Hi I had the Minors for several years with Aragon electronics. I have also owned McCormack DNA seriers electronics. I have a lot of experience with TC50s too - sweet. I would highly recommend the McCormack electronics. If your going for the DNA amps - try to get the Deluxe model with upgraded parts. Plus Stve McC still performs upgrades to all his products. Cant recommend McC enuff.
Thanks Tbromgard. I saw a DNA 1 delux but it was local pick up and went in a few days. I purchased an Aragon but want to get the McCormack any suggestions on pre amps and cabling?
Depending on the size of your room I say go for a McCormack DNA .5 Deluxe. I preferred the McCormack DNA .5 Deluxe to the DNA 1 Deluxe with my KEF 104/2 speakers in my audio room which is on the smaller side. I felt the DNA 1 Deluxe had a lot of bloom but was a bit too forward while the DNA .5 Deluxe was just right.
I find the McCormack and Forte amps to be very good amps on their own, with that said they are also very good values. Though not bad products, the Aragon amps always seemed like "tweeners"; perhaps superior to entry level but unlike the other considerations, not quite getting close enough to compare to true high end amps. For your application I think the McCormack might be the slightly preferred choice.
I had a McCormack pre amp - ALD Delux with phono, very nice. I used cables from MIT, Bluejeans, Cardas, Tara Labs and Kimber. All worked well, bluejeancables.com were cheapest.
If you go McCormack I highly recommend holding out for a Rev. A version as you get a much better amplifier and the upgrades are discounted heavily when buying used so that they're not all that much more expensive than Deluxe. Best of luck.
I'd copy Jedinite24's suggestions although all here are on the mark. I liked my time with McCormack on the Way Back Machine, and I really enjoyed my Forte 4s.
The Forte amps to me have a pedigree that is hard to beat, the designer of which I believe is Nelson Pass (one of the gods if not the god of SS amp design).
I had one here for repair a while back, can't remember which one it was but it sounded very good with a passive preamp, it had quite a high Class A bias as it ran very hot.
They also use what's called IGBT output transistors which are like a Mosfets on the input, but Bi-Polar (bjt) output, so they can give better current supply to harder speaker loads like your Apogee's than a ordinary Mosfet can supply.
I say they are a poor mans version of Nelson's top amps. And can be picked up cheap, do your home work as there are a few different models, get the right one and you'll be happy.
One more vote for McCormack amplifiers ...they are capable of multidimensional lifelike sound. With SMcAudio upgrades, non of the other amps mentioned will compare. Good luck and enjoy!
Not all Forte amps used IGBT's, and the ones that did weren't from the pen of Nelson Pass. Though he was there at the time (and on his way out), Mr. Pass was not a fan of IGBT's.
Yes Unsound you are correct, the one I had I in for bias control repair I think I remember now were BJT (bi-polar), 2N3055 & MJ2955 or MJE15003 & MJE15004. Don't know were I got the IGBT from. They can still push current as just as well also into those Apogee's
Nelson Pass did design most of the Forte4; and I remember company brought in this engineer from Sweden who instituted the IGBTs, to whom Nelson Pass gave full credit. As a tube guy I just loved the Forte 4. My favorite solid state amp of all time. I admit I only have experience with a dozen or so SS amps.
I use a McCormack on my Apogee Duetta Sig's, but it is the DNA500, with tons of SS current. I doubt that the DNA .5 would be sufficient to run your Centaur's. You should look at a DNA 1 rev A, or a DNA 125 at least. But probably a 225 would even be better.
Years ago I had a Forte model 3 (200 watts)with Dahlquest DQ 10's and it was outstanding!It was a Fet amp with tubelike sound!
I believe the Forte 3 is the same as the Forte 1 which is lower rail voltage and pure Class A to 50w. And is only Fet input but BJT (bi-polar) output, Nelson kindly posted the circuit diagram here.
Whatever ,it was still a great sounding amp!
And cheers to you!
Thank you everyone.I purchased a McCormack DNA .5 and RDL-1 and will let you know.
The updates are appreciated.
That's nice equipment Brian! Congrats! The DNA-.5 is incredible. One of the most exiting SS amps I have had the pleasure to listen to. At some point, consider SMcAudio upgrades!
Let em play for three or four days and then go in and sit down for a listen. You will be smiling! BTW, the Kaplan Cable HE power cable sounds real nice with the RLD-1 IMO.