Best solid state amp under 1k
hello, my first post here...
I COME IN PEACE FROM THE LAND OF DIY!
I am going to warn you up front this is going to be a little verbose and I won't think any less of you if you want to duck out now...
I have been an "audiophile" now for about 20 years and have gone through many
many configurations of stereo system, nothing really high end as I couldn't/wouldn't afford it.
Most recently I have been using a pair of speakers based on a JBL le14a woofer and Selenium compression driver on a waveguide.
I have been bi amplifying these with a solid state amp(Behringer A500) on the woofer and a very high quality 2A3 amp on the compression driver.
Upstream from that is a 12B4A linestage which is fed by, in order of most usage; Squeezebox, Oppo, and Hagerman Bugle phono stage.
I am really a cheap bastard at heart and can't stand to keep a component that I feel gives me marginal improvement at much higher cost.
I am also something of a minimalist and find I can't live for very long with a complex system like I have now. I have found, through various fiddling,
that the speakers in my rig are responsible for the lions share of the sound I am enjoying and that I actually like the sound of my sources going directly
into my solid state amp. This gives a very clean, very extended sound with good dynamics and spacious soundstage. My only qualm is that the Behringer, of course, could stand to have some more of the qualities that the 2A3 amp has through the mid and high range. I don't expect it to match the DHT for sheer beauty, but I would like
to get closer.
Which brings me to where I am now. Is there anything out there that is substantially better than the Behringer for under 1k? I would like an amplifier with some grunt to it as I enjoy a wide variety of music; jazz, indie, rock, electronica(in all its forms), folk, etc. Extended bass, but with a smoothness and liquidity like tube gear(pie in the sky?).
I am thinking a straight amplifier(not an integrated) would retain this clean sound I am hearing. It seems any preamp I put in the chain is adding unwanted sound, rather than acting as a clean switching/volume control source. I can easily make a passive linestage if necessary, but as my components all have variable outputs I don't think it will be necessary.
So far I have been thinking of an older class A amp, or perhaps one of the amps in the M series that Yamaha made that works in class A up to a point and then switches to A/B. Anyway I am certainly not averse to buying used as I want the most bang for my buck.
the floor is yours...