sunfire sig 2 channel bar none, can drive any speaker on the planet with excellent sound.
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I would agree that the Sunfire can pretty much drive whatever you throw at it. Low impedance, high reactance speakers are a breeze with the amp never sounding compressed or smeary at any volume level. It just gets louder and louder as you increase the gain. While it may not have as much of a "slam factor" as some other amps, it is quite a deal for the money. This is ESPECIALLY true if buying used. Sean
I am a big Kappa fan (of the original series, not so much the X.1's , I prefer non-ported) I have 2 pairs of Kappa 9's, 1 pair of 8's, 1 pair of 7's, 1 pair of 6's and 2 pairs of 5's. I have fried a couple of amps that were not up to the job on my Kappa 9's. I too through recommendations tried the Sunfire Signature amp. It is to say the very least a match made in heaven. I bi-wired the Sunfire Signature (600 watts per channel into 8 ohms. 1200 into 4 ohms. 2400!!!! into 2 ohms and 4000!!!!!!!!! into 1 ohm. and just FYI the Kappa 9's can drop into the 0.9 ohm range at times, so mega power is available as needed) The Kappa 9's work best bi-wired also. And with the Sunfire's choice of current, voltage or both outputs it makes the most of bi-wireing. I could really go on for days and days singing the praises of this combination. I am now a huge fan of Sunfire products as well as I now own the Classic Vacuum Tube pre-amp, 4 Sunfire Sig Stereo amps, Sunfire Theater Grand II, and the Cinema Grand Sig 5 channel amp as well. I only list this equipment so that you know that I know that of which I speak of. (or something like that) As far as what you should pay for a Sunfire Signature, buy used by all means. They have a very good warranty program that covers your amp for 5 years from date of manufacture even if you don't have the reciept or are not the original owner. And any price less than $2000 is a good deal for this amp that retails for $3195. And not to plug my own sale, but I have one more Sunfire Stereo Signature amp than I need and I was planning to sell it soon. Contact me if you are interested and then I will place an ad on Audiogon so they get their listing fee. But even if you don't want to buy it from me, PLEASE use this combination of Kappa 9 and Sunfire Stereo Signature (not the normal 300 wpc non-sig version either) and by ALL MEANS please bi-wire according to their instructions for the best results.
I am glad to see such rave reviews on sunfire,everybody seems to be impressesd with status only and not sonics, my system of signatures running my system has flat out kicked levinson 336,no problem . this is with mlogan statement2s theater and prodigy rears, theater grand2, also levinson32 with360s and 37 transport, the only amp i will try in the future is a krell600c , just to see the difference, sorry to get off the subject,like my original post said the sig can drive anything, even my sub columns using 16 12inch woofers,without heat, pretty amazing,take care from engineering dept of ml, regards mike
Here's a couple of mid/hi end amps I have owned or auditioned extensively. They are all well reviewed and good value for the money -- especially used. Above this price point I believe you get dimishing performnace and thus have to spend a lot more to get noticeably better sound. Used, these amps can sometimes be find in the $2700 - $3500 rannge. The two SS amps are made in Canada, so you're also taking advantage of the lower CDN dollar Xchange against the US dollar.
Classe 301: lush and tube like, a touch laid back, but never lacking in power reserve. Doesn't care about hard to drive speakers. Seems to sit somewhere between Krell and tubes with respect to detail and "firmness". Classe Cam 350's are also very good, but I've not seen them used and they may be out of the price range you are considering.
SIM W5 - tons of power (make sure its the new 190W you consider, not the older 175W model). Firm botom end, tight and fast, not quite as sweet as the Classe, but excellent on most speakers. Stereophile gives it a class A rating, unusal for an SS amp costing under $5K new. After hearing it in a good room with some JM lab speakers, I agree with Stereophile -- this is both high performance AND value.
Also consider Aragon 8008. Not quite in league of the others, but can be had for about $1750 - $1900 used.
Above all, go listen BEFORE you make up your mind -- there are many good SS amps out there. If you wnat tubes, I recommend the Aranov 9100s - under $3K used - not well known, but decent bottom end for a tube. Likes a subwoofer to help out if you have inefficient speakers.
My current combo is Aranov 9100s and a Rel Stadium II helping out the bottom end. Liked it better than the Classe 301 and W5 (without the sub). My mains are flat to about 35Hz but I find the sub still gets rid of room problems, takes some of the workload off the tubes and gives me 80% of the SS bottom end. --Lorne
I used to run a set of Adcom 565 mono blocks on a set of Infinity Kappa 8's & they played loud enough that I could wear my earplugs & pretend I was at a concert. I also brought home a Sunfire amp to give it a test drive & it caught on fire! No kidding, I thought my drivers were going to start shooting voice coils across the room by the sounds that they were making. I was using a Cary pre at the time & it was actually a pretty sweet combination. A used set of 565's can be had for around $900.00. Another good high current amp for the kappas is a Bryston. I used a 4B ST with the Cary & Infinity's & although not quite as loud, had much better detail & a bigger soundstage. Both Adcom & Bryston were fantastic for playing music in the range of loud to extremely loud. I've since changed everything in my system but you could feed the old style Kappa's designed by Arnie Nudell as much CLEAN power as you wanted without fear. Good luck in your search!
Check out the Bryston 4B-ST or if you need more power then the 7B-ST. Two of the best amps out there for the price. Check out ratings from Stereophile (4B-ST - B, 7B-ST - A). Bryston website has some very good reviews you can read. Excellent bargain if you can find one used. They have a 20 year transferable warranty - no questions asked. I highly recommend them.