for something else: Van Alstines, ADG Vivace GAN amps (heard these at Florida expo and they sounded wonderful).
    Lumin X1 > Boulder 1161 > Scansonic MB3.5 B

    Interconnects: HiDiamond Genesis Big XLR
    Speaker Cable: Zu IBIS
    Ethernet: Wireworld Platinum Starlight 8 Ethernet (Lumin L1) / Owens Corning OS2 SM Fiber (Lumin X1)
    Power Conditioning: Ayre L-5xe Line Filter (amp, X1) / Keces P3 LPS w/ Uptone Audio Saphire DC cable (switch, L1)
    Power Cables: Shunyata, Transparent
    Music Source: Lumin L1 NAS / Qobuz / Roon

    Tweaks: Artesania Audio damper | Shakti Air | Shakti Onlines | Synergistic Big MIG footers | Alto-extremo Lyd footers | Ginko Cloud 15 (X1) | IsoAcoustics Gaia II

  5. #55
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    Re: Help build my list of amps to try

    The Bakoons/Enleums are nice but I get it. One thing it doesn’t have that can be beneficial are XLR inputs. The 41 and 51, you’ll just get more of the same sound that you’re enjoying already.

    You might want to try something with a little more power that would be my recommendation.

    Fwiw, my Bakoon 51R checkboxed my amp lust. Some others that were on my list.
    Luxman 595
    AGD dual monos
    Dartzheel Int
    Gryphon Essence
    _______________

    Main Room: Fleetwood Sound Co. Deville SQ < Bakoon AMP-51R | Dynaco ST-70 < Lumin X1

    Loft: Apple HomePod Mini




  6. #56
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    Re: Help build my list of amps to try

    Quote Originally Posted by Low325 View Post
    The Bakoons/Enleums are nice but I get it. One thing it doesn’t have that can be beneficial are XLR inputs. The 41 and 51, you’ll just get more of the same sound that you’re enjoying already.

    You might want to try something with a little more power that would be my recommendation.

    Fwiw, my Bakoon 51R checkboxed my amp lust. Some others that were on my list.
    Luxman 595
    AGD dual monos
    Dartzheel Int
    Gryphon Essence
    Definitely. I have very good/expensive XLR interconnects that made a huge difference in a few systems, after trying the top end of many other well-rated ones, that I'd love to be able to use again. I don't really want to spend 4k on RCA interconnects to get to that level again.

    I do really love the Enleum sound which is why I'd like to try the 41 or 51.

    - Luxman I've seen described as warm and tube-like, which isn't really my thing. Also not a fan of that retro styling.
    - AGD I heard at the Florida expo; they were one of the best rooms there and they are on my list above, but I won't go out of my way due to the reason I gave.
    - Would be interested in Dartzeel but I'm not sure I've seen them in my range (<10k-ish pre-owned)
    - Gryphon ruled out on 3 counts. Too too big, showed to g/f she gave them a big "not in the living room", seen - the Diablo at least - described as on the warm side and not sure that's what I want. That said if I saw an Essence for an incredible price I'd probably do it.
    Lumin X1 > Boulder 1161 > Scansonic MB3.5 B

    Interconnects: HiDiamond Genesis Big XLR
    Speaker Cable: Zu IBIS
    Ethernet: Wireworld Platinum Starlight 8 Ethernet (Lumin L1) / Owens Corning OS2 SM Fiber (Lumin X1)
    Power Conditioning: Ayre L-5xe Line Filter (amp, X1) / Keces P3 LPS w/ Uptone Audio Saphire DC cable (switch, L1)
    Power Cables: Shunyata, Transparent
    Music Source: Lumin L1 NAS / Qobuz / Roon

    Tweaks: Artesania Audio damper | Shakti Air | Shakti Onlines | Synergistic Big MIG footers | Alto-extremo Lyd footers | Ginko Cloud 15 (X1) | IsoAcoustics Gaia II

  7. #57
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    Re: Help build my list of amps to try

    If you did want to try a NAD C 298 I just put mine up for sale because I just completed my Mc Stack... great amp, and I am tempted to keep it, but I simply hate having gear (especially brand new gear) sitting and not being enjoyed.
    McIntosh C49, MR85, MC7100W, R778 | KEF LS50 Meta w/S2, KC62 (x2) | Rega RP8, Ania Pro, NEO PSU | Technics SL-1500C | Audio Technica VM740ML | Hexmat Eclipse, Yellow Bird, Molekula, Molekula Mini | Pro-Ject VC-E | Falcon NW PC Server (Roon Core & HQ Player) | Microsoft Surface Pro 6 (Roon Controller) | Abyss Diana Phi | Astell&Kern SE200 | Oppo BDP105

    “One of the great challenges in life is knowing enough to think you're right but not enough to know you're wrong”
    "You can't use reason to convince anyone out of an argument that they didn't use reason to get into"
    ― Neil deGrasse Tyson

  8. #58
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    Re: Help build my list of amps to try

