Amplifiers:A Keeper for Life. Do you know of one ?


Just wondering, with this audio merry-go-round of buying and selling, if anyone has an amp that will be a keeper for life. I haven't yet but came verrrry close once...
sonicbeauty
My Zanden is for life. It is a beauty and it sounds gorgeous....above all, the designer is one of the best people i have ever known in my life...I may buy something else down the road because like most people i get curious about something new.

a much more affordable unit (that I intended to keep for life but unfortunately sold) is 47 lab gaincard....i do miss it.

all the best....mehran
After some tube rolling, I've yet to find an amp I like more than the Wright Mono 3.5's (with the Wright preamp--a must!)
I've heard $25K amps that I did not find as engaging and accurate.
It was a surprise to me, but I will be keeping the Krell FPB-650MC's, possibly upgrade them to the FPB-750MCs!

Dan
My Dartzeel NHB-108 is a keeper. It's the most balanced and one of the most natural sounding amps I've ever heard--and that includes a lot of expensive tube units. And the designer, Herve Deletraz, is a really sweet guy. I may upgrade if one becomes available, but I'll likely stay in the Dartzeel camp.
My Pass Labs X600 Monoblocks. I have no desire or need to every let them go. Besides they're too heavy to get rid of.

Peace,
Ross
Atma-Sphere MA-2, a superb amplifier design that keeps getting better and better in it's MkII.2 and .3 iterations. Easily updated by the factory as significant design improvements occur.
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Electronluv.
Bryston B60. Ive enjoyed it almost every day all day for five and one half years. When I go, it will keep my widow company.........
I've been working on a deal with God to take my 300B SET monoblocks into the Afterlife with me. He tells me they got some new 5" digital format that'll make SACD sound like nails on a chalkboard! He wouldn't let me take my LaScala's though...said they're too damn big and may catch fire...hey wait a minute.

Marco
My Sierra Olympia amps. Pure Class A up to the stratosphere with a punch and musicality that is unbelievable. Extraordinary build quality. And, as Ross said, they're too heavy to get rid of ;-)
I'm not totally sure yet, but the Canary CA-339's are looking suspiciously like a candidate. The problem is that there are so many really good amps out there, each with its own endearing character.
Atma-Sphere M-60's work so well with my Köchel horns that I can't envision how amplification could get any better.
My top Candidates (with some guts):
RE Designs LNPA-150
Blue Circle BC26
H2O Audio ICEH20
McCormack DNA-500
Clayton M100
Still have my Hafler DH 500's. Bought em brand new. Want Mr. Van Alstine to tune them up. Wonderful solid state.

Still have my CJ premier 11a and still love it. Would like to get 12's or 8's at some point for more power.
McCormack DNA-2 Revision A or Rev. Gold.

-IMO
New York Audio Labs OTL-1, On a cold night i curl up next to this amp and it keeps me warm.
Densen B-100. Cost me $1000. Will own it till it dies or I do ... whichever is the sooner.
mcintosh 2102, i think ill be keeping mine till the end,paired with my klipsch horns its a match for life.

mike.
Hey, Bigjoe, I have the same combination and LOVE the way it sounds. Yeah, the 2102 is a FINE amp. I have yet to find a tube amp that sounds sweeter.
BEL 1001 Mk V - Awesome!
Maybe my next one :).
My Wavac 833v1.3 amps will be staying a very long time.
Wolcott Presence 220 Tube Monoblock Amps.
I have had around 12 different amp's through the years ,tube and SS and these are finest I have owned.
I can't see ever selling these.
Gryphon Callisto 2200 intergrated amp.
No doubt the best amplifier, preamp, or integrated that I have heard to date. And I have heard quite a few.

Best,
Michael
phiser labs.
The Older Mac's and Marantz Tube Amps. Today I would think stuff like Theta Dreadnaughts, Plinius Odeon and any amp that brings out the best traits of your particular speakers I would keep until one of 4 events occur.

1-Your Death!
2.Change of System speakers
3.Find a better synergistic match
4.They have a failure which puts the, out to pasture
Jonathan(Jcbtubes), I have missed you and Bruce around these parts more than words could ever express. Please post more. And, how is our very good friend?
goldmund 29m
here are my 2 cents worth,,,,,,FI-X INTEGRATED WITH MAGNAQUEST TRANNY'S!!!!!!!
This thread should have simply been titled, "what amp do you own"...it would likely share about as much useful information as this one.

Marco
Marco,
Das a good one!

