Best solid-state amp made anywhere

I'd like to open up this "best of" to include amps from New Zealand, Canada, France, England, Germany and (my personal favorite) Italy, as well as whoever else I've left out (no extraterrestrial amps, please). I have spent some time with the most amazing solid state amp - made by Aloia of Italy and uses an inductive (!) power supply. These amps have a naturalness and ease I haven't previously encountered in solid state, not even Pass or Claytons. Have you noticed that the Italians make superb audio equipment? In this country, audio engineering is to engineering as podiatry is to medicine. It just doesn't typically draw the cream of the crop. In Italy music matters far more, and audio equpiment is designed by people who will make an opera singer sing her part over if they aren't satisfied with her performance. Well enough sociology - what's your vote for best solid state amp?
Linn "Klimax"
Well what about Goldmund Mimesis 29.4 as finest ss amp made in Switzerland....20 years ahead from the rest of toy makers..with exception of Pass,Jeff Rowland and Ayre...
Captain you're almost right that all American made ss amplifiers are typically flawed and unmusical. Especially those from famous brands like Krell, Rowland, etc.. There is one company that makes the musical amplifiers in the world and it is US based. If neutrality, musicality with correct harmonics is what you're looking for, then the Lamm electronics is what you should listen to. I have heard the Aloia amplifier, as good as it is, it's just no match for the Lamms. Do your ears a favor and have a listen to their amps. rgds, david k.
Its dave again from England would not like to comment on the best,But please do not mention Linn with the best they are rubbish.
Its dave again from England would not like to comment on the best,But please do not mention Linn with the best they are rubbish.
From my experience, the new Jeff Rowland Model 12 Mono amps are the best I have heard along with Linn Klimax, and Boulder 2030 mono (very expensive), and Naim's new $15K amp. There is no such thing as "the best", because some amps do some things better then other in its own unique way. Thus system matching becomes more critical then just buying the best of each category, it is subjective at best. Also like the new Rowland model 8Ti/HC and the 9Ti/HC.
I think captain imho is romantisizing Italy just a tad, where high end audio is concerned. I love some Italian audio products, but let's not get completely off our rockers here. I've not heard the Aloia amp. Who's the importer?
Ultra high end-FM ACOUSTICS high end-BRYSTON mid-fi-NAD low end-SONY, JVC, PIONEER
Wait till you hear Victor Sima's new design,Linar. He was the founder,original designer of Sim Audio amps including he much heralded W-5. The Linar is better in my opinion,but I don't know how readily available they are yet.
The Accuphase A50 (now the A50V) should be added to any short list of Class A ss power amps. Superior in every respect; build quality, musicality and spatial presentation. Exceptional.
Dave from England! How can you make such a statement? Elaborate on "...rubbish!" Tell us, what is your preferance? Rotel? or Sharp? Linn is one of the LEADERS, in quality in the HI end industry. Nobody can deny that.Overpriced? Yes! So as every other product of that "calibar". Or, it could be just that "old" English- Scotish "thing"?
goldmund 29.4 wýth hýs preamps
McCormack DNA 1 with the the top revision A upgrade will hold its own to the very best within 5 k(US) and will hold its own to quite a few above that price.
Bedini with out a doubt powerfull and sweet
There is so much out there that can be heard .But like I always said what sounds sweet to one person may sound terrible to the other. Let "your" ears be the judge ,If it sounds good to you then it's the best fot "you"....
The best I ever heard is the Tact Millenium digital amp. If you ever get the possibility to listen to it - please do your self a favor and don't go around it!
If you are into used components, I have always been impressed with the Motif preamps made by Conrad Johnson in the late 80s. New they were $2250 to $5000 depending on model. Used they are $500 to $1000 and a bargain, because they were made to last forever.
I'm a fan of the Rowland amps given my experience with the Model 8 I picked up a few months ago. Since system matching is usually a factor it needs stating that my experience is with the Rowland 8, Avalon speakers, Muse front end/preamp, and Discovery Essential/Essence interconnects/speaker cables providing excellent refinement, musicality, and the rest of what you'd expect in a great system.
Exposure DR4 or 16 Monos. They take control of your speakers and lets them do what they were designed to do. They have great musicality, resolution without the edge, and dynamic refinement to make the listener get involved.
Lamm m1.1 or lamm m2.1 Let them warm 45min then listen 3d palpability detail and no amusical soldi state edge you simply have trouble leaving your music system ITS THAT GOOD
Here are two manufactuers from two different European countries that make excellent solid-state amplifiers: --Germany: Lindemann (check out the website, and affordable!) --France: Lavardin (again, check out their website which has a nice description of their design philosophy. The company started out with research into tube sound, and were committed to achieving the strengths of tubes with transistors. I heard the Lavardin reference equipment with Simon Yorke S7 and S9 turntables, Avalon speakers, and NBS and Fadel Art cables at High End 2000 in Germany and thought the sound was--I will choose my words carefully here--the most "intellectually involving" at the show. The Lavardin's are also affordable, and they team up well with Avalon speakers)
I think you guys with your trash taik are hilarious. Where are the Krell lovers to take on all comers? I have not heard all the super amps, but I know amps sound different in different systems. Only one way to find out what works with yours. Whats next, wine with which cheese, Ford vs Chevy? Love it.
If you can find one, the Reference Line Silver Signature, especially with the high current outboard power supplies and the "3D" output stage but even the plain single chassis models are stunning musically. The Roland model 1 ain't bad either, a little soft but engaging. And dare I say....the little Forte 4a.
