Adcom and ML. Sounds like a recipe for some serious bright sound. I've had ML in the past, Adcom is not the amp that comes to mind for them....however, perhaps the Behringer can produce a miracle.
What affordable tube amp would you recommend for the MLs? It has to be able to drive the Aerius' minimum 1.7 Ohm impedance, and it's my (relatively uninformed) impression that most tube amps don't handle low-impedance loads well. I don't, however, need a lot of power, as I live in an apartment. One of the strengths of the Adcoms, aside from their generally good performance and the fabulously low price I paid for them on eBay, is their ability to pump a lot of power into low-impedance loads.
In his review of the Aerius i for Stereophile, Sam Tellig wrote:
"Keep in mind that a 60Wpc tube amp will probably put about the same 60Wpc into 4 ohms that it does into 8 ohmsbut the 60Wpc Bryston solid-state integrated is said to put out 100Wpc into 4 ohms. This is likely the reason why the Bryston B-60 could drive the Aerius i's with a reasonable sense of ease and why the tubed Conrad-Johnson MV55 could not."
I'm wondering if this is really relevant, as I've heard that ML has successfully driven their speakers with a pair of 20-Watt Quicksilvers.
Any info would be appreciated by this tube-ignorant beer-budget music lover.
"Successfully driven". That means you could hear the music play. Not much more.
I've heard a pair of Soundlab A2 being driven by the McIntosh MC1201 monoblocks. These are rated at 1200 Watts at 8 ohms. Even with that power, the Soundlabs could not produce a volume level that I wanted without setting off the protection circuits in the amps. Sure, they successfully drove the speaker, and the Soundlabs sound great, however not for me.
Having been a ML owner, I would look for solid state with high current, doubling down.
What is your budget? I have owned four different pairs of ML's....... From SL-3's to Prodigy's, and many different amps (tube and SS). I always preferred tubes. I had good success with ARC VT100 II (Used $2000) and Sonic Frontiers Power 2 (both 100 wpc). I also used a BAT VK75 SE, and Nagra VPA's (50 wpc). Either the ARC or SF amp should work very well in a moderately sized room. You might also look into a pair of the Rouge 150's, or VTL 150 for a little less money. All of these amps deliver a lot of current (as opposed to the voltage of the SS amps).
Well, I paid $1,350 total for the Aeriuses, two Adcom GFA-5200s, and an Adcom GFP-555. Next thing to get upgraded is probably my Harman/Kardon CD changer - I'm thinking a used Rega Planet might be a good, affordable move. Possibly Straightwire - braided (low impedance) for the woofers and coaxial (low inductance & capacitance) for the panels if I go the active biamp route.
Still, I'm interested in learning about tube amps in case more change turns up in my sofa cushions.
"All of these amps deliver a lot of current (as opposed to the voltage of the SS amps)."
I thought SS amps generally could deliver more current into low impedances than tubes (e.g. 50W @ 8 Ohms -> 80W @ 4 Ohms). No? The Adcoms are reportedly good at this.