AA Verdi Settanta with Ref 3A MM DeCapos?
I'd like to solicit opinions on how Audio Analogue's Verdi Settanta integrated amp might work in my system. There's a demo model listed now.
Convenience and versatility are big factors in my listening these days, which is one reason why I'm interested in this amp. The five inputs, the tape out (wouldn't mind if there were two), and the phono stage are very attractive. I'd prefer a balance control, which this doesn't seem to have.
Speakers are Reference 3A's MM DeCapos. Source is mainly computer audio -- iTunes or Pure Music going into North Star Design Model 192 DAC. Actually, there's a Behringer UltraCurve DEQ in front of the DAC. I play records occasionally.
I am using a Linn Majik for amplification. Previously, I was using the Majik's preamp section with a Van Alstine EL34 amp, and the combination was working well. But the amp died, so I've been using the Majik in its integrated form. I really appreciate the Majik, and it's splendid with smaller Linn speakers, like -- to date myself -- the Sekrits I have or Tukans. But it's not quite refined enough for the DeCapos, and I want to take a step back up.
Convenience is big, but I do have listening preferences. In rough order, I'd describe them as:
Transparency and tonal neutrality
Resolution and detail, specifically in terms of what you might call "air" and "inner detail," ability to convey delicacy. Music is vibration; I need to hear the vibration.
Speed and pace, and good dynamic attack
Would like to avoid a very forward presentation; prefer mid-hall perspective.
Good soundstaging is, well, good. But as long as the system is good at resolving separate voices and instruments aurally, I can live with just decent soundstaging in terms of placing voices in space.
I listen to lots of different stuff so am not aiming the system response at a particular genre.
What I got with the Majik/Van Alstine EL34 combination was transparency, relaxedness/smoothness, good pace, and best of all, a lot of inner life to the music. Soundstaging was good. Dynamics were pretty good. Bass was pretty good (very tube dependent). I actually don't need more quality than I had with that. That system sang. I just need to get back to that general level.
The AA Verdi Settanta being $2000 new puts it in a general price range I think I should be looking at to make the step back up, but I have some flexibility (buying used).
Thanks for any perspectives,