An Accuphase integrated or the Mcintosh 6900 will give you bass. The Electrocompaniet EMC player with a Kora Hermes tube DAC when you upgrade.
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Check out these autoformers before changing your hardware.
Installing these in my system changed very poor bass performance into very good bass performance. I am not sure what they can do for your friend's system though. They cost just shy of $400, but can replace your speaker cable if amp is close enough.
I'm, not familiar with the MF stuff. Thought my buddie in Chicago felt it sounds almost as good as the McCormack dna1. Anyway, I've enjoyed the Sonatinas for over two years and have paired them up with three tube amps: GTA se-40>VAC pa 35/35>Moth s45. Each are quite different in power, topology, output tubes. The VAC is 32wpc pp triode, the Moth is 2-6wpc SET. The GTA is not in this company. The VAC (tricked-out) was a fine mate to the Sonatina and I enjoyed their company for two years. But something was amiss, and I turned to SETs, hoping to discover the magic so many speak of regarding those designs. I'm glad I did. The Moth is a custom-built amp with upgrade parts I selected (Kiwame resistors, Exotic coupling caps, CTC "Blowtorch" silver wire). I've been enjoying it for a little over a month and I'm finding each week I like what it does more than the last. The Moth s45 is switchable between 2a3 (3-6wpc) and 45 (2wpc) output tubes.
The bass performance is better with the Moth, I especially enjoy the propulsive manner of the 45s. While I suspected some leanness issues with the new pairing (BTW - no preamp, DAC direct to amp volume control) as the amp has stabilized I'm feeling less and less suspect. The fullness that the stout VAC provided is reminescent in the new system as well. I don't know what to tell you, the leaness problems I found with the Sonatinas were corrected with a number of upgrades, and fine-tuning: Power cords/PLC, nos tubes, TubeTraps, interconnects. But rather than bandaid a problem I would suggest you look into your core components. I would consider a tube amp (there are many fine samples). The room may be a bit too large, especially if he likes to rock-out, for a SET amp (my room is 14x20x9). If he doesn't want to buy an amp, how about a tubed pre-amp. That is something I'm looking into, and will certainly add some "meat to the bones". Tubed preamp, BMI Whale pc, Bob Crump interconnects should all help fill out the presentation.
The thinness is probably coming from your CD Player, and not helped by amp. I have these speakers, and they sound anything but thin. They are wonderfully smooth and full - bodied. I would suggest Cardas Golden Cross (or Cross if that's all you can swing) interconnects between CD player and amp. That will give warmth and fullness to sound frm CD player. A cheaper fix than a new power amp (yours should be powerful enough; these are very efficient speakers, would be one of the Cardas Cross family of interconnects. I virtually guarantee better results. I had similar problems with an Arcan FM23 CD player and a McCormack DNA-1 power amp driving Dynaudio 1.8 MkII's. The interconnects made a huge differne in provisding a fuller, warmer, more balanced sound with better, tighter bass and took the edge off the top end.
I have Sonatinas with a Cary sli-80 and Cary 303/200 cdp and I am very happy. I demoed a VTL and a Krell int before buying the Cary. The Cary was a hands down winner. The vtl was ok, but extremely lacking in bottom end. I have nothing good to say about the Krell. The Cary was easily the most musically satisfing of them all. I am very happy with my system.
I checked out the link - WoW! Sweet lil' preamp. Like I said I've been doing some research on the subject but I'm waiting a month or two while everything settles including my long-term understanding of the amp/system. Just in the last 15 days the amp has really come around, the issues I had are no more. I'm just happy spinning tunes. I'll investigate the new Vaic 45 output tubes before a preamp. Was groovin' to Smashing Pumpkins tonight and noted only some minor compression when I was crankin' the SPL.
I would ad the David Berning ZH-270 amplifier to your list. In my opinion, this amplifier is very musical and has lots of drive and dynamics, more than enough power handling capability for the sensitivity of the Sonatina II. In addition, the ZH-270 has a volume control, two inputs, and is very light (approximately 10 lbs). You can refer to the many threads about the Berning amplifier.