Amp Pairing for Aerial Acoustics 6Ts.


I now have a pair of Aerial Acoustic 6Ts in my living room. I'll include the specs below.

I do not know where to begin with matching these with an amp or an integrated. I've asked this question several times in other forums but probably too many with constraints. Thought I'd get some opinions in the Speakers forum.


Here is the intended use: Secondary system in my living room for casual fairly low volume listening via Sonos/Amazon Music. It will be used occasionally. Would prefer a small footprint. Simplicity would be nice. It will have no other inputs. Integrated probably makes the most sense.  It will have to integrate with Sonos somehow. I do have a Connect Gen2. Would not need a DAC unless the DAC as significantly better than the Sonos Connect DAC.


Considered so far: Sonos Amp. PS Audio Sprout100.

Would like to hear a range of opinions for units that would pair well with these really nice speakers. For now, let's say the budget is open (it is not) but I am willing to buy used.

Sorry for posing this question so many times and thanks for your input.

Speaker specs:


Frequency Response 35 Hz to 25 kHz ±2 dB, -6 dB at 30 Hz
Sensitivity 90 dB for 2.83 volts at 1 meter on axis
Impedance 4 ohms, 3 ohms minimum, low reactance
Power Requirements 25 watts minimum, >50 recommended
Woofers Dual 5.9″ (150 mm) with cast magnesium frames, special papyrus blend cone. copper pole sleeve, dual magnets, 1.25″ coil, long and linear Xmax
Midrange 4.8″ (123 mm) with cast magnesium frame, special papyrus blend cone. copper pole sleeve, dual magnets, 1.00″ copper clad aluminum coil
Tweeter 1″ (25 mm) with thick machined aluminum plate, soft ring-dome design with machined wave guide, dual-magnets, 1.00″ coil, copper pole sleeve
Crossover Fourth order acoustic Linkwitz-Riley, 600 Hz and 4,000 Hz crossover frequencies, 2 physically separate networks
Connections Four gold-plated binding posts with included jumpers, bi-wire and bi-amp capable
n80
Gato DIA-150. Michael Kelly suggests Gato for his speakers. Excellent gear made in Denmark.
I have heard the Aerial 6Ts extensively and they need good power/current to sound as they should/can. It probably doesn't matter as much if they're used for background low volume music listening but if you have (very) limited budget, you may want to consider a higher powered Class D amplifier to at least drive them with more authority at lower volumes. While I have no experience with the options you've listed, I suspect they will make them sound thin at low listening volumes. Those speakers sound very good if/when properly driven.
the Gato 150 is superb. Gato now sells manufacturer direct in USA with greatly reduced prices. The new Anniversary Editions I'm told are sonically unchanged. The top of the line 150 is Class A/B and does not contain a DAC, while the 250 and 400 are Class D and do include a DAC...
Parasound Halo Hint6 Integrated.  Plenty of power and enough inputs and outputs.  Even has a built in crossover for a sub if you wanted to add one later on. Excellent sound for the $$$
Thanks guys. The Gato is intriguing and would be pleasing visually too which would be important to my wife. Most of the units mentioned are well out of my price range but I will watch for them on the used market.


So the Sonos Amp is a class D with 125w into 8 ohms. I do not see a spec for 4 ohms which my speakers are.

The Sprout100 is 50w into 8 ohms, 100w into 4 ohms.

@kalali, now that you have suggested that the 6Ts will sound thin with these amps it is almost guaranteed that my brain will hear them that way. ;-)

So far I have listened to these speakers with 1) a 140wpc Bryston 9B SST2 that I am selling for someone. I ran the Sonos Connect directly into the Bryston and as you might imagine, they sound as good as you would expect given the source material (Amazon Music via Sonos).

2) An older but high end Onkyo  75wpc home theater unit on 'bypass' with the Sonos Connect. To be completely honest it sounds just as good as the Bryston with the same source material. Maybe its the source material or maybe it is my untrained ears.

Between the Sprout and the Sonos I'm leaning towards the Sonos just for the minimalism, ease of use and additional watts. 

But if I can find something better used in the $1000 price range I'd probably do it.
for your intended use and considering the source, really not worth spending much, get what's convenient and looks good...curious why such good speakers for intended use...
I inherited them. Have Aerial Acoustics 7Bs in my primary system with a Madrigal Proceed (Levinson) amp at 250wpc. The 6Ts may be a little more precise than the 7Bs but do not sound as big as the 7Bs which is why the 6Ts are not in my primary system. That and the fact that there is no way my wife is letting those huge monolithic 7Bs in her living room. 

That’s why this is such a bizarre situation. Really nice and completely free speakers that will get limited use and not much of a budget, or much reason, to spend big bucks on an amp. Not that it’s a bad problem to have but I really don’t know what to do. 

And heck, even with that Onkyo they sound really good. Wife does not want Onkyo in the living room though. It is huge and ugly.
It’s a little above your price I think it was $1500?? Look here for a Micromega M100 small sleek looking integrated might get the wife’s OK.

Edit: sorry it is $1900 
https://www.audiogon.com/listings/lis9jh90-micromega-m-one-black-solid-state
@djones51, thanks. Probably too pricey but I'm intrigued. Will keep it on the short list.
As the owner of Aerial speakers I would suggest an amp with more than 50w per channel. They like power and even at low volume an amp with headroom and capable of dealing with 3 ohm loads is important. Given your budget goal, you might consider the Rega integrated amps. The Elex-R generates over 100w per channel at 4 ohms and lists for $1,695. See if you can demo with your speakers. 
@sammeyers1, I'll keep that one in mind too. Wish there was something like that without the cost of the phono pre and other things which I would not use.

