VTL 30/30 makes a great match.
17 responses Add your response
I recently replaced my Bryston 7Bst's with Pass X600's. The Pass monoblocks are a good match because they're very true to the music with precision and accuracy in the midrange and treble. The Watt Puppy 6's are particularly revealing in the midrange and treble. The X600s also have a smoothness and liquidity in the midrange, dare I say tube-like, where the WP6's tend to be a little hotter, and they are a good, complementary match here because of this.
At the low end, the Brystons seemed to provide a little more slam, although the X600's are not deficient and generate plenty of bass. I don't think the WP6's need any extra help down to the mid to low bass anyhow. (Since they don't really make it to the low low bass, I have a pair of self-powered Sunfire True Sub Signatures filling out the bottom octave.)
I think the X600's are a good match for the WP6's. None of the points I noted is a huge factor; some of them are fairly subtle and subject to my own tastes and interpretations. The 600 wpc X600's have much more than enough power for the relatively efficient (94 db sensitivity) WP6's, so this would suggest that some of the lower powered Pass amps might be a good match also, which could put it in your budget. Of course, I recommend trying them out in your system if possible.
On other threads, I've seen strong recommendations for various tube gear, especially Atma Sphere OTL monoblocks. I'm not a tube guy, but this sounds worth exploring if you're willing to go with glass. Good luck!
P.S., You know of course that Wilson is replacing the WP6's with WP7's with a roll out at the end of this month at the Stereophile Show in NYC. Reportedly, the WP7 is a completely redesigned speaker with new enclosure materials, driver set, crossover parameters, etc. Presumably, it will sound different (gotta be better?), and the amp synergies I mentioned may go out the window for the new WP. You have a nice day now.
I have 5.1's and went from an ARC VT100mk2 to a ML 335. While I don't know if the 6's are the same, I can tell you it takes a massive tube amp to control the bass of the 5.1's. The ML 335 was a big improvement over the ARC, the VT100 just didn't have enough juice.
The ML is an excellent match with the Wilson's, the only drawback is it doesn't have quite the bloom of a tube amp. The tonal balance is a tad warm, just what you need with Wilson's. On balance I highly recommend the ML 336 or 336. While a massive tube amp will do certain things better, they have their drawbacks as well.
I have W/P6 with Atma-Sphere MA1 MKII.2 and to me it is Audio Heaven. I tried Pass X350, VTL ST150, Kora Cosmos, Bryston 4BST as well as others. All of the above were great in their own right but was missing something. The Pass had the best bass. The Kora had the best mids. As for VTL I was trying to listen to the MB450s but my dealer couldn't get a pair. The ST150 sounded good but just not it. The Bryston made my head hurt :-(. I was hoping to listen to the 14B but my dealer had just sold it. I then listened to the Atma-Sphere and was blown away. To me the best overall amp I have ever heard but this is just me.
The Atma-Sphere mids and highs are simply unreal. Talk about a singer being in the room. The bass compared to a Pass, Bryston, Krell isn't on the same level although close. What makes the Atma-Sphere so good is they just sound right. They are the best amps I have heard from top to bottom.
I guess the real answer is get your hands on some amps, take them home and listen. Either way you go you will be happy.
I have to agree with Matt above. I'm a total tube guy who was running Jadis JA-100s with my 6s with total satisfaction until I demo'd the Halcro Dm58s. I had the good fortune to keep the Halcros for over 1 month and was utterly convinced that they exceeded their hype with ease. They have certainly made me re-think the whole tube vs. ss debate. The sorry state of my portfolio notwithstanding, they are on my wish list. They were so good I'd give serious consideration to Halcro's stereo version supposedly out soon.
I have WATT Puppy6's with a Krell FPB400CX stereo amp and i think it is one of the most glorious systems ive heard in quite a while. I like the Levinson amps, I own a 3 series front end as well, but the amps tend to be anemic on the bass side of things. A little more money but well worth it. Also, Krell tends to offer an upgrade path with their amps