Amps for Avalon Radian HCs

I currently own the Avalon, Spectral with DMA 150 amp, MIT EVO Shotgun interconnects and cables and am looking for an amp that will be warmer, more dynamic, more layered and with better depth. I am considering the Joule Electra Grand Marquis IV, ARC 200, REF 300, Jadis 800 or any other amps that give me just a little more magic. I've also considered keeping my electronics and buying Eidolons. One person has mentioned the Specraweld 100w OTLs from France but I have never heard of this company. I'd love to hear from folks about what you've heard that has blown you away. Thanks.
My vote goes to the ARC VT200. It is exactly what you are looking for according to your post.
Go hear the new ARC VTM-200s. They are better (and 4K more costly) than the VT200, but I think they sound better. I heard the VTM-200s / LS-25MKII / Linn CD-12 on the Avalon Eidolons recently, and had a hard time leaving the room... I was blown away!!!
Hi Dwaldruff, This past year I went through your exact situation. I owned the Radian HC's and wanted to upgrade the amps or speakers. Back when I had the HC's I auditioned many top amps both tube and solid-state including the ARCVT200. The best amp to my ears by far was the BAT mono VK60's. The ARC could play louder on dynamic peaks and was slightly tighter in the bottom octave. In every other area the Bat was the more transparent device. The ARC sounded ragged in the midrange compared to the Bat. Not in a distorted sence, but it had a grit sand like coloration next to the Bat. The Bats timbre and texture of tone gave images the magic that the ARC couldn't touch. The soundstage was also wider and deeper with the BAT. I was going to buy two more VK60's this past year and run 4 of them with the Radians, but instead I bought the Eidolons. IHMO I consider the Eidolon to be a big step up from the Radian and even though I'm going to have to eat pasta for the next year I'm soooo glad I bought them. They are both 4ohm speakers and both drop to 3.6 ohms in the bass but the Eidolon is definitely easier on the amp driving them. The only problem for you is that if you decide on the Eidolons they WILL reveal more of the character of the Spectral gear as they are more truthful to what is upstream in the system. J_k is right, with the right recording the Eidolons blow me away every time!!! Best of luck, Tom
Can't comment on the amps (I'm a tube guy who never really warmed to Spectral), but I think the Eidolons are a SIGNIFICANT improvement over the Radians and worth considering as an option (hey, if you can afford Jadis JA800s, you can get new electronics AND speakers!). Also, if you're looking to go tubes, you should check with MIT regarding how those speaker cables will interact with a tube amp. If I recall correctly, the system you have now was marketed as a package because it worked synergistically; change a variable, even for the better, and you may have to change other parts of the system. Ah, the true sport of the high end.....
Forget the Radian HCs, I recently upgraded from Ascents to Eidolons and found them 100 times better and much easier to drive than my Ascents. I also have a VT200 and I find the same grittiness compared with my CL150s with Infinicap mods. I haven't tried to replace the 0.33uF caps with Infinicap SETI but I don't think it's gonna make that much of a difference. I also have a CA50 which I bought "just for the heck of it" to play with and was amazed to see it drive the Eidolons very well with no difficulty other than playing the most complicated stuff like Beethoven Symphony Nr 9 or Firebird. The CA50 (YES! The integrated amp from Audio Rsch!) in its stock and beat-up state I got it in sounded pretty horrible until I replaced the coupling caps with infinicaps and retubed the thing. As far as smoothness and spaciousness goes the CA50 is the best. I know this post might get me flamed on this thread, but I am not bullshitting here. I just want to make the point that the Eidolon is 10x easier to drive than older avalons...all it needs is an amp that sounds detailed and smooth without the rough edges. My advice, sell the Radians and upgrade to better speakers first, or else you'd be wasting time searching for "monster current amps that sound liquid and smooth... an oxymoron."
Thanks so much for your input. I'll look forward to hearing from more of you. Anybody know a place or person who'd like to sell some Eidolon's at a great discount? I love the curly maple and the light colored burl(forgot the wood type). Anybody have any experience with the new Jadis amps?
There's a pair on the last issue of stereophile. I have a pair of curly maple eidolons and it took 2 1/2 months for them to make it.
Hello Doug, I'm glad you decided to buy a pair of Eidolons, they are a significant improvement over the HC Radian in every aspect. I bought mine this past June and also went for the curly maple which is just beautiful, believe me you won't be sorry. In the right room with the right equipment behind them they really are the most musically engaging speakers I've heard. When and if you decide to go with tube equipment please try to audition the new Bat amps ( VK150se mono amps and the VK50se pre-amp) with different cable then the MIT unless you try the cables they have specifically meant for tube equipment. All the best. Tom Colato
Regarding the new Jadis amps: I have had the opportunity to audition the JA-100 with KT-90 output tubes in balanced configuration with Vandersteen 5s and Wilson W/P 6s. I found their sound to be ideal to my ear. Best balance of body, tone, depth and speed I've heard. Truly startling dynamics (this amp's ability to give detail from ppp - fff is its most remarkable achievement). No, I don't own them but I'm dreaming.