I have had the krell 300i for 3 years and love it. Be careful what you match it with. If your digital tends toward bright the sound can be harsh. This amp does bass better than some separates that cost 4 and 5 times more. I get really great bass out of my Dunlavy SC-III's with this amp.
My musical tastes are relatively close to yours. I have tried well over 30+ amps in the last three years and found the two listed below to be very well balanced and excellent full range performers. Both are relatively available on the used market. A very nice sounding amp for the money is a Forte' 6 or 6A. These were designed by Nelson Pass when he was with Threshold. The only difference between the standard 6 and the 6A is that the A also offers balanced inputs along with the standard RCA's. These are very "sweet & airy" while still delivering reasonable punch on the bottom end. Excellent detail yet not analytical enough to make you forget that your enjoying the music. Plenty of oomph for most occasions ( 200 @ 8 / 350 @ 4 ). They typically run about $600 to $650 on the used market in good shape with box and manual. If you don't need that much power, the 4 or 4A will suffice. The 6 is the AB version of the full Class A model 4 that is rated for 50 @ 8 and 100 @ 4. Cost is about the same as the 6 / 6A. Next on the list would be the standard Sunfire amp. You might be amazed at how good this amp sounds. Not quite as "sweet & airy" as the Forte' 6, but still excellent for the cash. Bass has more impact while retaining a good / smooth high end. It is a nicely balanced amp. Don't write this amp off because of any "hoopla" about "Sideshow Bob". You can find these for anywhere between $800 ( KILLER deal ) up to about $1200. Depending on if you like to "play", you can even try bi-wiring your system using the various combinations of "current" or "voltage" outputs on this amp. Sean >
Try a Bryston 4B ST. This is a great sounding, 250 wpc solid state amp. It has gotten great reviews, and comes with a 20 year transferable warrenty.
I would definately put the Bryston 3BST or the McCormack 0.5 or DNA 1 on your short list. They both have more than enough oomph to drive your paradigms, sound good, and come in at your price point.
Musical Fidelity a300 (I have the A3) or Chiro c200. You will save a lot of money on the chiro.No disappointments with either one,however. Alan
Cant go wrong with a THRESHOLD amp.You can most likely get a S-200 or s-300 in your price range.Sweet highs and slamming bass.Sold mines for a C-J and boy do i miss it.Steve
I have on OCM 500 on Audiogon auction which should suit your needs. Give me an e-mail if you have any questions. Thanks. firstname.lastname@example.org
CAN'T GO WRONG WITH THE KRELL KAV-250a!!!!!
Best bet Ayre V3 Mk2!!!!!
I also think that the McCormack DNA.5 or DNA-1 are the best amps available at this price point. I've used both extensively; they are smooth, detailed, have great bass and are not fatiguing. Either can be found used for under your cost target, but these are not "budget" sounding amps. And if you ever want "more", Steve McCormack offers 3 up-grade packages.
Go with Bryston if you want airiness and detail and a good bottom end. I have (2) Bryston 3B-ST's running bridged. This configuration gives me 400WPC into 8 ohms. The 250 WPC 4B-ST can be found used for about $1500. This amp has a 20-year parts and labor warranty. I also have owned the Cinepro 1K2SE. This amp absolutely kicks ass for rock. You can find Cinepro amps used for about 1K and they have enormous amounts of power. Also, try their website (www.cinepro.com) and sometimes they offer demo deals. This amp may be one of the better amps on the market for the money if you really want to kick.
DON'T DO ANYTHING UNTIL YOU CHECK OUT THE MUSE 160. THIS IS PROBABLY ONE OF THE BEST AT TWICE IT'S $1,900.00 LIST PRICE. IF YOU CAN FIND ONE UNDER $1,200.00 USED, JUMP ON IT AS I'VE FOUND THEY'RE NOT EASY TO COME BY. CHECK OUT REVIEW ON AUDIOREVIEW.COM IF YOU HAVE THE CHANCE.
