SS or Tubes? Either?
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FWIW I would not have, and still can't, respond to your thread intelligently. The is no universal best, so to respopnd to your question I would need
1) To have listened to the equipment you mentioned under controlled circumstances using identital ancillaries, and
2) To know what your sonic preferences are, what kind of room you have, what kind of music you listen to, and what kind of audio things are important to you.
I doubt that I, or most others, have meaningful information to pass on to you unless they are just willing to make recommendations isolated to the component(s) you mentioned. Not knowing how they will work with your stuff, in you room, playing music you like, in a manner you want to hear it makes it of questionable value. IMHO that is why you got no responses then, and I doubt you will now.
Here are some additional information that some have asked:
1) I would like to stay with a Solid State
2) I realize there are alot of threads on this topic but still none clearly answer which is a good choice and there is very little about Atoll
3) I have an ecclectic taste in music anything from 50's-60's, to 80's rock, to old and new country, some classical, a little jazz, and some easy listening.
4) The room is about 15x14 with 10 foot ceilings, hardwood floors, with a corner fireplace.
5) I am not sure what my audio preferences are. I know I want something that is more neutral than bright or with a huge amount of bass. I want something that will make the Kirksaeters sound their best, open the soundstage, and bring out the ability of the TT.
6) I have really narrowed down my search to the models listed in the original posting, although I am open to learning about other models.
7) My ability to trial any of these pieces in my home is impossible. I live in the middle of no where.
I am truly seeking advice from other owners of these models and their impressions on these models. Especially, thoughts from those who have auditioned these or similar models and why they chose what they did.
Okay, so at least we're getting narrowed down. About the TT: does that mean you need an internal phono stage, or do you have a separate one? If you don't then that narrows down your choices a good deal, as there aren't that many very good integrated amps that have internal phono stages that are very good.
I've heard the following and liked them, but not with your speakers
YBA Passion integree
Jeff Rowland Concentra or concentra II
From my understanding it is best to go with an external phono stage, so I will probably stay that route. Although, I know the phono stage can be added to the Atoll and their external stages have gotten some great reviews as has the stage made by MF.
Thanks for the help, it truly is appreciated. I realize that not many own Kirksaeter speakers but to my best I will try to describe them. They are a 3 way speaker with a metal dome tweeter but does not sound to bright. I really like them but I can see me moving up their line eventually.
Here is some info from their site:
The most important improvement to the new PRISMA is the very special midrange driver in which the cone and the surround is moulded in one piece. Its installed and tested in its own dampened housing. Free from edge distortion, the midrange has an incrediblely clear and widely open sound. The crossover network becomes an extra filter that depresses the resonance peaks so they cannot negatively inflate the airy, widely open and soft treble sound of the silk dome tweeter. The dispersion angle 160 degrees allows you to fully enjoy all the music details wherever you are in the room. These improvements set new standards in the price classes of PRISMA.
All the PRISMA models have the same outstanding tweeter. Therefore, you can combine all models in a Home Theatre System, and sit where you like. You can even combine any PRISMA with any Silverline speaker.
Because PRISMA has a very high efficiency PRISMA draw less power from your amplifier than the most other speakers do. When electing PRISMA you should elect a model one number larger than estimated and the amplifier one number smaller than normal. Then you will have a system with the optimum value of your investment
Loudspeaker Column PRISMA 210
The high tall form gives sufficient volume for the use of two 19 cm bass drivers that fill your room with a strong, dry and analytic clean bass. The efficiency is very high and PRISMA 210 can be used with smaller amplifiers. The beautiful cabinet is available in several finishes. The MDF-front is rounded at the edges to allow a smooth beaming of the sound. The new 15 cm midrange is of such a good quality that one does not expect to find this in PRISMA 210. Ii is build into an acoustical sealed box with defined volume and damping material. The cone and the surround are made of one piece material to reduce peaks and distortion. The new silk Dome tweeter provides 160 degrees dispersion that lets you place the speaker where you like in the room. Together with the new kind of crossover it is an especially strong, brilliant and dynamic sound experience. In Norway the previous model PRISMA 200 was elected as best buy in its class.
