Willy - what pre-amp will you be using? All three amps you ask about are excellent choices, but there's more to system matching than just speakers and amps. If the pre will be new as well, I'm kinda partial to the Marsh when mated with the P2000t pre-amp, but the Sim is a marvelous unit as well. I haven't heard a Plinius product in a couple of years; I remember when I did hear it I wanted it, but I note that of the three amps it has the least "power", though with the Tylers 160 wpc should get the job done very nicely. Nonetheless, I kinda like having more than enough headroom, so I'd lean towards the Marsh and Sim amps there. But still, what pre-amp? It'd help to know.
WELL THE PLINIUS WOULD BE THE BEST OUT OF THE BUNCH. bUT YOU SHOULD REALLY CONSIDER MARK LEVINSON. ANYTHING FROM THE 300 SERIES WILL DO. GOOD LUCK
Thanks for the feedback guys.... Im using a BP 25 right now. I plan on upgrading so the Pre is a moot point. Lev335 I like your plan but do you think you could loan me another 2000? Ha ha ha.
A properly designed amplifier will not interact with the speakers. Power amplifiers are supposed to be voltage sources. Their output voltage is the product of their gain times the input voltage. One of the design goals of good amps is to not have their output voltage vary as a result of speaker impedance. If it does the system will not have flat frequency response. The spec that measures of the designers success in this regard is the amps damping factor. Above 10 or 15 it probably is acadmemic. Good transistor amps will measure in the hundreds.
The Plinius is a superior amp, I don't care what the other power ratings are and they won't matter since the speakers are 88db efficient @ 8ohm. Choose a good head unit with a sub-out, you may find yourself longing for the bottom octave sometime down the road and it would be easy to match a good sub in the system (there are plenty out there). The Marsh is made in Thialand..YIKES !!!
w/r/t damping factors: Marsh = 800, Sim = 800, Plinius - no data found. w/r/t output: Marsh is 200w @ 8 ohms, 330 @ 4 ohms; Sim is 120 @ 8 ohms, 200 @ 4 ohms, Plinius is 100 @ 8 ohms, 160 @ 4 ohms. w/r/t THD: Marsh = .02, Sim = .01; Plinius = .05. S/N on all are 100db All data from respective manufacturers websites; reviewers and your numbers may vary (and do: TAS said their test on the Sim W-3 showed a damping factor that "never went below 500"; but as mentioned above, at over 100 it's probably academic.)
I would like further explanation of the statement "A properly designed amplifier will not interact with the speakers." I always thought it was that very interaction that dominated the resultant sound from the system: spend all the money in the world on your front end and speakers, it'll still sound like mush thru a $120 integrated from Best Buys. Which is not to say other components don't get their signature into the mix, it's just that clean power delivered to well matched speakers will better enable you to hear everything that's happening in the system (and therefore, from the source, which is what we want to hear in the first place).
Don't rightly know where Plinius products are built, nor Sim, nor do I particularly care - it's sound and specs that speak to me. Especially sound.
Chas, the Plinius can be run in Class A or Class AB by user selection from the front panel. Do either of the others have this option?
Nope, not that I know of. It's hard to get much data about the Marsh amps (outside of the dealership, anyway) which makes me wonder what they don't want to say (I find this particularly odd given that they do have a pretty impressive sound). Sim has considerably more spec type data on their site, and it seems clear that they're straight A/AB "Class A up to 5 watts to maintain efficiency". Whatever. I have heard the Marsh, and I finally remembered it was the Plinius 8150 I demo'd a while ago - truly an excellent piece as well. I have very few dealers around and not a lot of time to play, but I would love to one on one these three amps in question - unfortunately, the Plinius is 2 hours north, the Marsh is 45 min south, and I dunno where I could find the Sim (probably some dumb distance east or west!).
In Class A operation the Plinius is good for 50W. As we all know, this will sound like a hell of a lot more than the rating. Admittedly, I have never heard a Marsh amp, but I'm going to go out on a limb anyway and say the flexibility alone makes it a better, and at the least, a more convenient/configurable piece of gear. Well worth the extra $$'s. The Sim for me is kind of a "been there done that" thing. Great amp!!, I just bored with one not that long ago before I went to tubes. When I threw a friends SA-100 in my system while I had the Sim, I knew it was time for another amp.
Hey - if being Class A floats your boat, sail on, my man. But read the TAS review at the Marsh site before suggesting the Marsh can't carry the load - the reviewer used Harbeth Monitor 40s for his review - nominal 4 ohm, 85 db sensitive - and never felt a lack of power. This from an amp for $2000 less than its competition. I would think that might modify the equation somewhat. But then there is also the sound, and to my ears, the Marsh takes a back seat to no one in that regard. This demo was a head to head with some of ARC's best (amp & Pre), thru ProAc 2.5s, source was all Conrad Johnson iirc thru both rigs. Played the ARC gear first, then the Marsh (using the Marsh P2000t pre-amp). I genuinely preferred the Marsh. And at the time, I didn't know the prices on any of the gear being demo'd, only the brand names, as my dealer and I were working on the tubes vs ss sound thing with my lovely bride. She also preferred the Marsh, commenting on how the music seemed to come up "out of nowhere". Now none of that means alot without trying the same thing with the Plinius and the Sim, I suppose, but I submit it merely to support the inclusion of the Marsh in this class of gear. Willyb, I gotta leave the head to head for you, I hope if you get to it you'll let us know your opinions.
What about a Odyssey Stratos amp with cap upgrade to 120,000 microfads? Great build quility and is 120w into 8 ohms and 260 into 4 ohms.Price is only $1100. See a review in the current Absolute Sound. Brad
odyssey amps are three or four weeks out on orders at this time,according to klause.