help with s.s. amp upgrade

greetings. have been slowly upgrading my system over the last few months. just began doing a little homework here on audiogon. i am in the market for a good used 1-2k S.S. amp.

am considering a variety of options...
arragon 8008bb - krell ksa-150 - mccormick dna -125, 250 - classe 15 etc.

without having the opportunity to actually sit down and let my ear be my guide - i was hoping to borrow a bit from your listening expertice. what can you tell me about each?

out of all these listed {and any that i missed} which is going to express more of the artists truer intention though the music? i.e. read some great reviews on the mccormick not coloring the sound... blah blah blah.

current system:

power plant: PS Audio PS-600

pre-amp: Audio Research LS3

cd: Naim CD5i

amp: Rotel RB 981 {120 wpc}

speakers: Paradigm Studio 100's V3.

speaker cables: Transparent "The Wave"

interconnects: Interlink "The Link" 200

any of this i should consider revamping?

the listening room is 13 x 22 with vaulted ceilings.

i plan on upgrading my speaker cables/interconnects a.s.a.p. and playing around quite a bit with room accustics. hoping to rest and enjoy for a bit after upgrading this phase.

thanks in advance.
i only have experience with the 8008bb. i haven't heard any of the other amps. the aragon was the most neutral amp that i used (except for a pair of palladium ii monos). i don't think the aragon concern you regarding coloring the music. i haven't heard any classe amps, though i've often heard them characterized as warm so this may be a negative if you're concerned about the integrity of the music. obviously you should listen to as many as you can and decide for yourself. just my 2 cents.
A used GamuT D-100 Mk.3 is for sale on Audiogon for $1750. This is a wonderful ss amp. It is very natural, musical (tube like), dynamic, transparent with about as good a sound stage you can get anywhere. This sounds virtually identical to the D-200 with 3 DB less headroom. There are about seven reviews which rate the D-200 at a reference level. In Europe GamuT is rated as one of the top few amps in the world. You could not go wrong with this amp. Another great deal would be a used Pass Labs Aleph 5, but not quite as good as the GamuT.
Tim,What kind of music do you listen too? I have a CJ MF2500A that sounds great with Studio100 V2,
This is easy and a no brainer for your system. Buy an ARC 100.2 it is excellent in all parameters. Don't take my word, read the feedback on
I second Raytheprinters recommendation pertaining to the cj MF2500A. I utilized one to drive a pair of thiels before moving on to a cj premier 350 and it was a very musical amp. Should be a great match up with your AR pre-amp.
I used to run a Classe CA200 (later model w/heatsinks on sides) w/an LS-3 (non B unit) & it was a great match. good luck.
The most neutral is Odyssey Extreme amps... stereo or Mono, just see reviews on and I own Khartago Monos from odyssey now and having the extreme upgrade this month they never do much wrong and cost a little less in general but maybe not the mono's... They are also about the highest current flow output you can get anywhere... And take a look around on this site and the one mentioned above many people switched from many of these amps and several alike listed on this thread for odyssey's
Second the ARC 100.2

Best darn SS or digital amp I have had in my system.
Beat all comers (several dozen) rather easily.

Only 2 stages of gain lead to about as a harmonically unadultered sound as you are going to get in SS/digital.

Screams of the best tube amps.

