I heard the Nines/Pathos Twin Towers on serveral occations. Made beautiful music to my ears. You can get that amp used for under your price point. The amp is a Hybrid. Tubes on the front end. It gets very hot. Pure class A
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Have you contacted DeVore Fidelity for John's input?
I think some years ago I could have sworn John had refurbed Threshold SA-1 monoblocks powering some Devore floorstanders. I'm not sure of the model though.
Best of luck with the search.
I have had a number of Class D amps with my Nines, including Red Wine, Bel Canto, and Cherry, but now have the Pass X150.5. The X150.5 was the only amp that filled out the Nines' midbass as well as my tube amps, only with more accuracy and better bass extension and impact. Huge, deep soundstage, quiet, resolute.
Better pairing than with the First Watt J2, which, like the Class D amps mentioned above, sounded thinner than when paired with the X150.5. I'd also try the XA30.5, which John D was interested in checking out with the Nines when I chatted with him earlier this year. I would also like to check it out, but the X1/X150.5 make such beautiful music together I'm not really that motivated TBH.
I truly believe that the Hypex NCore 400 DIY monoblocks are the best SS amps under $10k. No, I haven't heard them all. LOL If you dont want to build them then there are people that will build them for you for a little more money. They sound startlingly different than most amps because they are so clean and clear. The have a fantastic sound stage. With your efficiency they should be a perfect fit. I do have one caveat. Since they are so neutral, you will want to make sure you pair it with mostly warm equipment.