Used Bryston 3b-st can throw 200W onto 4Ohm and fits your price range.
New Bryston 3b-st will be arround $1200 together with shipping if ordered directly from Canada. I've recently saw it for $1100 in Yahoo online stores.
Used Bryston 4b-st is arround $1300 will meet all your power expectations(and it makes a sence either to wait or to raise your budget for $1300).
Another option for approximately the same price might be for you Nad S30, but hard to find used yet.
I agree, Bryston is a great first choice. Also consider the McCormacks, excellent sound for the price.
a rogue audio 88 amp can be had for around $850 used, and can be upgraded to magnum status afterwards for about $650, so down the road you can take your amp to a new level with upgraded caps, valves, etc (and the differences are not subtle imo). also, mark o'brien at rogue provides excellent customer support. i currently drive paradigm monitor 7 floorstanders with an 88 and am very pleased. the mon 7's will be rotated out this weekend for spendor s100's. your studio 80's should mate well with the tubed rogue. at 70watts ultralinear and 35watts in triode, this does not measure up to the 200-250 watts per channel, but why insist on 200-250 watts per channel? are you not interested in tubed amps for sure? if you have any interest about tubes, the rogue deserves a listen, i think it will be more than sufficient to drive your speakers. you owe it to yourself to listen to as many amps now while you are in the market to purchase one, if onnly to know a little more about what is out there. and you get you feet wet with valve amplification at the same time.
just my 2 cents fwiw
The Anthem Amp2 is a great sounding amp (Hybrid design) and I've seen it as low as 800, but more average of $1k.
Bryston is good stuff.
Marantz MA500 or MA700 rock.
B&K EX442 power amplifier can be had for $400 - $500 used. It's 200 wpc into 8 Ohms, provides plenty of current, and it has balanced inputs and a detachable power cord.
You can get a B&K Pro-10 preamplifier for about $400 used to finish off the system. Good luck!
why do you need such a high watt amp? the 80's are 92dB
I get lots of volume from my 30wpc pass aleph-3.you will not find a better amp in your price range or even if you spend much more.
I second the Rogue 88 amp. Upgrade the 12AX7's to Mullard CV4004's and you're on your way! Yes the Magnum upgrade is worth it IMO. Start with the normal version and swap out the tubes I mentioned and you'll be most of the way there.
With this amp you will be hearing the music.
Conrad Johnson MF-2100 now on Agon @$750. It is 100wpc. The MF-2200 is 200wpc and should go for about $1000 used. Check out the reviews at audioreview.com. You can't go wrong with CJ
McCormack all the way. Not a fan of Bryston at all. The rogue is nice but I would try to find a used Magnum version as that will be much more cost effective than upgrading later, the Magnum upgades a fabulous.
HA!!! to the other choices (kidding guys!!) If you can find this gem, an EAD Powermaster 500 is incredible. Should be able to find one easily for under a grand and its design helps it excel in stereo listening as much as it does in HT applications. Don't let the fairly modest 100X5 wpc fool you. this thing can output better than 300wpc in stereo listening with the smooth, high-end sound EAD is known for. Quite a few people have stated they feel this is possibly the best amp for stereo listening that EAD makes......that may be a stretch but there has to be a reason someone said it:) good luck!!
The EAD is great. I own the EAD Ultradisk 2000 Reference CD player and it just killed Musical Fidelity A3 CD, Bel Canto DAC 1 and a few others. EAD has great products and they look awesome with the Jeff Rowland faceplate. If you can find one, let me know because I want one too!
I've heard all of these and can say without a doubt the McCormack DNA 0.5 deluxe can be had for that $$$ used and you will never look back.
What is the difference between the 12ax7 and the mullard CV4004 tubes???
I have a mint condition Browning Mark 4A CB radio from the 70's that uses 12ax7's and was wondering if Mullard CV4004's would be a replacement or any better????
And maybe I'll get the Rogue 88... but I'm still looking around!
Thanks for the comments and keep them coming!!!
The Mullard CV4004 is a Military grade version of the 12AX7. It sounds better than stock tubes but costs about 5X as much.... They go for about $50 each.
Best amp I ever owned is a used Electrocompaniet AW 100. Forget what I paid, but it was under a grand. It's an oldie, but will seemingly last forever. Beats my prior Muse 100, Classe CA 100, Classe 70, Adcoms, B&K and Parasound HCA-750A.
The CJ amps are nice. You could also pick up a used Adcom for $200 to $500 depending on how much power you need, and send it to Stan Warren for modification.
I agree with jsrtheta the Electrocompaniet is a great amp sounds more like music than most anything out there.Kills the Adcom B&k Parasound as well as small Krells and Proceeds.Check out and see if there is a Harmonic Precision somewhere out there.I heard one of these at CES a couple of years ago and it sounded incredible.
No doubt. Take a look. The aother BEAUTY of this amp, being a 4 channel amp, you can BIAMP you speakers and pretty sure you will not find cleaner, more robust power than the Madrigal/Citation 7.1. NOW, if HT is not a concern, roll with the tubes!
If you can get by with 30 watts David is right that the Pass Aleph 3 is far superior in sound to anything mentioned, it is close to as good as anything at any price.
Sorry,I disagree the Harmonic Precision has much more texture, better soundstage and is more dynamic than the Pass. The Pass amp sounded dark and dynamically
challanged. This was on SCIV's
David99 has a good point, 200W seems like a lot of power for efficient speakers. If you think you can live with 100W, I'd consider the Threshold S/200 which can be had for $800-$900. The Sonograph amps also sound good and can be had for your budget.
I just bought a little McIntosh MC7100 and am really impressed with it. It is a good deal for an amp with balanced connections and 195W at 6 ohms (I tested it). Its music is magical with crystal clear highs and detail with really kicking bass. It plays my wonderful Paradigm Reference 100s with incredible ease - best amp I have heard for the price ($700 or so). It is just amazing.
If you could get your hands on an Aragon, 150 or up, it will give the big boys a run for their money. Great detailing, superior soundstaging, imaging, and tremendous bass. It is an amplifier that is truly under-rated. The wattage is doubled on most of their amps (200@ 8 ohms, 400 @ 4 ohms). Tremendous output in the current department. Read the reviews on audioreview.com. Known as the "poor mans Krell", it out performs some of the Krells! I know, because I have had a couple of their over-glorified products. If you can find an Aragon, it is not hard to do on Audiogon, you will be able to hear the difference right away.
I would have to say the Harmonic Precision is a best buy for solid state under $1000. I have been a tube fan for many years, and the HP is the only SS amp I would buy that competes with my Zen triode. The HP has more than enough power to drive B&W 803 series 2's to painful levels.