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Thread: Top Tier Amps

  1. #1
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    Top Tier Amps

    I don’t know about you guys, but I see the amp market currently in basically four tiers:

    Tier 1: Gryphon, Boulder, Soulution, CH, D’Ag, Dart, Constellation, Goldmund, FM Acoustics, Vitus, MSB, VAC, Kondo, Wavac, etc.
    Tier 2: T+A, MBL, VTL, Nagra, Spectral, Esoteric, AudioNet, Rowland, Air Tight, Accuphase, etc.
    Tier 3: Luxman, Sim, Pass, Naim, Classe’, Bryston, Hegel, ARC, Ayre, Mcintosh, PS Audio, Audio Arts, etc.
    Tier 4: Parasound, Bel Canto, Wyred, Cambridge, NAD, etc.


    The marketplace for top tier amps is more crowded than ever with newcomers like Pillium, Block and others.

    What are your thoughts on the current amp market?

    Will we see a resurgence from brands like Ayre, Accustic Arts (an amp/preamp I had in the store and was floored by their performance) or Zanden or Ypsilon?

    Will we see newcomers like Block and others gaining interest or will the stranglehold from the big boys continue to hold?
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  2. #2

    Re: Top Tier Amps

    Tier 1 adding - Spectral , Esoteric Grandioso and Nagra

    Never heard it - but, what about MSB amps?

  3. #3
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    Re: Top Tier Amps

    Quote Originally Posted by mdp632 View Post
    Tier 1 adding - Spectral , Esoteric Grandioso and Nagra

    Never heard it - but, what about MSB amps?
    Good points! I made the list from memory...you can see how reliable that is! I forgot MSB and even have their amp in the store! DOH. I’ll add MSB to Tier 1/2.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Top Tier Amps

    Cue everyone on the forum who thinks they have a “giant killer” amp that should be in tier 1 in 3,2...
    Morgan

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  5. #5

    Re: Top Tier Amps

    Quote Originally Posted by MPW View Post
    Cue everyone on the forum who thinks they have a “giant killer” amp that should be in tier 1 in 3,2...
    Yes,

    Spectral SV amps specifically, their highest end tier.

    Although not cheap but, their value is they compete with the best Switzerland (low distortion, high resolution and extreme neutrality)

    Might not be everyone's cup of tea or subjective preference.

    But, when you consider in US MSRP , many of these Swiss Tier 1 monoblocks are 100k ish a pair.

    Spectral is value in this regard.

  6. #6
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    Top Tier Amps

    I like Spectral, but I don’t consider it in Tier 1. It’s solid in Tier 2 with a great group of performers, including my own personal amps!


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  7. #7
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    Re: Top Tier Amps

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    I don’t know about you guys, but I see the amp market currently in basically four tiers:

    Tier 1: Gryphon, Boulder, Soulution, CH, D’Ag, Dart, AudioNet, Constellation, Goldmund, FM Acoustics, Vitus, MSB, etc.
    Tier 2: T+A, Pass XS, Sim 888, Naim 500, VAC, MBL, VTL, Nagra, Spectral, Esoteric Grandioso, etc.
    Tier 3: Luxman, Sim, Pass, Naim, Bryston, Hegel, Accuphase, ARC, Ayre, etc.
    Tier 4: Parasound, Bel Canto, Wyred, Cambridge, NAD, etc.


    The marketplace for top tier amps is more crowded than ever with newcomers like Pillium, Block and others.

    What are your thoughts on the current amp market?

    Will we see a resurgence from brands like Ayre, Accustic Arts (an amp/preamp I had in the store and was floored by their performance) or Zanden or Ypsilon?

    Will we see newcomers like Block and others gaining interest or will the stranglehold from the big boys continue to hold?

  8. #8
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    Re: Top Tier Amps

    maybe based on cost, but I really think amps come down to circuit and speaker match moreso than other components. for instance, Ayre on the right speaker sounds better than amps with tons of negative feedback like Soulution/Audionet to my ears. super duper 1000w SS behemoths don't sound good on horns. in tubeland, same problem - many would argue SET sounds better than any of the massed tetrode amps from the big 3.

    i also think there are very few good SS amps, so there's that.

    ps. I just read that Halcro's back lol
    Brinkmann Bardo w/ EMT HSD-006 cart, MSB Premier DAC --> Linear Tube Audio MicroZOTL --> Ampzilla 2000, 2nd Edition --> YG Acoustics Hailey 2.2

  9. #9
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    Re: Top Tier Amps

    I have not had the opportunity to spend much time with several of the amps so for the most part I'll defer to your experience. I will say that in many instances the Tier an amp may fall into will depend on ther associated speaker. For example if you have MBL speakers then MBL 9 series amps would we Tier 1. With some speakers (larger Focals) Accuphase easy moves up a Tier or two in your list. The one "I" believe you missed was McIntosh. With most speakers they belong above everything besides Accuphase in Tiers 3 and 4.
    Jim

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  10. #10
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    Re: Top Tier Amps

    EMM in the top tier?


