best 2 channels power amp around $3k?

Hi all, I'm looking for a 2 channels amp (150-200W) strictly for music stereo listening. My preamp is the Lexicon MC-1. I've heard so many good stuffs about Krell, Classe, Theta, Bryston, Plinius, Mc Cormack, Conrad Jonhson, etc... Anyway, I'm so confused trying to pick one for around $3k. Can y'all help me please? Thanks
McCormack makes (made) the DNA-2, which is around that range. They just released new models, the 125 and 225 I believe. Otherwise, the DNA-1 ($2000 new but you may be able to find it used cheaper) rates at 150 watts into 8 ohms, 300 into 4 (test results are higher, at 175W into 8ohms). However, you might not want to limit your search to the power an amp provides. It has 4 outputs for biwiring. Very musical, non-fatiguing, smooth, great dynamics, imaging......and on and on. Listen to as many products as you can--with YOUR components--and let your ears decide. For 3K you have many choices, and several good ones.
Audiosalright is right on in recommending the McCormack amps and I agree with him 100%. I've owned-- long term the DNA-1, DNA.5, and DNA-2DX. The 2DX is the best but more than you want to spend. You wouldn't be sorry about any of the others though, and I can highly recommend the DNA-1 Dlx, which should be available for under $3k. I haven't heard the latest model McCormacks.
goldumd sri2 3600 retail. no grain low noise floor great bass. and it is integrated and is a solid state unit, i have a sri2 and have had many amps including tubes the goldmund is better than any amp i have could also pick up a sri previous unit, used 1600 also very good.
I GURANTEE THAT THE KRELL KAV-250a is the clear winner here.
Lot's of Good Amps at this price,but if you can spring for the Joule-Electra Vamp you have moved into sound it usally cost many thousands to get. This is an integrated and it is just fundlementally right. Don't be tempted to get the amp only version of this amp unless you already have a class A preamp, because the line stage of this unit is part of the glory.
The Mark Levinson 331 is 100W 8 ohms/ 200W 4 ohms and is one of the best $5000 amps around that can be gotten used for around 3K.It does not do anything wrong except some tube amps have a different sound that I like better in some cases.
Listen for yourself and then decide. IMHO you cannot touch the sound and build quality of Conrad Johnson. Buy a Premier 11a and discover true bliss!
Spectron Digital amps are quite good.3000 new,around 1600 used.300/500 watts,fast,accurate,uncolored and fun to listen to.I replaced an Adcom 5800 ,which was also good,but into Aerial 10t's the spectron controls the speaker real well and does not sound solid state "rough around the edges" Hard to find dealers,occasionly available used and not much to look at,but alot to listen to.Lots of power AND finesse.Better not praise too much or some may get fat headed and charge tooo much! Have fun-lots of good amps when you have got 3000$ to spend.You did not mention your speakers?
You've already mentioned some very good amps. Don't forget about the Aragon 8008BB; it lists for around $2800 and offers a dual monoblock design with 200 W/ch into 8 ohms. It's a dual monoblock in that the only common components between the channels are the power switch and line cord -- each channel has a separate transformers, power supply, etc.) It's ranked as Stereophile Class B and considered a great value many reviewers, equalling performance of amps costing several times as much. I bought one after listening to a conrad johnson MF-2500A (200 W/ch for $3500 list), as well as a Bryston 3B (125 W/ch, I think, at around $1300). The Aragon blew away the c-j, much to my surprise -- I was really expecting to go home with the 2500A tucked under my arm that day (if you can picture carrying a 90 pound amp that way!) The Aragon had the sense of controlled power and dynamics that the c-j didn't, and the Bryston hinted at. After several months of ownership, we love it even more, and it's blossomed nicely as it's broken in. Happy listening! Steve
The best 2 channel amp is a good used ARC amp. But who am I to say that, there are plenty of others with different experiences as noted above. To me the VT-100 amplifier at about 3-3.5K used Mint is about as good as it gets. I repeat again that I have not heard ANY solid state amp that competes with a great tube design in so far as the presence that is so readily evident in live music. The ARC products offer excellent transient response, great bass (certainly not quite the slam as a powerful Krell, Levinson, Threshold etc.) and the thing that tubes do SO WELL the presence "You are there" and the dynamic shadings of music. I might be able to live with solid state but I have never heard any solid state (I owned a Threshold for 3 years) compare with the best tube designs with ARC being at least among the very best. Ultimately trust your ears. I have heard the McCormack with Vandersteens at an audio show "Yawn" I was expecting more after hearing so many good things about the McCormack. Hey there isn't anything wrong with it it just ain't tubes. Unless you have an aversion to replacing tubes or have a low impedence speaker check the differences for yourself.
"ALL good amplifiers sound the same" Go to a few audio stores, have them switch between two or three different amps. Make sure the volume levels are maintained equal, there will be no audible difference. When buying an amp quality of construction is important. go to this website and read a little, you can learn a lot.
"There will be no audible difference", heh heh heh...ARE YOU A ROBOT? That's THE biggest pile of horse dung I've ever heard!!!!!! Get the hell out of this hobby, or else learn to listen already!!
Johnmbod, I don't know where you have been listening, but if the audio dealer that did a multi amp demo for you showed you no difference in sound, then you need to listen at another store. He must have had such poor equipment that he obscured the difference! Amps are just as different as engines are in cars, they are very different, and that is part of why people argue about what they hear on their speakers.
I would strongly recommend used equipment which ever you choose. For solid state I like Threshold or Bryston but I'm really a tube fan myself, ARC Conrad Johnson or Melos. On my Dunlavy SC V's at home, all of these have sounded different. It's going to be a matter of taste trade-offs and what music and speakers you listen to.