Anyone able to comment on DNA500? Will it match well with Salon 2? How does it compare to the Levinson and Mac amps?
13 responses Add your response
I personally wasn't crazy about the ML 532H with the Salon 2s when I heard them together, even though both are Harman products and you'd think there'd be some synergy. The combo was clean and clear but seemed way too polite on dynamic recordings.
A friend has the big 500 watt Carys driving his Vandersteen 5As and seems very pleased. And not that you asked for additional suggestions, but I am extremely happy with my Plinius SB301 driving the Salon 2s - IMO the Plinius provides much better bass and dynamics than did the ML.
Jeff - the DNA 500 is a terrific amplifier that will drive the Revels with ease and authority. It will give you detail (resolution) as well as great bass weight - BUT... the reason why the DNA got some (minor) bad raps is that it has a low input impedance of 10k ohms. If your preamp has a low output impedance ( below 500 ohms would be good), then all is fine and the DNA 500 will be great in your system. If the output of your preamp is higher than that, however, you might want to look elsewhere.
I owned both, the Carys after the McCormack. Both were nice with the McCormack being a touch more neutral with a bit better bass slam and definition and the Cary being a little warmer in the midrange, sweeter in the high frequencies, but a little looser and fuller in the bass and a touch noisy. The McCormack can have upgraded capacitors added by McCormack of Virginia, or can be upgraded by SMc Audio. I traded the Carys for Lamm M1.1s and those for Clayton amps.
I would like to hear a direct comparison between the newish McCormack DNA-750 monos and the new Cary SA500.1 monos, and also a comparison between those amps and their respective predecessors.
I went from a pair of DNA 750's to a BMC S1 on my Salon 2's and couldn't be happier with the change. The McCormacks were very smooth and refined, but often left me feeling as though the performance we being held back by a bit of a veil ... the BMC is a more open and resolving amp, but never lean at all. In fact i'd say the BMC is MORE musical and smoother overall then the DNA 750 monoblocks, but also has much great resolution. That's a great combination if you ask me.
I'm having a custom speaker built by Vapor Audio who turned me on to BMC, since they're a dealer. I'm glad they did.