If your only concern is 2-channel, drop the SS and wake-up to tubes. For $1200 you can get a really fine tube integrated amp, or a good used set of pre and amp for just a little bit more. The jump in the sonic quailities will be priceless from the gear you are probably used to. I don't know your speakers (Diva?) nor how efficient they are. Some lower power tube units require at least 90db from the speakers they're pushing to get loud. Anyway, for an integrated I'd look at the Jolida 502B, or perhaps the or a used Audiomat Arpège...either would be in your price range, the Audiomat being around 30wpc, and the 502B I think is more like 60wpc or so. If you want to stick to separates, I think the Cary SLP-50A is a real sleeper of a Preamp (line stage only) and can be had for around $500. Leaving you $700 for a good amp. I like Mike Sanders Quicksilver stuff... for $700 you might be able to find a pair of Mini Mite amps, which are another high-end audio bargain, but only put out 25wpc, so are best with efficient speakers. The difference in sound between these suggestions and the SS in the same price bracket is a WORLD apart to my ears. Again, I don't know your speakers, and synergy is very important, but the difference I'm talking about here is worth it to dump the speakers and look for something that matches tubes better if that's not the case. Just one opinion, based on my own experiences. Good luck!!
6 responses Add your response