McIntosh or Mark Levinson are the way to go. I favor the McIntosh. You need at least 300 watts of power for those 8's to come to life and not clip the amp. Tubes on the fromt end are sweet. I have 2 preamps in my system McIntosh C-2200 with Telefunken tubes for 2 channel and a McIntosh Mx-132 for HT. McIntosh makes it easy to connect the 2 Pre Amps. And I love the Big Blue Meters! I also use Transparent Regerence XL SS cables. Don't forget to include cables in your budget. LOL Nordost are also great cables Just take your time and buy the good stuff.
Best of Luck
I heard these at CES in 2007 powered by Audio Research tube amps. The sound was exceptional, IMO.
There are a lot of options if you are willing to spend some money. Personally, I'd look into the Lamm M series hybrid or ML series SET amps. Lamm will be showing at CES 2009 with Wilson Maxx series 3 speakers, Venetian Tower Suite 31-235.
First Sound Deluxe MKII pre and the VAC Ren 70/70 MKII/III.Great combo with the WPs and won't break the bank.May even allow an analog rig earlier than you think.
I would personally recommend also the Lamms hybrids of the tube Lamms with your WP8s. I heard this combo a few times and its beguiling.
Good luck--congrats on your WP8s
You could buy new Spectral DMC 30SS and DMA 250
Congratulations on your new home and new purcases!!!
The safest bet is to use KRELL,any KRELLwill do [even the FBI intergrated].I have yet to hear a bad sounding Wilson being driven by KRELL amplifications.....and I have heard many!!
The best musics that I have heard that come out of a WIlson WATT/Puppy was recently;Burmester 808 mark Vpreamp/Burmester 909 power amp with Lindermann SACD player.
Wow,that was truly stunning...absolutely magical.The sheer way the Burmester electronics controlling the Wilson drivers, the way the Music flows-If you have any way to secure those,I'd say go for it man..You might not come out of the house at all
My suggestion would be the Arye KX-R and MX-R....which I now have...then next would be Spectral DMC30 and DMA-360 monoblocks...if you were to go to tubes...then VTL 6.5 or 7.5mkII...with ss amp...just my thoughts
I would consider the BAT VK 150. Reasonable cost, powerful, and glorious tube sound.
or BAT VK 75se. several on audiogon for sale.
The W/P 8s are an easy load and work well with tubes, including OTL amps of 60 watts or more. A matching tube preamp will work wonderfully with your CD player.
Recently I heard a WP8 Audio Research CD7 ref3 ref 110 system - try to listen to it. There was a coherence in the whole system that after some minutes made me ask "Why more?"...
Thanks for all the responses.
For the most part advice here has been for tubes, and I'm acutely aware of the almost default ARC/Wilson pairing. The worry I have-given the sort of music I listen to is power. Would I have sufficient low-end control and dynamics? I really crave the attack and impact, although airiness comes a close third too.
The names available to me here in Penang are: Pass, ARC, Viola. I can't audition them though, except for Pass's 250.5
Am I making a really big mistake buying this way?
I think Hikejohn made some very good recomandations.
While ARC is often used with Wilson....and some other tube stuff I do believe that having large power reserves is very helpful...now this relates to the sound levels that you like to listen at...remember each 3db of volume increases demands twice the power...my issue with tubes in general is uneven power response and limited power...you mentioned the ARC ref 110 which is nice for some folks if you don't like to replicate the SPL of live performances...which is why I tend to prefer SS power amps...and if you wish to get the tube sound...do it at pre amp side....as I tried for a bit...with the very nice VTL 6.5...but then I got enticed and love the new Ayre KX-R...most amazing in terms of resolution...detail..lack of noise...particularly at lower sound levels...which at times to keep peace in family is important as I listen in the evening....
If you want attack, impact and airiness go for a conrad johnson premier 350 with an ACT2 preamplifier - I had them with Wilson system 7 some years ago and it was really impressive. At that time the cables were Transparent Audio Reference XL - a very good match!
Please remember that the premier 350 is very different from the classic cj sound.
My old system is Krell 300i int. amp, Krell 250cd/2 and Thiel CS2.3s. The bottom end was rock solid, but not much by way of bloom and air. Worse, the metallic sound meant I couldn't listen for more than half hour each time.
For that reason even as I'm told Krell will suit my music, I'm somewhat wary given that previous experience. I was offered Spectral and also Ayre, both will be around the same price. ( KX-R and MX-R vs. DMC30ss and DMA250) The other (cheaper) choice I had in mind was Pass XP-20 and XA100.5/X350.5)
If it comes to these 3 choices, which would suit me the most?
"The other (cheaper) choice I had in mind was Pass XP-20 and XA100.5/X350.5) "
This is one hell of a "cheaper" choice.
I'd take it in a heartbeat. Cheaper or not. I listen to lots of rock...progressive, metal, and blues.
Tvad, cheaper in my country thats for sure. They're not much more than 25k new, while the Ayre and Spectral are at the very least above 30k. I'm talking relative, but all these equipment are very expensive to me(I'm just an employee/wage-earner)
You say you'd 'take it in a heartbeat'. Do you mean the XA100.5 or the X350.5? Considering the revealing and somewhat unforgiving nature of the WP 8s I was leaning towards the XA.5, but am worried the don't have enough power.
Whats your experience, and may I ask what specific equipment/music do you enjoy?
Daisiu, I currently have the "cheaper" choice with my W/P 8, Pass XP-20 & X350.5,
And the new Ayre KX-R & MX-R is on the way to be the replacement of PASS electronics,
Does it mean that Ayre > Pass Labs, not really, just a matter of teast, I tried Ayre combo several time in distributor showroom, I like the way it present the classic music better.
For live music, or the music you like, I think Pass is on par or better than Ayre.
W/P 8 need a lot of time to break-in, at least 500 hours, especially tweeter,
I can update you in March when Ayre gear are in my house, I can compare both systems under the same condition.
Daisiu, my Ayre KX-R + MX-R come in already, please see me post here to compare them : http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?aamps&1293208133&openusid&zzQuanmer&4&&