Folks,
It seems that y'all got short lives he..he...
I think it unlikely that amp technology will improve significantly in my lifetime. Age: 47 :-)
Jadis JA 30 and JA 200
PARASOUND HALO JC-1'S!
Mine just keep getting better and better. Can't wait till they are fully broken in! Exceptional amps!
Danlib1 is probably the most correct among us. Marco, you caught me! I do love my amp and would really, really like it to be my last. But as I thought about it, I recall having said that before ;-)
I've got 20+ amplifiers and there's only one that i wouldn't want to part with, even if i just kept it as a spare. Since i own it though, i don't want to taint the results of this poll, so i won't post what make / model it is : ) Sean
>
I thought my Jadis JA80s would be the ones, but since I just sold them I didn't keep them for life, so they're disqualified. Perhaps my current Lamm ML-1s, though I still lust for the Siltech monos I heard earlier this year. Now they would be the ones I'd keep for life (or at least the life of the transmitter tube in them).
Musical Fidelity TriVista Integrated Amp - hear to believe!
Russ, I guess I forgot to tell you when we got together last week that those JA80s were supposed to be kept until I was of the age where I could afford them...
Yeah, I know, sorry about that, Joe, I should have waited for you, but with all the remodeling jobs I've done and am doing to my house I needed the money, and my wife felt that the art deco look of those amps was nice but not suitable on her living room floor. Hey, I saw in another post that your Orchestra Reference's tubes were 6 years old, maybe you'd like one of my EI KT90 mk III quads, a lot cheaper than those 80's and certain to breathe new life into that amp!!
Thanks for the offer, Russ!

Yes, possibly. If I ever sell the amp, and I have only thought about it once, another set of tubes might be something that would protect the buyer farther into the future. Even though the amp can use most tubes, Jadis seems to think the KT90 is the best tube for their amps.

I do have a quad of KT90s in reserve, which I was kind of thinking that I would save for posterity. My tubes are getting to the point where I have been looking around for replacements. After about 4 hours or so of playing, I sometimes notice a bit of distortion coming from the right channel at times. I just chalked it up that I am probably getting close to needing tubes.

Actually, I know you will understand when I say this after we found out that we are kindred spirits sonically, and both go for a rich, lush sound, I was thinking the next tubes I should give a go in the JOR would be the JJ EL34. I have a pair of more powerful amps upstairs - my "consolation" for not getting your JA80s(Granites, and they are much better than I could have even dreamed), with JJ KT88, and the sound is great, so I was wondering if I should take the Jadis is a different direction.

My only worry with the EL34 is their ability to drive the speakers, but I will probably end up with a big pair of Frieds down in that system, and they are surprisingly EASY to drive, but you never know.
I have aways had a dozen or so amplifiers kicking around. Mostly tube amps...from vintage to modern. I have collected,bought,sold, traded,built,rebuilt and repaired both tube amps as well as solid state amps for more than 35 years. Funny as it may sound...My geniune keeper [for more than 20 years now] is a little 25 watt/channel class A solid state amplifier.With the right speaker, and in the right room,this classic little solid scraper is as good as anything this guy has ever heard.Sounds as sweet as the best tube amps, always engaging to listen to, and with zero ear fatigue. Recently found another one by advertising right here in the Gon's wanted adds. THE BEDINI 25/25. It's truly a honey of an amp. Many years ago, I ran a pair of these babies into 2 pair of stacked quad 57's ala the famous Mark Levinson HQD system but minus the big Hartley subs. One amp channel per quad panel, I actually preferred the little bedini's to the legendary 25 watt Mark Levinson ML 2 monos [another superbly musical solid scraper].
The Bedini is a honey of an amp, Ecclectique. I auditioned one in the late 80s, and while the sound was a lot better than the NAD 2600A, I chose the latter because I was young and stupid. Now, I am just stupid. I was overly concerned with the wattage ratings(though the Bedini runs Class A, which you pointed out), the NAD didn't need a preamp, and the fact that the Bedini was used, and the NAD was new.

I am forever haunted by how good the Bedini sounded that day.

You are lucky to have one. In the spirit of this thread, it is truly a keeper for life.
Convergent Audio Technology JL-2. Purity of SET with enough power (100Watts, Class A) to drive almost any speaker out there -- that make'em easier to "keep for life"
I second Purul57's CAT advice. His suggestion that their 100 watts will drive most any speaker, is accurate. My JL-1's are driving fullsize Soundlab stats, and the SPL compares with my former Mark Levinson 336 @ 350w.
My Lazarus H1-A Class A tube hybrid...will outlast me and my grandkids most likely.
My old Marantz receiver 2270 - and I got it for $200 ebay.

It takes a good 45 min. to fully warm up, but paired with the right speaker, it sounds good for classical music.
The color is neutral and natural, so unfatiguing. I can't lsiten to many upscale amps for a long time because of their unnatural electric quality they make, but the old marantz sounds like the acoustic instruments are in my room.

I think partially because it is so dead black in background noise that I can listen to it for a long time without a listening fatigue.

It does something to the sound that many amps don't - which is to give depth to the sound - 3 dimensionnal quality. Anyone who has taken classical music lessons heard that from their teachers - to make a "round" sound - and the Marantz does that.

I would recommend this to any audiophile on a budget - or for a 2nd system in the basement gym or for your office. Hunt one down on the ebay, but you probably should clean the volume pots with a spray cleaner (radio shack). Since you are buying an old piece (almost 30 years), make sure you are getting a fully functioning one (call and hear the sound first over the phone). Buying on the ebay is not as safe as here on the audiogon, but sometimes you can get bargains - and the Marantz will not disappoint.
I own an Air Tight 300B and since I own it, it is one for the ages!! Truthfully, I used to buy a new amp every year or so, have had this for 4 yrs so I'd say it a keeper.
My Plinius SA 250 will be around for a while( I hope)
A Jadis 200 is very hard to beat: The highs are sweet, the midrange juicy and the bottom end nice and round.