not kidding here.
Matrix,Have you owned all the amps mentioned above?Im sure the Odyssey is a great sounding amp! I feel pretty safe saying that all the above mentioned amps are probably great sounding amps too,,,but who appointed you Audio God!I guess we should all sell our amps and get what you like!Maybe you should give us a list of products that "never do much wrong"Tim i apologize
I think a good choice is Gamut D100 , I do not know if there is the MK3 version, but I use D200 mK3 and no other SS amplifer I heard is similiar or better- ML, Krell,Mccmarck, Rotel, mcintosh, Jeff rowland( this is very good too)
Raytheprinter, I thank you for pointing out that for some reason my opinion looks offensive, and thought that I would make a suggestion my friend just like any one else did before me on this thread,not sure what side of the bed you fell off onto your amp today but sorry it hurt so much! And yes I have owned very similar amps to the above mentioned and again gave a solid opinion and some resource's to check out which will in fact show hundreds of opinions on the amps and in fact show many that have owned these amps and their opinions vs. them, I never stated anything beyond take a look at the online resources for re-issurance, Thats it not sure why it offended you but sorry, we can argue Ferrari vs. Lamborgini all day but that was not my position or intention. And beyond that its very simple, Odyssey gives a 20 year warranty, can be purchased new for half what most can be bought Used for and bottom line open one up and be very suprised at the even higher quality parts and sound given vs. ARC, KRELL or any one else. I am like you I am sure, and like to research, Hear, and see quality, And I bet have considered, and seen considere and heard many amps just like you, and purchased several right off here on just the same as you to my friend. But thanks for the audio god appointment because I am sure somebody will see the light :) (jK)
Matrix,You just seem to be implying that your amp is better than all the others mentioned,and to you it is!But to say its the MOST Neutral is your opinion at best !Very subjective,,anyway peace!
ray, i am all over the board with music. last cd's played? jeff buckley, martin sexton, john coltrane, astrud gilberto, massive attack, kruder and dorfmeister, willie nelson, miles davis, rolling stones, mozart, mc solaar, nora jones, thievery corp., b-tribe, woodwork, stevie wonder, stevie ray vaghn, etc

not familiar with CJ MF2500A. who makes it and how much $ do those run? what do you like most about it? what else have you heard with the V2's?
sounds great. do you think the gamut 100 would be sufficient enough to command the studio 100's? do you think it would sound better than the mccormick dna 225?
odyssey? will have to look around to research them a bit. hopefully within my budget.
Georgemg, interesting you mentioned krell and mccormick. these are two items that have been bouncing around at the top of my list. would you mind sharing with me how the gamut sounded in comparison? i've only heard krell but was intrigued by the mccormick dna-225 reviews and thought the extra power would help out in the long run. there is a used one available for $1700.

The MF2500A is made by conrad johnson and is an excellent amplifier. It sells new for about $4000 USD and is 250wpc into an 8ohm load. You can buy one used for about $1800-$2000USD if you buy a used one make sure it is the "A" model. Sonic characteristics are that it is very musical and has a similar sonic signiture to their tube amps for which they are better known; an excellent amp for jazz and classical. For more information you can puruse their website at as a side bar they also own McCormack.

thanks chuck. i plan on getting out and finding a place to demo this piece. somehow 250 wpc makes more sense with the speakers i have.

The Odyssey Extreme monoblocks somethimes can be purchased used here on A'gon for around 2000 dollars. I have no experience with any amp to compare them to other than the B&K ST140 I owned previously. I wrote a review on these here on A'gon. I personally think that they are wonderful. I have been told by a person who KNOWS audio that these are among the top 20 amplifiers in the world. I also happen to really like the Conrad Johnson and Classe lines. No experience with Krell of McCormack (spelling?) amps. I really love my Odyssey's, though. Klaus has a lot of followers in the USA, and is basically manufacturing a licensed version of the Symphonic Line amplifiers, which sell in Europe for about DOUBLE what his comparable products sell for here in the USA. I would think it's pretty hard to go too far wrong with any of the choices you mention above, with the qualifying statement that my experience with some of the brands is nonexistant.

I had for one year one maccmarck DNA 1 dlx, I used it with TLC passive , the sound was pristine and cristaline, but after some time I changed it for AR Vt100mk2, and than I changed again to another amplifier: gamut d200 mk3, and I think gamut sound is a little similiar with maccomarck sound, I think because I am using AA capitolee direct in gamut,( I was using before one bat vk5i)and this give a cristaline sound, but gamut sound is very diferent and better to me than others.