If it was me and I had my heart set on an Aleph 3 I'd get one used. Make sure you buy it cheap enough and if you don't like it then sell it and get something else. The sound of the Aleph 3 is better than anything listed above and it would be a shame for you to miss out on it. I think I saw one for sale for 1350.00, offer 1250.00 Good luck
LIKE I SAID,MY BIGGEST CONCERN IS THE POOR BASS I'VE READ ABOUT.HOW COULD THE ALEPH-3 GET SUCH A GREAT REVIEW IN STEREOPHILE,TIE WITH THE KRELL-600 FOR AMP OF THE YEAR THEN I READ ITS NOT SO GREAT AFTER ALL.TALK ABOUT CONFUSION!!! Ejlif please respond and anyone else.
Try the Symphonic line RG1 MKII. Best solid state midrange. Awesome bass too.
Other than the fact you rarely see them for sale on the internet, I'm surprised no one has mentioned the BEL 1001. The MK2 version is well within your price range. Tom Miiller has been raving about the BEL in the absolute sound for years. I have had the MK2 in my system and currently own a pair of MK3a's (bridged mono) to drive Aerial 10t's. These will easily outperform most of the suggestions you've received so far. You may have to wait a while to get one though. People tend to hold on to them. My other suggestion would be the Ayre V3 which seems to be more available on the net and would also be a fine choice.
MY DEALER WANTS ME TO BUY A BEL 1001 MK2 HE DEAL TN ALOT OF USED GEAR, HE TOLD ME THE BELL IS BETTER THAN THE PASS.WHICH IS BETTER AND HAS BETTER BASS.DOES ANYONE KNOW WHERE I CAN FIND A PIC OF THE BELL? THEY HAVE NO WEB SITE!!
I really don't see any of these beating the Krell KAV-250a. Read the rave review in the JAN/FEB issue of The Perfect Vision.
OK CARL BUT WHATS THE COST OF ONE OF THESE BEASTS?? ALSO,AND IM NOT KIDDING ACCORDING TO MY DEALER THE 250 "SUCKS" HIS OPINON ONLY OF COURSE
Shmuck, Shut up and go listen to the Pass amp!!! If you like it buy it, if you dont then dont, what an idiot!!!
Shmuck, Shut up and go listen to the Pass amp!!! If you like it buy it, if you dont then dont, what an idiot!!!
HEY THEODUDE OR IS IT THEO RUDE I LIVE FAR AWAY FROM A PASS DEALER OR ANY OTHER DEALER.I AM ATTEMPTING TO GATHER SOME GOOD INFORMATION HERE.IF YOU HAVE NOTHING TO OFFER THAN STAY THE HELL OUT AND GO BEAT YOUR WIFE AND KIDS,YOU JERK!!
I got to listen to the pass aleph 3 driving a pair of soundlabs with gradients handling the bass. Extraordinary!! The amp simply steps out of the equation and lets music through! I haven't heard cd's sound like that, ever. That little 30 watt thing truly holds its own. We even watched the fifth element using the pass and the sound labs. It was amazing. The soundstage truly wrapped around your head. I was hearing a greater sense of objects and music coming from behind than from most surround systems. I want one for myself!!!
You should be able to find a used Krell 250a for around $2k, or a little under. If you want THE MOST powerful and BEST sounding amp for the money, this is it. Your dealer must have been kicked in the head by a mule...either that or he needs to be...hell, I'll do it myself! WHO IS HE? Is this Kevin at Upscale? HE'S A REAL PRICK, AND I'LL KICK HIS ASS IF I EVER RUN ACROSS HIM IN PERSON! He can't hear jack, and needs to stick his head up his own butt, and get out of audio for good, the bastard!!!
