I have picked up the CI Audio D200 to replace my tubes amps during the summer months. Last summer the system put out so much heat that after an hour my room was just too hot, and I was force to turn the system off. At first I tried the BAT 600se but sold it three months later because they never warmed up to me, I then picked up the CI Audio D200s mainly because they were small and from what I read they had a tube type sound. To my ears the CI Audio D200 sounds pretty good they are smooth easy on the ear and at the same time they are very detailed. IMHO it was a good move. But I also am going to keep my tube amps around because theres nothing like a very good tube amp period. YMMV
I can see myself also looking into the H2O Audio Signature M250 monos as well.
I have CI D200 amps (five of them) which replaced CarverPro ZR1600 amps (three of them) in my multichannel system. The D200 amps are fine-sounding, and not too expensive. However, I don't think that they are significantly (if at all) better than the ZR1600s, which produce more power at half the cost. All this driving Maggie 1.6 speakers. Neither amp generates heat.
Check out Gilmore Audio. I have the stereo Raven amp (250 wpc into 4 ohms), which is overkill power-wise for my Druids, and costs $3500. If you need more power, the Raptor monos produce 500wpc for $5000. They are built like tanks, sound great (beat out Atmasphere and NuForce in my system - see review section for details), have bass control and punch in spades, and are 93dB efficient. http://www.glacieraudio.com/new%20Glacier%20Audio%20Site/Products%20folder/Gilmore/Gilmore-amps.htm
Like Moe,I too still own a tube amplifier although it sees less and less time in my system. I've auditioned five other switching amplifiers and to my ears none of them offer the same presentation as the tubed amp. Nor can the tubed amp offer the attractive characteristics of the switchers.
In my system the key to going green is the battery powered preamp. The class D's low current draw at idle is the only standby usage. Not until I power up a front end component does my AC usage increase and because of class D's efficiency even that draw is minimal. The convenience of simply powering the source component I find to be an incredible luxury.
Cullen Circuits "Wyred 4 Sound" amps in my system are musical, very detailed and dead quiet. Impressive build quality and well-engineered, including a switchable input impedance to optimally match either tube or ss linestage.
What a dilemma, lots of conflicting opinions out there on gear and no way to hear any of them in Vancouver before I purchase. Then again I've bought all my gear that way and I have been very happy and probably very lucky. Any opinions about the halcro mc20 compared to the latest NuForce v9se 2. Remember, I have had a pair of Bel Canto EVo 200.2 and paired with the right tube Pre Amp they were very engaging.
I cannot recommend these highly enough -- they are stunning performers:
I own the Red Wine Audio 30.2 and love it. It will change your opinion of what a digital amp is. It outclasses them all, except if you need more power, but that will sacrifice the sound. It sounds more seductive and tube-like and many tube amps I"ve owned but with bass definition and dynamics of a top notch SS amp.
The RWA amps run on high current sla battery power. I heard the 70.2s and when I get the funds, they will be my next purchase along with the Isabella preamp that RWA is releasing soon. If you cant tell, I'm a very happy camper with RWA.
As for going green, maybe they can be charged via a solar panel? Vinnie Rossi at RWA might be able to make it happen.
Jeff, you hit the nail on the head. The 30.2 really is in its own class. Like fine wine, it got even better with time. After going through so much equipment it is nice to find a keeper! and no more heat from tubes this summer.
IMO if you are spending more than $100 per month to heat your home mid-winter (Where it snows) you have options to go green. If your electric bill is more than $20 you have options to go green. If you are getting less than 40 miles per gallon or are burning fossil fuels in your car you have options to go green. All these will cost $$ but the payback periods are looking more attractive daily.
An amplifier IMO is the least of our problems. If you want to decrease your carbon footprint you have to look at your entire picture. Your amp is probably .05%.
For digital amps I would go with T+A if I could lay out the lute.
Before I blow out my candle, how might it interact with the Galo Ref. 3s.
The above referring to Red Wine 70.2
Kabir, I am running Gallo Ref. 3.1s. I mentioned this on another thread here on agon --
RWA also has a forum on audiocircle and i've seen some good feedback from more of us Gallo owners, such as this --
As good as the 30.2 is the 70.2s are even better with the Gallo. You can't go wrong,and RWA offers a 30-day so you'll be able to find out if htey are right for you wihtout taking a loss.
Check reviews, both in professional journals and here on internet. The best amplifier for slighly more then $5k is Spectron Musician III SE. Period. Just act...
All The best
Anyone looked into the life expectancy and cost for new batteries.
With the new RWA amps, they feature a SMART module that automatically turns off the amp if the battery voltage drops too low, so you dont have to worry about accidentally killing the battery. I believe the life of the battery is 2 to 4 years and the cost is cheap at around $20 each times two batteries = $40. My 30.2 manual states that the batteris are user replaceable and gives directions to replace them when the time comes. Seems easy enough.
"An amplifier IMO is the least of our problems. If you want to decrease your carbon footprint you have to look at your entire picture. Your amp is probably .05%."
Absolutely true. I also like the idea of low consumption but one must really look at the big picture first. Those unneeded car trips, idling at the store or school waiting for whoever, the drive-throughs while you wait for the pimply-faced youth to find the pickles.
The "I don't like white light so I won't use energy efficient bulbs" argument, the constant lawn sprinking even when it's raining (I am in Atlanta where the drought is serious and is going to get worse, and still people water their lawns like there's no tomorrow), the Hummers and other behemoths "because I can"... the list goes on and on and on.
We Americans are the most wasteful people on this planet by far... 5% of the population consuming 20% or more of resources. A combination of ignorance and arrogance if you ask me.
Green amps... sure, why not? Helps the conscience at least. Don't forget to plug them into that power regenerator that drinks the juice by the gallon!
Ok, replaceable batteries but what happens when Red Wine Audio is no longer, lets say 5 years done the road. You have retired and because you were foolish and through what little hard earned money you had on this relentless habit, you can't be running out and dropping another $5000 on a new amp. Lets face it, it has to stop sometime. Will there be a replacement battery available? Call me paranoid, but that's exactly what happened to my Shanling SACD player. It stopped working and they will not fix it because they no longer make that model; It's only a year and a half years old! Are there any reassurances?
Thanks for everyones input.
Batteries are a simple technology. It would never be an issue. It might not have the company stamp, but you would always have music.
Good luck. Keep posting the changes.
The RWA amps use a pair of SLA UB1250 F1 12 Volt 5AH batteries. Easily available and can be had for $12.00 each. No worries about future availability. I'd be more concerned about sourcing a favorite vintage NOS tube in 20 years.