Amplifier for Sonus Faber Extrema

I´ve just bought a pair of Sonus Faber Extrema Loudspeakers and I want to buy an amplifier for them (used).
My actual system: Krell Kps20i CD Player, Sonic Frontiers Line 2 SE Preamplifier, Classé Audio Fifteen Power Amplifier and Audioquest Volcano DBS Speaker cables (biwire).
I want to replace and upgrade only the amplifier and I want to still use the Sonic Frontiers because I love this tube preamplifier. So I´m loocking for an amplifier to use with the Extremas and the Sonic Frontiers.
Some options could be: Classé CAM350 Monoblocks, Krell KSA300S or Pass X250.5
I will apreciate all your suggests and recomendations.
I am currently Bi-Amping my Sonus Faber Extremas with a pair of Threshold SA/1 mono blocks on the bottom end . And a pair of Threshold SA/2 mono blocks on the top end and loving it !

Stick with pure class A sound amps for the Extremas. And I suggest Bi-Amping if you can do it. It brings the Extrema's to another strosphere when Bi-Amping with the right amps.
Get a pair of good condition Mark Levinson 20.6. You will not regret it.
Mark Levinson 20.6 are awesome amps. But there pure Class A. There gonna get hot and your electric bill will feel it.

I would recommend Levinson 23.5 or Mccormack DNA 500

Its funny since I just downgraded and I am looking for an amplifier for my Concerto's. I had the Extrema and Electa Amator 1 before.

Your price range? New or used?

You need power I assure you, thats the first thing!

I used tube for the top and SS for the bottom biamped

Audio Research Reference Pre
ARC 100 Power for the TOP
KSA200's for the Bass

NICE sound for sure, source was mostly analog!

And important note: You need a big big big big room!
It never made music in my 25 by 25 foot room for a long time! Took it to some larger home and tested it out and ended up selling them after hearing it there, it was amazing and I realised I was missing out too much, since the upgrade towards a new home or room was not possible. I sold them! If you have the room and the proper gear to accomodate, you wont need another speaker!

Krell, Pass, Audio Research, VTL, Jeff Rowland, Goldmund, Classe, you wont go wrong with any of these stuff listed and there are much more of course!

Good luck


If you have the opportunity to audition a pair of BEL 1001 monoblocks it will be worth your time. Als, the Theta Citadels might be a good match depending on your taste.
Best amp I ever heard with the Extremas was the big Gryphon Class A stereo amp from the late 80s/early 90s; I'd imagine their current offerings would be up to the task as well, though pricey. The above posters are right, those speakers really eat up power, give them all you can.
I agree with Mikej on his recommendation of the BELs. ONE BEL 1001 MK V alone can drive the Extremas to realistic volume levels without strain although I use a pair myself.
My earlier suggestion of the ML 20.6 was based on my listening to them at a friend's house and it was awesome.
It looks like good quality amps with high current capability should match the Extremas well.
Well, I need to chime in here. First of all, nice purchase - i think you will ultimately LOVE these. I own a pair of Guarneri Homage (with a REL sub). Clearly this is different (easirer) to drive than the extrema, but to my ear - having tried various SS amps from Ayre, Rowland and a few others - SF's work best with TUBES!!! I found out that SF uses the amazing Berning ZH270 in their refernece system, so i looked into it, and bought one - AND WILL NEVER go back to SS amps. The sound is simply astounding.

Now, I dont know if a single ZH270 would be up to driving these, but I am sure a bridged mono set would. You should at least consider the amp used by the manufacturer in their reference system....
Typo Correction from earlier entry:

My pair of Threshold SA/1 mono-blocks are on the top end (sweetest midrange & super highs for the Extremas). And my pair of Threshold SA/2 mono-blocks are on the bottom end for incredible bass dynamics.

All with of course brand new BMI Cable HammerHead power cables. And ORCA 2 speaker cables.

Everyone who owns the Extrema's (especially the later production ones like myself); Enjoy them , because they are the best one can wish for a monitor speaker--period !
Artg, what is the power of the ZH270 in bridged mode?
I have my Extremas running with a Levinson 23.5 Amp after upgrading from a 27.5 (the 23.5 is double the power of the 27.5.
Has anyone compared the Levinson 20.6 versus the 23.5 running the Extremas ? I believe the that 20.6 are rated at 100 watts (all Class A) per channel while the 23.5 is rated at 200 watts.
Thf, as with many tubed amps, especially (this OTL design), the watts/channel rating belies the way it sounds, So, with that caveat, the per channel rating of single stereo ZH270 is 70W/channel - which in my experience on my Guaneri's, that 70W per channel compared very favorably to SS designs with 150-200 per channel range(including my former Ayre V-5x), so a mono block set should be equiv to 140W/channel, and this is capable of driving any load, including the Extremas.....

While not having heard that particular combo, i would bet a lot of coin that it would sound fabulous!