Manley Stingray II...a quick review....
I got the newest version of the Stingray II from Rich at Signature sound a few days ago. As I'm still waiting for my new Merlin TSM-XMr's I decided to at least break the amp in and connected my theater speakers, a pair of Definitive Technology BP2004 towers. These are fairly good "mid-fi" towers that I use in my theater room.
I was warned that the Stingray would have some glare and grain until it broke in, but I connected my oppo player and sat down to some good music anyway.
Point blank the Stingray, in it's 18 watt triode mode, made the Def Techs sound like a pair of Snells. They were smooth, liquid and detailed. They also played with good volume. I was shocked at what the Stingray II could bring out of the speakers and can't wait to hear the amp with the Merlins.
I went against buying the Ipod version because it just doesn't belong on this amp, nor is it the best way to connect an Ipod into the system.
The Stingray is superior, at least to my ears at this early stage, to my very good Odyssey/Rogue combo. I should mention that this is my fist foray into an all tubes amp. I'm VERY impressed. Once I have the rest of the system up and running I'll post a more complete review.