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  1. #1
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    Help me find a new SS amp

    Hey guys, have a pair of Fyne F1-12s which are 96db/8ohm speakers (though probably measure a few dbs less if the F1-10 measurements online are correct).

    I'm looking for a 50-100w SS amp. Have tried a FirstWatt SIT-3 (not enough headroom) and Pass XA25 (not my cup of tea) so far. I also heard them at Mike's before purchase on Pass X260.8 and Gryphon Essence - the Essence was great but above my budget.

    Any ideas? I have a lot of amplifier flexibility.
    Brinkmann Bardo w/ EMT HSD-006 cart, MSB Reference DAC --> Linear Tube Audio MicroZOTL --> Ampzilla 2000, 2nd Edition --> Fyne Audio F1-12

  2. #2
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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    Does Mike have the Luxman's (M900U or perhaps M700U) available to hear?
    Rob
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  3. #3
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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    I'm assuming from your post you are shopping around $5k budget give or take. It's a shame most of the well known amps start around $10k.

    If I'm correct on your budget Sim Audio and Bryston are in that range with models and are more neutral than Pass.

    You could look at something like Audio by Van Alstine. His amps do sound good, IMO, able to convey music without being overly warm or neutral.

    Merrill Audio typically have used/trade-ins Veritas for sale on USAudioMart for around $4k, the monoblocks were $12k new.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    budget is ~$15k, sorry for not being explicit. I tried the other amps as they are simple circuits without a lot of power.
    Brinkmann Bardo w/ EMT HSD-006 cart, MSB Reference DAC --> Linear Tube Audio MicroZOTL --> Ampzilla 2000, 2nd Edition --> Fyne Audio F1-12

  5. #5
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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    3 years ago I started looking for a ss amp to replace the valve ones I'd been using for 15 years. I bought or borrowed a dozen amps in the £5-10K range including ones from Accuphase. Sugden, Micromego. Mark Levinson, Lingdorf, GamuT, Benchmark, Quad, Valvet, Bakoon and others, but I found the modest NAD M32 matched or bettered all the others, Since then I've changed to the even better NAD M33 and I am still very content. It offers streaming, DSP (best not engaged), MM/MC, headphone out and amplification, all in a single box costing just £4K. A true bargain and good enough for my £32K speakers. Certainly worth including in your list of possible amps.
    Sources - NAD M50.2 (streamer, CD player, CD ripper, hard drive music store)
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  6. #6

    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    Keith,

    Have you listened to Mike (and Jay’s) videos partnering Fynes with the Classe Delta?
    They are over your 50-100W, but sounded mighty good to my ears.

  7. #7
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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    Suggest you talked to Maier at the Audio Salon.

  8. #8
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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucidear View Post
    Keith,

    Have you listened to Mike (and Jay’s) videos partnering Fynes with the Classe Delta?
    They are over your 50-100W, but sounded mighty good to my ears.
    Great suggestion. $13k and as good as we’ve heard under $30k. Gorgeous build and look too.


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  9. #9
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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    An amp I was sort of looking at but have not heard, Constellation Inspiration 1.0, 200x2 into 4 ohms atabout $12k, plenty of reviews. Although from the reviews, which are good, still I'm not getting a good picture in my mind of the sound. I guess that's to be expected though from reviews. I'm learning only so many adjectives and they really don't mean much, usually once you hear the product it's different from what I imagined.
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  10. #10

    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    With 96dB efficiency and 8 ohm nominal, they are clearly well suited and probably were designed with tubes in mind. Don’t want tubes, go for a Class A amp. If you are running out of headroom, a McIntosh amp with autoformers will get you all the wattage you paid for into 8 ohms instead of half with traditional SS amps.
    Serge

  11. #11
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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    I listened to the Logos Pathos mk2 with the persona 7f and really fell hard for the combo. I know how revealing the personas are and since the pathos could tame it I just have to give it a mention.
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  12. #12
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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    KeithR

    Try Accuphase. They use the Fine Audio F12's in their reference room.

