Try Atma-Sphere MA-2 or large CAT amps. I personally prefer the Avalons with tubes. As always, system dependent.
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I think that large tube amplifiers will produce the best result with the Avalons. Try CAT JL-2 or JL3, BAT 150SE, ARC REF. 300, Jadis, maybe AtmaSphere MA-2.III.
If you don't want to go tubes, I think that Accuphase A-50V as monoblocks, Halco DM-58 or DM-68, Goldmund 29M.
If you want something that sounds good and carries a more human pricetag I think the Bel Canto EVO2 as monoblocks could work really well with your speakers. If you choose the last resort be careful not to match the system with bright or hard sounding source. Perhaps try the Audio Aero Capitol Mk. II with the Bal Cantos and the Eidolons. Match made in heaven if you ask me. For wire try the Argento VDM reference.
By the way the Eidolons are glorious to say the least.....
The Avalon Diamonds were driven at CES by Tenor or Lamm. Sound there and with Kharma Midi and Rockport were the rooms that stood out. All three were using Tenor or Lamm and all with Audio Aero CD players driving the amps direct, if I remember correctly.
Try to demo the Tenors and Lamm's, along with the Atmasphere's already suggested here. I think it worth a shot to listen to the Wolcotts ( properly tubed out ). These provide amazing results on my Soundlabs. The Wolcott would be a relief for your budget after having just purchased Avalon's. At least half retail the others, and a third the price of the big Atmasphere.
I second the Spectrals if you're interested in fast solid state. Very musical, great staging, uncolored, and beautifully detailed. The monoblocks need a Spectral preamp and MIT cables, however Spectral makes an amp that can be used with any other components (DMA-150S) and reputedly has much of the capability of the monoblocks.
I have a budget(?) Avalon Radian setup that I just put
together with all Spectral electronics (all from Audiogon).
Yes the DMA-360 monos are glorious but they are around
$9000 used if you can find them. A nice alternative is the
DMA-200, which is a pure Class A amp which idles at 800 watts, the ONLY down side is the fan of the older units
run loud, so replacing it would be a good idea. It will definitely power the Eidolons. Preamp: the DMC-30, DMC-30S,
or the DMC-30SL are excellent, in particular, the DMC-30SL;
it throws the largest soundstage, highest resolution, and superlow level resolution of any preamp I have heard. The downside is you need an outstanding DAC/processor or else the DMC-30 series will show off the faults of it(very easily heard). A Wadia 850 is a very good choice for under $3000. Also, the upside of the DMA-200 is that you do not necessarily need MIT cables, the DMA-360s do. . BTW, room acoustics, and speaker placement make or break most Avalon speakers, not electronics. They will either sing like a bird or howl like a dog if the room and speaker placement are not optimized. Also, if you want tubes, Albert Porter's suggestions hit the target dead on. Good Luck
I owned Eidolons (sold them to move to the Diamonds- BTW, if you like the Eidolon's, listen to the Diamonds but that is a different subject). I started with a Rowland Model 10 and went to an Accuphase A-50V which was astonishing how much better it sounded than the Rowland. I still run the Accuphase with the Diamonds, althgough subjectively the Diamonds seems to present an easier load than the Eidolons. Within its power envelope I have also heard that the Model 10 outperforms the Model 12. Looks like Jeff is embarking on another power supply design with his new Model 300 series.
Although Flex is correct, the DMC30sl is a much better preamp, than the original DMC-30, and has a smoother, and larger soundstage than the DMC-30s. Though it will be tough to find a DMC-30sl used; I lucked out. I forgot, a very low
cost way to go is Muse with the Muse 3 preamp and Muse 300
monoblocks. A very livable alternative until the savings account is full.
According to Avalon site they had 3 rooms this year:
Opus Ceramique with Muse
Eidolons with Accuphase
Eidolon Diamonds with Ayre
As many of you guys I prefer Eidolons with high power tube amp,but I seriously doubt that either Tenor or tube Lamm amp would be a really god match with Eidolons.
BTW, Lloydj , having a right room with Eidolons is equally important ( if not more so ) as having right amp.
Kharma was my first choice at CES, Avalon Diamond was a close second. I must remember the Tenor amps driving Rockport and Kharma.
The Avalon Diamond must have been in the Ayre room. This is the best effort to date from Avalon. I ask if the diamond tweeter was the reason for the much improved sound and was told about changes to the crossover in addition to new drivers. I understood that to mean midrange as well as the new diamond tweeter.
If Soundlab were not available, I would have two excellent box speakers as alternatives. I'm not certain Kharma or Avalon would fill my 7,700 Cubic foot space as well as Soundlab, but they are the only other speakers I have ever heard that excited me with their performance.
Albert, the Kharma's just might fill your room. Before moving the Ceramique 1.0's into my basement listening room, I tried them in my great room which is roughly 6700 cu. ft. They sounded marvelous with a 60 w/ch integrated!
I haven't heard the soundlabs, but from your accounts and some others, I'm sure they are special.
Your comments are encouraging. The Kharma I was so fond of at this year's CES was the Midi.
The Exquisite was stunning at last year's show and powered by Lamm (probably confusing this years line up in my mind). Both years they were my favorite sound at CES. Probably the Walker turntable as source for the Exquisite influenced me greatly.
Soundlab always seems to suffers at these shows. Performance from a seven foot tall speaker in a tiny hotel room will never work. There is no imaging, bloomy undefined bass response and a confused sound where I expect to hear great resolution.
Where does the Ceramique 1.0 fall in the line, compared to Midi and Exquisite? Aren't the Avalon Diamond and Kharma Midi both around $30K?
Thanks to all of you who have commented so far for sharing your considerable knowledge and experience. I will work on optimizing room placement of the Eidolons first, per your suggestions, and then try some of the amps recommended. Additional comments are certainly welcome. There seems to be some difference over tubes vs. solid state. Anyone have more to add on that? Are tube amps a lot more trouble?
Lloyd: You'd be doing yourself a disservice by not listening to the Edge solid state amps. I can state my NL-10 makes musical magic w/my SF EAIIs and my Accuphase 75v.
At the past several Las Vegas THEs, Edge has driven different speakers each time, yet garnered "best sound" each time.
Tom Maker is great to deal with and you can work out a trial quite easily.
(Of course, I have no financial or other interest in the company).
I honestly don't believe there is a single best amp for Eidolons. Provided you give them enough power and current, Eidolons are so neutral that they will reflect whatever character is passed to them. In that case, it is mainly a matter of choosing the amp sound and price point you prefer. I've heard reports of success with nearly every (larger) solid state amp made, and with a goodly number of tube amps too.