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  11. #11
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    Re: Top Tier Amps

    Quote Originally Posted by Phishphan View Post
    EMM in the top tier?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    In price, I would say yes. In performance, I haven’t had enough exposure to the amps. What’s your thoughts?


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  12. #12
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    Re: Top Tier Amps

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    I don’t know about you guys, but I see the amp market currently in basically four tiers:

    Tier 1: Gryphon, Boulder, Soulution, CH, D’Ag, Dart, AudioNet, Constellation, Goldmund, FM Acoustics, Vitus, MSB, etc.
    Tier 2: T+A, Pass XS, Sim 888, Naim 500, VAC, MBL, VTL, Nagra, Spectral, Esoteric Grandioso, etc.
    Tier 3: Luxman, Sim, Pass, Naim, Classe’, Bryston, Hegel, Accuphase, ARC, Ayre, Mcintosh, etc.
    Tier 4: Parasound, Bel Canto, Wyred, Cambridge, NAD, etc.


    The marketplace for top tier amps is more crowded than ever with newcomers like Pillium, Block and others.

    What are your thoughts on the current amp market?

    Will we see a resurgence from brands like Ayre, Accustic Arts (an amp/preamp I had in the store and was floored by their performance) or Zanden or Ypsilon?

    Will we see newcomers like Block and others gaining interest or will the stranglehold from the big boys continue to hold?
    Mike,
    Interesting list. I am in no way challenging your conclusions -- after all you have by far the most experience in terms of actual detailed audition of electronics from top notch brands and at the end of the day, this is a subjective list. I just have a couple of comments. First of all, in my opinion, some of this is driven by the advertising and the "reputation" of various brands. If it is a boutique manufacturer coming out of a small European company, it must be great -- case in point is CH Precision. I do not have much of an opinion on it since I have only heard their electronics once at RMAF but you have commented on more than 1 occasion that you think the sound is too dry and analytical. Yet, you still put the brand in Tier 1.
    The second pertains to Accuphase -- we all rag on Accuphase because of the crazy US pricing strategy by the distributor (I would include myself in that category) but I have been amazed by my Accuphase A70 amp and would feel confident in putting it up against any brand on this list (not in terms of sheer power but for quality of sound). If there was a way you could have the top of the line Accupase A250 monoblocks in your store, I would be curious to see where you put them.

    Anshul

  13. #13

    Re: Top Tier Amps

    Looks as if most expensive amps are on tier I so the list is based on amp cost, not necessarily on sound quality?

  14. #14
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    Re: Top Tier Amps

    Quote Originally Posted by nicoff View Post
    Looks as if most expensive amps are on tier I so the list is based on amp cost, not necessarily on sound quality?
    Fair question: I was thinking “market perception” and price since our favorites will always be tier 1 for us!


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  15. #15
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    Re: Top Tier Amps

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    In price, I would say yes. In performance, I haven’t had enough exposure to the amps. What’s your thoughts?


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    Have only heard them via FaceTime with Ed’s son on a pair of Wilson Alexx he had in the shop.

    There was a pair here in Minneapolis at some reviewers house last year, and I was going to get connected with him for a listen to perhaps buy them after his review. Covid hit, so I never got over there, and it sounds like he decided to keep them.. so they never made the journey over to my house in route back to EMM.

    We’re looking at moving back to West Palm for 6 months of the year, so I’m either going to build a 2nd system.. or create 2 smaller ones from some of my existing gear. EMM amps will most certainly come into the discussion when I start that process.


