Gamut L5 - best solid state and best tube amp comb


I'm in the market for a used amp. Currently I'm driving my L5 speakers with an Einstein 100W stereo amp. It runs out of power at moderate volumes. What used SS or tube amp would mate well?

I'm looking for big sound stage and great imaging in an amp with lots of reserve power. I'm told these speakers dip to 2.8 ohms around 300hz. I listen to a wide range of music, but tend toward jazz and classical.

Preamp is Einstein, speaker cables are Analysis plus big silver ovals, not bi-amped currently. thanks.
I use a CJ 350; the L5s are a reasonably difficult load. The CJ gets quite hot after a long listening session but has no trouble driving them as loud as I want. The CJ gets barely warm driving my Spendor S100s to the same volume. My Meridian 605s shut down after a little while on the L5s, they had no trouble with my Apogee Duetta Signatures. Gamut's own power amp should also work well but I haven't used one myself. A Krell 302 or 402 should also work very well. In a more reasonable price bracket there is a Marantz S11 power amp on here for $2195 and a Pass X150 for $1895. It is my opinion that these would work but have not tried them. I use Cardas GR speaker cable with Antipodes jumper and Audia Flight line stage.I found running the cables to the treble posts worked better in my system. Email me if you like.
I have used plinius sb301, and bel canto ref1000m to very good effect, no power problems.
Now using aesthetix atlas - great power, detail, air, control, somehow best of tubes and ss. Sought of working mans Lamm.
Also used cardas GR, it's perhaps a little too dark.
Also using audio research line stage.
I would definitely consider the Gamut Di150, a wonderful integrated amp.
Thanks for the tip on the CJ 350. Was the sound stage comparable to a tube amp?

Also, it looks like you run subs behind the L5s, is that true? I was thinking about that but was wondering how easy integration was... can you describe your experience?


Hi Simon,
Great advice, I'll look into the Atlas. Did you ever consider running subs?

Hi Mike,
Are you currently using the Di150 on L5s? I'm not wedded to the Einstein pre, but it is really great with NOS tubes. Can you tell me more about the sound and sound stage of the Di150 (how is the timbre, and did it run out of gas? did it present larger than tube gear, same or some where in the middle)?
Hi Simon,
I'm considering the Aesthetix,as I saw one offered. I have seen a couple of reviews that said the amp was a little laid back in the mid range and slightly rolled off on the high end.

What is your opinion on the sound?

Also curious what amp you used before the Aesthetix and if you ever tried a powerful tube amp. Also, does the Aesthetix need power conditioning and a special power cord?

Lastly, ever tried bi-amping the L5s?

Will, I cant give you definitive answers to the comparisons you ask about. I owned and loved the Di150 for a few years and heard it with quite a few speakers, but not the L5. I also compared it with a few high end amps. I stayed with Gamut amps and moved up the range and i would not hesitate in recommending it. It seems to have plenty of power and throws a nice soundstage. It also has great micro and macro dynamics and above all it is transparent. Read the great reviews on this amp. I would also say Gamut is likely to have used their amps in developing their speakers.
I haven't used tube amps for some time but listen to them on other systems; the sound stage is deeper on tubes but I don't find it as realistic as SS, YMMV. They don't really need the subs and I often don't use them; I had the subs before I got the L5s. I don't really have that much trouble with integration as I am using REL Stadium subs which I start to roll off at around 30hz on the top end; L5s run full range as the RELs are designed to do only the very low bass; they have no facilities to run a line level signal out to the amp and I wouldn't use it if they did. In any case I would highly recommend some form of room treatment for almost any room; best investment I ever made in audio. There is good info on setting up subs on the Sumico site; I bought the soundtrack from Sneakers as a set up CD on their recommendation and it works well.