  13. #13
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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    I'm curious, what was not to your liking with regards to PASS ? I tend to agree with Serge, given the efficiency of your speakers a valve amp and the flexibility it provides does make sense.
    Cheers ! …. Dave

  14. #14
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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    when the Avantgarde Uno Fino XD and Cornwall IVs were here, I used a Valvet E2 which sounded really good on both speakers with plenty of drive and very low self-noise (quiet). Their A4E monos are supposedly more of the same and within your budget.
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  15. #15
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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    I've had so much tube gear go boom on me - and i have considered a ZOTL40 of course to match my preamp. It only weighs 15lbs which is a positive but just not sure I want the hassle anymore.

    Puroagave- I owned the Valvet A4mki 5 years ago, which was surpassed by a Dart integrated. The mk2 versions apparently are quite good though and under consideration. That said, the guy who reviewed them also had the Essence I heard and well, let's just say it didn't seem close in performance. Of course the Gryphon is 3x the price.
    Brinkmann Bardo w/ EMT HSD-006 cart, MSB Reference DAC --> Linear Tube Audio MicroZOTL --> Ampzilla 2000, 2nd Edition --> Fyne Audio F1-12

  16. #16
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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    Have you given much consideration to the Dart CTH-8550? A bit above your price range but you could possibly eliminate your preamp and some cables
    Rob
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  17. #17
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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    Quote Originally Posted by rbbert View Post
    Have you given much consideration to the Dart CTH-8550? A bit above your price range but you could possibly eliminate your preamp and some cables
    Well, a friend is bringing over a 108 soon. I replaced the Valvet with a CTH and have very fond memories. Just wasn’t a good match in the bass with Devore. Fyne maybe different.
    Brinkmann Bardo w/ EMT HSD-006 cart, MSB Reference DAC --> Linear Tube Audio MicroZOTL --> Ampzilla 2000, 2nd Edition --> Fyne Audio F1-12

  18. #18
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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    If he can get it to your budget:
    D'Agostino Momentum S250

    I also am happy with the pre-owned excellent shape MBL I found... if you can find a T+A in your budget then, dammmmm there you go!

    Of course my home town amps are always worth considering... McIntosh!
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  19. #19
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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    Seems to me that rich people see spending more as a solution to pretty much everything. But that is always so.

    My current amplifier philosophy is that the power amp ought to be totally neutral: if you prefer some color, (or call it what you will), get that upstream from your preamp.

    Accordingly I recommend the lowest distortion power amps as the place to start: examples:

    • Benchmark AHB2
    • Purifi 1ET400A-based amps

    Then again it you really must part with more money, consider the McIntosh MC462 that measures extremely low distortion and delivers huge power.
    ~ Bill

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  20. #20
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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    I kind of agree Bill, other than the actual amps you picked out. I have always felt benchmark gear is very sterile sounding, not organic at all. I know a few people who have purchased the AHB2 and returned it complaining that although it was clear and powerful it was not very musical.

    I also admit that I have never heard a Purifi amp, but I have owned and heard many Class D amps and never warmed up to them. Again, same thing, tons of power but never felt they were as musical.

    I have always felt Class A amps were very musical but they had other disadvantages. Low power, suck in oodles of electricity, and run very hot. OT already said he was not thrilled with the First Watt which many would consider one of the finest value Class A amps. Which leads to what I previously suggested. A good pre-owned amp... of these I have always liked German (T+A, MBL, etc.) and Swiss (Goldmund, etc.) made amplifiers. There are a lot of really good amplifiers to be had on the used market, such as the MBL I stumbled across.

