|A little background first...|
A few years ago I picked up an Anthem Integrated 2 (bipolar amplification w/ tubed 6922 preamp stage) and until it gave out (transformer went bad) and had to be replaced I never realized how amazingly dynamic the unit was. Excellent punch in the bass region.
So this past year I went ahead and replaced it with a Simaudio Moon I-5 which was a nice amp. After a while though I decided that I wanted something with at least a tubed preamp stage to 'smooth' things out. The I-5 reminded me of the sterility of having an all solid state setup though the bass was decent.
The I-5 was sold and my current amp is a Valve Audio Predator which is supposedly rated at 200wpc, but it seems a little light on the bass. Admittedly the Predator bests the I-5 in detail and absolutely smokes the Anthem Integrated 2 in that regard as well. It is extremely smooth sounding but the dynamics in the low end have not been satisfying.
It would be nice to stick with an integrated but at this performance and price point (~$1800) there aren't many options, let alone hybrids. What would be a nice combination or integrated that offers the smoothness and detail of the Predator w/ the dynamics that the Anthem offered?
Speakers are Audio Physic Tempo IV's and DAC is an MHDT Paradisea+. The source is an Echo Gina24 via coax spdif out playing back FLAC from a PC.