Best Amp for under 10K?


I'm building a new system and have been away from the audio world for a long time.

So far I've purchased the Sonus Amiti Homage and Sonus Cremona speakers.

I've also purchased the VTL TL 5.5 pre amp, an Aerial Acoustic SW-12 subwoofer and the Transparent cables.

Now I need to select the best amp for the system.

I've been looking at the VTL MB 450, the Levinson No 336, a pair of the Bel Canto EVO 200.2 and the Classe Cam 350.

All opinions and recommendations are welcome.
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I use and love the McCormack DNA2 Rev.A by Steve McCormack. This amp has it all-- power, finesse, quickness, bass, PRT, dynamics. It's very natural sounding and most of all, musical. The new production DNA500 is supposed to be excellent also. Don't underestimate these amps just because they don't have the Levinson, Krell, ARC names. Good Luck. Craig
The Plinius SA-250MKIII or MKIV. gives you all a person could ask for in sonic bliss. Runs class A up to 250watts and can be mono'ed to 1000watts class A. Also has the ability to run AB at the flick of a switch. SERIOUS audiophile equipment. Good Luck!!!!
Try out the Rogue Magnum M120 Monoblocs. I'm sure you will be quite impressed after auditioning them. And at $3495, you'll have more money to put in your front end.
I agree with Garfish. Either investigate the new McCormack DNA-500 or get a used DNA-2 or DNA-2 Deluxe (about $1800 used) and send it to McCormack for the $2500 Rev A upgrade. There may not be an amp under $10k that could touch it. IMO.

I own a DNA-2 LAE (Limited Anniversary Edition) and the LAE version is everything the (IAR) International Audio Review(er) Peter Moncrief said it was back in 1999 when he rated the LAE the number one ss amp.

The Rev A's and LAE's are very fast and very powerful providing fantastic inter-transient silence, etc..

The LAE being just slightly superior to the Rev A. :)
your idea for VTL 450 signature amplifiers is a excellent choice, they are very good sounding,very good bass for any type amplifier[sometimes I can't believe it's tubes]not overly lush or euphonic either. excellent rendering of vocals and especially piano.
A friend (serious amp freak) recently acquired the Belles 350 (hot rod?). After listening, I was totally impressed by how neutral this amp is. We played the full spectrum -rock to classical. The Belles was hot, dry and shallow if that was on the CD; Warm, liquid and sweet when disk deserved it. Very neutral...
How about the new revised Spectron Musician II.
I Have been an high end audiophile for 35 years.I have just installed a Gryphon Antileon Signature stereo version which replaced Classe 201 to drive JM Utopia. I have auditioned the Utopia with the big Boulder amp.The resulting sound of the Gryphon is far superior it is incredible. I have never heard the clarity and smoothness produced by this amp,by far superior to the big Levinsons or krell.The cost is above your limit but you may find it on the used market.
Sell your preamp and get Unison Research Absolete integrated amp. From how it sounds you will believe that it has under-rated power. Becides you'll have very tasty italian blend.
Don't forget the Pass X350, and ditto on the Plinius SA250 MKIV.
Knowing how easy to drive the Amati s are ; get a Vac Renaisance 30/30--70/70--used of course
Classe CAM 350s are marvelous, especially with a tube preamp. I haven't been able to find a justification for paying more to replace them, and unfortunately I usually can. Question is whether you need all that power, however. The 200s are supposed to be very good, but whether they're as good I can't say.
Stanford,

Since you do own one of the best speakers, I believe you should at only consider the finest options to you.
I am thinking here about;
Jeff Rowland Model 10 at slightly over $7000 and Goldmund 28M at $8850.
IMO they are the best amplifiers on the market under 10K and have more than proven record with your speakers from Sound Factory.
I hope this helps, happy listening
Go find the Pass Labs equipment. I'd put it up against ANYTHING regardless of price... I'm not kidding!

I hate to say it, but you might also take another look at your preamp... Take your preamp with you and audition the X600's with it. Then compare it to the X0 preamp...

I promise, you will be blown away! Very tube-like without the hassle!

