Well, my favor to ask is, which one proved to be your favorite, and why?
My ultimate personal favorite was Block Audio. These monos rang every bell imaginable.
Holographic, wide soundstage, excellent imaging, deep and wide detail that delivers backgrounds not normally heard, lots of power and head room, incredible bass mids and highs that will make your speakers disappear.
No question my favorite as of today!
Here you go, copy and paste it!
Anthem Integrated 225 $4,500.00
Adcom 575SE $2,500.00
Audio Research 160S $15,000.00
Bell Canto 600M $5,000.00
Block Audio $30,000.00
Bryston 4BSST $2,995.00
Bryston 7BSST2 $14,000.00
Divalet Expert Pro 220 $9,995.00
Emotiva XPA-2 $700.00
Gryphon Diablo $16,000.00
Krell Evolution $18,500.00
Hegel H30 $15,000.00
Luxman M900U $19,900.00
Merril Eliment 118 $30,000.00
Mcintosh 452 $7,500.00
Mcintosh 601 $14,000.00
Octave Audio V110 $8,900.00
Musical Fidelity Titan $30,000.00
Parasound A21 $2,500.00
Parasound JC1 $6,000.00
Pass Lads 250.5 $8,250.00
Pass Labs 350.5 $11,000.00
Pass Labs XA350.8 $15,000.00
Pass Labs XA160.8 $30,000.00
Pass labs XS300 $85,000.00
Plinius SA-250 $9,500.00
PS Audio BHK 300 Signature $1,500.00
Primaluna Premium HP $4,200.00
Primaluna Prologue $2,400.00
Sim Audio W7 $8,900.00
Well you realize you have to give a sonic summation of each one, right? Comparative references to others would be great too : )
Please list what rest of listening system comprised of as well. Thanks!
I'll start you off with a query: BHK 300 (fyi, change that price to 15k I think) versus Hegel H30 -- which one and why?
Well you realize you have to give a sonic summation of each one, right?
Lol yes, will do, but for now I will volley them on a case by case basis in the meantime.
BHK 300 versus Hegel H30
Tough one, as I like them both but for different reasons.
Hegel H30 is a Beast of an amp as Mike Tyson was as a boxer. The H30 delivers a punch with authority that can drive most any speaker on the planet. The first thing that comes to mind is the BASS and its grip and control as well as its in your face front row sound. Mids where clear but i felt that it lacked a bit in the upper mid bass and highs where smooth and not brittle. The H30 plays well with a lot of different speakers and loves rock and metal and Techno. The mids are are a bit forward with great imaging and but suffers a bit with its narrow sound stage. I
BHK 300 is amazing and more like Mohamed Ali with substantial power yet more of a dance that is musical and more involving. The sound signature lends itself to a more euphoric and holographic sound as apposed to an in your face forward sound. Bass is totally there with the innate ability to deliver punch and gradients with in the lower spectrum. Mids are superb and lushes with great detail more to the Musical side rather than analytical. The highs are superb and natural with a clean and clear sound and not in any sense harsh, piercing. or brittle.
I must say that is one of my favorite mainly because its a hybrid, with the best of both worlds, Muscle, Force and Bass of the Class A/B world and the Finesse and Lushes Organic musicality in the mids and highs from the Tube world. The BHK 300 will play well in most all types of music both instrumental and voice.
Sorry to go off on a tangent with the BHK but it had very similar characteristics to the Block Audio Monos my #1 pick from the list.
There were 6 manufactures, B&W, Dynaudio, Focal, Martin Logan, Revel, Wilson and over 11 different speakers variations of those manufactures during the process. Please specify what amp so that I can be more specific.
" BHK 300 is amazing and more like Mohamed Ali with substantial power yet more of a dance that is musical and more involving. The sound signature lends itself to a more euphoric and holographic sound as apposed to an in your face forward sound. Bass is totally there with the innate ability to deliver punch and gradients with in the lower spectrum. Mids are superb and lushes with great detail more to the Musical side rather than analytical. The highs are superb and natural with a clean and clear sound and not in any sense harsh, piercing. or brittle."
