$8k budget. Need advice.

Hello all,

If you clicked on this page you must have some kind of input. But first, let me narrow it down.

I just picked up a pair of AAD 2001 monitors. I love these to death and may never give them up. I need an amp now that will work best with these.

First, music I enjoy ranges from dark folk music (like Iron and Wine) to Classical guitar and Contemporary/Modern Piano to Sia and Ingrid Michaelson. Even some emo/punk mixed in here and there.

The sound I'm going for is a slightly open mid-range and tube-like lush (which is a requirement). Extended highs and good bass control is mandatory as well. Good blend of resolution and musicality would be best. I tend to like the warmer sound as well, given my preference to tubes.

Amp will need to be an integrated with a tube pre-amp (but will consider SS if it is warm enough). Needs to be class A or A/B, 100-300 watts per channel into 8ohm and be at least semi-aesthetically pleasing. Yes, looks count too but are not top priority.

At this point I'm seriously considering a BAT VK300se 6H30 model. I've read other threads on this one and it seems great but don't know if it will be good for the AADs.

If you've had experience with other integrated amps of this type/class I'd be very interested in your feedback. Anything up to the $8k range, new/used, doesn't matter. Biggest reason I'm asking is because this is one of those rare opportunities that I actually have money to spend on a hobby like this and it may not come again for a very long time. I need to make this one count. All inputs are greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Pathos Logos (new $4,795 and you can get one used for $2,000-$2,500 here on Agon). My buddy had this amp and it is very sweet sounding but still with all the resolution you want to hear in the mix. It has 6922s in the preamp stage and a solid-state output stage (true dual-mono and outfitted with oversized transformers and power supplies). Here is a link to a recent review: http://www.soundstage.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=193:pathos-acoustics-logos-integrated-amplifier&catid=55:full-length-reviews&Itemid=4. Good luck.
Why integrated and what are your sources? Based upon your listening and the power requirements of the AAD's I would recommend tube based mono blocks, like the VTL MB125's. (I have no affiliation with the pair being sold here.)

Then depending on the number of sources you could get a great preamp, either active (tubes)or passive. Also do you have your source components? And don’t forget cabling as well.

If thought out you can get a real lot of bang for the buck…
Thanks Cmalak for the suggestion. I will look into it more.

Ts0711, thank you as well for the VTL suggestion. I have only briefly looked into their gear but it seems like a good route.

As far as sources, I am still working that one out. I can't for the life of me choose anything so until I do so it will be my PS3 and my Sonos player. Sad, isn't it? I'm trying to incorporate a turntable so I guess a phono option included is a good idea. May go the route of a Camelot transport as well.

I'm using Cardas Crosslink speaker cable and Moon-Audio Black Dragon interconnects, digital cable and fiber. Mojo Audio PC and a Cary Xciter DAC.

I suppose the idea around the integrated is to keep the setup simple. Of course if I entertain the idea of monoblocks then I'll certainly need a preamp.
What did you audition the speakers with? That's where I'd start.

Why didn't you try to choose amp/pre at the same time and buy a complete system?

That being said, the Pass Int-150 would work.
They were hooked up to a Peachtree Nova. And they were still amazing! But the dealer didn't have any other amps I was interested in so that ended right there.

Pass Int-150. Did some research on that the other day. Also looks promising. Thanks!
I use the APL UA-S4, has tube stage and power buffers. I auditioned extensively integrateds and separates before settling with this one.
Fits the budget well too.
"They were hooked up to a Peachtree Nova. And they were still amazing!" - Tiggerfc

I don't know what a Peachtree Nova costs, but if it sounded amazing then why not give it a try at home? I'd suspect the dealer would let you do a home demo since you already purchased gear from them.

The fact that you say that they were "still amazing" makes me wonder if you have a bias against Peachtree products not being expensive enough or not high end enough. I could easily be reading too much into this, but let your ears be your guide.

As for the Pathos recommendation, I've never heard a Pathos product that I didn't like. I think, based on the price, the most recent one that I heard in the store was the Pathos Logos and it was hooked to Focal 807v speakers and the detail was really impressive.

The other brand that I dream of owning is Krell. Before I made a purchase I'd look at their integrated amp, is it the i-300 or something similar?
Ever consider a MARANTZ Model 7 Tube pre-amp ? I know where one is available .

we sold about 15 pair of the aad 2001's an if you bought them used they probably came from me ... I also own a pair of 2001 myself and like you will NEVER get rid of them ,,,

This being said --I would run them (and do ) with a pair of Raysonic M-100 Tube mono Blocks and a JAS Array 1.1 SE tube Pre-amp and They sound Glorious !!!
see our webe site at --

the other option is a pair of Musical fidelity MF 550 mono Blocks --550wpc and gain the JAS Array 1.1 SE tube pre-amp

again a superb choice with this speaker
I love the 2001 speakers and have heard them many times at a local high-end shop.In fact, the owner of the shop also loves them and keeps a pair at home.While I have enjoyed listening to them with a number of amps,the Raysonic SP-200 Integrated amp is my favorite with these speakers.
Thank you all for taking the time to make your recommendations. They are appreciated.

Mceljo, I've always admired the Nova for what it is. Great for general listening but lacks the overall power to really make these monitors get up and go. But the sound is still killer, even in that respect. It isn't anything against Signal Path or its lower cost that precludes it from being a choice. Simply put, I'm looking for the one where I can sit back and say "I'm done"... for now, anyway. :)
I would take a serious look at the LSA integrated amps. I believe there is a used Statement for sale on A'gon. I used to own one and loved it but sold it when I bought a new pair of speakers that needed more power. Good luck.