I used to own a pair of 1.5s and one of the best amps that I used with it was a Conrad Johnson Premier 11a. However, just before I sold the 1.5s I hooked it up to a 47 Labs Gaincard and was more than surprised at how good it sounded. I did not have the CJ anymore so I could not make a direct comparison, but I would be satisfied with the Gaincard. The advantage with the Gaincard is that it has built-in attenuators, runs cool and you can leave it on all the time (for that early morning music fix before you go to work). I think there was another A-gon member who got great results with the Gaincard and his 2.5s. Check the threads.
Those 1.5's are really nice. ProAc's Stewart Tyler supposedly uses tubed Audio Research components.
I'm running a pair of Tablette 2000 sigs with a Threshold FET ten hl & S/350e combo. The top of the line Fet ten, which replaced a Forte F44, really smoothed things out. Flute, soprano sax and grand piano sound musically natural. They were a touch harsh thru the Forte. What's the hang-up with the Adcom?
The Threshold S/150 is a class A/B design rated at 75 watts per channel. When Threshold added optical bias to the S series the entry level S/150 became the S/200 @ 80 watts per channel. The S/200 is deemed class A/AB.
When I was in your spot I called Threshold to ask about their Forte line. The nice guy I talked to said "Look for a used S/300, you should be able to find one. They were quite popular." I took his advice and started with a pre-optical bias S/300. It's the next step up in that line. It kicked butt with floor standing KEF Uni Q's and held its value like a champ. In optical bias form the S/300 retained the 300 designation and the cosmetics changed. Good luck in your search.
Phil, congrats on your ProAc purchase. I've owned Tablette 50 Signatures for 9 months and during that time have had them hooked up to a Simaudio Moon I-5, Electrocompaniet ECI-3 and now to Blue Circle Audio BC21/BC22 separates. For me the Tab 50s sound their best with the Blue Circle setup. By far.
I've heard other people say that ProAcs performed best when run with tube equipment, and my experience bears that out. With the Simaudio and Electrocompaniet, my ProAcs sounded thin or glassy at times, but having a tube preamp cured all that. Through the Blue Circle gear my Tab 50s reproduce female vocals and acoustic instruments with startling clarity and warmth. And boy-o-boy you'll love the way your 1.5s will image once you find the right amp. Wide, deep and very focused.
My suggestion would be to look into and try to audition Conrad Johnson, Rogue Audio and Audio Research gear for starters. The Threshold amp might work, but I would consider mating it to a tube preamp.
Good luck and let us know how it goes.
Hi Phil0618, Try looking for a used Cary V-12 amp. A great match!
If you're looking into solid state used gear, and are looking at Threshold, you want to look at the older T-100/200/400 series stuff! Actually,those speakers (I like) would do better with at least T200 or above! They run a good percentage in to class a compared to everthing else in that line. You might want to do a tube preamp on top to ad a bit of tube majic with the Proac's..I think you'd like th combo. That way you get the best of both worlds, with the control and slam of solid state!
I recently listened to the 2.5's with Audio Research LS 25 / VT 100 combo at Progressive Audio in Columbus,OH.
They have a very impressive store and are obviously using Audio Research for a reason.
I currently own ProAc 1.5's. I'm driving them with a VTL TL-2.5 preamp and a Plinius SA-100 MkIII. I previously was using a pair of VTL MB-125 monoblocks. I agree with the previous post that the 1.5's sound their best with tube electronics. They can sound a tiny bit bright with SS amplification. The 1.5's are a highly resolving loudspeaker, so if you've a weak link in your system you'll know it...
This was years ago but if proac speakers signature hasnt changed then it might be worth 2cents.I heard small proacs few years ago,not sure what model but with tubed audio research pre and pair of rowland model ones bridged.Sounded pretty good to these ears.
proac usa recommends the tubed arc preamps (ls-16, ls-25), w/a solid-state arc 100.2 amp... a cheap amp fix would be to send your adcom to stan warren, whose mods are supposed to turn these into killer amps. but, definitely get a tubed preamp, even if not an arc... :>)
I'd like to second the CJ 11a recommendation. All of the CJ/ProAc combos I've heard have always made me pause, and never fail to make me smile. There's a nice synergy in the musical sound of both the amp and the speakers that I find extremely appealing. Its a worthwhile combo to take a listen to if you have the chance.
