Check this out. Maybe it will help.
Check this out. Maybe it will help.
ARC proved they can make world class Solid State with the 100.2. The ARC 100.2 is remarkedly close to a 6550 Push Pull tube amplifier (the ARC VT-50 in my case) in my system (read Soundstage's review ( http://www.soundstage.com/revequip/marklevinson_no434.htm ) of the new Mark Levinson 100 watt monoblocks review and you will see how highly the 100.2 is thought of (it is mentioned in comparison to the MUCH more costly Levinsons) The now discontinued 100.2 is an world class amplifier value. Classe (use to have the CA-400, CA-100 in two separate systems) tended to a slightly dark sound but still nice sound. I have a VT-50 (45 w/ch VT-100 II) and a 100.2 and they sound remarkedly similar with the VT-50 edging out the 100.2 in slightly more holographic soundstage and some (slightly more) additional magic with voices and the 100.2 slightly more potent bass and certainly more power. Running Hovland HP-100 (running electroharmonix gold pins, did use Telefunken flat plates, and stock tubes), Analysis Plus Solocrystal and Z-Systems cables, Talon Peregrine X II speakers. I have not owned the D-400 II so can not say how it compares to the 100.2 but did own the (2) D-130 which powered B&W 801 series 3 at the time. It sounded like a slightly more analytical Classe. It was a nice but not a world class leading amp (also powered the 801s with a Threshold SA4e, which was better than the D-130 in my system with respect to bass control and overall smoothness). The Classe CA-400 did the best job controlling the woofers of the 801 (but at 400 watts of high current it should). But in other regards, the 100.2 and the Bel Canto Evo 200.2 monoblocks are the two best sounding solid state amplifiers I have had in my system(s). The Bel Canto Evos sounding very slightly smoother top to bottom and the 100.2 with a more flushed out upper midrange and highs. Could go with either one longer term. My music preferences include jazz, folk, classical, and some rock. Bare in mind my Talon's are 94 db efficient and I might think differently if I still owned some other hard to drive speakers.
I wonder how ARC's new 150.2 sounds. Anyone hear it?
I've been running two ARC D400mkII amps in a vertically
biamped configuration for a number of years now with truly
wonderful results. It's a low global feedback design with
class-A biasing to approximately 25wpc. One awesome feature
is a separate tranny for the input stage. Dynamics (macro
and micro) are two strong suits of this amp.
Before the D400mkII I was running two ARC D240mkII SS amps
(120wpc/8ohm, 240wpc/4ohm). These two amps share very
similar circuit. The D200/D300 are slightly different
circuit and frankly a step below the D240/D400. The D130 is
more similar to the D200/D300 while the 100.2 circuit is
more similar to the D240/D400.
Although I have not had a 100.2 in my own system to do a
direct comparison, I have heard it enough in other systems
to feel pretty confident in saying that the 100.2 sounds
very similar to the D400mkII and vice-versa.
If you've got an opportunity to buy a used D400mkII in good
condition I'd say jump on it. You don't see many come up
here because they are such good amps. Around $2000 for an
8/10 D400mkII would seem fair. Anything less than $2000 and
it becomes a no-brainer. If you don't need 200wpc, then
definitely a 100.2.
ARC has quietly been making terrific SS amps for a long
time. They just get overshadowed by ARC's admittedly sexier
Agree with all above.. ARC doesn't make a bad amp SS or tube. You will not go wrong here. I used a D200/SP9 pre and auditioned a 100.2 and was very impressed with it. Very similar, the 100.2 gets the nod for refinement, detail and bass punch, but otherwise close. I dont have experience with the D400Mk11 but those here that do I would trust the opinions. I ultimately went with VTM 120 monoblocks/S15 pre amp combo, as the 120's were a rare find, and found the SS amps were mighty close in sonics,especially timber. The tubes add the extra bloom in the upper mid and highs, but loss out in the tight bass dept.( to be expected)
I could easily live with the 100.2 and never look back. Hope it helps!