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  16. #16
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    Top Tier Amps

    Quote Originally Posted by apdoc2004 View Post
    Mike,
    Interesting list. I am in no way challenging your conclusions -- after all you have by far the most experience in terms of actual detailed audition of electronics from top notch brands and at the end of the day, this is a subjective list. I just have a couple of comments. First of all, in my opinion, some of this is driven by the advertising and the "reputation" of various brands. If it is a boutique manufacturer coming out of a small European company, it must be great -- case in point is CH Precision. I do not have much of an opinion on it since I have only heard their electronics once at RMAF but you have commented on more than 1 occasion that you think the sound is too dry and analytical. Yet, you still put the brand in Tier 1.
    The second pertains to Accuphase -- we all rag on Accuphase because of the crazy US pricing strategy by the distributor (I would include myself in that category) but I have been amazed by my Accuphase A70 amp and would feel confident in putting it up against any brand on this list (not in terms of sheer power but for quality of sound). If there was a way you could have the top of the line Accupase A250 monoblocks in your store, I would be curious to see where you put them.

    Anshul
    Fair question. I wasn’t thinking of “what is my favorite’s and ranking accordingly”, but rather market perception. CH might not be your cup of tea, but does the market consider it a top tier brand? I think so. No? For example, to use a car analogy, I would never buy a Mercedes Benz because I can still envision my music teacher from the 1970’s driving away in her noisy, black smoke billowing out the back end power blue Mercedes. Sometimes, you just can’t those visions out of your head you know. Does this mean it’s not a “tier 1” luxury car brand? No. Which brings us to a whole other topic of FIRST IMPRESSIONS. If I had a dollar for every time someone walked in the store and said “oh, I will never consider a Magico, I heard them once 10 years ago, I think it was a Q5 and I didn’t care for it”, I would could take a nice vacation. No matter how many times you say, “but...but...but...Magico’s today have evolved tremendously”, they have that stuck in their head. It’s my job then to play them the M2’s and I have to tell you, many of those folks listened in disbelief, no kidding, some even had to get up and get the back of the speaker to make sure I didn’t put in some other brand. No kidding. And some even bought them. We are all guilty of first impression bias. Myself included.
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  17. #17
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    Top Tier Amps

    I wasn’t sure on Audionet. I know their new Heisenberg is getting some attention, but maybe it’s more tier 2?

    (Adjusted)
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  18. #18

    Re: Top Tier Amps

    Mike,

    Is this list based on prices alone or is it subjective?

    If subjective, would you mind elaborate a bit on your thought process please?

    Thanks!
    Audiophile on paper, poor bastard in reality...

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  19. #19

    Re: Top Tier Amps

    I think some company's line-ups vary considerably, others might be consistent across their range

    For instance, Soulution 700 series are highly regarded, the 500 stuff (which I owned) pretty pedestrian. So here 700 series Tier 1, 500 series Tier 4

    Also what about DartZeel?
    "We all know real when we hear it"

  20. #20
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    Re: Top Tier Amps

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingsrule View Post
    I think some company's line-ups vary considerably, others might be consistent across their range

    For instance, Soulution 700 series are highly regarded, the 500 stuff (which I owned) pretty pedestrian. So here 700 series Tier 1, 500 series Tier 4

    Also what about DartZeel?
    Fair point. I wasn’t thinking too much about the product (although I did split pass and one or two others), I was thinking more about perception. Soulution, I think, is perceived as tier 1. They do make the 3 series, which is maybe tier 3 level, but I think Soulution is regarded as top tier.


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  21. #21
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    Re: Top Tier Amps

    I'll just say that my personal opinion on the audio quality of amplifiers doesn't necessarily match with the perceived amount of prestige (or price).
    Neko Audio
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  22. #22
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    Re: Top Tier Amps

    Quote Originally Posted by NekoAudio View Post
    I'll just say that my personal opinion on the audio quality of amplifiers doesn't necessarily match with the perceived amount of prestige (or price).
    For sure. I always found Soulution dry. Others love it. Some say Bryston isn't musical and overly analytical, yet I really enjoy their amps.

    It should also be noted that our perception is going to differ based on pairings.


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  23. #23
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    Re: Top Tier Amps

    DartZeel is in Tier 1

  24. #24

    Re: Top Tier Amps

    Not too long ago I spent quite a bit of time researching and pre - COVID demoing many amps on your list. Here's a few more I'd add:

    Tier 1: Lamm
    Tier 2: Burmester, T+A, Merrill

    Also, FWIW I've heard CH Precision several times and never found them to be cold, dry and sterile sounding at all. I did find them to be the most dynamic and the fastest amps I've ever heard. They were the closest to a real band I've ever heard in terms of overall accuracy / realism on a pair of Arrakis in a well - set up system.