I have the Response 2.5's and started out driving them with an Adcom 555 and found it to be a very poor combination. To me, the sound overall was very thin and anemic, with a dry, unappealing midrange and a weak bottom end. Perhaps modifying the Adcom as Sedond suggests will do the trick, but as is you're definitely not doing the speakers justice. I know that you'll be shocked at the difference a better amp will make with those speakers.
You should look for a Audio Research tube amplifier for your Pro-ac's. I have a pair of 2's and a pair of 1SC's, I use a Audio Research Classic 60 and D-70 mkll and they really work well together. I also have a Assemblage ST-300 B SET but it is a little short on power ( 9 watts ) Try tubes its the way to go.
I wanted to thank everyone for responding.
As luck would have it, I have been able to borrow some great gear... An old Threshold FET2 pre amp, an ARC LS16 and an ARC VT100 Mk II.
So far the all ARC combo wins, but the price... YIKES. The old Threshold preamp with the tubed ARC amp also sounds wonderful. However, I'm having problems when using either of the borrowed preamps with the ADCOM GFA 555. They just don't seem to do it for me...
Most of those who replied suggested tubes would be a winner and I'd have to say you were right. They have proven to be an interesting combo with the Proac's.
Later today I'm going to borrow an old Threshold S-150 all class A amp and I'm looking forward to seeing how that integrates with things. Particularly with the Threshold Pre amp since I loved the detail of the Threshold but with the Adcom amp it was just too overwhelming at the high end.
I hate to sound like a TAS or Stereophile reviewer, but the truth is that when I got the Tube amp in the picture I just sort of sat and smiled and listened and never wanted to leave the room. And frankly that's what's all about...
Thanks again to all those who responded.
Hi Phil. Again, if the ARC gear is too expensive, you might want to take a look at Rogue Audio. Boy I wish I could hear what you're experiencing. Good luck.
Phil, I agree with gunbei that if you are short of funds try to audition a Rogue. Altho I own Proacs I haven't heard this combo myself, tho a side by side with a CJ MV55 through other speakers at a dealer last fall and we both agreed the R88 beat the MV55 to our ears.
Also noticed that Melos preamps are going at bargain prices here, worth considering if you don't mind a discontinued line. Good luck
I used a Cary SLI-80 Signature Integrated with Proac 2.5's. You might want to check it out.
My final selection was the Sonographe. I decided to give it a go after reading the Stereophile review and getting a good deal on one here on Audiogon. Very nice. A definite step up from the Adcom. Not as sweet as the tubes, but a very very nice compromise.
Thanks to everyone for the advice.
Naim NAP250 or NAP135,s
nothing else apart from a GOOD Phase Linear 400 will come close
ProAc, as mentioned, love tubes. Look at all the options and balance them against your budget. CJ, Cary, VTL and BAT are the better tube options. CJ MF amps, older Bedini, and Pass are ss options. You can also look at Blue Circle. It's up to you, your ears and your budget.
My ProAc 1.5's sounded substantially better with a tube pre-amp. I had an Audio Research LS-9 (ss) and went to a LS-22 (tube, with infi cap upgrade). I couldn't believe how grainy the old LS-9 sounded compaired to the tubed LS-22.
The ARC dealer in my area also sells ProAc's. He stated that ProAc's like tube gear and that statement has been validated in my personal experience.
I am using Audio Magic Sorcerer interconnects, but would like to try different IC's with better high frequency detail and extension. The Sorcers were used to tame grain, but are no longer needed with a tube preamp. Any suggestions?
My 1.5's sound good with Krell 300iL and CJ PV-12AL/MV-55. Hard to say which one is better ... depending the music I listen. Definitely, the 1.5's get the credit.