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Myers View Post
    If you did want to try a NAD C 298 I just put mine up for sale because I just completed my Mc Stack... great amp, and I am tempted to keep it, but I simply hate having gear (especially brand new gear) sitting and not being enjoyed.
    Thanks Randy, appreciate the offer. I just pulled the trigger on an Aavik and a cable upgrade so can't do right now, also may wait for the M23 so I can do it on a trial period a little down the road.
    Lumin X1 > Boulder 1161 > Scansonic MB3.5 B

    Interconnects: HiDiamond Genesis Big XLR
    Speaker Cable: Zu IBIS
    Ethernet: Wireworld Platinum Starlight 8 Ethernet (Lumin L1) / Owens Corning OS2 SM Fiber (Lumin X1)
    Power Conditioning: Ayre L-5xe Line Filter (amp, X1) / Keces P3 LPS w/ Uptone Audio Saphire DC cable (switch, L1)
    Power Cables: Shunyata, Transparent
    Music Source: Lumin L1 NAS / Qobuz / Roon

    Tweaks: Artesania Audio damper | Shakti Air | Shakti Onlines | Synergistic Big MIG footers | Alto-extremo Lyd footers | Ginko Cloud 15 (X1) | IsoAcoustics Gaia II

  9. #59
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    Re: Help build my list of amps to try

    Decision (and purchase) made!

    Was able to try out a few of the amps on the list, and a few others, but in the end one stood out to me, checked all my boxes.

    If I had to say what lesson I learned, it would be there are many really excellent sounding amps, it’s just up to what you prefer. Some more forward, some more laid back, some more romantic, some more analytic, and so on. The one I chose satisfies my tastes, and there were others that would likely be preferred by other people.

    Fwiw, I ended up spending around double my original budget.

    While I’m waiting for it to arrive, have to say I still absolutely love listening to the Enleum. And would have been very happy keeping it, other than the one I ended up going with just gives me a bit more of what I like most.

    Once the amp is here and settled in, I’ll reveal the winner as well as where I purchased (kudos to them for helping through the journey). I’ll have a small listening session for the Suncoast Audio Society group after a few weeks of burn-in, in case you’re in the area.

    Next up…. Maybe speakers.
    Lumin X1 > Boulder 1161 > Scansonic MB3.5 B

    Interconnects: HiDiamond Genesis Big XLR
    Speaker Cable: Zu IBIS
    Ethernet: Wireworld Platinum Starlight 8 Ethernet (Lumin L1) / Owens Corning OS2 SM Fiber (Lumin X1)
    Power Conditioning: Ayre L-5xe Line Filter (amp, X1) / Keces P3 LPS w/ Uptone Audio Saphire DC cable (switch, L1)
    Power Cables: Shunyata, Transparent
    Music Source: Lumin L1 NAS / Qobuz / Roon

    Tweaks: Artesania Audio damper | Shakti Air | Shakti Onlines | Synergistic Big MIG footers | Alto-extremo Lyd footers | Ginko Cloud 15 (X1) | IsoAcoustics Gaia II

  10. #60
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    Re: Help build my list of amps to try

    Quote Originally Posted by jmusica View Post
    Decision (and purchase) made!

    Next up…. Maybe speakers.
    That's a troubling statement! You've done exactly right in making a short list of amps to try - hopefully all tried at home with your speakers, otherwise a bit of an academic exercise!

    Now you say maybe speakers next. Choosing the right speakers for your room should be Job No 1 as it's the room acoustics that governs this choice and one very good speaker (in showrooms, shows and reviews) may be dire in your own room - as I found out to my cost after buying the highly regarded Martin Logan 13A Expression, that sadly didn’t appreciate my room one bit!

    But once you do find the right speaker, you'll be back to square one regarding the most suitable amp to power it. Your new speaker may have very different sensitivity and may present a very difference load to the amp and these factors alone may render your new amp purchase less than ideal. Also the new amp may offer the best sound with your existing speakers, but it may not be the best sounding with your future new speakers.

    I hope your “Next up…. Maybe speakers” is still several years in the future!
    Sources - NAD M50.2 (streamer, CD player, CD ripper, hard drive music store)
    Amplification - NAD M33, NAD M12, Consonance Cyber 845 monoblocs (now sold)
    Speakers - Avantgarde Duo XD, Avantgarde Duo (2006) - both aesthetically modified, Martin Logan Expression 13A (now sold)

  11. #61
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    Re: Help build my list of amps to try

    Quote Originally Posted by jmusica View Post
    Would like to try out some amps around a Lumin X1 and Scansonic MB3.5 B. Will do my best to describe my constraints and preferences. Just looking for any subjective thoughts or input, if you're game.

