Driving M-L Requests

I just purchased a pair of Martin-Logan Requests with a Rel Stadium III and I'm hoping to make an informed decision about which way to go (ss or tube). I'm running a McIntosh MC352 currently but don't feel this is the right amp for electrostatics. I'm leaning towards Plinius(SA102) but would love to hear your opinions for direction. Pre-amp is Cary SLP2002. Initially I'm looking for something +/- $5000.00. Thanks for help.
I own ML Monolith IIs (modified and bi-amped), but originally used them with Rowland 5 and later Mark Levinson Reference 20.0. I tried them with a Cary Signature monoblock, but that wasn't enough for these speakers. I would consider looking into the Levinson 20 series (not necessarily the 20.0). The 20 series does have a slightly dark character to it, which might be a little on the mellow and warm side the with Cary pre-amp, but I personally like that combination with the M-Ls very tranparent and open character. I think it's really going to boil down to personal preference. At that price range there are many very good sounding amps that will work well with both the pre-amp and the speakers--so you may be able to narrow it down with some advice here, but your preferences will ultimately be the deciding factor. Hopefully, I've given you one possible option/avenue--I'm sure there will be many more on this thread.
Labtec -

Congrats on your new Martin Logans! I'm a Sound Lab dealer, which means I also specialize in amplifiers that work well with electrostats.

My personal opinion is that, wherever possible, electrostats like to be driven by tubes. If that isn't possible, then three solid state amplifier lines that work exceptionally well with electrostats are InnerSound, Clayton Audio, and Warner Imaging. They have different qualities, and offhand I'd suggest the warmish Warner Imaging amps as the likely front-runner for use with your Requests. Among solid state amps I don't carry that I like are big Pass Alephs, Boulder, and older Jeff Rowland.

In tubes, you have many options. I happen to carry Air-Tight, Atma-Sphere, JoLida, and Wolcott - all of which offer models in your price ballpark that would work well. Other tube amps that should work well with your Martin Logans include VTL (preferably 450 and up), Audio Research (larger models), VAC, and KR Enterprises.

You have many options, and far more right choices than wrong ones before you. Which amp is right for you depends on your listening style and what qualities matter most, as well as what imperfections are most objectionable. So before making a specific recommendation, let me ask you:

How loud do you normally listen? How important is an occasional foray into extremely high SPL's?

What colorations are you especially sensitive to? For example, I can't stand upper midrange/lower treble emphasis, which tends to make close-miked female vocalists sound too forward and even harsh. What are your pet peeves?

Are you willing to consider used or exotic/discontinued amps if the price is right and warranty service is available?

Best of luck on your quest!

Duke LeJeune
I use a 200 watt Meridian amp(8 Ohm) for my SL's coupled with a Martin-Logan Descent Subwoofer. The Meridian puts out 340 watts in 4 ohm and goes below 2ohm at peaks. The Meridian 557 Power Amp is a sleeper and overlooked by the audio industry IMHO. New about $2700 used about $1-1300. Steve