    Then again I will never complain about anyone recommending McIntosh since they are from my home town. They carry their own huge disadvantages though. They tend to be F'n huge.... heavy, etc., which certainly is a consideration, especially when you reach the age that many of us are and really find something that big and heavy as objectional (not to mention the price... what do they start at, $5000 I think for their lowest models and it goes up fast from there).
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  21. #21
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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    I tell ya what ya need to do. Go demo and let your ears tell ya what you want to buy. After all its your money.
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  22. #22

    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    Quote Originally Posted by CPP View Post
    I tell ya what ya need to do. Go demo and let your ears tell ya what you want to buy. After all its your money.
    The history is system building by "consensus", but it ends up being a circular endeavor.
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  23. #23
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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    The history is system building by "consensus", but it ends up being a circular endeavor.
    It appears so.
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  24. #24
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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Myers View Post
    I kind of agree Bill, other than the actual amps you picked out. I have always felt benchmark gear is very sterile sounding, not organic at all. I know a few people who have purchased the AHB2 and returned it complaining that although it was clear and powerful it was not very musical.

    I also admit that I have never heard a Purifi amp, but I have owned and heard many Class D amps and never warmed up to them. Again, same thing, tons of power but never felt they were as musical.

    I have always felt Class A amps were very musical ...
    Well ... I'm inclined to say the "musical" is, uhmm, an inadequate description; other examples include "organic" and "liquid".

    Slightly more adequate descriptives include smooth, full-bodied, holographic, and perhaps, warm. The problem, IMHO, is all these attributes are artifacts of distortion. I'm not totally against them, in fact I like them in small measure.

    Once one realizes that "musical" qualities as most folks mean them are distortion artifacts that can be added on top of a purer signal, one may ask, how many places in the repro chain does the relevant distortion need to be added to create the desired sound?

    Hence my line of reasoning that leads me to say you can have an ultra-low distortion, (non-musical), power amp but added the desired spice upstream in the preamp.
    ~ 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

  25. #25
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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    Well ... I'm inclined to say the "musical" is, uhmm, an inadequate description; other examples include "organic" and "liquid".

    Slightly more adequate descriptives include smooth, full-bodied, holographic, and perhaps, warm. The problem, IMHO, is all these attributes are artifacts of distortion. I'm not totally against them, in fact I like them in small measure.

    Once one realizes that "musical" qualities as most folks mean them are distortion artifacts that can be added on top of a purer signal, one may ask, how many places in the repro chain does the relevant distortion need to be added to create the desired sound?

    Hence my line of reasoning that leads me to say you can have an ultra-low distortion, (non-musical), power amp but added the desired spice upstream in the preamp.
    Certainly true to some extent, however there is a reason that a few friends have tried and actually returned the Benchmark amplifier. Each component does add to the whole of the system, however each component also detracts from the whole of the system. Every class D I have owned have seemed to bring the system down or made it feel less musical as a whole. That certainly does not prohibit me from looking at the latest class Ds .... I was looking and considering one just the other day actually... but every class D amp and every Benchmark component for that matter, I have had in my system has made my system sound more sterile... and without being able to actually put my finger on it exactly, has made my system less inviting sounding to me. In my non-technical terms I call it less warm and fuzzy feeling to me... just not comfortable and inviting... again to each their own... some people prefer that pure analytic sterile sound. A reviewer friend of ours that is a member of our audio club tends to lean that way.
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  26. #26
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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    The history is system building by "consensus", but it ends up being a circular endeavor.
    I remember Keith's "history" as deciding by multiple (mostly at home) demos, but I could be mistaken...
    Rob
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  27. #27

    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    Quote Originally Posted by rbbert View Post
    I remember Keith's "history" as deciding by multiple (mostly at home) demos, but I could be mistaken...
    It's all hands/opinions on deck.
    Micro Seiki SX-8000 air bearing table, SME 312s arm, SME 3012R arn, Dynavector XV-1s cartridge, Lyra Etna SL cartridge, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 2 track R2R, Ampex 350 tape repros, Roon Nucleus Plus music server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6, ARC Ref 75 with KT-150s, JBL 4345 speakers, Viero Equilibro Level 3 speaker cables, and Definitive Technology Ref subs.