    • Budget ~<$10k, new or used.
    • Form factor is important. Has to be less than 18" deep, around 16" is ideal (width/height don't matter as much). Weight <80 max, prefer <60.
    • Prefer a stereo amp in one chassis, but would consider monoblocks.
    • Not looking for an integrated, but would consider if all else is right. Simpler the better. Lumin out to the amp; I have no other input needs.
    • I listen mostly low-mid volumes, sitting about 9 feet from the front plane of the speakers. Mostly jazz, classic rock, classical (baroque, orchestral, piano), alt-country, world/eclectic. Nothing too heavy really, beyond the occasional Sabbath or Rush disc.
    • I like part of @joeinid 's description of the Enleum: "an open, lit from within sound". Also: big soundstage, placement/separation precision and air, speed, a good thwack of a drum hit, vocals like they're in the room. Organic and musical.


    On the list for possible rotating in:
    Enleum 23r, Bakoon 41/51, NAD M23, T+A Amp 200, Ayre VX-R, Soulution 311, something Gryphon

    (yeah, I suspect these may be very different from each other and some may be challenging to find in budget)
    Minimum power?
    DPT4ME - Dynamics, Presence & Tone for Musical Engagement; MBP (3) - stripped down for music only; Shunyata Omega & Sigma USBs; ISO REGEN w/short Curious USB links; Berkeley Alpha USB; Aqua La Scala II Optologic DAC; Schiit Yggdrasil - fully updated; Ayre Codex dac - updated; Pass Labs INT-60 integrated amp; Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE-2 preamp, Quicksilver Mono 120 amps w/Tung-Sol KT150s; Quicksilver Mid Mono amps w/Gold Lion KT77s; Fyne Audio 703s; Symposium Svelte Plus & Ultra Platforms; REL S-812 subwoofers; Duelund DCA12GA speaker cables; AV Room Service EVPs, Stein Music Harmonizers, Duelund DCA16GA & 20GA ICs; Shunyata Denali 6000S/V2; Tripp Lite PCs; Wyred 4 Sound power cords; AudioDharma cable cooker; dedicated custom room; various GIK & ASC room treatments; etc.

    www.getbettersound.com

  12. #62
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    Re: Help build my list of amps to try

    Quote Originally Posted by Hear Here View Post
    I hope your “Next up…. Maybe speakers” is still several years in the future!
    Unfamiliar with audiophiles I see...

  13. #63
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    Re: Help build my list of amps to try

    Quote Originally Posted by jmusica View Post
    I’ll have a small listening session for the Suncoast Audio Society group after a few weeks of burn-in, in case you’re in the area.
    Welcome back

  14. #64
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    Re: Help build my list of amps to try

    9C3EDB6B-5E95-448E-8651-1948AE3C5084.jpeg

    The winner: Boulder 1161

    Very happy to have found this amp, love the synergy I’m getting even after just a few hours.

    I tried several on my original list/this thread, although not all, plus some others. Would be surprised if I found one I didn’t try, that I’d like substantially more than the Boulder.

    Many thanks to Mike, Mike and Matt at Suncoast Audio for taking me on the journey. It led somewhere a bit unexpected, but immensely satisfying. They made it an easy, fun process, and gently nudged me in the direction that ended up being best, without ever a hint of pushiness, just sincere interest in helping. Their passion for the hobby is evident; they’re patient and they’re friendly. I heartily recommend dealing with these guys if you have the opportunity.
    Lumin X1 > Boulder 1161 > Scansonic MB3.5 B

    Interconnects: HiDiamond Genesis Big XLR
    Speaker Cable: Zu IBIS
    Ethernet: Wireworld Platinum Starlight 8 Ethernet (Lumin L1) / Owens Corning OS2 SM Fiber (Lumin X1)
    Power Conditioning: Ayre L-5xe Line Filter (amp, X1) / Keces P3 LPS w/ Uptone Audio Saphire DC cable (switch, L1)
    Power Cables: Shunyata, Transparent
    Music Source: Lumin L1 NAS / Qobuz / Roon

    Tweaks: Artesania Audio damper | Shakti Air | Shakti Onlines | Synergistic Big MIG footers | Alto-extremo Lyd footers | Ginko Cloud 15 (X1) | IsoAcoustics Gaia II

  15. #65
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    Re: Help build my list of amps to try

    Quote Originally Posted by Puma Cat View Post
    Class A AmpCamp amps run as bridged monos availble from the DIYAudio store.

    A whopping, budget-busting $654 for the pair. Gotta build 'em yourself, though.


    ...

    Designed by Nelson, so there ya go...
    Humm ... well the Camp Amp is just the ticket for distortion lovers but objectively its performance is abysmal. Check out the review at ASR, (Pass ACA Class A Power Amplifier Review | Audio Science Review (ASR) Forum).

    NAD amps based on Purifi technology, such as the M33 or M23 should do a nice job but you don't have to spend that kind of cash for Purifi-based amp in a nice case.

    For that check out Nord Nord Three SE 1ET400A MKII Dual Mono Stereo, (here), about US$1950. Also, see the ASR review (3 channel version), (here).

    ~ Bill

    Win10/Foobar2000 => Topping D90 DAC => Sonic Frontiers Line 1 SE+ preamp => VTV Purifi 1ET400A stereo amp with Sparkos SS3602 op amps => Zaph Audio ZRT speakers (DIY) + PSB Subsonic 5 subwoofer

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