There is a reason why Nelson Pass is so well known... Go listen and you'll understand why...

Steve

PS - No, I'm not a dealer and I have no relation to Pass. Have simply been blown away by his equipment... Simply a whole step above what else is currently available...
In ten grand ballpark tube gear, I like the Atma-Sphere MA-1 Mk2.2 in an OTL amp, or the Wolcott Presence in a push-pull tube amp, or the DeHaviland GM-70 in an SET amp. Disclaimer - I'm a dealer for Atma-Sphere and Wolcott.

In ten grand ballpark solid state, I like the Clayton M-100 monoblocks or big S-2000 stereo amp, depending on how much power you need. I'm having a hard time coming up with another solid state amp I like as much in the same price ballpark. Yup, I sell the Claytons, too.

In used gear, if you like a sweet midrange and don't mind giving up some dynamics and bottom end, the Pass Aleph series was among the nicest sounding solid state amps ever made.

This short list is by no means complete, as I'm sure it leaves out many worthy contenders. The thing to do is not to get the "best amp", but to get the best amp for your speakers. Since I'm not familiar with the sound and requirements of your speakers, I really can't make a specific recommendation.

Best of luck to you in your quest!
In the ten grand ballpark tube gear, I like the Atma-Sphere MA-1 Mk2.2 in an OTL amp, or the Wolcott Presence in a push-pull tube amp, or the DeHaviland GM-70 in an SET amp. Disclaimer - I'm a dealer for Atma-Sphere and Wolcott.

In the ten grand ballpark solid state, I like the Clayton M-100 monoblocks or big S-2000 stereo amp, depending on how much power you need. I'm having a hard time coming up with another solid state amp I like as much in the same price ballpark. Yup, I sell the Claytons, too.

In used gear, if you like a sweet midrange and don't mind giving up some dynamics and bottom end, the Pass Aleph series was among the nicest sounding solid state amps ever made.

This short list is by no means complete, as I'm sure it leaves out many worthy contenders. The thing to do is not to get the "best amp", but to get the best amp for your speakers. Since I'm not familiar with the sound and requirements of your speakers, I really can't make a specific recommendation.

Best of luck to you in your quest!
All of these are excellent recommendations. I want to include the Sim Audio Moon W5 amplifier to this list. It is a great amplifier and would cost half of what your considering spending. I am not sure if any of the suggested amplifiers are that much better than the Moon W5 in its ability to drive speakers with authority while not sounding hard. It is a very musical amplifier that will not make you concentrate on the low or high end of the musical presentation. It will make you concentrate on the music. Good Luck.
I would check out the new CAT JL2...supposedly phenomenal. After discount, you should be at 10k.

Other cheaper options:

BAT VK75SE
Cary V12 MK2

You can't go wrong with all 3.

I think the VTLs are ok, but they have so many tubes to replace....
I think Firebird is a loony bird. Rowland and Goldmund no good compared to awesome Krell, and Sound Factory second-rate speakers compared to all-time best KHARMA LOUDSPEAKER, supreme best. I hear designer Charles is a real nice guy too, he likes the picnics in the park. All-time best Lamm gooder choice too, Vladimir is total GENIUS, you know it.
The Moon W5 is a very nice amp. I owned one for about 4 months and sold late last year. IMO, my McCormack DNA-2 LAE is a better amp than the W5 though, especially in the lower bass regions. But they are certainly in the same league. I've not heard the Odyssey Stratos but IAR rated it one up from the W5 also and only costs $1000.
Berning ZH270($4500) or Siegfried($7500) OTLs.
The Pass Labs Xseries or if you can wait a little for the Pass Labs XA which consumates the famous class A Aleph with the X. I'm not a dealer either. An amateur amp builder talked me into a purchase of an X. Its the first solid state that a tubular like me can stand. Absolutely no ear offending ss nasties.
manley studio 440 or wolcott audio listen and factor in reliability, not the most exotic but 10 yrs down the road nothing should still be able to beat it.
I agree with Kelton on the Manley and Wolcotts. I use the Wolcotts myself and having owned amps up to $30K, the Presence (Wolcott) is one of the few bargains in high end audio.