Amplifier upgrade

I have an Aragon 8008 bb (mk.2), and was wondering if I wanted to upgrade from that what might be recommended. (Bryston, Halo, Pass).  I currently have an Audio Research preamp, Cary source, and Sonus Faber speakers.

Thank you in advance.    

Where are you trying to go? I have experience with the 8008bb. The Aragon 8008bb is a very nice amp, but it is a tinch on the warm side (a little bit slower than other solid state amps). The older Brystons have very fast attack and are the opposite of warm (it seems that the new Bryston b3 amps are warmer/laid back). The older Brystons may work with the AR preamp and others definitely like Bryston, but it may not be as engaging as the Parasound or Pass Labs (I’ve heard Bryston amps and they are fast/crisp/clear, but a little on the clinical/sterile side). If feedback on the newer b3 Brystons being warm is true (which I think it is, since the Bryston SP3 processor is definitely way too warm and laid back for me -- Bryston may be changing it’s sonic signature), then the Bryston may be even more laid back than the 8008bb.

If it were me, I’d try something like a Parasound A21 first, unless you had the $3500+ to go for a used ".5" or ".8" Pass Labs amp.

Thank you.  I think the 8008 bb is a still a very good amp as you said.  I would agree it's a bit warm and a bit slow, but has allot of drive.  A Pass 250.8 would be a big step up I would think.  It uses a Mosfet output stage, but I assume still would have serious drive and bottom end.  Have you heard the A21 in comparison to the 8008?

Yes, the 8008bb definitely has a lot of drive -- it’s a high current amp and has no problem driving a wide variety of speakers. I have not directly heard the Parasound, but I have heard many on this forum describe the characteristics. I have moved on to Emotiva monoblock amps myself, but that’s where I’m at. The stock Emotiva’s are very fast and nice, but just a tinch on the cold side -- upgrading the fuse to an Isoclean really helped and now it’s like a fast/engaging version of 8008. I would say the Emotiva amps (when fuse modified) are worth much more then what you spend on them, but there is definitely a perception that they are "cheaper" and not as good. I run 6 individual monoblocks in a home theater system, and it would be insane to buy Parasound/Pass monoblocks for this many channels, so Emotiva is what I ended up with. In reality, I suspect the Parasound Halo amps will sound sweeter than the Emotiva amps -- the Pass Labs "Class AB" amps are probably the superior amps all around. Please read the following thread on a huge amount of individual amp descriptions.

I recommended the Parasound A21 as a stereo amp upgrade from your 8008bb stereo (dual-mono), but JC1 monoblocks would be better (and much more expensive, lol). Based on the above thread, the Pass 250.5 would be better than JC1’s anyways.

Thank you for the detail.  I have not heard the Emotiva amps as of yet.  I think if I was going the Halo route I would go JC 1's for sure.  The Pass 250.8 seems to be a great amp from I have heard, and a step up from everything we are talking about.  Any experience with the D'Agostino Classic Stereo Amp for 12k?