Amplifier For Martin Logan CLSIIZ?

Hey guys,

I'll be getting my Martin Logan CLSIIz's next Friday. I've been leaning toward tubes, but am somewhat open to solid state - provided it's a synergistic match.

Do the CLS' need WATTS or CURRENT?

Here is a list of the "affordable" (less than $1,500 used) amps that I am somewhat familiar with and was considering.

Solid State:
*Classe DR-2 or DR-3 (only 25 and 30 watts, but pure class A and VERY high current)
*Pass Labs Aleph 3 or 5
*McCormack DNA-1 Deluxe or DNA-225
*BelCanto EVO 200.2
*PS Audio HCA-2 (never heard this one but have read good things)

*Audio Research D-XXX Most of these are fantastic - anything from the D-76B up to the D-160
*BAT VK-60
*VTL 70/70, ST-125, Compact 100s
*Music Reference RM-9

This is by no means an exhaustive list. They're just a few pieces that I'm either very familiar with or that just sound intriguing.

I'm open to all suggestions but am particularly interested in hearing from folks with personal experience driving CLS'.

Thanks in advance for your help.
There's a used InnerSound amp listed for $1800 here at Audiogon. That amp will drive your CLS's very very well. I know it's a bit above your budget, but you might stretch a bit and/or make an offer and see what happens.
Power cords and speaker cable make a big difference too. I do not know any amps in that budget I could recommend, sorry.
Pass Labs X-150. A little beyond your budget(1750.00-used) but its a great match for your Logans. I used this amp to drive my Ascents. Its a great match to Martin Logans. In 4 ohms it will put out 300 watts(Logans love power)Its also very musical,and detailed. What ever you decide-side with power. They love power...........
Rowland works well try model 1 or bigger models are even better try model 5 probably available in your price range
VTL run in triode will sound best.
As an owner of CLS2Z I will try to provide some insight. The HCA-2 will not work. It will sound nice but will not handle dual transients.

On transistor amps you need at more than 175wpc. I once spoke with Roland and they told me the older 150wpc amps were a little short on power for this speaker.

I use Odyssey stratos Extreme monos. I beleive they are wonderful.

I also hear that the McCormack can be a good match. Classe newer amps are a good match. Symphonic Line and the Innersound are good. On older amps the old Acoustat, Counterpoint and Mac's can be good.

I don't know of the BEL Canto.

Big tube amps maybe. Samll tube amps no. I have heard that tubes are very good with these speakers.
I dont know, How much are the Blue circle, but the
guy who makes the amps use this type of speakers
to tune them.I might be wrong.

PS Audio actually advised me against using the HCA-2 with these. I use a Sonic Frontiers Power 2 (2 ohm taps) and am generally pleased.
Thanks everybody,

That's a very interesting comment about the HCA-2. Not sure of why (technically) this is the case, but it's sure good to know.

I believe that Blue Circle's designer (can't think of his name) does use them as his reference. I think I'll shoot him an email and find out what he thinks.

MDL - The Power 2 is 110wpc, no?

Any more suggestions are welcomed. I really would like to stay with tubes if at all possible. In fact, the gentleman that I bought them from told me that he had good success driving them with a VTL running at 60wpc SET. Obviously not to particularly loud levels, but very sweet and 3D, according to him.
my vote for tubes as well. edsawyer uses a 20watt custom tube amp with his CLS, swears by them.
I owned CLS IIz for several years and went through a number of amps. The impedance on theses speakers gets pretty low and varies quite a bit. They need a quality amp.

The Inner Sound amps (designed and built by Coda-Continuum) work very well. They are actually Continuum Stages. I had better results with a genuine Coda amp, which is a big step over the Continuum products. I ended up with the model 20.5 (which is the same as the more common 11.5 with a diferent bias).

I've heard the Pass Labs X-150 and it is a good amp, but the mids and highs on the Coda are much cleaner and better delineated. I sure that this is a personal preference and will not be viewed the same by all listeners.

A bit off topic. I like the Granite Audio 555 or 560 power cord for the speakers. What do you use?
I owned the CLSIIZ's for about 8 years and was very happy driving them with a pair of ARC Classic 120's. Can be obtained for about $2300 used. I tried the Synergistic Master A/C power cords on the CLS's and liked them quite a bit.

Did you find that the power cords make a substantial difference?
The reference for Gilbert Young of Blue Circle were the CLZII paired with his now, out of production BC-2 SS monoblocks...which are hybrid. When I had them, they used to produce prodigious amounts of heat, and were quite heavy for the specified wattage...of about 75 watts pure class A watts. 75 lbs and can be obtained at 2-2.5 K, not quite enough for your budget. I think other class A amps will do, what about the now classic DR-25 by Classe?
I went through several power cords about the time that Elrod Sig 3 rolled out. I found that the power cords did make a difference and thankfully, I liked a less expensive cord.

The most noticeable difference for me with the power cords was the presence of, or lack of air.
I compared the Synergistic Master Coupler with a pair of XLO cords and found that the Synergistic had a much better midrange with more sparkle, especially on piano recordings. They went a fair bit of the way towards alleviating the thinness which is the primary drawback of the CLS, IMO. This thinness ultimately led me to sell the CLSIIZ's and get a pair of Alon Circes, which are also dipolar in the mids and highs, but use dynamic drivers.
I'll check out the Master Coupler
I use jolida mono block tubes 200 wtt/ch sound good but looking at emotiva xpa 1 gen2 (600wtt /ch mono block ( class A first 60 watts )