Amps for Sonus Faber Stradivari Homage

I have a pair of Stradivaris that I love, but I´m having a little trouble finding the right amps for them. My system consists of: Emmlabs CDSA SE latest version, Clearaudio Champion Level two/ SME V/ Benz Ruby, ARC REF3, MSB 202 monos.
I have driven the speakers with a set of Pass XA 100.5 before, but they sounded compresed quite quickly. The MSB´s offer more power than the 100.5´s and sound more detailed and airy, but also leaner and brighter.
I love detail and air, but I also crawe bass slam and body in the midths and highs. I absolutly hate lean and bright sound, no matter how detailed it might bee.
I have owned quite a lot of Krell gear in the past. I liked the bass of the ols stuf like the KSA s series + the first FPB stuff. The rest of the frequency range however, sounded rough and "solid state" to me. I liked the detail of the MCX 450´s, but they sounded to lean in the low frequences to me. I have tried tube amps as well, but I have not yet found a pair that did´nt sound like tubes in the bass region
So I am dreaming of a set of amps that delivers a full bodied, warm but detailed sound with bass slam and bass detail as well.
Any recomendations ?
NB: English is not my native language, so I hope for your understanding if my spelling is off !
Microstrip, if it's in the budget, you might want to wait for the release of the Jeff Rowland Model 925 monos. I think Rowland amps mate very well with SF's. The model 925 promises to be really something special.
Hi 0461,

Fantastic speakers, which i have been fortunate to own now for a few years. You will find my own post from a while ago on Powerful Tube Amp for SF Strads. You will see that I used to run the Strads with my old CJ MV60...great voices...but lacking in the power that the STrad is capable of using to deliver powerful bass. (Yes, the strad sounds wonderful with mid-powered tube is just that having ample power reserves for the bass drivers does make a difference in the Strads delivery of bass..which can be very, very good)

in the end, i own a Gryphon Antileon (second hand). Gryphon has a reputation for being a warm, sometimes dark amplifier that has endless reserves of power. Endless. So the warm/darkness feels quiet tubey in some respects. But in terms of power, it is 100%, pure Class A at all Class A/B whatsoever. From 100watts per 8ohm load, it will double down to 3200 watts (peak) power per 0.5ohm load. (The Antileon Signature which is newer is 150watts class A...and also doubles all the way down... i believe one is on A'Gon now)

It made an enormous change to my bass (upper, mid and lower). It also dramatically opened the soundstage. And yet it bettered the midrange of my CJ MV60 which is a well respected mid-powered amp, particularly in the midrange and treble.

I have heard Krell evo 402 with Strads...liked and respected but did not love. OTOH, i thought Krell Evo 2 was stunning with the Cremonas...i think the Homage series need something a little different (to my ear).

I think you will find the Ref 3 to be quite a good match with the STrad...depends on the amp of course. In the case of Gryphon, Aldavis on A'Gon uses Ref 5 with his Gryphon and likes it. Plus I have heard the Ref 3 with Strads and ARC 110s on the Strad, and it was very good though i prefer Gryphons for tighter bass delivery. hope that helps. good luck! and keep us posted.

Hi guys,

Thank you for your responses to my predicament. I have tried Krell EVO 400 and They did not do it for me. They sounded way to analytical to my taste. I think I have narowed it down to either a set of Pass XA 160.5, 200.5 or a set of ARC REF 210. My only worry with the Ref 210´s is if it too will sound "tuby" in the low end. I would love to try one of the more exotic amps mentioned in this tread, but in Denmark were I live, it is very hard to re-sell anything else than the mayor brands. And I am deffenetly one of those hifi neards that likes to change stuff quite often.
A fotnote: The Emm Labs is sent in for repair, and thus I can only listen to vinyl right now ( I dont do that to often ), and via my vnyl rig, I find many of my "complaints" to have disapered. So I am thinking I shuld mabey consider changing the Emm instead!! Anybody has any sugestions with regards to a musicaly sounding cd/ sacd ? I have had: Audio Aero Prestigere ference SE: Nice sound, poor quality. Audio Flight CD ONE MK2: Very nice reedbook sound, but no sacd. ARC REF 7: Very poor cd player in my book, Wadia 381i: very good indeed, but a bit to analytical and lean.

Marry christmas to all og you.
0461, sorry for jumping in a bit late, but I'd like to mention a great amp pairing I
heard with SF Amati Anniversario. I am very aware that Stradivari is another
beast, but perhaps you want to find out whether it works with this speaker as
well. I have always liked the Amati (Hommage as well as Anniversario) but
perhaps it sounded just a mite too "soft" (for lack of a better
description). Well, that was before I heard it with the Electrocompaniet Nemo
monos. These amps can pump raw power into the room and yet remain utterly
musical. Contradiction? It certainly worked out with Amati, I had never heard
them so authoritative and in control before.

Oh, and as to CDP (no SACD!), give the AMR CD-77 a try, one of the most natural
sounding I know for sure.

Good luck!

Merry Christmas. One person's opinion...i agree on the Evo. I think the Evo series is fantastic with the middle Cremona range of SF speakers...fantastic. but for some reason, the Homage series seems to respond better to tubes. The Strads however really benefit from power. Can you find CJ? Look at Downunder...he found a pair of CJ Premier 8s (i am sure at much lower price than new since they are so old)...and then he had them completely upgraded with Teflon capacitors by CJ directly. It did not cost that much...well within your price range if you are looking at ARC Ref 210s.

I have heard the will find them to be great speakers, and i know a system that used them with ref 3 to great effect...but i suspect you might be looking for greater "bass snap" and more piston-like precision. I think you might find this is in the CJ Premier 8s with the Teflon upgrade.

I have spoken with Ed at CJ myself about doing this...personally, i have complete confidence in CJs service, and Downunder actually did it! we spoke before he sent them and compared notes.

I have not heard Pass...but if it is in the same line as Gryphon (SS, Class A), you might well prefer it.

The other thing to consider is using a different cable loom to "adjust". I have never liked Nordost cable...but the STrads loved the Nordost Thor power conditioner with uses Nordost Valhalla inside, and the vast majority of owners of STrads on AGon use Valhalla too. that also will deliver greater bass punch if you end up with the ARC 210.

As for CD, i think the CD7 is good but not as amazing as others have clearly found it. I bought used Zanden DAC, and despite some mixed reviews, i also thought quite highly of the older DCS Elgar Plus...very resolved, but also quite smooth and realistic. I prefer Zanden personally, but you can get DCS Elgar plus quite affordably these days.

Prefer CD7 to Krell 505 but you might disagree...and its a big name. i can certainly see why some might buy it.

hope that helps...keep us posted!!!