What is the rest of your system like?
What are your musical preferences?
What are your musical preferences?
I arranged a purchase of Snappers for a friend with Dunlavy SCIII's. I got a "family" discount but my brother don't work there no more so don't ask. They did spend a brief time in my system but I also got to hear them several times later.
Aptly named but they don't sound like SS. They retain an "organic" tube quality but without getting overly lush in the mids. With the Dunlavy's, it was a well balanced combination and the Snappers complimented those speakers ability with leading edges. He particularly liked the grainless highs. My speakers are much more demanding and the Snappers didn't have quite enough oomph, similar to the Monarchy SE100's (SS) in that way. A Plinius SA100 was my solution and compromise. Even with the Dunlavys, which are not an efficient design, they didn't have the bass of his previous Coda System 100, but that was expected. The Coda, like the Plinius, is a heavy brute. He preferred the Snappers but he only listened sporadically and spontaneously so warming it up became a hassle and leaving it on was like watching the tubes decay.
Forward? More so than the previously mentioned SS amps, which I would tend to call "laid back" but stable and not aggressive.
Small jazz? Don't know, I prefer a big jazz.
Overall, I preferred the Snappers to competition like the Jolida and ASL by a wide margin. The Rogue M-150 and VTL MB125's are closer rivals but don't have the looks. The Snappers are unique in their class by both being fully differential and ultralinear.
The Manley amps are a good choice IMO.
For me it came down to them and my present amps, Dodd 120 MK II with the cap upgrade.
I never heard either of these amps prior to making my decision. With the added power, cap upgrade, and better price (at that time) the Dodds were chosen. I do not regret it at all.
Speaking with a couple of Manley dealers, and the sales manager of Manley as well, I have no doubt the Snappers would be a fine choice. I feel if an amp can do well with busy musical tracks it will do well with those more fundamental ones too.
Naturally, another set of all or partly the tubes will allow a more dedicated effort to either large ensembles, or small combo's. rememgber that part. Simply swapping out one of my driver tubes with another changes the whole of the sound, making it better for vocalists and light jazz. another change allows for better acoustic music.
I seem to recall both the Manley and Dodds use 4 EL34 output tubes in each amp, though dissimilar driver tubes.
Good luck which ever way you go.
Thank you all for some of the feed-back. Bnrlaw, I start from scratch. Zero, nada equipments. I have sold all my 2 channel SS and HT gear and go back to tube gear. I had the Rogue 99 magnum and a pair of M120 back in the 80s. If my memory serves me well, it seems to me with the Rogue, I have to have listen to a higher level, I mean louder on the contrary to the Cary. I am tossed between the Cary SLI80 which is 40w triode/80 ultra-linear and the Manley Snapper 100w ultra-linear. Most importantly, I love the sound of horn speakers with tubes.
the word snapper should be changed to "snappy". the house sound of recent manley designs is the modern tube sound--a bit to unforgiving for my taste.
i am considering a pair of quicksilver midmonos. i heard some of the more powerful quicksilver amps and found them a bit aggressive in the treble region.
what is your take on the quicksilver amps you own ? i am somewhat reluctant to buy any current quicksilver product because i don't think the amps have the classic tube sound, like some of the older conrad johnson amps.