TECNICAL DATA PRISMA 210
Type of speaker: Floorstanding column
Music peak power: 300 Watts peak to peak
Music impulse power: 210 Watts
Continuous power rating, DIN: 160 Watts
Frequency response: 26 - 22,000 Hz
Recommended amplifier: 20 - 100 Watts
Crossover Frequencies: 3-ways 500/3000 Hz, double
Impedance: 4 - 8 Ohms
Woofer, long excursion: 2x19 cm fiber coated cone
Midrange: 15 cm one piece coated cone
Tweeter: 25 mm soft metal Dome
Weight net 20 kg, 46 lbs
Width x Depth x Height in cm: 23,5 x 26,5 x 105 cm
Width x Depth x Height In inch 9,25 x 10,5 x 41,5
Here's a few to choose from with there approximate corresponding used prices. If you buy used at a good price then you can't loose. If you don't like it or want to try a different flavor, just sell it and buy another one.
Have fun... this isn't rocket surgery.
Jeff Rowland CONCENTRA I $3000
Red Wine audio 30.2 $2500
Jeff Rowland Concentra II $3400
Mcintosh MA6900 $2800
Mcintosh MA6500 $1700
Mark Levinson 383 $2999
Naim Nait 5 $600
Music Hall Mambo $625
Sim Audio I5 $1375
Krell KAV-500i $1900
Krell KAV-400xi $1800
Krell S300i $2100
Krell kav 300iL $1500
Plinius 9200 $2500
Plinius 8200 mkII $1600
Bryston b60r sst $900
Exposure 2010s $775
Blue Circle CS Integrated $685
Blue Circle BC-24 SS Hybrid $1000
If you buy used at a good price then you can't loose. If you don't like it or want to try a different flavor, just sell it and buy another one.
Except for the misspelling of lose, I agree with Lokie. After going that route and owning ten or more integrated amps the best I found was the Bel Canto eVo2i. Put it on your list and also add the Primare I30.
If you can't audition these then you are going to have to take a leap of faith. Chances are that if you haven't ever owned any good gear then anything is going to sound pretty good and you will be happy. You will only know if you get them all and only keep your favorite if you have made the perfect choice. If you know that those are the speakers you are keeping then I would do my best to find out what gear is know to sound good with them and go from there. If you're still not sure then go with a well known brand and try to get a good price used.
I agree that you cannot lose with a used nu/tri vista.
With that said - here are the some others I like in this range or less for your speakers and listening interest:
Naim Nait XS - really, really musical. Don't worry about the stated power - plenty of current
Musical Fidelity A5.5 - good, lots of head room
Ayre Acoustics A7se - really good
Exposure 2010s - great bargain - good sound
Vincent Audio SV-236 MkII - hybrid - really, really good
Anything new or used from Sim Audio
Anything used from Blue Circle.
Haven't heard the new Rega - sounds like it is rolled off a bit on top with great bass (not too much, just very good). Don't worry about the rated power with this either - plenty of current to get the job done.
I'm not much of a 'specification' guy, but in describing the speakers, the 1 thing which would help and was NOT listed was sensitivity / efficiency. Listing the wattage of a speaker is, in general, meaningless.
Now, if you want to integrate a 2ch / HT system, an integrated with HT bypass may be useful. Also, my PSAudio integrated, from the GCC series has a set of preamp outputs which could be used to feed a HT receiver w/2ch music. I use these outputs to feed a sub.
And as a matter of convenience / ease of use, you may want to avoid tubes, if as you say, you are 'in the middle of nowhere'......All you need is to have to solve a problem via the mail or over the phone. SS has the edge in overall UPTIME of gear. Yes, there are exceptions, but unless you are willing to learn lots about tubes and go thru the learning curve............
I've owned a few of the above and would rate the AX7e on top, 6300 second, luxman next, and last the Sim I5.
Ayre is clean, clear, musical, powerful. A little thin if your speaker is thin.
6300 warm, not as focused, good power and looks, a lower-end mac, but still a mac!
Luxman is a little too rolled off, relaxed, awesome user interface, great for that speaker that needs some loudness, nice phono. Less clarity than mac. The next step up on Luxman gear kills all but is $$$.
Sim, I wanted to like but felt too much grasp and control and not enough flow. Dry. Perhaps this is the amp I should appreciate the most because it is opposite my taste!
Never heard of Atoll but hope it works out.
Luxman L-505u is not too rolled off nor veiled like McIntosh's integrated speakers. It's a neutral to warm amp, with awesome bass control. In fact, it's capable of producing accurate speed tight bass. Midrange is sweet, but not oversweet and the clarity of mids is very good. There're amps with more clarity than Luxman, but it's not the case of McIntosh MA6300 or MA6500. Luxman L-505u clearly outperforms the mentioned models.