I had BHK 300s in my system and your comments are proof that "we" should evaluate components in our own system/room. My final thoughts on the BHK 300s are total opposite of your's.
Here you go.
Focal Sopra l
Focal Sopra lll
Focal Evo Scala
Marin Logan Motion 60xt
Marin logan Monthis
Martin Logan Renaissance
Revel Salon Ultima ll
Wilson Saha 2
I had the BHK 300 mono-amps and BHK preamp. I compared them to my Jeff Rowland 625 S2 amplifier and Corus preamp. I also used the BHK 300s with the Corus.
The rest of the system: Monitor Audio PL500 II speakers, Chord Dave DAC, Antipodes DS GT music server, Torus RM20 power conditioner, Clarus Crimson speaker cables, Wireworld Platinum series 8 XLRs, all Audioquest Hurricane power cords. My room is 20'x26 and treated with GIK Acoustics.
The Rowland has better detail across the Audio spectrum. The soundstage is both wider and deeper, with better front to back placement.
My point is every system is different. What works well in one system, may not work well in another. In another system I may prefer PS Audio.
Parasound A21 is a great 2 channel amp depending on your room size speaker and listening volume it might be just fine. Now if you want to drive your speakers at louder volume JC1 will be your better choice. The JC1 is in my opinion more muscle and more musical and you will most definitely hear a bump in Bass. The sound signature is John Curl no doubt but more of it with it operating in class A up to the 1st. 25 watts.
I have not had the opportunity to play with the JC5 so I cant really comment.
As far as the the A21 VS Anthem both are great at that price point, my experience was with the Anthem 225 integrated which is an awesome combo similar from a price power prospective but the Anthem comes with the built in pre which by the way is better than the Parasound proposition.
I auditioned the JC1s and JC5, and have now owned the JC5 for several months. They both have a very similar sonic signature, but I thought the JC-5 sounded a little more refined. A bit more detail and smoother mid-range. However, the JC1 was considerably older so it's possible a recap would make up the difference.
Also, the speakers I was listening to, and also the ones I have now, were fairly efficient. With less efficient speakers, the added class A power of the JC1s might be more of a factor.
So now is the time to build your own components, then you can tailor them to your own likes and system no matter what changes you make. Once you learn how parts change the sound it becomes easy!. Or simply have one built for you. This is the way, you can get the best sound for your system.
What a list, just curious if you considered Aesthetix Atlas Monos? I use Aesthetix in the summer months and switch to the Audio Research VM-220 monos during the winter because I can tolerate the heat in with 24 tubes in the amps. I have always liked tubes, but am considering SS and using a high end tube buffer for warmth. Interesting thread.
You could spend $350,000 if the price has not gone up since it listed at this price in 2003, but for that kind of money use it to pay off your mortgage and build your own using most of the same parts for under a couple of thousand dollars. Or hire some unemployed physicists who knows how to build it for you for a few thousand dollars for a month's work. There are plenty of such people out in the world of audio because only about 2% of PhD graduates even in STEM ever get a career in the academic world.
Tomic601: I use an Aesthetix Callisto Eclipse for my pre and agree that the Eclipse is the way to go. Ref150SE?? - I don’t see that on your list, but presume you are speaking of audio Research. I would suggest you audition the VM-220, tubes are perpendicular and has bass with tubes that must be heard. (preferable to my Ear). I also have the Bel Canto Ref600m and feel they are great for class D, but lack the midrange warmth that a tubed amp provides.
Have you ever listened to a tube buffer with SS amps? Much less fuss than a tube amp but you do get warmth.
I have also gone through the heard with headphone amps and settled on the Woo Audio 5-LE with 1940 tubes, but that is for another discussion.
You should have bought tickets to live concerts.Attending a live performance and listening at home are two different things. While both can be great experiences, neither is really a good substitute for the other, imo.