I used to own ProAc Response 2 speakers. The following electronics worked extremely well with these particular speakers (this is the configuration a local audio dealer - Audio Center in Deerfield Beach, FL) whose opinion I trust recommended to me):
SUBWOOFER (optional): Vandersteen 2WQ (ideally, stereo pair);
AMPLIFIER: Audio Research VT-100 mk. 2 with stock tubes;
PREAMP: Audio Research LS-15 (LS-16 is also probably a good match; sound can be fine-tuned by replacing stock 6922 tubes(4) with NOS tubes; talk to Kevin Deal at Upscale Audio for particular recommendations once you have allowed your final system configuration to settle in;
CABLING: all Cardas Golden Cross interconnects and an internally bi-wired length of Cardas Golden Cross speaker cables (they complement the Audio Research gear perfectly);
SOURCE: as per your tastes
All of this equipment has been superceded by "newer" versions, and is thus available at great prices (I believe they represent lasting value, because of their great build quality, inherent musiciality, and probably resale value not far from your probably used purchase prices).
Hope this helps!
Another option that I heard with ProAc Response 2.5 speakers that worked very well was:
SOURCE: Audio Research CD2
PREAMP: Audio Research LS-15
AMPLIFIER: Audio Research VT-100 mk. 2
CABLING: all interconnects were Nordost Blue Heaven and speaker cabling was internally bi-wired Nordost Blue Heaven.
The character of this system was much more light and airy than the previous setup I recommended (which was much more centered around the midbass and midrange).
My personal preference was the previous setup (demo source at the dealer was Theta Miles CD player and all interconnect was balanced).
I've found that the ProAc Response 2's mated very well with Rowland amplification.I've unfortunately not had the opportunity to audition the R2.5.
Dpare, I've just happily settled into a system which includes ProAc Tablette 50 Signatures. I've heard some people say the Tab 50 Sigs are close to the Response Ones in sonic character, although I have no experience with the Response line.
My system consists of:
Theta Pearl CD transport
Bel Canto DAC 1.1
Simaudio Moon I-5 integrated
ProAc Tablette 50 Signatures
NHT SW3P subwoofer
Kimber Illuminations D60
Cardas Golden Cross
DH Labs Silver Pulse
Analysis Plus Oval Nine
The Moon I-5 has a very neutral balance overall, with great detail and huge soundstaging. While not a bright amp, the neutral balance of the I-5 didn't work well with the ProAcs early on, even when using Golden Cross interconnects. But that was before adding the Bel Canto and the Theta. Those two pieces added a very smooth and refined sound to the mix which showed off the musicality and soundstaging capabilities of the Tab 50s. The AP Oval Nines also added much fullness and warmth overall, as well as extending the soundstage even more.
I have a balance which I'm enjoying very much. Warm and smooth at the right times, and dynamic and involving when it should be. People had mentioned that ProAcs work well with tube systems. I had considered changing the Simaudio for a Rogue or Blue Circle setup, but that was a few months ago before it all came together. Now I'm quite content with what I have.
Experiment if you can, and have fun!
You are a couple of days early--my VT 100 mk III shows up tomorrow! I've got the Response 2s, which are mated now with a pair of Quicksilver Silver Edn mono amps. I decided to upgrade and liked the way the ARC/ProAc combos provided resolution without sterility. I also did some net research on other's opinions and found out that ARC/ProAc seems a safe bet since I gather ProAc voices their gear with ARC hardware. I also saw an article noting that ProAc's US sales went up substantially at some point when Cary was selling some of its amps paired with the RS1s. I've never heard that combo, but that sounded like a pretty good endorsement you might want to check into. (Left me scratching my head a bit, however, 'cos the RS1s are only 84 dB efficient or so and I thought Cary produces amps that like very efficient speakers)
In this vein, I ended up with *two* VT 100 mk IIIs (long story) and, just for kicks, emailed the guy I originally bought my RS2s from, who has a *long* relationship with ProAc, and asked his opinion regarding bi-amping and the benefits of using an external x-over (my preamp is a Theta Casablanca which can be configured as an external x-over). The response (no pun intended) was to "passively bi-amp horizontally." Oh yeah, and to "get an ARC preamp."
A great amp with the response 2.5's is the Cary 805C(50 watts SET). This combo won best sound under $50,000 at the 1996(?) Sterophile audio show in NY in a system setup by Audio Connection, a high end store in Verona, New Jersey(they carry both brands). I had an opportunity to listen to this combo for an extended period of time and it was easy to see what all the fuss was about. It's just one of those magical synergestic combinations with great imaging, a midrange to die for and,yes, can play loud with excellent bass. The audio research VT-100 is an excellent amp which makes a great match with the 2.5's, but you really owe it to yourself to at least give the 805's an audition, you just might be smitten.
i've heard proac 2.5's driven to great effect w/an arc 100.2 s/s amp & the toobed arc ls16. the owner of this system purchased the arc stuff based upon the recommendation of the usa proac distributor. supposedly it's what the owner of arc uses to drive the 2.5's in his home rig...
hmmm, i wonder what was so bad w/my prewious post to garner negative wotes. i've had ample opportunity to hear the proac/arc combo, & it sounds excellent. it's what the usa proac distributor recommends for the speaker. it's what they said the owner of arc listens to in his home. if anyone can enlighten me as to where i went wrong here, perhaps i can do better next time... NOT!!! ;~)
I just auditoned an Audio Electronics Super Amp Sig. DJH edition with my 2.5s and it makes great music. Proper extension at the freq. extremes, wonderful soundstaging, and lots of natural instrumental color. In my opinion, a terrific amp for $2,000.00. Lots of tubes rolling options with this DJH version, also. Not a lot of power and drive, though, watch out for large rooms.
I have 2.5s and am currently playing with 3 different amps: CJ11a, Pass Aleph 3, and Pass X-150. You know what? The 2.5s sound wonderful with all of them. I wonder if it's possible to get this terrific speaker to *not* make music with any decent amp. But after reading this thread, I think I'd better try out something from ARC.
i've heard stellar results from proacs w/electrocompaniet, alchemist, & lo-power asl amps. as well as good sound at stores w/amps beyond my recollection. drubin, yure rite - hard to imagine getting *bad* sound outta proacs... but, i unnerstand yer quandary... ;~)
I've heard them with Audio Research tube amps and could recommend that combo.
Thank you very much guys for your responses.
I finally bought the Audio Research Integreted CA 50.
Dominic Pare (Quebec)
Awesome Dominic! Have fun!
As you may gather from the foregoing, ProAcs will change depending on what you feed them. I have found them sweet with Pass Labs Aleph 3's, aggressive with ARC VT 100 II's, lite 'n' livley with C-J Premier 12A's, delicious and holographic with Blue Circle BC 2's. And with Cary 805's they are alleged to have gotten into some folks' pants. How do you like your eggs?
I heard Audio Research electronics an Tara cables with the 2.5s, and it was amazing. Forget the subwoofer, and keep it as simple as possible. I understand that the designer of Proac speakers voices them with Audio Research tube electronics, so I would imagine it is a good match, as my ears confirmed for me.
I own the 2.5's and the absolute sweetest sound I've ever heard was the 2.5's coupled with a Cary 300SEI and synergistic cables throughout. Currently Im using Cary Monoblocs but the 300SEI is an absolute musical experience with these speakers. all 11 watts of it.