Looking for amp advice (punk, rock & reggae edition)


My current amp isn’t doing it for me. Marantz pm6005 which is class D @45 wpc. Speakers are Focal Chorus 807V. It’s very detailed but a little clinical, my biggest gripe is a lack of midbass. According to Stereophile the impedance curve dives to 4 ohm between 100 and 200 hz which is where I think I the problem lies. All indications are that more power is needed to corrrct this which seems plausible as the more volume I give it the more it fills in in that range. The problem is that apartment living doesn’t allow 100db listening sessions.

So, I’m looking for an amplifier (separates or integrated) that has the current needed to round out the sound. The speakers are staying for many more years so replacing them isn’t a viable option, plus I love the sound.

Im interested in going tube but I have no experience with tubes. I have so many questions regarding tubes it could probably be it’s own thread but it seems to me that people love these more than SS on the whole. I’m open to any suggestions though.

My budget is $2500 (used ok but prefer new)

I listen to punk, post punk, lots of reggae (specifically dub), some electronic, a little jazz and some jangle pop (think REM).

Im looking for a warm side of neutral sound with good detail that can keep its composure with fast music yet be gentle enough for jazz. I like bass, if there’s an 808 or that dubby bass guitar, I want to hear it. These speakers do a nice job when the signal is right.

My analog front end is a PDC with a 2M Blue through a Lounge LCR MKIII. All interconnects are AQ Evergreen.

Thanks
gochurchgo
Within your budget you might want to try a used Cary SLI-80 or if you prefer new Cayin might be a good option. Elusive disc is very good to work with and they sell Cayin.

Chuck
@czbbcl have you heard these styles of music on these particular amps?
How about a pair of Spread Spectrum Technology Ampzilla 2000's! The last and final design by the esteemed James Bongiorno! Better sound quality than ANY tube amp - and POWER to BURN!
Check out Odyssey Audio. You can return it if it doesn’t do the trick!
http://www.odysseyaudio.com/index.html
@yogiboy have you played punkmor reggae though any of the odyssey amps? 
Vincent Audio SV 237MK Hybrid Stereo Integrated Amp. Hybrid tube integrated. I've owned mine close to a year now and it's a very good amp. 
http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=VISV237MK
I have been researching 20 amps/combos. I’m more interested in real world experience than spitballing brands.
No I have not. You have to try it with your system. I said give it a try and return it if it doesn't work out!
@roberjerman

way out of my budget
Vincent is playing through very recently acquired pair of ProAc DT8's before that Monitor Audio Gold's. The amp has a tube preamp section, a total of 3 tubes, and a solid-state output. The amp is slightly on the warm side as you said you like. Tube preamp section. It has a solid and tight low end, images very well and is transparent enough to let you hear the subtleties of whatever music you're playing. For me, it was a good choice and feel I got a lot of amp for the cost. Solid engineering with an excellent build. Doesn't get the big reviews in the large magazines like others but a very good integrated that will hold it's own against anything out there today.
@mets1p.   The Vincent is an amp I’ve been researching among almost 2 dozen others. It seems to be a polarizing piece of equipment with people either loving it or hating it with no middle ground.
Used: Krell KAV or Theta.

Also consider some Class D amps depending on your speakers. 
@erik_squires I’m running class d now and it’s not working out.
@erik_squires 

way over my budget. No one reads anymore...
@gochurchgo

I have similar music tastes, and two amps that I have owned & loved were the Hegel H160 and the PS Audio Stellar Gain/S300 combo.  

Not tubes of course, but both are on the warm side of neutral, very dynamic, great bass, and plenty of juice for your speakers. 

The only reason I moved on from the Hegel, was the built-in DAC was just mediocre.  If that's not an issue for you, then I would try Hegel.  The H160 has been recently discontinued, so prices are a steal right now.  Find a verified dealer & you'll still get their 3 year warranty.
@robelvick   Thanks! I will check them out.
@robelvick digitally I’m just doing Apple Music so I’m not demanding much on that end.
@gochurchgo

I would seriously look at the Hegel H160 then. By no means is its’ DAC a slouch, I just prefer the PS Audio. For Apple Music, the Hegel will get the job done, and sound great.  If you're able to connect an ethernet cable to the Hegel, you can stream Apple Music via Airplay as well.  

