How about a Bryston 9B SST? 5 ch, 120wpc, THX certified. Plenty of power and headroom for center and rears. Around $2000 used.
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Tvad - Thanks for the suggestion.
Guess my question doesn't warrant more then one public response...
Anyway, I have used Talons and Martin Logans with both Bryston 4B-ST/5B-ST and Pass Labs X-250/X-3 combos, and have not had the best synergy with any of these amp/speaker pairings. I have tremendous respect for these product lines, but unfortunately, I found that both speakers need an amp with well-rounded, deep, sustained bass to sound their best. The Brystons and Pass seemed too reserved and controlled in the mid- and lower-bass regions to make the speakers sound full and warm. This is where the Sim Audio amp clearly won out with the Talons IMS.
Though this is certainly less of an issue with Home Theater center & rears, I still want to shoot for the best match for these speakers that I can find for the price.
Anybody else have experience with the models I listed or any other suggestions?????
My VAC's were one of the very first pairs made. They were one of 3 demo pair used to introduce the model at CES 2003 in the VAC room. So, they are going back to the factory soon for the latest upgrades that are now standard equipment. Kevin Hayes said the upgrades notably improve sound quality and broaden their flexibility in accommodating a larger range of speaker designs. He is also going to install the Balanced input option at the same time, so I will reserve judgement until they return in full battle trim. I would say that - so far - I am quite impressed.
As for the Sim Titan, I don't really have room nor can I justify a $6000 amp to run center & surrounds. However, it will stay here long enough to allow me to do some critical comparisons with the VAC's when they return.