Genesis Stealth ,FM Acoustics,Meitner MTR-101 mono blocks
I've forgotten how many absolutely great amps there are in this world until I read the above responses. I'd like to add the BEL 1001 Mk 5 in mono form. Also, those Exposure 16 monos are damn fine too.
Without question, the Levinson 33H. As for the people who voted for the Goldmund Mimesis 29.4, I hope yours haven't blown up. I owned a Mimesis 9.5++, and a Mimesis 29, during a one year period. Each of them failed twice. After four shipments back to Switzerland, and absolutely no hint of an apology from Mr. Reverchon, I decided that I'd had enough. The Goldmunds sound great (when they are working), but the Levinson sounds even better, and they work.
I had Levinson 33H and did up grade to Jeff Rowland 8Ti which was more my cup of tea (it was a big step) and now I have Goldmund Mimesis 29 in two years it was at factory only once ;-) In my system Goldmund is superior to the amps above. just my 0.02
I truly do not feel that this can be answered validly. An amplifier's performance is, to a great extent, dependent on component synergy. All too frequently, people get to audition various pieces of equipment in a dealer's store who will frequently carry only limited brands of cables and other components. Merely inserting different makes of amplifier into an otherwise identical system, does not necessarily imply the comparison has validity. The amplifier (under audition) may require different components to make it really 'shine' (these components are frequently unavailable in the dealer's store, in my experience). Of course, there are other issues, such as type of music for which the system is intended. These variables are not mentioned above.
This question can't be answered. The matching of equipment may give many different solutions, as well as what "school" you are member of - the Western monsteramps or the Eastern single-enders.. Good luck Arve
Haven't heard enough, since tubes is my bag, but the new Krell Cast amps (forgive me, dear Lord) coupled with the Cast preamp. Pretty damn musical. And not a bad bottom either.
You're right Imho on these amps. The Aloia's with the inductive supply have stunning control. These are a great match with the Dunlavy V's. I have heard Dunlavy may be using these amps as his reference.
You cannot end this list without Pass!
I have to comment on the Linn amps. While i heard them at Hi-Fi '99, the entire Linn system sounded extremely bland, lifeless, dull and boring. It exhibited no sense of pace, rhythm or timing whatsoever. If that was how all audio / music systems sounded, i would watch a HELLUVA lot more tv !!! After their head salesgeek gave his 20-30 minute schpiel to a good sized crowd, he proceeded to play some music. Keep in mind that this system used their $20K CD player and SIX of their Klimax amps ( 3 per channel ). Within the first 5 minutes of song, over 60% of the crowd had gotten up and walked out. It was that disgusting sounding. And since i'm throwing stones towards that part of the world, the two different Naim rooms also sucked horribly. I'd also like to agree that the little Forte' 4A is a vast overachiever, but if i did that, their prices might go up and i still need another one : ) Sean >
Take a listen to Plinius from NZ. I heard the 8150 integrated and I was hooked. Then, I bought a! Magic! They are so good, I'm going to look at the new Pre's. They are the BEST for their price, no doubt about it.
Linn sound is "neutral!" It doesn't sound "horrible" or "bad", it just sounds as recorded music does! The same goes with the Krell gear. But some folks, enjoy more "colored" sound, and it is not anything wrong with that, either!
Classe CA-400.
I love my Pass Labs Aleph 4, but if you have not yet heard the 47 labs Gaincard S(but not for high volume) you will be surprised!
Musical Fidelity A3CR, hands down
Although most of you will not believe me my $2,000 Marsh A400S can give a run for their money to any of the great names described above.
Silly thread, but I've got to play too. My 'personal' vote goes to the Aleph 2 monoblocks. Astonishing clarity and midrange. Followed by the bass monster Mcormack DNA1/RevA. If I had a big speaker, I would probably choose the DNA over the aleph 2. One of my friends has a Spectral 180m2 which is very good too. I haven't heard his equipment with my speaker's/CD player. Remember that what speaker you mate something too is as important as the amp itself. For example I've heard the spectral 180 make a vandersteen 3aSig sound sterile and lifeless, but with AP Sparks it sounds wonderful. Music taste, and room characteristics also play into this.
can anyone spell Burmester
Burmester for best solid way you are reading too much of TAS :D. Jeff Rowland is better in every department,Spectral too, however truly the best is GOLDMUND.
Classe omega. I have one in my dreams.
I love my Pass Aleph 4 and I couldn't argue with anyone choosing Aleph 2's or 1.2's, but what about the Pass X series? Are there not any X-350, X-600 or X-1000 users out there?
In the same family of Nelson Pass except a little earlier. The Threshold SA/1's mono-blocks in silver. Beautiful sound and aesthetics.
hey, i have a jrdg 8ti, which sounds great but ain't near as pretty as any of the burmester line. to my ears, tho, burmester electronics (@ least amps and pre's) are a bit too bright and analytical. they remind me of of the thresholds during the "pass era" (his new stuff doesn't suffer from the problems i experienced while he was @ threshold; perhaps getting one's own way thru ownership solves many problems).
Not the most expensive by far, but I love the Audio Research 100.2. This is a real sleeper in the Audio Research line. They may be known for their Tube amps, but this SS amp is fantastic!
Warner Imaging! This amp has the sweetness and nuance of the Pass Alephs but also does the frequency extremes, and with seemingly endless power. This amp is NOT strictly neutral - it is on the warm side. If you are familiar with Atma-Sphere OTL tube amps, this amp is like a solid state version of the Atma-Spheres, but with no load or dynamic limitations. This is THE solid state amp for tube lovers.
Ayre Acoustics
The best are: FM, Goldmund, Spectral and Accuphase Near to the best at half price(except Burmester):Chord, Lavardin, Burmester, Etalon