Looking for THE amp to anchor my system, Krell, Plinius or maybe a D

Ok guys, this is likely a dead horse issue but I'm at a crossroads and needing some advise. I've been out of the 2 channel game for a very long time, having owned vintage Krell gear way back. I sold all and made my way into the HT realm. But keeping up with the Jones got stupid and I've paired down to a simple AV receiver and streamers and decided it was time to get back into a nice 2 channel listening system again. What I already have is a used set of Usher CP8571 Dancers, Marantz SACD player, Cary C306 pre and an original turntable (never sold my Rega table-no one seemed that interested then, but that isn't a factor at this time, since the Cary doesn't have a phono section anyway, so it'll sit until I decide what to do with it and all my vinyl. .
I'm currently using a friends old Ayre V-3 amp to run my system (very nice) but while it sounds ok with the rest of the system, it doesn't have the umph the Ushers like. I auditioned the speakers through a Krell EVO 402e through a Hovland tube pre that took my breath away.I bought the only thing in the package I could afford at the time-the Ushers.

I figured I could get 75% of the 402e out of a 302e or 2250e but those are scarce and on the cusp of my $3K buget for this amp purchase. I've turned to the Plinius HT-301 or Kiokio range as they are supposed to be very Krell like. The others I've considered but not heard are (in now particualr order) Classe CA-2300, Sanders Magtech, Innersound DPR, Dreadnaught (I, II, III, IV), Ayre V-5 (or V-6) and even a Spectron Musician. I have even looked at the interesting fare of D-Class ICE and nCore type amps and I'm intrigued but being old school I'm not completely sold in spite of all the rave reviews. I am trying to stay open minded though.

All of these amps are in and around the price range with the Krells pushing the envelop. I can't touch a 402 or any of the FPBs nor any MBL, PASS, Vitus, PS Audio or other exotics so this is where I have settled. I also need it to be powerful, 200WPC min. (I know the Ayre is rated lower but it seems to push beyond its rating) which kind of eliminates pretty much all tube amps-but I'm a SS guy anyway.

So there you have it. I know the Krell works so that is my point of reference, but finding one in my price is tough so while I know the right way to do this is to listen, listen and listen some more but that isn't the easiest thing to do as there just aren't very many high end shops in my area. So any advise or direction based on your experience is highly appreciated, as I just don't have the funds to "try" and see how it goes.
a Benchmark fits your "$3K budget for this amp purchase" and IIRC they offer a free audition

it is a very high quality amp, xlnt reviews and uses some new technology to eliminate or greatly reduce the long-time horror of crossover distortion

also Mytek is coming out with a high end but only $2k cost Class D design -- they claim it is great in SQ and, unlike many manfs., they are fairly trustworthy re claims

those are 2 I will be looking at to replace a Sunfire
Well,  I have heard some of these... so, from what I've heard.. you're right, the Krell 402e is Fabulous... A Pass that you get 200 watts per channel is quite pricey.  I've heard quite a few examples of Class D... The Best that I've heard is the Merrill Audio Veritas, Also mega bucks.   That was a couple of years ago.  I own a pair of Abletec Mono's that I built also a couple of years ago.  My Abletecs are surprisingly nice,  but I would not put them in the class of the best amps. The Spectron Musician III is certainly in that arena.  If you are looking at Sanders or Innersound, you might as well look at Coda.  Coda has a CSX posted on Ebay for $2700 or best offer... if interested, I'd call Doug Dale directly at Coda,  this amp is 330 watts to 8 and 660 to 4....  This could be on your list.
An amp that you didn't mention if you don't mind used is the Spread Spectrum Technologies Ambrosia mono blocks... Not sure that this is much help,  but I hope it offers a little insite for you
Sorry, not Ambrosia mono blocks... that's the preamp... Should have read SST Ampzilla 2000 mono blocks.
There is a great deal on a gamut d200iii here on audio on right now. I am super impressed with gamut. 
Not that I needed more choices, but all of these are on e's I've looked at in some way. I will register any and all anyone is kind enough to wade I. With. I've got an idea, but since the want exceedes the budget I have to let some reality into the picture. Thank you. Will keep you posted in case any happens to be interested. I do like that coda, I was looking at it on one on the other site, trying to steer away from. Fleabay 

look for an Aesthetix Atlas. Gamut also makes a great product

Check out a red dragon S-500 and the nuprime st-10.
Also check out the thread "class d is dandy"

I went class d 5 yrs ago and simply love some of the modern offerings,you would be surprised how good they can sound in the right system.

