Please take a look at the new Llano Hybrid Class A Amps 200w/ch 2995.00 See them at LHK AUDIO in Showcase Dealers.
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The best deal you can make would be to purchase an Aragon 8002 which produces 250 watts into 4 ohms. You are probabely famililar with the larger Aragon 8008. You can find these amps used for around 800.00. They are built like tanks and actually sound better than the 8008 being more transparent with a better balance between highs and lows. I have auditioned a great number of amps and this one is one of the true values that is often overlooked. It should be more than enough power to drive your speakers. The bass is outstanding and it is a very dynamic amp. I am sure many here can recommend much more expensive amps but most will not outperform that amp, and the Anthem certainly does not have the build quality or sound of the 8002. Both the Bryston amps and Aragon will outperform the Anthem. The differences are mainly in the tightness and control of the bass and transparency in the mid-range.
Miked. I have a pair a paradigm ref studio 80s and currently use an MCA 2. There are lots of better amps out there but there is a synergy in this combo. Paradigm bought Sonic Frontiers before the MCA2 was designed and Im going to guess, and its just a guess ,that the mca series was designed for the reference series speakers. My mca 2 will be going to the TV room, as i call it,it the spring in an mca 3 version. So in the meantime Im looking at an Anthem amp 2 and a Volks amp. But thats 2 and 1/2 times the money the next step up. Im going to listen this wednesday to the volksamp/Anthem combo. will let yo know. Mean time Im very very happy with Mca2 and Paradigm pair. Che2rs steve
Miked. I have a Marantz 67se, Anthem pre 2 Anthem mca 2 and Paradigm studo ref 80s. The upgrade path will be the amp first then the speakers, both of which go to the TV room. This will make for great home theatre and give the kids a system to play other than mine. Then maybe next year buy a new source when the formats are settled. Logicaly I thought the Amp 2 by Anthem would be the one. My dealer has steered me away from this. He sells very few and he is really a big Anthem fan. He really likes the MCA series and feels you need to spend about 2.5x the $$ to make the step worthwhile. The mca is a great bargin but a little rich in bass for me and I think that's what Anthem had in mind as this product is focused toward home theatre. Having said that,at 200 plus hours,it is still smoothing out,which really suprised me.So if you listen to one check to see if its broken in because the bass in particular has really changed on this amp since new. So as I said wednesday I'll listen to to the Volks amp anthem combo and hopefully the Amp2 at the same time. Ths Volks amp is besause my dealer thinks it will be best in my system and suit my tastes. If theres no quantum leap in at least one catagory, that is if it's just a suttle improvment, Im tempted to save to the summer and buy a Sim Audio w3. This is the 120x2 top line amp and it would be a keeper. As long as your speakers are reasonably effecient this is the one. Perfectly neutral, tight tight bass and imaging as good as it gets. Ive heard this with 4 different speakers now and its bang on every time. Definatly not a rich coloured sound if thats what you like but. Any ways who knows I too have read good things about the Amp 2 and just maybe it will be the one. Will post in about a week or so. cheers steve