    Finally I'd put Audionet back in the Tier one category. Their Heisenberg amps are over $100K and I can attest to them certainly competing with Gryphon and CH Precision.

    My 2 cents :-)
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  25. #25
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    Re: Top Tier Amps

    so much great gear, so little rack space!


    however, not nearly enough SET tube love in the list for my tastes. for example what about kondo, air tight, thomas mayer, wavac, audio tekne and similar?

    however, to be fair this type amp most often comes from smaller, artisanal companies ...so, they are not on the radar for many.
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  26. #26
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    Re: Top Tier Amps

    Quote Originally Posted by sb6 View Post
    Not too long ago I spent quite a bit of time researching and pre - COVID demoing many amps on your list. Here's a few more I'd add:

    Tier 1: Lamm
    Tier 2: Burmester, T+A, Merrill

    Also, FWIW I've heard CH Precision several times and never found them to be cold, dry and sterile sounding at all. I did find them to be the most dynamic and the fastest amps I've ever heard. They were the closest to a real band I've ever heard in terms of overall accuracy / realism on a pair of Arrakis in a well - set up system.

    Finally I'd put Audionet back in the Tier one category. Their Heisenberg amps are over $100K and I can attest to them certainly competing with Gryphon and CH Precision.

    My 2 cents :-)
    Good points. Would the consensus be tier 1? I don’t know. Maybe getting there with a new line....but generally speaking? Still think tier 2 from an overall general perspective.


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  27. #27
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    Re: Top Tier Amps

    Quote Originally Posted by aKnyght View Post
    so much great gear, so little rack space!


    however, not nearly enough SET tube love in the list for my tastes. for example what about kondo, air tight, thomas mayer, wavac, audio tekne and similar?

    however, to be fair this type amp most often comes from smaller, artisanal companies ...so, they are not on the radar for many.
    Oh yes, good point. Kondo for sure is tier 1. Air tight, I would say 2. The others might not be well known enough to list accurately.


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  28. #28
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    Re: Top Tier Amps

    Quote Originally Posted by sb6 View Post
    Not too long ago I spent quite a bit of time researching and pre - COVID demoing many amps on your list. Here's a few more I'd add:

    Tier 1: Lamm
    Tier 2: Burmester, T+A, Merrill

    Also, FWIW I've heard CH Precision several times and never found them to be cold, dry and sterile sounding at all. I did find them to be the most dynamic and the fastest amps I've ever heard. They were the closest to a real band I've ever heard in terms of overall accuracy / realism on a pair of Arrakis in a well - set up system.

    Finally I'd put Audionet back in the Tier one category. Their Heisenberg amps are over $100K and I can attest to them certainly competing with Gryphon and CH Precision.

    My 2 cents :-)
    Lamm is the perfect example of “reasonable” price for a great product. I remember hearing the M2.2 at a store in Minneapolis with a pair of Sonos Olympica 2’s. I thought it was a fantastic amp.


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  29. #29
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    Re: Top Tier Amps

    i think WAVAC is top tier. been around awhile. most expensive amp ever reviewed by Stereophile.

    Wavac SH-833 monoblock power amplifier | Stereophile.com

    and Fremer loved it.

  30. #30
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    Re: Top Tier Amps

    where's' Rowland? Jeff almost single-handedly brought differentially balanced connections to high-end consumer audio in the late 80s before anyone would touch it. Jeff was also pushing the SOTA for SS designs before Ch Precision and Soulution were even a glimmer in their founder's eyes.
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  31. #31
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    Re: Top Tier Amps

    Updated. Lamm is a weird one. Not sure where to put them. Resale is atrocious, so not sure how accurate the MSRP is of the performance. Tier 2?


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  32. #32
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    Re: Top Tier Amps

    For perception, I'm not sure I'd put Constellation and Vitus in tier 1.
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  33. #33
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    Re: Top Tier Amps

    I knew this thread would stir the pot.

