I initially wanted to say, send them to me and Ill give you a better idea in two weeks
AS youre only have to drive the mids and top ends, the world is your oyster with amps.
With $2K in my pocket and no ideas of what to get, Id say get something reasonably popular so if you dont like it you can sell it. If tubes
ultralinear EL34s, KT 88, 90. If SS maybe a good thought would be the Extremes by Odyssey
. Preowned. Maybe even a MC 252. Bryston also comes to mind in the 200wpc area.
Along with your genre tastes which preamp is in use matters too
as do that source piece.
Bryston, MC + Mccormack DNA are my leading candidates. I'll look into Odyssey as well as your tube recommendations.
I'd love to send them to you for audition but I don't get them for 2wks, and then I gotta burn them in and then I gotta get bored with them...you might have to wait awhile.
My good friend has the Legacy Whisper and they have sounded bst with Quicksilver Silver monos, or the Mid Mono amps. The Quicksilver are just magical on these. They are fast, quick, dynamic, and dimensional. They are much better tahn the Nu Force on the speakers. He is also using the EAR preamp. Great Speaker when amplified correctly. Jallen
Geeeezzz.... I couldn't afford the shipping!
or getting them up the stairs... and back down again. Sheeesh.
The Focus are too large for my room, so I know the bigger sibling is as well.
Of all those high $$$ squeakers, the Egg Andrea IIs have had my interest for years now.
good luck with our er, 'your' speakers, I feel your task will be easier than you think with an onboard amp for the bottom end already on hand. setting them up probably will be more the task.
I've long admired the Whispers from afar, and it seems that these new XD's may resolve the only problem they had: not enough low end oomph. Do you mind sharing what you had before and what else you considered/listened to before you bought these? Thanks...
When I had Legacy Whispers, I drove them with a McCormack DNA-500. Since your bass is covered and you're looking for great mids and highs, I would look to tubes, specifically VAC.
I demoed the Whisper at Legacy with my Odyssey Dual Mono, and liked it just fine (though perhaps not as fine as the huge MacIntosh Bill D. had them set up with). Good chance of you enjoying them too, and even a set of monoblocks (used) should come in under budget (a stereo unit, way under). My impression is that resale is good with Odyssey too.
The Whispers sound very nice! I've had my eye on them, but so far shied away because of price, relative complexity of set up, and size. Worth pointing out though, re Blindjim's comment, that Bill D. swears the Whispers work in small rooms, and close to boundaries. I also listened to the Focus SE, and the quality of their lows made me think they might work less well in a smaller room than the Whisper. Regardless of the sonics though, one is committing to a large visual presence with the Whisper. Could be worth the sacrifice, though! :)
Thanks to all for your recommendations. It looks like some auditions are in order. By the way I still havent got the Whispers, apparently theyre being shipped on Monday (waiting sucks)
Jeffkad - my very limited list of speakers Ive owned (in order) - Paradigm 9se, Dynaudio Contour 1.8 MK II, Legacy Focus HD + sub. The Dynas were a nice improvement over the Paradigms but a new larger room - 16 x 26 - led to the Focus.
My equally limited list of relevant speakers Ive heard include - Infinity IRS Beta and 2 sets of homemade mid size floor standers. To my freshman ears back in the mid 90s the Betas were jaw dropping - I swear I can still hear Stevie Ray Vaughns Tin Pan Alley flowing out of them. The homemades were a great listening education. I listened to one of the pairs from first draft to completion - the drivers were worth around $2k but I dont remember the brands.
I bought the Dynas + Focus unheard, just checked reviews and forums. In both cases I was / am very happy with my pick. I originally planned to buy Revel Salon 2 and B&W 80x Ds down the road to compare with the Focus but I love the sound of these so much I wanted to stick with Legacy.
Jdoris - according to Doug Schroeder of Dagogo, even the monstrous Legacy Helix performed incredibly well in a less than large review space. You can see a photo of them in his virtual tour on agon.
I'd think twice about Bryston until you speak to Legacy about the demands the speaker will put on the amp, particularly the impedance. I started with Brystons (3s and 4s - I can't remember specifically, but they weren't the current crop of SSTs) on my Focus 20/20s, and although I thought they were great at the time, they were easily surpassed by other amps (Coda, Mac, Krell) later on in my evolution. I feel it had mostly to due with the impedance demand from the 20/20s. The 20/20s dipped quite low, below 2 ohms if I remember correctly, which made it demanding on the amp. When I spoke to Bryston Tech directly, I remember they weren't too keen on their amps seeing these low impedances.
Having said all that, the Focus 20/20s also didn't like the Theta Dreadnaught. The Theta delivered fantastic highs and unbelievable liquidy mids, but no bottom end...something the Focus is renowned for. But I replaced my Focus with Whispers, and to my surprise, they worked wonderfully with the Theta when I tried it on a whim. At the time I had a monster Krell FPB-300c (I think...whatever the model was, it was the predecessor of the 400cx). After realizing this I sold the Krell and got Theta Enterprise monos, and I haven't looked backsince...but I don't have ICE driving my bass either.
If you are still looking for a great amp match for Legacy speakers I'd suggest the Edge NL 10.1 or 12.1 (when they come up used on A-gon they are much lower in price than their retail). They will give you extensive and accurate bass and beautifully rendered mids and highs. The Edge G8 (lower price point) is also a very good amp if price is a factor. I have also heard Classe CAM-400 monos drive Legacy speakers and enjoyed them very much.
The Legacy guys use Coda in their CES display.