If I was going to change out SS amps in my system, the Edge amps would be on my short list.I have never heard them, but I have friends who I truest who say they are some of the best sounding SS amps made.
We are Edge dealers and have had an NL-10 for about a year. In January we added its big brother -- the NL Signature 1 monoblocks -- to our show floor. Edge amps take a while to break in: at least a couple of months of constant play (ocean waves at night works pretty well) and continue to improve over at least their first year. So we played the NL-10 *a lot*, and now we are playing the monoblocks a lot.
As far as other amplifiers go, we have newly broken in Lamm ML1.1s and the Audio Aero Capitole -- both tubed push-pull designs. We also have Levinson 20.6 monoblocks that were part of our legacy equipment for several years before we opened our store, and are quite familiar with the Levinson sound. Other Amps We Really Like include the Tenor 75s and we certainly can't wait to compare the hybrid Tenor 300s against the Sig Ones.
The NL-series Edge amps are very smooth, fast and detailed. The NL-10 is just a little PRaT (Pacing Rhythm and Timing) box, assuming complementary source and cabling. The entire note envelope is just exceedingly well-rendered. The Sig Ones certainly have more slam and frankly are better in every respect (they better be), but I think of the NL-10 as very much a best buy. Great dynamics, *no* glare, nice soundstage.
Harder-to-drive speakers or a big room will benefit from the extra power in the NL-12 (the bigger transformers and higher current capacity of the '12 means more than simply the 225-to-300 watt upgrade).
I had the opportunity to hear Gryphon briefly at CES this year, but based on a single session with an all-Gryphon setup, I think that Edge is more refined. We have repeatedly listened to the Halcros and think that Edge is more musical, that perhaps Halcro is just a bit on the cool side. I would like to hear the new Hovland solid-state Radia again - it was very nice but like the Gryphon, we only heard it briefly, at CES. The Radia is in the same cost ballpark as the NL-10. And at some point in the coming months we will be getting in the solid-state Lamms - probably the M1.1s - which should prove to be another entertaining comparison: in general I find the Lamm equipment to be quite seductive and coherent.
Well I certainly went on and on. Hope it was helpful, and that you get to hear the Edge sometime.
Other system components: Acapella Campanile speakers, Audio Aero Capitole Mk II cdp, Lamm L2 pre, Nordost Valhalla, Shunyata Anacondas
- neli (Edge, Acapella, Audio Aero, Lamm, Nordost, Shunyata dealer)