I'm been directed to nuforce monos before, only way for a mono block is small like those. I found a decent deal on the AVM monos too, read good things about them too. 
I like the aesthix and gamut, just need to see about budget. Seems $3K is an actually fair budget for a killer used amp, at least from the responses. 
I really should zero in on D-class verses the A/AB stuff. Or this may get too bogged down with choices. The D will keep it smaller, and ideally I need one stereo box, even if monos are superior in a sense. 
I have the Ayre V-5xe running Vandersteen 3aSigs.  Fantastic amp; great drive and clarity.  My understanding is that it is a big leap from the V-3.
You may wish to put Belles on your short-list.

some quick searches for you as there is a tone of stuff in the gone to look at in your price range. some one mentioned the Ayre V-5xe there is one up for sale right now see link below.





If you do decide on a Class D...Check out Wyred 4 Sound. I have a pair of SX 1000's, power to spare, to drive the least efficient speakers out there. Very liquid and very  'chameleon like' meaning no character of its own, and influenced by the source components upstream. I have enjoyed mine for several years. The current version are even nice and slightly warmer and still a bargain. Their STI 1000 integrated is also an undiscovered gem at $2500. The STI 500 for $500 less and STILL sports 250 Watts a channel. Enough to drive just about anything to domestic levels. Our SX1000 mono blocks (570 watts a channel) are $3600 a pair in the current SX1000R incarnation. If you are lucky you might score a used pair like mine for less $$.
I have a problem getting the big old monster amp box out of my head but these newer D-Class amps are making a very compelling argument, price, size and temperatures! Even Theta has come back with a D-class vengeance. 

And don't forgot the most important aspect of the better class d amps and that would be sound.

The one issue is that I'm in Canada and some (a lot) of sellers don't want the perceived hassles of shipping "internationally". That is the case with some of the amps that have been suggested. The sellers won't ship to me. 

But don't get me started on shipping across the border that's a thread all on its own! Of course that also brings up the exchange rate which absolutely sucks right now, Plus I also have the added headache of customs and the unreasonable taxes and tariffs! damn this stuff is used how many times does Big Brother need another piece of the pie!

That was my rank for the day, I digress sorry! 
Yes that would be a bummer.Hopefully you can find what you are looking for up there and avoid the hassle and added expense.

Best of luck to you,

I may  have lied about my abletec class D mono's earlier.. just pulled them out of the box about 4 hours ago and put them back into the system... to be fair,  I've done a fair amount of crossover Parts improvements  to my own speakers since, but man,  just 4 hours of warm up and these things are singing smooth.  I wish that you lived close to take a listen.... Don't know if you could ever consider DIY,  it gives you incredible amps for a little money.  If you ever want to head that way, let me know and I'll recommend amp modules.  or just mention it here,  you'll get plenty of recommendations.
You liked the sounds of the 402e, then you will absolutely loves the new Krell DUO 300.
It still have the power and bass but even more refine than the 402e. 
Well, I am 100% with Kdude66 in auditioning both the Red Dragon S100 (I have one arriving Monday) and the Nuprime ST10, both class D amps.  I have had the ST10 for two weeks today and much prefer its astonishing clarity to my venerable McCormack class A/B amp.  You have listed a panoply of pricey amps unfamiliar to me, but my take is that class D amps have come of age and the S100 and ST10 are worthy of audiophiles, and both are under a $2K. The arc of my amplification in the past 45 years has been tubes, class A, class A/B, and now I solidly land in the the realm of class D.  I will not be parting with my tube preamp anytime soon, however.  The combination is to my ears the best of both worlds. Both have a lengthy audition period and will mostly like ship to Canada.  Have a listen, my friend.  
@whitestix  I think you meant S500 for the Red Dragon? I haven't heard of an S100. 
**dealer disclaimer**
the new Krell iBias amplifiers are the fastest, most detailed, largest soundstage amps they have ever made. Give them a listen.  I second @ysound , the new Krell make the evo and evo-e series (awesome as they were) sound smeared and harsh - broken in comparison. 

