The high pass filters are also available in RCA, so that might expand your search.
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Thank you for the correction. As a native and resident of the ROCKY MTN region we have no semblance to Iraq. I was ta the show and thought that the Ayre Mono's sounded great with the Quattros. I have also heard them with the V1 Ayre and had no complaints. Didn't like them with bryston though, thought they sounded a little harsh. Great speaker though. As far as the Iraqi Mtn AF, I quess they are selling a special audiophile sand that adds more bass to speaker stands. Jeez I hope that doesn't start going up in price now.
I can't believe I sent the post that way and there's no way to recall it. camels as acoustic treatments... interesting.
Okay, here is an update. I bought a Calypso preamp today. I am thinking of going tube preamp with a solid state amplifier. Good idea?
And Phil, I heard Akash and also Ahhsheet Mimeestak. Excellent combo!
Congrats on the Calypso, it is a fine preamp. Tube preamps with SS amps are a popular combination. I would check out the McCormack 500 that you've previously mentioned, as well as the Ayre V-1xe or MX-R mono's that Theo mentioned.
You may also want to give the Pass X-350.5 a listen.
If you would consider a single ended amp, you may enjoy the music through a Conrad Johnson Premier 350.
All the Pass Labs .5 series sound close. Only the bass is slightly different(as well as power) but, sonically they are very close. Since your Quatros have a bass amp powering anything under 100Hz then just about any Pass will do.If I were to go solid state with your options that you've listed I would go Pass 100%. Ayre is too light,DNA 500 is too soft and muddy in the bass, so is the CJ Premier 350A,etc. The Pass is the real deal.If I could not go for the Pass the next would be a Sim Audio W-5 LE. The Pass has just the right amount of everything whereas the Sim is just a touch dryer but it has tight bass and upper extension that the others don't have. If I were to go tubes( I know you didn't mention this one) I'd go with a Music Reference. Either a RM 9 or RM 200. If the money isn't an issue then I would recommend an ARC VT 100 MK III or a Reference 110.
I would be careful with the McCormack 500, not because it's not a good amp. It's very nice sounding, but the input impedance is very low at 10K balanced (5K per leg) which is a problem with the Vandersteen M5HP high pass filters. Also, that circuit is not truly differential, which means you would probably get not benefit and potentially a downside to running it balanced XLR. I'm a Vandersteen dealer and have a customer right now who has that amp and it is not the best match for any Vandersteen system that requires the high pass filters.
In general, stick to amps that have higher input impedances for best compatibility and sound with the Vandersteen high pass filters.
I have Quatros with Audio Research Electronics - VM 220 mono amps, Ref 3 Preamp and PH-7 phono amp in a room about the size of yours and the sound is amazing. With decent recordings you can see right into the room they recorded in - even on FM. Great vinyl, Johnny Cash American Recordings I for example, sounds absolutely real. If its too high a budget, I suggest you plan on trading up when the price on the ARC gear starts coming down on Audiogon.