My current system consists of a Teac VRDS-25 CD player with a superclock used only as a transport (and a streamer) into a Weiss DAC 202. The Weiss feeds a BAT VK40 preamp modified with Mundorf SilverOil coupling caps. The powers amps are DIY Hypex Ncore NC400 based monoblocks feeding the Vienna Acoustics Mahlers speakers with upgraded crossover components. There is no analogue front end. I mainly listen to rock, progressive metal/symphonic metal and a little opera.
The system sounds good but I feel the highs are little harsh, perhaps even thin with perhaps a hint of sibilance which I think could be associated with the Class D amplification. I am therefore thinking of either upgrading the monoblocks or replace the preamp and the power amps with a quality integrated. Valves are out, the Mahlers while are relatively efficient, present a difficult load dropping to below 3 Ohms at some frequencies bellow 100Hz, IMO they need loads of current to drive them properly.
I am considering the following integrated amps:
- Gryphon Diablo ( the original, NOT the 3000) / Diablo120
- T+A PA3000HV
- ASR Emitter II (Exclusive)
- Vitus RI-100
- Audio Flight FLS10
Audio Analogue Maestro Anniversary
- Audionet Watt?
Alternatively I keep the BAT preamp and I look for a power amp:
- Old secondhand Gryphon Antileon (perhaps Signature, not the EVO)
I am based in Europe, all of the above are within my budget (mostly secondhand), I could stretch my budget for something exceptional. Unfortunately there is no way I could audition any of it where I live so it is going to be a blind buy...
Anything else to consider? Any thoughts?