Look for a used conrad johnson or pass. The cj is super.
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I agree- Conrad C140 is AWESOME.. they make them in monoblock too...280w Each.. DAMN.. wonderful... not a fair comparison though. For a few grand, the Halo is the best SS you could ask for, for the money. The Arcam is only marginally better *(worth looking at for comparison).
My A51 BLEW AWAY my B&K 5125... The B&K was reference flat, but the Halo was perfect... there was something about it- makes me wanna listen and listen and listen.
For the money, the Rogue 150 monoblocks are VERY worth taking a look at.. in SS config, the JC1s are in a class of their own- a little beyond the A51.. for 5 channel though, you'll be hard pressed to find anything as good as Halo A51 without doubling price..
From the amps that I have heard, it would be the Theta Digital Intrepid, by a long shot. Yes, it may run slightly above your budge (I picked up a new, demo unit for $2,300), but my golly is this a sweetheart of an amp! Its abilities far exceed it relatively meager 100wpc rating (200 into 4 ohm). Using just two channels, it drove my difficult Thiel CS3.6's with ease (I now have Theta Enterprises on the 3.6's, and use the Intrepid for center and surrounds). The musicality, tonal balance, and soundstage of the Intrepid are better than any 5-channel, 100wpc, single transformer amp has a right to sound! In a head to head with a McCormack DNA-225, the Intrepid sounded better with my 3.6's. Then, in a later head to head (in my home) against an Edge NL-10, the Intrepid sounded just about as good as the much more expensive (and dual mono) Edge.