I used Primaluna PL2 tube integrated with the same speakers and had great results. They have the power to move the 602's and the sound was nice and warm. They are showing up used here for $850-1000.
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If you're a student with limited space and time, I would think twice about buying tubes. You want compact, bullet-proof, and cool running. If used is acceptable, the Naim Nait 5i would be a great choice. They go for $950-$1000 used on Audiogon, but they often don't last long. Just checked on two, and they were sold. Good listening!
Portal Panache by Portal Audio - come up used here on occasion and it is an excellent SS integrated, not forward at all, and not laid back; or maybe check with Joe Abrams directly (see A'gon Guild) to see if he has a demo for slightly more than you are looking to pay - how I got mine and came with 3 year warranty , have it in my second system which is listed if you want to see what it is matched with - not affliated with Joe or his company
I have been checking out the musical fidelity a 3.5 for around a grand. WHta do you think, does it sound warm. One thing I have always been skeptical of about the naim is that if it isnt tube, how far can the 50 watts it posses hold. What about the shanling a 3000 which can be found right around my price point and uses a tube pre and ss amp. Just looking for something warm and relaxing with my speakers.
Bigmoneyv4, I didn't read the review in Stereophile and don't know what speakers they were using. The B&W's are widely known to be bright speakers by many folks here due to the metal dome tweeter(I didn't find them to be bright anyway) and in my system, I have used Krell KAV-300i, Classe CAP-100, YBA Integre DT, Arcam Alpha 10 and pre-power combination based around Plinius amplification. Forward and bright will be more suitable to describe the Krell KAV-300i. In comparison, the Classe is warm and liquid. I have never heard Classe being described as bright sounding, and I suppose the reviewer in Stereophile that wrote about the Classe CAP-100 being bright must have experienced something "significantly" warmer with regards to the Classe. I didn't mention Arcam as it was not as warm as the Classe and lacked dynamics. Anyway, different people hear things a bit differently so your mileage may vary. Also, brightness can be caused by other issues as well, mainly room issues. If there is allowance to address room acoustics it might be worth a try.
I agree you should look at these suggestions:
PrimaLuna ProLogue 2
Naim Nait5 or 5i
NAD C355 or C372
all these are warm, musical and plenty of current. Somebody mentioned a potential lack of current from the Naim. Never seen a problem with this amp driving many different speakers to fairly high levels, and foot tapping all the time.
PrimaLuna is just sweet, sweet, sweet.
NAD or Jolida would be serviceable if others not available in your price range. C372 actually knocked out Stereophile reviewer last year.
Classe is dark sounding, not bright.
I liked this amp with my Nautilus 804's before upgrading to separates. Usually sells for under a grand. Worth waiting for IMHO and better than the newer 3.5 etc. which are bright / harsh again IMHO.