Looking for a new powerful amp.

I just purchased a Audio Research Ref 3. Now I'm looking to purchase a new amp. My current speakers are Tannoy system 1200's. the new amp must be able to play very loud at times. the type of music ranges from R&B to Hip Hop to Pop.
I may eventually be changing the speakers to Vandersteens 5a's.
I was thinking maybe a Krell amp???

please give me any feedback you might have on the speakers and amps.
CJ Premier 350
Jon p, its hard to give you the information you are seeking because your question is so general. Do you prefer SS vs. tubes, even though you mentioned Krell, if I got my facts straight if you go the the Vandersteen 5a's they have built-in subwoofer amps, so you might not need as much power as you would with other speakers. You have a great new pre-amp, so I would believe that you have a budget that would allow you to audition many reference level amps to match the performance level and cost of the AR Ref 3. I would recommend that you audition such amps as an Edge NL-10.1, Pass LabsX-350.5, or the Ayre's latest amp. They are all wonderful sounding and might be what you are looking for, but your personnal taste and synergy with your gear, would lead to your decision. I went through a process of auditioning over six different amps and decided on the Pass LabsX-350.5 in my system. Hope this helps.
The new krells are really good, but I think the Classe Omicron or Omega are better. I have owned the Krell FPB 700cx, and the Classe Omicron and the omicron is simply more musical with greater resolution and reserve. JMO
I have heard the 5as powered with the newer Parasound monoblocks with excellent results. Very neutral and really made the Vandersteens very dynamic.
Thanks for the responses so far...

Teajay, I've been a fan of SS for many years, I currently have a Proceed Hpa-2 in the system that i listed. And i have Levinson 436's in another system with Revel Salons.
That being said, I've come to really appreciate the tube sound. My main concern with the system i've listed is a dynamic powerful amp that will compliment the music i will be listening to. Also, the Vandersteen's are just one choice that was suggested to me. I will be auditioning them next weekend.
If anyone has any other suggestions about Amps or Speakers, please let me know.
I am using the Pass Labs X250.5 with a tube preamp right now and it is a wonderful combination. Best my system has ever sounded. I see several demo 250.5's on sale now at really good prices. Consider it.
Jon p, when I went through my auditioning process it included three highly regarded tube amps, along with the solid state contenders that I listed in my first response. If, you like what I call the "musicality/liquidity" of tubes, but want the extension,details, and slam of SS, please audition a Pass LabsX-350.5 in your system. I posted a review on the 350.5 here on the GON that will give you more details and hopefully will be helpful to you. I never say any piece is the "BEST" in the world, there's many great sounding gear, however I think Mr. Nelson Pass really came up with a winner in his new .5 series amps. They give you the warmth/ease of the highly acclaimed Aleph series, with great dynamics/details of the first generation X amps.
I agree with Brianwater the CJ premier 350 is an excellent choice. It is a very detailed and musical amplifier with large amounts of finese and power. There may be more powerful amps available but very few offer the resolution and detail this amp does.

I've always really liked the McCormack amps with Vandersteen. The McCormacks work well with tube pre-amps too.
I also have an ARC REF3 which I use with a powerful SS amp. In my case I use a Boulder 2060. It is a combo that I like very much.

David Shapiro
I have Henry Ho's H2O Signature Monos mated with his new "Fire" preamp. They are powering the world's toughest speaker load like it is a play thing, other monster amps wimped out on. Their sound is what I like to characterize as, "Finest tubes on steroids."
Then get this one http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?ampstran&1136581409. More power and "slam" than you can shake a stick at. Yeah, the Crown name scares away some audiophile types, but this is not your typical Crown amp.

Check this out for some technical detail http://www.crownaudio.com/pdf/legacy/136734.pdf.
I 2nd the McCormack suggestion. I have a DNA-500: Detailed, musical, remarkably controlled bass, loads of finesse, tons of power(500w into 8, 900w into 4) - it doesn't get much better than this under $15K. Also built like a tank. Can probably be had used under $5K if you look. Lots of rave reviews are actually on the money (for a change) regarding the DNA-500.

Steve McCormack's "statement" piece.
Audio Refinement Multi 2 , if you're going to buy new speakers, get the new speakers first. otherwise you will likely be wasting your money and throwing away you best oppurtunity to affect the sound of your new speaker system.

On your current speakers the Multi will hold its own quite nicely for now.

Krell's sound terrible with ARC front ends BTW, a terrible match of two bright thin components.
thanks for the info guys...
I'm going to audition the Pass X350.5 and Audio Research 300.2...
I will probably not upgrade the speakers until sometime next year. the Tannoy's will do for now. Btw, the sensitivity rating on the Tannoy 1200's is 95db/1w @ 1m.

please give anymore feedback that you may have.
Krell..bright thin component.

What kind of hash are you smoking D edwards cause it must be quite stale by now.
Stevecham I am with you I would not classify Krell as bright and thin either. Pass is a good choice as is Krell but with a 95db speaker I am not sure you need all that power. But of course if you change speakers with a more inefficent design then the power will come in handy.

Don't forget to consider Odyssey Extreme Monoblocks. I absolutely love them. Would also try to find a pair of Intuitive Design Summits to try to audition. If you do buy a different brand of speaker, then I would NOT recommend listening to the Summits afterwards. These have an unbelievable combination of high end detail and smoothness like I've heard in no other loudspeaker--ever--at any price. They image like crazy, are balanced, and even have pretty decent bass, with a rolloff somewhere around 40 hertz. Mine are augmented with a Rel Storm 3 sub-bass unit, but the crossover is set somewhere around 28 hertz on the Rel. The combination I have now is just MAGICAL. FYI. I'm not a dealer, just a believer and owner.
I agree with dedwards. Both Krell and ARC have arid, grainy, and lean sonic characters. There are far better choices at all price points in both solid state and tubed iterations.
Odyssey's are the most neutral, and just correct sounding, bass is lean if the recording is, but if the bass is there it will blow you out of the room. So they are kinda a lab reference style amp with musicality unsurpassed in the price range, but don't buy if you do not want to hear the truth, go with a colored amp to offset if necessary.
Arid, as opposed to liquid or wet i.e. undefined, loose and no detail

Grainy, as opposed to smooth i.e. undefined or no detail

Lean sonic character, as opposed to artificially elevated mid bass hump i.e. inaccurate across the frequency band, especially at extended frequencies.

Yeah I agree with that.
Nuforce 9's.
I've heard the Classe CA-2200 on a pair of B&W 802D's, and the sound was sublime.
Dear Pardales, May I know which tube preamp are you using with your Pass Labs 250.5? I have a 250.5 as well, I'm having hard time to looking for a right preamp to match it. Thank you!
when you match the Ref3 with a solid state amp, make sure you look at input sensitivity of the amplifier. Ref3 has relatively high gain, just as most tube preamps do.

For example McCormack DNA-500. Awesome amp. But most likely it'll be tough to match with Ref3, especially balanced, since the Ref3's output gain in balanced mode is 11.6db, although its output impedance is 600ohms balanced and 300ohms single-ended.

DNA-500 input is 10kohms balanced and I beleive it's 100k in single-ended. This just may be too much for Ref3 and you may end up overdriving it.

If you look at ARC current line of amps, for instance 300.2, you'll find input sensitivity 150K ohms single-ended, 300K ohms balanced differential.

If you ever consider the DNA-500 though, make sure you e-mail or call McCormack audio and ask if it's OK to match this amp with a preamp with that kind of gain.

I think this should be considered regardless of which amp you end up with. Just check before you buy. Or you will not be able to enjoy latenight listening. If that's an issue for you.

Just my opinion and something I personally would consider.