look here if your in Canada also the USA and UK sight as well they have three sights to chose from. my user names glen newdick if you message me I’ll give you any help you need.


I’ve been buying selling on the audiomart sights for years much better then most of the others as its not 90% dealers.

I picked up my FPB-200 for about $2400 and I've seen 300's around $3K.  If that's what you want, I suspect you'll find it with a little patience and searching.
I have a fellow goner off me a Duo 300 at a really incredible price and after a little research cam up with the same conclusion that theses are far and away better sounding amps. only problem was that it was well over my set budget which is compromised by the horrible exchange rate and added to that the import tax! 

I could deal with one of these being outside of my budget but the compound hits were too much to overcome and as much as i WANT another Krell, it seems I am going to go in a different direction
Been on all of them and have been keeping my eye on any that looked like they would fit the bill, but got met with some ridiculous responses. One guy said I have to offer "Significantly more to cover any additional costs" just to ship from an east coast state to Ontario! 
How ridiculous!
The more I look around the more I may be swaying to the dark side. D-Class sure isn't what it used to be. Although still seems like a dirty word, I heard a set of Merrill monos at a friend of a friends place on the weekend (although what he said he paid seems unreasonably priced too me, mind you). The sound was unreal. I had to do a double take at those 2 tiny boxes and what they brought to the party! 
I would totally be into a DIY amp, the trick is finding the module(s) that fit the bill for what I want and that isn't any easier it seems. 
How about a pair of Emotiva Xpa-1 monos?The best-no!Good,I think so!I have a pair that powered my Thiel 3.7's very nicely,and now I use them on my B&W 805 diamonds.Ive had nothing but good times with my xpa1 amps and use them daily.You could get brand new with a warranty and save some💰Just a thought?

The Classe amps are excellent amps, the used CA-2300 you mention should fit your budget.  Even new, they are a great value in my opinion.  I believe the CA-2300 was still made in Canada.

If you are still considering digital, another option is a used NAD Master Series M2.  The M2 however, is more of a digital Power DAC (i.e. DAC/Pre/Power), but it does have two analog inputs: one RCA set, and one balanced set.  The analog inputs will be converted to digital signals due to the design.  It is rated at 250Wpc.  The new technology is somewhat novel, eliminating the gain stages found in typical Integrated amps, giving a very clean signal path.  Absolutely black background and exceptional dynamics. It should sell for around US $2500+ (MSRP $6000).

I own the M2 and a Classe CA-301 (previous model to the CA-2300), so obviously I'm biased.  However, I own them because I feel they are more than worth it.
I just missed out on a CA-2300 locally. It was more or less right there in my budget but I hesitated while I wavered on the Class-D decision, so fate stepped in and made the choice for me (at least on that one). But I was very impressed even though the aesthetics are an all or nothing proposition, I happen to dig the Logan's Run futuristic design of the Deltas. 

So I hate to restart something but here we go again. I was dead set on a D-Class after a lot of back and forth and was about to pull the trigger then pulled myself from the brink. In the meantime I lost out on a few really good deals on some killer A./B stereo amps. I've picked up a relatively cheap Proceed amp to fill the void for the time being, which worked out pretty well after all was said and done. It was reasonably cheap, has XLR and RCA inputs and seems well built and has relatively good feedback. I personally have no complaints other than the old school fugly aesthetics!  Design was obviously not at the top of Proceed's to do list. 