  28. #28
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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post

    My current amplifier philosophy is that the power amp ought to be totally neutral: if you prefer some color, (or call it what you will), get that upstream from your preamp.

    Accordingly I recommend the lowest distortion power amps as the place to start: examples:

    • Benchmark AHB2
    • Purifi 1ET400A-based amps

    .
    You've picked 2 amplifiers that are very different in their presentation of music. I've owned both the Benchmark and the NAD M33 with the Purifi amp module.

    The Benchmark has many admirable features (small enclosure, high SN ratio, adjustable gain, etc) but it is drearily dull in it's presentation. A huge disappointment to me as it had been so highly praised by a fellow Avantgarde speakers owner. It transpired that he seems to be obsessed with noise from his 107 dB speakers, he was overwhelmed by this amp's quietness. He overlooked the dullness of the sound it offered, particularly disappointing if using speakers such as AGs that can really offer a sparkle factor with the right amp.

    By contrast the NAD is as good as I could find in my search of £5-10K amps. I bought or home demo'd a dozen, but the Purifi NAD matched or bettered all the others sound-wise and well trumped the others feature-wise.

    The Benchmark is an amp where you are inclined to turn down the volume (kiss of death fas far as I'm concerned), the NAD will offer huge enjoyment if turned up!

    As someone else has said, you really need to buy or borrow a number of amps and try them with your particular speakers in your own particular room. There's a surprising degree of difference between a number of "good" amps. Buy used ones and re-sell at negligable loss if you can. I bought 6 and borrowed another 7 before deciding on the NAD. No regrets. Happy to send by PM my one-line summay of these dozen amps. findings
    Sources - NAD M50.2 (streamer, CD player, CD ripper, hard drive music store)
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  29. #29
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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    I do get a bit concerned about how Class D amps seemed to change so often (too often). First the B&O were all the rage, and then everybody started saying you don't want those, they suck compared to the Ncore's, and now no no no, you want the Purifi... doing a little research it appears as if there are a few names I have not heard of offering them and NAD. Not sure if other companies are. It also appears that NAD offers the M33 which seems more like a streamer/amp, while the straight power amp is the C298...

    So... are other well known and regarded companies offering these? Is the amplifier in the C298 as good as that in the M33? When is a new Class D coming out that will make the Purifi amp all of a sudden be on the outs, such as it appears the Ncores are now becoming? Are the Purifi amps reliable, I mean 20-30 year reliable amplifiers like say a McIntosh or a MBL for that matter?

    And one final stupid question, for purity and musicality (yes that is a term and it means a ton to those of us who care about sound performance) of say the NAD C298 match or best something like my MBL?
    Hattor AMRG Trans w/Active Tube Stage | NAD C 298 | McIntosh MP100, R778 | Rega RP8, Ania Pro, NEO PSU | Technics SL-1500C | Audio Technica VM740ML | T+A DAC 8 DSD | Woo WA22 2nd Gen | Astell&Kern SE200 | Abyss Diana Phi | KEF LS50 Meta | Rythmik L-12 (x2) | Oppo BDP105 | Magnum Dynalab FT-101A, ST-2

  30. #30
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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Myers View Post
    I do get a bit concerned about how Class D amps seemed to change so often (too often). First the B&O were all the rage, and then everybody started saying you don't want those, they suck compared to the Ncore's, and now no no no, you want the Purifi... doing a little research it appears as if there are a few names I have not heard of offering them and NAD. Not sure if other companies are. It also appears that NAD offers the M33 which seems more like a streamer/amp, while the straight power amp is the C298...

    So... are other well known and regarded companies offering these? Is the amplifier in the C298 as good as that in the M33? When is a new Class D coming out that will make the Purifi amp all of a sudden be on the outs, such as it appears the Ncores are now becoming? Are the Purifi amps reliable, I mean 20-30 year reliable amplifiers like say a McIntosh or a MBL for that matter?

