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I agree about the Mastersound, but the S6, I had one for a while, whilst my main amp was going through a long repair, I thought it was frankly poor. I found it soft, lacking in detail and tonality. Maybe it was just my system.
Now Ayon make wonderful amps and I don't know why they don't get more recognition. I compared the Orion to the similarly priced Spark and if you can manage on 20 watts, which you should do with Zu, it is clearly a better amp. Lovely rich, but detailed tone, good frequency extremes for a tube amp. I prefered it to the much repected Viva Solista, I used for 4 years.
The Mastersound Compact 845 is a hard act to follow, this is for sure! If you have already had an S6, and thought it was out of context with the system, this is entirely possible regarding the older S6. The new S6 is completely different from the ground up. Mastersound also makes the new Piccolo, which is 8 watts. I have always feared flea powered amplifiers, yet some folks say the first watt is the best watt. Don't really know where I sit on that panel as I have never owned one. Another suggestion that seems to get exceptional praise are the Shindo products. I am building my own OTL's presently which for the money, pretty much embarrass everything I have heard to date at any audio-aushow I have ever been in attendance at. Pass the solder and paste please ! LOL.
The thing that gets me and probably anyone else who is ate up with this sickness!! Lol is my Orion sounds great but since I have never heard a 2a3, or 300b amp or mastersound or shindo. I wonder if I'm missing something that changing amps would give me? I also would love to try a otl type amp. In order for me to do that I have to sell my Orion and gamble on liking the sound of the other amps. These speakers are by far the best I have heard but I want them to give me all they have and just not sure I'm getting that at the present? Thanks for all the suggestions
Also I really need to stay below $2000 used so the mastersound and others are out of my range. So I should say I am looking for the best match with my speakers for un 2k. I'm sure I will never be able to afford the really expensive offerings from mastersound and shindo or atmosphere for that matter.
The Melody I2A3 goes very well with Zu......I have bought and sold three of them and honestly still wish I had the last one that I sold. I have tried 10 or so amps and though others have been a little better, none were dramatically better, even at retail prices approaching $10,000. Out of those I tried, I recommend Art Audio PX-25, Coincident Frankenstein 300, Shuguang 300 Integrated from Grant Fidelity (within your budget), and my current favorite, Decware mini Torii or Tori. I am certain that any of those would be great, as a matter of fact I just bid on the Zu Presence pair on EBay and immediately ordered the Tori to mate with it but I lost the bidding. Good luck and keep in touch with what works.