And of course, vinyl playback through the Hegel is excellent. Be aware though, that there are only two analog inputs (1 balanced, 1 unbalanced).
Have similar tastes in music.  My Thresholds never let me down.  Might have one or two for sale.
@jpainter236 what models are you running? Never heard of them but researching them as I type this.
For punk rock you gotta buy 40 years old used equipment that does NOT look mint and shows scratches and dust and partially torn speaker grills and multi random colored stains on speaker cabinets -- not those dem yuppy units YAK!
@czarivey Hahahaha. Right?
You know, I could just be a jerk and not point out this current listing that is half your budget: 

https://www.audiogon.com/listings/lis8fi77-krell-kav-250a-recapped-90-
day-warranty-solid-state

I have on the Cary and it does a nice job but not the Cayin but it is a Stereophile recommended component and fits your budget. Both units are tubed so you would have to deal with the heat and maintenance associated with them.

http://www.elusivedisc.com/Cayin/products/1514/

Chuck
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For reference, some of the rigs I’ve been researching:

Rogue Cronus Magnum 2
Schiit Freya+Vidar
Line Magnetic 216ia
Vincent 237 MK2
(Used) Rogue Pharoah
ANK Kit L2 pre and EL84 amp kit (probably not going to do what I want)
Parasound Halo
Musical Paradise MP 501 MK2 
Doubling your wattage will only get you 3db.  To double the perceived volume you need 10db.  You will need about 200wpc to make a difference.  Punk needs power.  
@elevick thanks. I’m not looking for loud so much as the power to push the speakers in the mid bass to fill in at lower volumes. When I crank this amp it does fill in so by what I’ve read more power is needed.  I think I explained that wrong in my original post which I can’t edit. Sorry. 
@gochurchgo

Are you using a sub w/ your Focals?  I've also had the Parasound Halo Integrated, which is a great all-in-one, and it includes bass management.

I used the Parasound with KEF LS50s and two small REL subs.  Awesome sound!
@robelvick  No sub. I had a Sunfire and it was way too much. I’d rather stay sub-less
@donvito101 I was actually looking at those a few weeks ago. The Synergy 200 with the Vision SLR pre. Seems like solid stuff.
A beat up Sansui g9000 with stickers all over it should do the trick. 1000 quid should get you a nice one. 
.....i mixed sound for a Punk / Rockabilly band. ( pretty much dominated by two stacked 4x10 Ampeg cabinets. )...lets just say the stacked LaScala PA struggled to keep up . so i may have an inkling of what it sounds like...
And i listen to REM and what i might call polite punk Talking heads..But not with your speakers...and I like Bob, and Toots, and some obscure stuff that comes over Bluesound Radio out of Kingston....so I dunno, you can judge spitballing as you say....
amps that I have heard that do well with that sort of thing in my various system or systems I get exposure to..
Odyssey Stereo amp ( really a steal ) running Vandersteen 2ce sig
Van Alstine 30 watt tube ( Dyna ST70 on steriods ) running Cornwall
MC240 running Apogee Stage now Vandersteen 1ci, love Burnin and Heads 77 on this BTW

have fun


I can heartily second the vote for a Hegel h160 or a h300.
Both have the Hegel house sound and plenty of current and grip to spare.
I used the h300 on a set of focal 807v as well. Superb imaging and mid bass was extremely full.
Just one point on the h160, it actually has 3 analog inputs not 2. The ht input can be configured as a normal extra analog input from the remote.
I found the inbuilt DAC on the Hegel were more than adequate and considering these 3800 and 5500 new units can now be had for 1700 to 2200 is a killer deal.
@uberwaltz

I realized about an hour after my previous post, that I had the facts incorrect.  Thank you for clarifying. 
I'm wondering if a Plinius amp or Integrated amp would work in your situation. It's not tube, but tube like in sound and the get-up and go necessary, to drive most speakers.
I wish there was a “like” button here. Some really good suggestions. @uberwaltz I’m definitely to look more at the Hegel. You’re the second to recommend and you have had them with my speakers so that put them higher on the list.

so much more to research haha. Awesome. My OCD is in overdrive.

to those who suggested Hegel, how would you suggest the Hegel house sound?
@gochurchgo

In my system - clean, powerful, detailed, slightly warm.  The sound will stay true to whatever source you feed it.
I second Robelvick description.

