Seems to me that a pair of Parasound JC-1s would be worth auditioning with your Whispers.
Why not use a Legacy amp? The PowerBloc 2 drives my older Legacy Focus just fine. I suspect that Bill Dudleston used his own amps(made by Coda) to design and tune all his current speaker line. Well made, good warranty, and not overpriced. Same could be said of the Bryston lineup. But again, I don't believe there is any magic X-factor in any well made SS amplifier.
Thanks all for your responses---I welcome more from generous and/or opinionated comrades. Good and viable alternatives all. Has anyone out there auditioned the Parasound Halo JC-1's with Legacy speakers?
Dalinden--appreciate your entry as well. I must admit a soft-spot for Mr. Duddleston since we attended H.S. together in Spfld, IL.
FWIW - I replaced a Bryston 4B with a Monobloc2 for my Focus 20/20. The resulting improvement was immediate and not subtle. I highly recommend the Legacy (Coda) over Bryston. I think, after talking to Bryston directly, they don't much like 4 Ohm loads. Now time to upgrade to Ultra Monoblocs!
Also, and obviously, Legacy uses their own amps in their factory showroom. It is incredible sound, especially the Helix.
You can probably never go wrong with Krell though. I have never heard the Parasound.
I have owned the Legacy Whisper system since 1997 and have tried several amps with them.I got good results from Legacy's stereo hi-current amp. Also used Parasound HCA800's and Soundcraftmen Pro 4's both in vertical Bi-amp config.Have acheived best results with Bryston 7BST mono blocks.Powerfull and robust 600 watt solid stste units.I've had the Brystons in system since 01 ,liked so much I bought one for my Legacy Marquis center channel...very,very satisfied
THe JC-1's are overpriced for the performance. I have Aragon Palladium 1K's with my Whispers and they are MAGNIFICENT! I ran Legacy Sig III's in PARALLEL with Legacy Classics before I had the Whispers and the Palldiums didn't break a sweat - nor do they now. They have absolute superb control over the Whispers. The power and clarity are amazing.
Aragon was made by the independent Mondial group, but is now sold by Klipsch. Palladium 1K's were obsoleted about a year ago, because they cost too much to produce. They are fully differential, 600 WPC into 4 Ohms and class A to about 65 Watts into 4 Ohms. They are great looking amps, as well.
If you can find Palladium 1K's, GET them! I recommend you call Bob at Avalon Audio (www.avalonav.com) in Medford, NJ. He still has an ad on Audiogon for them at $3K / pr., I believe. His phone number is 609-654-7752. His e-mail is email@example.com. He is a great guy and saved me a lot of $. Good Luck and enjoy those Whispers!
I have to disagree with Blues_fan about the Aragon Palladium 1K monoblocks and the JC-1's. As you all probably know by now, I own a pair of JC-1's and I love every aspect of their performance. They are the best amps, when FULLY broken-in, that I have heard in my system or anywhere else for that matter.
I have a friend from Georgia who used to own a pair of the Aragon Palladium 1K's. Sure they were excellent sounding amps, and an exceptional value at their current prices, but the JC-1's are sonically superior to them.
I took my JC-1's to his home and hooked them into his system in place of the Aragons and listen to a big variety of tunes through them for at least an hour. We then unhooked the JC-1's and put the Palladiums back in.
While the Palladiums held their own fairly well, the JC-1's were faster, more transparent, better focused, and smoother and slightly more extended on top than the Palladiums.
The JC-1's had deeper, tighter, and more powerful bass, and a more detailed midrange. He agreed totally with my conclusions, and he said that he was very impressed with the JC-1's.
We then brought the Palladiums and my JC-1's back to my place. I invited some more friends over to listen as well. We hooked them into my system with basically the same sonic results. Needless to say, his system is much more resolving than mine, and MUCH more expensive, but all of our conclusions of the amps was basically the same in both of our systems.
Outcome: He sold his Aragons and bought a pair of JC-1's.
I have wun my whispers with a Krell KSA-250 most of the time.
They do not require as much power as that amp gives them. I have also run them with a Classe CA-400 (A little more rounded out not as tunefull as the Krell. My favorite amp overall was
the Bel Canto SET 40 Integrated (40 Watt single ended). More than enough power and holographic imaging like you wouldn't believe. I also recomend 2 Vandersteen 2wq subwoofers ove the Legacy subs. Subwoofers make a world of difference on the Whisper.
If you can find the Legacy monobloc or Ultra monobloc I would recommend auditioning them. I previously used a Classe CA-200, two channels of Aragon 8008x5 and also vertically biamped them using 4 channels of the Aragon amp. The sound of the Classe was too rounded for my taste. I always thought the Aragons sounded very good and biamping gave the best results with them. A couple of months ago I came across a pair of the original Legacy monoblocs and bought them. I had read about people feeling that the Aragons having a slightly grainy high end and I could never hear this effect. Once I hooked up the Legacies I realized they were correct. I guess you can't recognize this until you have a direct comparison. The difference was subtle but very definitely there and made the Legacies more musically satisfying than the Aragon. I also preferred the Aragon over the Classe. I could never get past the differences in the bass performance to keep it in my system. I felt the big difference in bass performance outweighed the Classe's slight edge in high frequency performance. The gap widened when the Aragon was run biamped. This is just my opinion and I liked the Classe enough to keep it for use in a second system.
The other big difference and what clinched it for me was that the Legacies require very little warmup time and run very cool while the Aragon requires about 30 minutes to reach its optimum operating temperature and sound their best and they generate a significant amount of heat. I generally don't want to play my system for 30 minutes before I listen to it. The Legacy also has a slightly darker tonal balance with great bass control and pitch definition. They also give a nice presentation of timbre and pitch of indivdiual instruments. Imaging three dimensionality is also first rate.
If you get the chance to listen to the Legacies with the Whispers you will not be disappointed.
If you haven't gotten your amp yet, I would suggest you listen to Steve McCormack's DNA-500. That's what I'm using on my WHispers and the sound is amazing. Lots of power and current (500w -8 ohms/900w-4 ohms),very musical, loads of detail without being fatiguing and very "involving" - it draws you in to the music. Tight bass control is also another characteristic.
In fact, even if you HAVE already gotten your amp, if its not the DNA-500, you might want to audition it anyhow just to see what you are missing!