Advice: SS amp with McIntosh sound without its weight and size?


I currently own a Conrad-Johnson SS amp, PS Audio BHK preamp, and PS Audio DirectStream DAC firing Focal Aria 936 speakers. I've listened to the CJ amp since I bought it in 1998 and love its sound, but I think it's time for a change to a new, used amplifier. I have always loved McIntosh amps, but their size and weight are really too much for me and my audio system rack. (I have the same weight concerns about Krells and Mark Levinson amps, even though I like their sound.) I have considered some of the newer Class D amps made by some of the smaller companies (like Nord) that weigh 25% that of a McIntosh, but worry that the sound I like as produced by my CJ amp will be lost in moving to a Class D amp. If that's wrong, please feel free to say so.

With that said, I have been looking and looking some more for an amp to replace the CJ. After way too much time, I'm still not sure that any amp fits these criteria:1. 10 year old or less (made in 2010 or later)
2.  Balanced inputs3.  Input trigger4.  Weigh less than 60 lbs (give or take some lbs)5.  Height less than 10 inches (preferably less than 8 inches to go in my existing rack)
6. 200w or more, although this is just to match my CJ (very low importance)
7. $3000 US or less (flexible, but like you, I have to watch my cash flow)

None of the criteria are 'deal breakers', just my ideals. I should also mention that I am thinking on recapping my CJ and not buying a new amp, but a new amp sure would be fun...
If you have an opinion... quite rare on this forum, I know... on an amplifier that may fit, please reply. Thanks, Bob

proteusmaximus
There’s a Plinius SA-102 for sale on US Audio Mart for $2395 that’s older and heavier than your desired specs and lacks an input trigger. It also “only” puts out 125Wpc (but those are pure Class-A Watts so that’s likely plenty of juice), and it’s 8.75” high so won’t quite fit in your rack. So looking back the 102 only ticks 3 of your 7 boxes, but the sonics may be worth bending some of the rules. However, if your CJ amp is a Premier 350 that might be tough to beat.  Best of luck.
I don't find CJ amps, at least the old ones, to be voiced or sound anywhere like a MC.

Buy what you like, but listen before you get enamoured. I'd recommend Luxman, but not sure you are going to get anything lighter! :)

Also, give the Bel Canto Class D amps a shot. I think that in terms of tonal balance, you may find it closer to your CJ's. They won't sound the same, of course, but tell me what you think.

Best,

E
https://www.amazon.com/Crown-XLS2002-Two-channel-Power-Amplifier/dp/B0129IKF32/ref=pd_cp_267_1/140-8231574-0843419?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B011QLC6BC&pd_rd_r=6b3e99ad-0281-4bcb-9a24-ac0f46b8dcfc&pd_rd_w=hv5jI&pd_rd_wg=fh1TZ&pf_rd_p=e44de6bb-cc27-4696-9c22-3a1bddefabbd&pf_rd_r=GQRSABPC7E621VGGGMC1&refRID=GQRSABPC7E621VGGGMC1&th=1

You may try Crown XLS 2502 which sounds neutral but with fast transients.

I had good result with power hungry Raal Sr1a headphone.

Now I am using two of them as bridged (2400 watts for 4 ohm) to drive two 18 inch Scaena subwoofers.

With generous Amazon return policy, you can return in 30 days if you do like it.

It will sound better after having 24/7 on for at least a day.

Thomas
Oh, Ayre!! :) See what you can listen to from them.
The McIntosh MC152 150wpc amp is 670 pounds or so.  Shipping weight is 90 pounds but the 2 boxes, packing and thick plywood amp is bolted to accounts for that weight.  I had a CJ MF2550 and did not like it at all.  too bassy!  You won't get the Mac sound out of a Class D amp.
Thanks for the advice. FWIW, I have been looking for several months at the newer class D modules, and decided to put my money on a Nord Acoustics dual mono 1et400a class D amplifier. It fits my main criteria, albeit I know not to expect a "McIntosh" sound, which is alright for now. That module is relatively new from Purifi, has a very high efficiency, and scores quite well on the bench. Listeners seem to like the Nord design with the choice of input filter OpAmps (I chose the Sonic Imagery 990Enh), but the proof will come once it's installed and operating in my system. I'm certain I'll revisit the McIntosh-Mark Levinson heavy weight amps sometime in the future, depending on how my back is feeling (lol). Wish me luck, and again thanks for your comments.

Cheers, Bob
Colin from Nord Acoustics is a class act and a gentleman. Great guy to deal with.

Congratulations! Please let us know how you like the amps. Give them hundreds of hours to break in.
I agreed with your assessment of Colin.
I received and set up my Nord dual mono 1ET400A amp yesterday. After ~8 hours of listening, I'm very satisfied with the sound reproduction. What a vast difference in the sound stage when compared to my CJ amp. The one-page manual said that the amp will break in over an extended period perhaps exceeding 100+ hours. I'll make a note to revisit this post with an update.
Oh, less I forget: it is _so_ nice to have a light-weight amp that can be moved with ease!
Bob
Tried class “D”ull

 not for me.
stay w a nice class a/ab amp 

you need the current.


hard to recommend a nice amp, as ive only heard Mcintosh at dealers. Good stuff!

tons of great amps to hunt for.

most people always recommend what they use.