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  34. #34
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    Re: Top Tier Amps

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    I don’t know about you guys, but I see the amp market currently in basically four tiers:

    Tier 1: Gryphon, Boulder, Soulution, CH, D’Ag, Dart, Constellation, Goldmund, FM Acoustics, Vitus, MSB, Kondo, Wavac, etc.
    Tier 2: T+A, Pass XS, Sim 888, Naim 500, VAC, MBL, VTL, Nagra, Spectral, Esoteric Grandioso, AudioNet, Rowland, Air Tight, etc.
    Tier 3: Luxman, Sim, Pass, Naim, Classe’, Bryston, Hegel, Accuphase, ARC, Ayre, Mcintosh, etc.
    Tier 4: Parasound, Bel Canto, Wyred, Cambridge, NAD, etc.


    The marketplace for top tier amps is more crowded than ever with newcomers like Pillium, Block and others.

    What are your thoughts on the current amp market?

    Will we see a resurgence from brands like Ayre, Accustic Arts (an amp/preamp I had in the store and was floored by their performance) or Zanden or Ypsilon?

    Will we see newcomers like Block and others gaining interest or will the stranglehold from the big boys continue to hold?
    Vitus Tier 1 , VAC tier 2 , find that a bit backwards for me also unless Spectral has deteriorated over the years they are easily Tier 1 stuff ...!

    Vitus is Tier2/3 IMO..

    MSB amp look the part would love to see proper trst bench measurements for compare to Boulder ...!

    Regards

  35. #35
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    Re: Top Tier Amps

    Also best amp is best for the load being driven ....

  36. #36

    Re: Top Tier Amps

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Lavigne View Post
    i think WAVAC is top tier. been around awhile. most expensive amp ever reviewed by Stereophile.

    Wavac SH-833 monoblock power amplifier | Stereophile.com

    and Fremer loved it.
    Another good one for top tier is Tenor. For some reason the Wavac comment spawned Tenor in my mind..
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  37. #37
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    Re: Top Tier Amps

    Quote Originally Posted by a.wayne View Post
    Vitus Tier 1 , VAC tier 2 , find that a bit backwards for me also unless Spectral has deteriorated over the years they are easily Tier 1 stuff ...!

    Vitus is Tier2/3 IMO..

    MSB amp look the part would love to see proper trst bench measurements for compare to Boulder ...!

    Regards
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  38. #38
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    Re: Top Tier Amps

    To me, Vitus, Aavik, Naim etc all have a vocal following. But that does not mean that the general perception of the brand is tier 1 or even tier 2.

    If somebody came and asked me what to definitely listen to with a "money no object" attitude. None of those would be on my list, even tho for example the Naim Statement pre/power is truly amazing - $250,000 they better be, and certainly rivals any other tier 1 pre/power. But ... if we are going with perception. Nope - not tier 1.
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  39. #39
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    Re: Top Tier Amps

    One or two great products does NOT make a brand.
    Jock

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  40. #40

    Top Tier Amps

    How about this: No Boulder product on the latest Stereophile recommended A list, but the new Classé Delta Monos are?


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  41. #41
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    Re: Top Tier Amps

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuoppis View Post
    How about this: No Boulder product on the latest Stereophile recommended A list, but the new Classé Delta Monos are?


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  42. #42

    Re: Top Tier Amps

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithR View Post
    maybe based on cost, but I really think amps come down to circuit and speaker match moreso than other components. for instance, Ayre on the right speaker sounds better than amps with tons of negative feedback like Soulution/Audionet to my ears. super duper 1000w SS behemoths don't sound good on horns. in tubeland, same problem - many would argue SET sounds better than any of the massed tetrode amps from the big 3.

    i also think there are very few good SS amps, so there's that.

    ps. I just read that Halcro's back lol
    +1

    Amp+ Speaker synergy can make or break a system.

  43. #43

    Re: Top Tier Amps

    Where's McIntosh ? :-)

  44. #44
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    Re: Top Tier Amps

    Quote Originally Posted by mdp632 View Post
    Where's McIntosh ? :-)
    Tier 5. Top Tier Amps


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  45. #45
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    Re: Top Tier Amps

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    The love for Vitus has sure fallen. Where’s Bodhi?
    Bodhi’s surfing the 50-Year Storm at Bells Beach.