Detailed, true to the mid and lower bass.

I do not listen to quite the power play music you do but plenty of hard driving rock and new rock where mid bass is paramount for me.
Vocals are clear and precise.
@robelvick @uberwatltz thanks. That’s excellent info. Researching now

You are welcome gochurchgo.
btw the Focal Chorus 807v are excellent speakers that punch WELL above their pricepoint imho.
I was still using mine with 12k of electronics behind it and still did not feel they were embarrassed but I came across a pair of Wilson Witt at a very good price which are what I am using now.
The Focals should last you for many years with some good clean power to drive them
Good luck!
I’ll pitch in here and 3rd the Hegel suggestion. My musical taste are similar to the OP’s and the Hegel can deliver in spades. I have also owned a Vincent sv 237. For the going prices on the used market the H160 is a real bargain.
i have heard the Hegel but with Revel F206
friends system
looking to displace a very heavily modified / upgraded EICO tube front end....
not sure i would call Hegel tubelike...
but it is quite good 

maybe just half a spitball this time...
With the insanely low prices H160 are selling for right now I am almost tempted to buy another one just because!
I mean there is one on ebay right now at 1400........
gochurchgo,

I have a pair of Nuforce Ref 9 V3 SE mono amps that now have the awesome TDSS Level 3 upgrades in it. Paid $1400 for the pair originally used and the Level 3 is out of your budget. But Bob Smith at TDSS does offer a Level 1 upgrade for $1000 for the pair that improves the sound of the already very fine Ref 9’s to a new level. Read the testimonials about the TDSS mods. 100% of the owners have raved about the improved sound. The Ref 9’s already have great drive in the bass with a touch of the sound of tubes in the mids. The highs have great detail without ever becoming harsh. The TDSS mods make them even greater. I’ve heard my Level 3 upgrades in 5 different systems with speakers such as VMPS RM40’s, Sonus Faber Futuras, a Bill Dion suped up pair of Tekton Double Impacts, and 2 different speakers that Bob Smith at TDSS made that are very dynamic and detailed. In all these different speakers and systems, the Ref 9’s with TDSS upgrades were spectacular in all ways towards recreating the sound of live music, BUT...with no listener fatigue. The bass in all were incredible--deep, with great definition and power. To stop listening is the one MAJOR problem. It’s hard to do--you know, one more cut, just one more. The Ref 9’s are 175 watts /ch. prior to the mods and they increase in power depending on which upgrade you get.
So, I’m looking for an amplifier (separates or integrated) that has the current needed to round out the sound.
@gochurchgo   I'm suspecting that is not the case. The amp you have right now is able to act as a voltage source on your speakers.  The way you describe it sounds like its more of a room problem. Have you tried moving the speakers a bit? For example, if you move them closer to the wall behind them, you will get more bass reinforcement. It may also be that if you shorten your speaker cables that you will get more impact. You might also try auditioning different cables as well, as they can have an effect.

I would certainly exhaust easy and inexpensive things like this first before buying another amp! If  you're on a budget, the last thing you need is to find that you've not solved the problem with the next amp...

Also just a FWIW: electronics really don't care what sort of music you play. The idea that there is a certain amp or speaker out there that is best for a certain kind of music is a persistent myth.
The way you describe it sounds like its more of a room problem. Have you tried moving the speakers a bit?
OMG yes. Every way I can even if it was an idiotic arrangement for a living room. I did everything but glue speakers to the ceiling. The biggest difference was starting the speakers 30" from the front wall and moving backwards in 2" increments. The thing is that I have a wall 3' on the left side of the left speaker but the right wall is 22' away (dining room). I know this drastically affects things but there's no way to fix that.

Also, I had read that if you stand directly between the 2 speakers you'll hear what they are putting out and then you need to make changes to their position to get that same sound in the sitting position. The hole in my midbass is evident when standing between the speakers.

They are easy to drive but the impedance curve drops to just above 4 ohms in that frequency range. The Stereophile review was done using a 100wpc tube amplifier so I have been looking at more power to fill in the holes.
You might also try auditioning different cables as well
 If you have some insight as to what to look for in a cable I'm all ears...
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