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


Showing 1 response by soix

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.