I've got plenty of time and in truth, if this Bryston I've got does not sell for a reasonable price then the estate I'm selling it for doesn't care what happens to it. It is _not_ ideal from my wife's standpoint but right now it is under a side table and generally out of sight. Being 5 channel it certainly is overkill and a waste of channels but it does sound good.

If that happens I might want a pre-amp or something with a better DAC to run the Sonos Connect into.

This unusual circumstance is sending me down a lot of rabbit holes. ;-)
The Gato 150 may be what you need, but at 3995 Euros, it's considerably more expensive than the Parasound Halo HInt 6 ($2995). Was your objection to the Parasound based on cost or looks?
Rega Brio?
It fits the compact, simple, and moderate pricing criteria. But I don't have specifics on match to your sweet speakers.
Belles Aria?  Not sure of price.
@cheeg, no objection to the looks of any of these. Its mostly just a cost issue.
I will look into some of the others mentioned.
If we’re talking simple and cost effective amplification that sounds really good, BluOS is the best choice.  Sonos is just not that great sounding comparatively.  
It is my understanding that with a Sonos Connect if you bypass its DAC then Sonos itself has no impact on the source material which in my case is Amazon Music.


Also, I've got Sonos speakers throughout the house for casual listening so it would not be cost effective to change to a BluSound system at this time.
It has been reported that Sonos sends a very high jitter signal to an outboard DAC. I use a Wyred 4Sound modded Connect into my DAC and it sounds much better 
That's a problem because the whole reason the 6Ts are in the living room was that they replaced a pair of Sonos speakers and I'm pretty much wedded to the Sonos system. And, to be honest, pretty happy with it for its intended purpose.

I wonder if the new Sonos Amp has issues with jitter? For $650 and the fact that Sonos seems to be targeting the higher end listeners now I would sure hope so. Have not heard any mention of jitter in reviews of the Sonos Amp.

I should also admit that I've read about jitter but can't say I've ever identified it with my ears.
A used Bel Canto C5i could work well, and it has a DAC.  It’s what I have in my second system, and was an improvement over a Hegel H90.   
Looking at your wants, the fact you’re comfortable with the sonos system and the simplicity of it I would get the sonos amp. It looks like you set up streaming services through the app you don’t need to connect anything to it but the speaker and ethernet instead of wifi if desired. You can also connect a TV and CD player if wanted.
@djones51, that’s the way I’m leaning.

The speakers are there. I want to keep them. I want a small, nearly invisible, elegant, simple integrated that integrates with Sonos and that does the speakers justice for under a $1000.


Yes, I’m aware the whole situation is ridiculous.


Right now I have the whole shebang hooked up. Sonos Connect into Classe Sigma SSP pre-amp via optical into Bryston 9B amp. It sounds great but there is that big pile of equipment on a black plastic $99 Monoprice stand in my wife’s formal living room. It just won’t do. She’s not giving me a hard time because she knows its temporary....and it is.

So I might try the Sonos Amp as soon as I can sell the Transparent Super speaker cables (cheap by the way...if anyone is interested....) .

It looks like Sonos has a no-questions-asked return policy with free return shipping. If it sounds bad I’ll send it back.

@coffe-jerk, I’ll look into that Bel Canto.

Edit: Just looked at that Bel Canto and read some reviews. That is definitely a contender.


Maybe a mini breakthrough. I have the whole system (most of which I'm trying to sell for a family member) hooked up in the living room in a corner. Sonos into Classe' via optical into Bryston.


I put on Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong via Sonos. A great recording it turns out, and it sounds really really good. I brought my wife in to listen. She likes Louis but could care less about hi-fi.

But she really liked this. Even at low volume it sounds great. Shes still in there listening.


I explain that it takes that big ugly pile of equipment to sound that good. She clearly does not like it in the living room. So I start telling her about some of these smaller compact units and when I tell her how much they cost she actually seems interested. This could open up some opportunity with something like the Bel Canto or the Gato if I could find one used. Don't get me wrong, she does not fuss about money but it sure doesn't hurt that she would appreciate a decent amp that is fairly discrete and out of sight.
I’ve been listening to these speakers with the good amp and pre-amp all day today. They just sound so good that I’ve come to the conclusion that I am going to have to get something proper to drive them with. I may have to wait a while, save my money and buy used but I will expand my budget a bit. At this point I can’t bring myself to compromise significantly. Probably a foolish waist of money but I just can’t see driving these things with something that does not fulfill their potential.


Having said that, the amp and pre-amp I’m using are not generating a lot of interest on eBay at less than half their new price. Will probably list them here next week.
I agree, either get them the electronics those terrific speakers deserve, or sell them...
At this point I would also expand my query to a normal sized integrated. It will go in a corner and be largely out of sight. As long as it isn’t huge and just butt ugly it should be fine.

So open to recommendations in that regard as well. That may give me more options. Would probably want at least 100w into 8ohms.
If you want an excellent sounding Class D amp - Hattor. 
So what about common brand units like the NAD 388? The specs say 150 watts into 8 ohms AND 4 ohms. Why is that? Is that a problem?

Should I avoid class D?


What about units like the Arcam SA30 or even the SA20? And what the heck is a class G amp?

Adjusted budget is around $2000....which is the most I've ever paid for any audio component. Most of my system components were inherited.
I do have a DEMO DIA-250. I could make you a good deal ! sunnyaudiovideo.com
I also have a NAD Master series DEMO Amplifier.

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