PArasound Jc-1s or Wolcott Presence Monos.
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You both have great systems! I will consider your advice!
I use Martin Logan clsIIz using granite audio 555 PC with Nordost Valhalla and a pair of Descents using BMI shark PC and straightwire crescendo xlr's. There are two Sound Application linestages for conditioning. There are several 30 amp circuits with the Albert Porter outlets. I do listen at low volumes, but I might just play loudly once in a while.
Pass (and maybe Wolcott) were on my personal short list, but I didn't know the Pass was a high current amp.
I really want to avoid buying an amp that won't work well with that speaker!
Yada- Though I believe tubes (particularly OTLs) and esls were made for each other, if you must go ss, then I'd suggest you consider Spectral. My limited experience with a Pass X350 amp (albeit, not on esls) was less than impressive. In my 15 years with esls, there were only 2 ss amps that I felt were up to the task sonically, Spectral and Symphonic Line. Each gave a differing perspective, but certainly top tier. Only the best OTLs outperformed them, but with much greater headaches. Good luck.
I'm using the X-600 monoblocks on my 1 ohm speakers. I have a large room, and I like it loud at times. I cannot imagine better monos. I have run all tubes, and have had no trouble switching to Pass X amps, and pre amps. They are perfectly invisable partners to my tubed CDP and speakers. I still must have tubes somewhere, though. With a 4 ohm load, the 600s may be overkill. They will be running class A all the time.... That's good.
Of course, for the price you are looking at, you will need to buy the 600s used. That is no problem, because Pass amp reliability is legendary.
I strongly second Jcbtubes' mention of Spectral & Symphonic Line (the Kraft series) from experience with an earlier (?) model of your speakers (the cls).
Among the other, excellent, recommendations, I have only experienced the 33H with cls -- but prefer the sound of the two other models mentioned above.
Note that it's just my taste, and I listen to classical & blues, some jazz.
BTW both Spectral & Symphonic Line are wide-bandwidth designs, if you're into that sort of thing...
Another tube that MAY fit your bill is the Tenor; I say "may" because I'm not sure of their driving power (nominal 75W) and, I've only heard these with box speakers -- was very impressed.
Would suggest that you audition the Parasound JC-1's. The only downside is that they require a very extended break-in. I have also owned the Wolcotts with all NOS tubes including hand picked Mullard EL34's and can tell you that in comparison to the JC-1's they were soft at the top, not nearly as controlled at the bottom and lacking in slam, slow, not nearly as quiet and lacking in low level detail. Having said that, they were very musical and trouble free and imaged very nicely.
Yada, thatnks for the nice sentiments. There seems to be a synergistic match between the Pass 600s and the CLSs. Definitely put them on your short list. Wolcotts are high current for Tube amps but can't compare to a SS on paper but they may actually put more current/voltage into an electrostatic load. BTW the Wolcotts do NOT lack slam in my system. YMMV and I respect Fcrowder's point of view, as well he knows. I'm just happy that he has found something that works in his system as I have mine!!
I've owned or demo'd most of the amps mentioned in this forum and can tell you hands down that a stereo Krell, say a leftover 350c or a new 400cx would do more than adequately!! Unless all of your equipment and cables are absolutely state of the art (and your electric service is as well), the benefits of mono-blocks are highly questionable.
This is the kind of response I hoped for! It seems that every contributor has had lots of experience, equipment and knowledge! I am really pleased and I know that I am headed in the right direction.
To help answer Dave-b: I have everything sitting on Aurios 1.2 or pros. Almost everything is sitting on a Symposium shelf too, from Ultras to sveltes. I am using Quattro-fil xlrs from preamp to amp. I mix up the King Cobra V2, BMI shark, and several Elrod sig 3 power cords throughout. I was told by a good friend (a real tolerant friend who loves SET tubes and horns) that the groundwork is done and instead of a big plasma TV, the amp has to be upgraded.
If anyone has anything more to contribute, please do so! You are the coolest guys on the planet! I am not going to waste my money this time! Thank you!
I'm a dealer for several of the amps mentioned here (Parasound JC-1's, InnerSound, Wolcott) as well as a few not mentioned here (Clayton, Atma-Sphere) that also work very well with electrostats. My experience is mostly with Sound Labs since that's what I sell, though I do have a few customers with CLS's who have bought (and are happy with) either Wolcott or InnerSound amps. Some very good amps that I'm not a dealer for include Accuphase, Jeff Rowland, and Pass Labs. Someone mentioned the Halcros, but one of my customers tried Halcros on his Sound Labs and found that it wasn't a good match.
Each of these amps brings a slightly to significantly different set of qualities to the table, and I'd want to dig a bit more into your personal priorities before making a specific recommendation. For example, do you think you'd be more interested in a neutral-voiced solid state amp, or one that's voiced a bit on the warm side?
By the way, Yada, I think the CLS is the most physically beautiful loudspeaker ever made. And among the very finest sonically as well. In my experience the amplifier/speaker matchup is considerably more critical with electrostats than with dynamic speakers. But there are plenty of excellent amplifier choices well within your budget - the thing to do is to match up the right amplifier for your personal priorities.
I've been running VTL-450's on CLSIIz's for over three years now without any tube noise - nothing but dead black silence. There is great synergy between VTL and ML - best sound at one of the hifi shows a few years ago. Also great low level detail (particularly with the VTL 5.5 preamp with NOS Telefunkens). I also have a pair for sale.