    Ken
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  46. #46
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    Re: Top Tier Amps

    Quote Originally Posted by apdoc2004 View Post
    Mike,
    Interesting list. I am in no way challenging your conclusions -- after all you have by far the most experience in terms of actual detailed audition of electronics from top notch brands and at the end of the day, this is a subjective list. I just have a couple of comments. First of all, in my opinion, some of this is driven by the advertising and the "reputation" of various brands. If it is a boutique manufacturer coming out of a small European company, it must be great -- case in point is CH Precision. I do not have much of an opinion on it since I have only heard their electronics once at RMAF but you have commented on more than 1 occasion that you think the sound is too dry and analytical. Yet, you still put the brand in Tier 1.
    The second pertains to Accuphase -- we all rag on Accuphase because of the crazy US pricing strategy by the distributor (I would include myself in that category) but I have been amazed by my Accuphase A70 amp and would feel confident in putting it up against any brand on this list (not in terms of sheer power but for quality of sound). If there was a way you could have the top of the line Accupase A250 monoblocks in your store, I would be curious to see where you put them.

    Anshul
    Agree strongly with this post, particularly as to Accuphase. Also agree with other posts that the key thing is synergy with the rest of the system. Without that, one might have Secretariat hooked to a donkey cart ....


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  47. #47

    Top Tier Amps

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    One word: advertising


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    I think it was stated here before, you must admit the list looks more like price tiers list than a an actual SQ tiers list.

    Anyhow I’m not sure I agree with the tiers list. Besides, MSB advertises a lots in Stereophile, but yet they’re nowhere to be found. Classé does not, and still their Delta Monos are rated class A. So the advertising point does not really appear to apply.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    “Life’s too short to listen to bad audio.”

    Big rig: Brinkmann Taurus DD TT + 12.1 arm + Lyra Etna Lambda SL MC + HRS M3X2/ Cardas Clear Beyond phono/ Stillpoints LPI/ Brinkmann Edison mk2 phono/ Synology NAS with Roon + HD Plex linear PSU + Shunyata HD/ AQ Vodka RJ45 + Aqvox Network Switch SE + AQ Diamond RJ45 into DAC/ Brinkmann Nyquist mk2/ Audionet Humboldt/ Cardas Clear Beyond ICs/ Semi-active Lansche Audio 4.2 LS/ Inakustik Reference LS 4004 AIR/ 2x Audioquest Thunder HD for LS/ Audioquest Niagara 5000/ Shunyata AlphaHC (x2)+Alpha+Alpha Analogue+Alpha Digital/ Finite Elemente Pagode/ Stillpoints Ultra SS.

    Small rig: Naim UnitiServe/ Curious USB/ Tidal/ Linn Klimax DS3/ Shunyata Power cable/ Pass Labs INT-60/ Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II/ HiD Diamond 8/ Harbeth 30.2 40th Anniversary/ Shunyata Venom EU7 & Venom 3 HD.

    HP rig: MacBookAir/ Tidal/ Auralic Gemini 2000/ Sbooster LPSU/ Audeze LCD-2 Classic + WyWires Red/ Shunyata HD/ Shunyata Hydra 2/ Shunyata Venom.

  48. #48
    Audioshark
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    Apr 2013
    Location
    Sarasota, FL
    Posts
    27,369

    Re: Top Tier Amps

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuoppis View Post
    I think it was stated here before, you must admit the list looks more like price tiers list than a an actual SQ tiers list.

    Anyhow I’m not sure I agree with the tiers list. Besides, MSB advertises a lots in Stereophile, but yet they’re nowhere to be found. Classé does not, and still their Delta Monos are rated class A. So the advertising point does not really appear to apply.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    As I said, I’m thinking price and perception.


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  49. #49
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Location
    Columbus, IN
    Posts
    21

    Re: Top Tier Amps

    I would move esoteric grandioso to tier 1 and luxman to tier 2. Would add thrax at tier 1
    Monitor Audio PL500II, 2 REL S5/SHO
    Audia Flight Strumento no.4 mk2 amp
    Thrax Dionysos preamp
    Esoteric K-01XD, Ideon 3R mastertime
    Antipodes CX, S30. Etheregen switch, fiber optic
    Combination of cables.
    Torus RM 20 power conditioner
    GIK acoustics, VTI, Iso-acoustics.
    Secondary system: B&W 702 S2 with Naim Uniti atom.

  50. #50

    Re: Top Tier Amps

    It's about perception and MBL is tier 2? Really?



    My perception is that Nagra is definitely, definitely, definitely tier 1... and Gryphon would be tier 2...

    We all have a voice, don't we?

    Audiophile on paper, poor bastard in reality...

    Dell desktop / JRiver / Arcam rDac / Pro-Ject Essential II Digital / NAD C 315 BEE / Totem Arro / Blue Jeans Cables

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