    And one final stupid question, for purity and musicality (yes that is a term and it means a ton to those of us who care about sound performance) of say the NAD C298 match or best something like my MBL?
    I'm not too concerned that Class D development is still on-going. Perhaps it's comparable with the rapid development of DACs the moment better sources were available than 44.1. It also perhaps illustrates how little progress is being made to improve other types of amp technology - A, AB, valves, etc.

    For years Class D was sneered at in much the way digital cameras were when Canon and others brought out costly but pretty poor digital cameras that could nowhere near match film for picture quality. Over the last few years digital cameras have improved to the point where you'd be very hard pressed to find any new film camera, or for that matter a film to put into it. With Class D, things are much the same, though it probably has a little way to go before "analogue" amps are as dead as film cameras - but that day will surely come.

    In the meantime, I'm happy with the latest and best Class D (Purifi's Eigentakt). As I understand it, this was developed by the guy behind Ncore and not doubt he'll improve on Purifi over the next few years. The NAD M33 builds this module under license with approved mods to maximise performance. Other less well known amp builders use the basic OEM off-the-shelf Purifi module in their amps, but I chose the M33 as it offers fantastic value with all the features you're likely to need in a single box. Previously I used the M32, another great amp that is only subtly improved upon by the M33. The trick is to buy a nearly new M33 and consider upgrading a year or so after a new Class D module is offered in an equally well spec's amplifier - maybe an M34? I bought my M33 new but with a good discount so I'll not lose much when the next generation amp becomes available. Peter

    This may be of interest - Eigentakt Tech Page - NAD Electronics
    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)

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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    So do you think the amplifier in the M33 and the C298 are basically the same or is the M33 using a better amplifier section?

    I do not care about or want all the other functions. I would truly only be interested in the amplifier.
    Hattor AMRG Trans w/Active Tube Stage | NAD C 298 | McIntosh MP100, R778 | Rega RP8, Ania Pro, NEO PSU | Technics SL-1500C | Audio Technica VM740ML | T+A DAC 8 DSD | Woo WA22 2nd Gen | Astell&Kern SE200 | Abyss Diana Phi | KEF LS50 Meta | Rythmik L-12 (x2) | Oppo BDP105 | Magnum Dynalab FT-101A, ST-2

  32. #32

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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    Thank you, I forgot to check that list....
    Hattor AMRG Trans w/Active Tube Stage | NAD C 298 | McIntosh MP100, R778 | Rega RP8, Ania Pro, NEO PSU | Technics SL-1500C | Audio Technica VM740ML | T+A DAC 8 DSD | Woo WA22 2nd Gen | Astell&Kern SE200 | Abyss Diana Phi | KEF LS50 Meta | Rythmik L-12 (x2) | Oppo BDP105 | Magnum Dynalab FT-101A, ST-2

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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    Quote Originally Posted by Hear Here View Post
    I'm not too concerned that Class D development is still on-going. Perhaps it's comparable with the rapid development of DACs the moment better sources were available than 44.1. It also perhaps illustrates how little progress is being made to improve other types of amp technology - A, AB, valves, etc.

    For years Class D was sneered at in much the way digital cameras were when Canon and others brought out costly but pretty poor digital cameras that could nowhere near match film for picture quality. Over the last few years digital cameras have improved to the point where you'd be very hard pressed to find any new film camera, or for that matter a film to put into it. With Class D, things are much the same, though it probably has a little way to go before "analogue" amps are as dead as film cameras - but that day will surely come.

    In the meantime, I'm happy with the latest and best Class D (Purifi's Eigentakt). As I understand it, this was developed by the guy behind Ncore and not doubt he'll improve on Purifi over the next few years. The NAD M33 builds this module under license with approved mods to maximise performance. Other less well known amp builders use the basic OEM off-the-shelf Purifi module in their amps, but I chose the M33 as it offers fantastic value with all the features you're likely to need in a single box. Previously I used the M32, another great amp that is only subtly improved upon by the M33. The trick is to buy a nearly new M33 and consider upgrading a year or so after a new Class D module is offered in an equally well spec's amplifier - maybe an M34? I bought my M33 new but with a good discount so I'll not lose much when the next generation amp becomes available. Peter

    This may be of interest - Eigentakt Tech Page - NAD Electronics
    Does your AG use a Class D amp for the bass ? if so this may explain the synergy your having with your setup vs class A or a/b amplfiers .