I'm still in the market for a top quality (at least in my price range) amp and have narrowed the field quite a bit but seems being in Canada is a real hurdle. Just when I'm poised to strike it is sold out from under me while the seller and I try to work out the shipping issues that are inherent to cross boarder shopping.

The only other real concern I had was a friend let me here his tube amp and while it was really low power it had a sort of magic quality to it. I'm trying to resist the temptation of falling into that rabbit hole of tube amp and SS pre or tube amp/tube pre and was suggested to stay with a SS amp and a tube pre. Then there is the quiality SS DAC pres that do everythign but phono. 

Damn this is a slippery slope we are on!! 

Still on the hunt, but for now I'm not as impatiently waiting. So in the meantime it off to speaker upgrade hell!!! That will be a whole bunch of fun too I'm sure.

I feel your pain.  I had a Krell amp for several years, then downsized to a receiver, then went through a string of amps and preamps (tubes and SS).  It's a pricey rabbit hole.  In the end, I always missed the Krell bass and house sound, so I bought the same Krell amp model that I had before.  Whether it's speakers, amps, or cables, if a certain brand's sound sucked you in, then go with that brand.  Having said that, you may eventually hear brands that you like better, but you won't know until you hear it yourself and get that emotional response.  You mentioned that you need at least 200wpc.  For what it's worth, there are several 200 and 300wpc Krell FPB models currently available on this and other sites.

I am curious about the 402e as well. Which Krell pre-amp matches this power amp?  Anyone using the Vanguard integrated amp?

Happy Listening!
I replaced my Krell Evolution 2250e with a Devialet Expert 200; in my system (WA Sasha 2 / Transparent Reference / Sony HAP-Z1ES / Large Room), the Devialet was a clear notch above the Krell; both were in my system at the same time and the sonic improvements were so apparent that there was no need to switch back-and-forth; this after many years of using Krell Amplifiers. The Devialet's SAM (Speaker Active Matching) DSP software and excellent built-in TI PCM1792 DAC / Magic Wire (special gain circuit) I'm sure helped, but still the Devialet is worth an audition.  
I thought the 402e I tried was just right there for me. But in having said that it was  monstrous in every way, but I didn't hear it with a Krell pre. Their pres are even more than their amps so that also won't happen, good or bad.
As for the Davialet, I have to be honest I have never heard one and dealers up here are few and far between. I won't bash something I haven't heard but the D amps I did hear only served to put the nail in the coffin for me on that front, but that's not to say there all meh. In the case of the Davialet it doesn't matter because they are as expensive or more than any of the amps in my range so it's a motivation point. But thanks for that it's really food for thought. I figured some of these ultra $$ D amps must surely bring a quality sound, good to know the elite are elite, just not in my budget. 

Also the Ushers found a new home. Since I started this thread I've had to move and my new space wouldn't accommodate the speakers. So as much as I loved them they no longer worked. It gives me another factor to my journey rebuilding my 2 channel system.
how about a high powered krell integrated amp? the newest will sound great as will the ones from a few years ago. i’d have to research it a bit to make a specific rec. Of course a Krell FBI would be the holy grail but 3k won’t buy it. just some thoughts.
For Class D what about the PSA Stellar 700 monos?  They are just shy of $3K new.   I am pretty sure they  do a demo trial.  Very Recent IcePower implementation.   I dont know if they ship to CA though.  But they are a good outfit to work with.  I have the 300 and like it very much.

Pretty new stuff but I think there are some reviews out there.
Stereophile review on the 700

There are two Krell Vanguard integrated amps for sale now in your price range. Latest models with great preamp and digital processing should you desire it.
Weighs 40 lbs putting out a clean 200w per ch @ 8ohms doubling to 400 wpc @ 4ohms.Would anchor a very good system. 
I have zero connection w Krell and currently don’t own a unit of theirs but have heard at length the latest design which is highly musical. Very much worth consideration.