I have Magicos i would look at used Pass 250.5 it would be a great match.
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yes, i had thought about Pass Labs- if i could find a good .5 series I would consider it although they tend to be fairly expensive even used. Is 250 watts necessary for the S1?
Notwithstanding the issues I had with Mac I am running the S1 with a Unison Research Unico SE, which is rated at some 140 watts into 8 ohms but i barely manage to turn up the volume knob 1/5 to 1/4 of the way before it gets much too loud.
I used a SimAudio 600i (250 watts into 4 ohms) with my S1 in a smaller room and it had plenty of punch and volume. I still felt though the speakers could use some more power to get them to really ‘boogie’. I then jumped to a 250.8 and it wasn’t night and day but the extra power was noticeable when the volume went up and the bass was better as one would expect. The punchy 250 from the 600i was certainly adequate in my 12x17 room in hind sight for my listening levels. So yea, a used 250.5 would be a great choice if you can find one in your price range. A used Modwright KWA150se might be a good choice too. I had a KWA100se for a year or so and I think it’s sonic signature would mate well with the S1.
thanks guys- it is very useful to hear your experiences- I am kind of leaning towards the rogues. I don't know how well the primaluna and rogues would mate but i don't there should be an issue (if u have thoughts on that as well let me know. The 180's should drive the Magico's nicely...I just hope I will not "over-tubing" the system. Weird thing to say for someone who was running a mastersound compact 845 into Zu Druids and then Focal Micro Be's (this last combination was often spectacular).
But ultimately it is about synergy- S1, M180, and Primaluna preamp would seem alright "in theory".
I would buy the Prima Luna HP Monoblocks with the KT150 tubes.. An audio buddy of mine uses those amps with the top of the line Prima Luna preamp driving his Magico S3 speakers. Best sound I have ever heard from a Magico. His room is 18 by 24 and it is a dedicated room. Although I am not a Magico fan, I really had to pause as his system really sounded great. He is also using a VPI Avenger turntable with a 6K cartridge.
I wonder about the concept of "over-tubing" since modern tube hifi amps seem to have more sparkle and low level detail retrieval than SS amps amps generally can muster, although people of course do enjoy SS tone anyway. The claims that SS provides more "bass slam" also must simply be due to the large wattage many SS amps can provide, as I've enjoyed some very accurate bass from even my little 12WPC single ended amp (albeit with efficient speakers). I admit to utilizing SS subs in my rig as my speakers don't have enough low bass, but they're task specific and nobody makes tube subs anyway...mine get their signal from the tube amp (RELs utilizing the "high level" input) so there's that.
I'd love to get the Primaluna's with KT150's- it's just that they are a bit out of budget- a used single unit usu goes for $3000 and that is with EL34's.
Nobody seems to be getting a warm fuzzy feeling from my suggestion on the M180's. I have not heard them but from what I have read they come highly recommended and do not sound overly tubey.
But maybe I should rethink?
I owned 2 rogue components, a RP-5 preamp and a Cronus Magnum with KT120 tubes.. I always felt the Cronus Magnum amp with 4 KT120 tubes sounded a little bit grainy. I did a lot of tube rolling and nothing could get rid of that. So I wonder if the Rogue 180 will have the same type of sound. The RP-5 tube preamp was an excellent sounding preamp once I changed out the cheap JJ tubes for a pair of Mullard NOS tubes. I would have kept it but a very expensive McIntosh preamp came into my view and had to have it.
If you are buying new, Uncle Kevvy will charge you only the difference on the KT150 tubes from the stock EL34 tubes which will not give you the bass slam and power of the KT150's, but may sound a bit sweeter in the midrange. There was a pair of those Prima Luna Monoblocks with the 150 tubes for sale here a couple of weeks ago at a good price. Not sure if they sold. The search feature really sucks now.
Within your budget, there are a couple of amps I could suggest to drive the S1’s. The first is an Australian-made amplifier which I first heard at the Australian International Hifi show last year, the Holton Five-Zero-Zero power amp - https://holtonprecisionaudio.com/collections/fully-assembled-amplifiers/products/fully-assembled-and... The Holton is very well made, has a lot of power & punches well above it’s price point. That amp will drive the S1’s with authority & has a high input impedance which would be benight to any tube preamp.
The other amp I could recommend would be a 2nd hand Modwrigth KWA-150SE. The Modwright has good power, sounds tube-like, is very quiet and has excellent inner detail. It is a beautifully made amp. The Holton however has more power & would provide better control, which in the case of the S1’s is very important. You would also be buying new in that case vs 2nd hand. My 2c.