    Regards
    * An Audiophile is only as old as his tweeters ..!!

  35. #35
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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Myers View Post
    So do you think the amplifier in the M33 and the C298 are basically the same or is the M33 using a better amplifier section?

    I do not care about or want all the other functions. I would truly only be interested in the amplifier.
    As far as I'm aware, the amplifier sections of the C298 and M333 are identical. Case and feet quality, socket spec, etc are better in the Master Series M33. Price wise, if you solely want an amp, go for the C298, but if you think you may need preamp, MM/MC phono stage, Dirac Live DSP, headphone output, streamer, DAC, excellent IR remote, touch-screen LED display, then the M33 that includes all of these must surely be better value. Prices are £1700 or £3999 inc 20% VAT in UK
    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)

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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    Quote Originally Posted by a.wayne View Post
    Does your AG use a Class D amp for the bass ? if so this may explain the synergy your having with your setup vs class A or a/b amplfiers .



    Regards

    Yes but that's irrelevant. I bought the M33 when still using my earlier standard Duos that use Class AB amps for the bass. The Duo XD does indeed use Class D amplification and this amp includes XD software - a room correction syatem specifically for the bass only. Since it needs a pro mic and someone who knows what he's doing, I've not ventured far into this software. They sound pretty good as they are (as did the older Duos), but I plan to get a dealer with the AG measurement kit to visit and do a fine XD tune up.
    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)

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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    No its not irrelevant, their sonic signatures are closer making them more compatible, mixing topologies are froth with these error mixing , IMO, Its best not to with amplification or loudspeakers with different driver topologies .



    Regards
    * An Audiophile is only as old as his tweeters ..!!

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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    Quote Originally Posted by a.wayne View Post
    No its not irrelevant, their sonic signatures are closer making them more compatible, mixing topologies are froth with these error mixing , IMO, Its best not to with amplification or loudspeakers with different driver topologies .



    Regards
    All I'm saying is that there was no lack of symetry when I was using my M33 Class D driving my earlier Duos with their Class AB amps. Remember that Avantgarde themselves build amplifiers for their speaker range and all their amps are AB. Since the Duos are fed at speaker-level (not a low level signal from the preamp), I guess the symetry may hold good whether the bass amps (akin to sub woofers) are D or AB.

    Would you frown on a system using Class A or AB or even valve amps driving conventional speakers, supported by subs that use Class D bass amps?
    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)

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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    Quote Originally Posted by Hear Here View Post
    All I'm saying is that there was no lack of symetry when I was using my M33 Class D driving my earlier Duos with their Class AB amps. Remember that Avantgarde themselves build amplifiers for their speaker range and all their amps are AB. Since the Duos are fed at speaker-level (not a low level signal from the preamp), I guess the symetry may hold good whether the bass amps (akin to sub woofers) are D or AB.

    Would you frown on a system using Class A or AB or even valve amps driving conventional speakers, supported by subs that use Class D bass amps?
    Not if it works , if yours work for you then thats fine too, I’m suggesting it can be an issue ultimately and the Toobs with class D mix i have heard , I never heard one i did like, always sounding like two separate systems ..


    I have heard your speakers with every possible combination known and did not like them with toobs , sounded like two sound sources much better integration with SS ..



    Regards
    * An Audiophile is only as old as his tweeters ..!!

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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    Quote Originally Posted by a.wayne View Post


    I have heard your speakers with every possible combination known and did not like them with toobs , sounded like two sound sources much better integration with SS ..