If you have listened Aleph, or any other amp, and you like what you heard (i mean, if music "touch" you, not "bass" or "midrange" or...) than you get it. You are going to enjoy it, not the "critics" or reviewers....Your heart is for Aleph, try...and if you don't like it, you can always get the another one.
the Mccormack DNA-1 should be a must hear. I purchased the SE model and it seems to just get better and better with time.
try a Coda. The brains behind Coda were the R and D team of Threshold which was/is one of the most respected names in audio. Have tried a lot of gear including most of the brands most talked about here including the KAV250a, McCormack DNA 0.5 deluxe, Bryston 4b st. prefer this equipment to them all. excellent detail. almost a bullet proof build, 10 year transferable warranty (first 5 years)- doubt if you would ever use it, and imaging and mids and highs associated with some of the best tube equipment. All the amps listed here have their strong points and in the right systems will sound great. There is no best- it is highly subjective and you will know after listening to it which is best for you- Good luck. If you get a chance listen to the Coda equipment- they will literally blow you away have 120
try a Coda. The brains behind Coda were the R and D team of Threshold which was/is one of the most respected names in audio. Have tried a lot of gear including most of the brands most talked about here including the KAV250a, McCormack DNA 0.5 deluxe, Bryston 4b st. prefer this equipment to them all. excellent detail. almost a bullet proof build, 10 year transferable warranty (first 5 years)- doubt if you would ever use it, and imaging and mids and highs associated with some of the best tube equipment. All the amps listed here have their strong points and in the right systems will sound great. There is no best- it is highly subjective and you will know after listening to it which is best for you- Good luck. If you get a chance listen to the Coda equipment- they will literally blow you away have 120 amps per channel which will drive any speaker. first 25 watts (which is more than what most people listen to is in Class A. Something the other amps listed do not have. they are solely in class A/B good luck in your search. there is a Coda 10.5 here at audiogon with an asking price of 1500. it lists at 3250. and worth every penny.
The first 75 watts of the Krell 250a is in class A. "120 amps per channel"...heh heh heh heh.
I have an Aleph 3 and as long as your speakers are fairly efficient and you don't want to know the walls down you'll love it. The bass is not weak either, in fact it sounds much better than the bass I get from the 150 watt tube amp that I tried. Buy one used, and stay away from the dealer, he certainly just wants to lay you away anyway and will say whatever it takes to get your money.
I think a used Bryston would provide excellent sound and value. As always, listen and let your ears tell you if the music is loud and clear.
I think best amp with the reasonable price is DNA-1 deluxe. It sounds dynamic tight bass, fast and uncoloration. Good review.
the krell 250a does go A as Carl states. but I still prefer the Coda regardless of his giggles and my error. Adds nothing Carl nor does it help the gentlman who requested the info. I have owned both of the amps Coda and the Krell. However, I have not heard the Pass so I can not compare them. He should let his ears decide. What is good for you or me is not fine for him. Just the same as you prefer the Krell. It is your opinion and one that everyone should respect whether they agree or not. we spend too much time reading useless reviews which are usually biased towards how much money the company has spent at the magazine and then we are caught up in the what is best. THERE IS NO BEST other than what is best for you. David let your ears decide and read less. Your ears will tell you what is best for you. If you can not hear them, why take a chance? Why not buy an amp you can hear that you like? Good Luck thanks Carl for the correction
Mitcho, wasn't trying to dog you. And I do feel I'm helping David99. OF COURSE he should decide for himself, but there's nothing wrong with hearing the experiences of others, either. Anyway, happy listening and all the best!
From the reviews and the price the pass aleph 3 sounds like the amp I want also.(I now have classe, MIT, wadia, thiel, and a passive preamp). But now I'm scared about the bass. well would the problem be fixed if we all just used them as mono blocks? And carl stay the hell out of this! (I just said that so at least someone will respond to this posting).
My concern has diminished concerning the bass.It wont be the best avaliable but if the bass was poor or even average I dont feel it would have gotten a class A rating or won amp of the year along with the Krell 600.Also you better watch out if you plan on using this amp with a passive pre.It wont cut it.The aleph 3 input impedence is too low.
I agree with carl on the KAV-250A but I also think the Conrad Johnson MF2500 is also an excellent choice. Both fully represent what you are looking for in your next amp.
Kacz, get a coffee enema. (Just said that cause Kacz made me.) I don't think the Aleph-3 is a bad amp, and if you prefer what it does right, over what the KAV-250a does right, then it's probably a better match for your system.