I should add, the H2O fire preamp is specifically designed to work with ICE amps as well as all other amps. The Fire's low impedance matches ICE amp's low impedance. It was used in the review I posted above.
- 19 posts total
- 19 posts total
I am running Murano P-1000S+ monos in my system with Maggie 3.6 speakers and I LOVE them! Murano Audio is (was) a Taiwan-based company using the B & 0 ICE Power modules. I agree that paying huge money for Rolands (or even Bel Cantos for that matter) is silly unless you absolutely MUST have the particular cosmetic design each offers. Not all ICE power modules are identical, however...some companies "tweak" the B & O modules with slightly upgraded parts, including output terminals and speaker connectors. The Murano 1000S+ monoblocks I own were the very last pair available on the planet! These were bought brand-new from Audio Video Choices out of Arizona. The sales rep / owner had gargantuan Krell monoblocks at $30,000 per pair, as I recall, which he "retired" to storage after getting the Muranos (which sold for $1800 per pair new!). One of the distinctive features of the Murano "plus" series ia the Swedish Lundahl input transformer. (Jeff Roland uses the same transformer, which not only makes for better impedance matching with a wide variety of preamps but also results in a lower noise floor / blacker backgrounds, better retrieval of inner detail and extended treble response. As far as I know, Bel Canto also includes the Lundahl "upagrade," which is not found in H20, Wyred 4 Sound, and other class D designs. I have not compared my Muranos with, say, NuForce or Channel Islands' offerings. Each of the above designs takes a slightly different approach to Class D, and some use proprietary (or highly modified) circuit designs. (The CIA Hypex design is from Philips rather than B & O, and quite good as I am told.) Some have compared the Muranos to Rolands side by side and could not hear a difference. And, as noted, a good Class D design can "smoke" highly-regarded class A/AB designs. (But careful system matching is a must.) I owned an early PS Audio Class D design and found it sterile and uninvolving. Later I owned a well-reviewed Musical Fidelity amp and found it to be pleasant sounding but lacking in dynamics, air, and inner detail. For the record, the owner of Audio Video Choices is not impressed with the Wyred 4 Sound offererings after owning the Muranos, even though the Wyreds have an upgraded input transformer and a few other tweaks. I would recommend a good tubed pre and even a tube (or tube-modified) disc player, if you listen to CDs / SACDs. My Class D amps are a GREAT match for my Maggie 3.6s...their high current / high damping factor help them really "grab" the panels and make them sing...and without the "coolness" some associate with Class D. IF I ever upgrade it will be a vertical bi-amp setup with Monarchy Audio tube-hybrid amps. That setup should add the "frosting to the cake" in terms of ultimate control of the Maggies with a smidge more warmth. Stay tuned...I MAY upgrade this year, and the amps will go for exactly what I paid for them...they are VERY RARE and probably the best bang for the buck in amps you will ever find!
Yes, Chadeffect...I agree that Bel Canto does ICE power right, and I like pretty much everything they make, for that matter. I hope my comments didn't imply anything to the contrary. For the "newbies" to Class D, however, a good starting place may be to search AudiogoN for EVS (now discontinued), PS Audio GCA series (also discontinued),
H2O or even the Wyreds. Upgrades (to Bel Canto, for example) can come later as funds allow...