    Regards
    Avantgarde speakers are hard to set up to sound their best, but they certainly can be very succesfully be powered by valve amps. If you visit AG's site and look at their Owners Gallery, you'll finf that at least half of all Uno, Duo and Trio owners use valve amps. I used 845 and PX-25-based amps for my first 15 years with AG speakers before making a decision to move to SS if I could find one that sounded as good or better. 12 amps later I settled for the NAD, although a few others were almost as good with my speakers. Peter
    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)

  41. #41
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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    I just found out some interesting news. I think it has become known that T+A has finally discontinued their Series 8 line. Wonderful pieces... the DAC 8 DSD is fantastic and several members on this forum use it. It remains on Stereophile's A+ list! The little matching amplifier was only 80 WPC but it is a sweat sounding amplifier.

    The brand new series, carrying on with their headphone amplifier released a while back is the 200 series. So what does this have to do with this thread.... well the new 200 series amplifier is using the Purifi amplifier. T+A using it is one hell of an endorsement!!!
    Hattor AMRG Trans w/Active Tube Stage | NAD C 298 | McIntosh MP100, R778 | Rega RP8, Ania Pro, NEO PSU | Technics SL-1500C | Audio Technica VM740ML | T+A DAC 8 DSD | Woo WA22 2nd Gen | Astell&Kern SE200 | Abyss Diana Phi | KEF LS50 Meta | Rythmik L-12 (x2) | Oppo BDP105 | Magnum Dynalab FT-101A, ST-2

  42. #42
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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Myers View Post
    I just found out some interesting news. I think it has become known that T+A has finally discontinued their Series 8 line. Wonderful pieces... the DAC 8 DSD is fantastic and several members on this forum use it. It remains on Stereophile's A+ list! The little matching amplifier was only 80 WPC but it is a sweat sounding amplifier.

    The brand new series, carrying on with their headphone amplifier releases a while back is the 200 series. So what does this have to do with this thread.... well the new 200 series amplifier is using the Purifi amplifier. T+A using it is one hell of an endorsement!!!
    It’s class D right?

    It likely was related to economies of scale. Lots of OTS Class D boards available. Cheaper than building your own. Smart and not uncommon.


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  43. #43
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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    Yes, Purifi is the new Class D that has been discussed in this thread. NAD M33, M28, and C298 use it. It seemed like most others releasing it are from lesser known companies and DIY types, but T+A endorsement is pretty huge in my eyes.
    Hattor AMRG Trans w/Active Tube Stage | NAD C 298 | McIntosh MP100, R778 | Rega RP8, Ania Pro, NEO PSU | Technics SL-1500C | Audio Technica VM740ML | T+A DAC 8 DSD | Woo WA22 2nd Gen | Astell&Kern SE200 | Abyss Diana Phi | KEF LS50 Meta | Rythmik L-12 (x2) | Oppo BDP105 | Magnum Dynalab FT-101A, ST-2

  44. #44
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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Myers View Post
    Yes, Purifi is the new Class D that has been discussed in this thread. NAD M33, M28, and C298 use it. It seemed like most others releasing it are from lesser known companies and DIY types, but T+A endorsement is pretty huge in my eyes.
    That's good news. I can't find any pricing information, although I have no immediate intention to switch from the NAD's Master Series. Looking at the new T&A 200 range, my immediate impression is too many boxes and too much fussiness in the front panels.

    The Purifi-based A200 amp is just a power amp so needs the DAC200 DAC/preamp, but does this unit include a streamer? No, seems to be the answer, so a third box is needed to match the versatility of the M33 - and a bundle of those things on my Hate List - cables. And still no MM/MC input, or headphone out, or DSP. OK, settled - I'll keep the M33 until someone comes up with a single box of even higher sound quality. A long wait I suspect! Peter
    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)

  45. #45
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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    Quote Originally Posted by Hear Here View Post
    That's good news. I can't find any pricing information, although I have no immediate intention to switch from the NAD's Mater Series. Looking at the new T&A 200 range, my immediate impression is too many boxes and too much untidiness in the front panels.

    The Purifi-based A200 amp is just a power amp so needs the DAC200 DAC/preamp, but does this unit include a streamer? No, seems to be the answer, so a third box is needed to match the versatility of the M33 - and a bundle of those things on my Hate List - cables. And still no MM/MC input, or headphone out, or DSP. OK, settled - keep the M33 until someone comes up with a single box of even higher sound quality. A long wait I suspect! Peter
    Totally agree. I only mentioned it because it shows an endorsement of the technology from a big time high end German manufacture! The Series 200 is certainly not a direct competition to the M33. A completely different design criteria, but at least showing support for this amplifier technology!

    The T+A A 200 is more comparable to the NAD C298 is direct feature comparison.
    Hattor AMRG Trans w/Active Tube Stage | NAD C 298 | McIntosh MP100, R778 | Rega RP8, Ania Pro, NEO PSU | Technics SL-1500C | Audio Technica VM740ML | T+A DAC 8 DSD | Woo WA22 2nd Gen | Astell&Kern SE200 | Abyss Diana Phi | KEF LS50 Meta | Rythmik L-12 (x2) | Oppo BDP105 | Magnum Dynalab FT-101A, ST-2

  46. #46
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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody View Post
    I'm assuming from your post you are shopping around $5k budget give or take. It's a shame most of the well known amps start around $10k.

    If I'm correct on your budget Sim Audio and Bryston are in that range with models and are more neutral than Pass.

    You could look at something like Audio by Van Alstine. His amps do sound good, IMO, able to convey music without being overly warm or neutral.

    Merrill Audio typically have used/trade-ins Veritas for sale on USAudioMart for around $4k, the monoblocks were $12k new.

    Great recommendations. I'll add Naim to the list. Especially the Supernait 3. Naim makes outstanding components.
    Amplifier: Pass Labs INT 250 integrated.

    DAC/Streamer: MSB Discrete Dual Power Supply.

    Server: Roon Nucleus with lifetime subscription.

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    Model.

    Headphones/Amp: Focal Stellia phones, NAIM Uniti Atom Headphone Edition headphone amp/music player/server/streamer.

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    Mackenzie interconnects.

    Speaker Stands: HiFi Man.

  47. #47
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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    Audiophiles don’t want light weight small power amplifiers even if they sound phenomenal. Your audiophile clout can only be had with large heavy solid aluminum carved masterpieces. As Mike says it is brand recognition.
    I can attest the Purifi amps are definitely above the previous Ncore wave. Must be something to them if NAD and T&A are adopting them, surely more to follow.

    Amplifier selection cannot be made by forum consensus only by borrowing and listening in your system to see if they create synergy. Just my two cents worth
    Marty

  48. #48
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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    Amazing. There is such a range of types, powers, sizes, prices -- and no doubt sounds among these 'A' rated components that the mere presence on the list of a given amp isn't useful guide. AT best we may say that a lot of reading of the lines of reviews -- and between them -- is necessary for a start.
    ~ 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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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    Quote Originally Posted by nc42acc View Post
    Audiophiles don’t want light weight small power amplifiers even if they sound phenomenal.
    More fool them!

    Quote Originally Posted by nc42acc View Post
    Amplifier selection cannot be made by forum consensus only by borrowing and listening in your system to see if they create synergy. Just my two cents worth
    Couldn't agree more. Forget what technology is employed - Class A or AB or D, tubes or ss - just listen to the sound and judge for yourself.. Choose the amp that offers the biggest enjoyment factor, not the size or beauty of the box, although the latter is influential to most of us.
    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)

  50. #50
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    Re: Help me find a new SS amp

    We need to get Keith’s thread back on track so he will post about his adventure looking for a new power amp. It is always great to read others opinions of equipment as they test them within their system. Sorry Keith for the derailment.
    Marty

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