McCormack/Plinius/Krell with B&W N803

I own some B&W N803 speakers. I'm looking for a new amp. I have heard great things about the Plinius integrated and sepearates. Also, the new McCormack seperates seem to get a lot of good press. Any feelings on the new Krell 300il integrated? These pieces range from about 3k and up.
The Plinius's sound great. I currently have an 8200 integrated and it is really a great piece. There are often great deals on used Plinius's at this site. Can't imagine anything much better for the $1600-$1700 I've seen them go for lately. This amp has a lot of punch and sounds very musical. Not bright like some other famous SS amps I've heard.



Dude my dealer let me barrow that model of Krell integrated while I was waiting for my VTL int. to come in, just so I would have something to listen to. The Krell was better than nothing, but not much. It can play loud and thats about it. It is with out a doubt, one of the most none musical pieces I have ever heard...IMHO. Bad,bad,bad.
I've purchased about 5 amps in the last 18 months. I stumbled upon a 1998 copy of International Audio Review where Peter Moncrief had rated about 20 tube amps and then about 20 solid state amps. He really put down the Krells and Mark Levinson amps.

Anyway, he rated the McCormack DNA-2 Limited Anniversary Edition amp alone in class 1A as the best solid state amp. I found one used and have been very happy with it for the last 7 months. You can catch what P. Moncrief said about the DNA-2 LAE in and then look for the reviews on the DNA-2. I will say that from what I can tell, everything he says about this amp is true. Prior to the DNA-2 LAE I had owned a SimAudio Moon W-5 which IAR rated as class 1c. Another very nice amp and everything IAR said about this amp appeared to be true as well. IAR had also rated the Plinius 250 amp a class 1c along with the W-5. IAR rated the ML 33H and the Krell 350??? as class 2a or 2b. You don't want to know what IAR said about these amps.

I see in new ads that McCormack has a new amp DNA 500 where IAR rates it as the best amp in the world. I would not be surprised if in fact it was.
Hey Adiorio,
With the amps you are considering, I would choose Plinius. Why? I've owned Krell and what Brm1 said, i find to be quite accurate. The Krell just displayed no musicality what so ever. I've also auditioned a McCormack amp when i tested, what will become my main speakers, the Revel Performa F-30's. They were fabulous together. There was so much detail and such a grand soundstage, I fell in love. I've recently upgraded my Krell amp to the plinius SA-250 on the recommendation of a friend in the audio biz. I have never heard anything like this in my home. In fact, I don't remember hearing anything close to this since i went to the Hi-Fi show at the Waldorf back in '96. I have this amp driving the Revel Performa M-20's that will become the rear ch's when the F-30's are added. Anyway, these speakers just sing with the plinius amp. I find myself close to tears listening to how beautiful my music sounds. Discs that i have listened to a thousand times, now sound so much better, i can't believe it. I have nothing against the MacCormack amps. If you choose to purchase one, you will not have any worries, they are excellent amps. But, IMHO, the plinius should be given serious consideration. Happy hunting.....John
When I heard a Plinius 8200 on N803s the sound was very forward and a bit thin but I only heard it once and it might not have been completely warmed up. I have heard the Krell KAV300il on the N803s a few times and was not impressed, it didn't do anything really wrong but it sure didn't do anything really right either. It cast a grey haze over everything and didn't draw me into the music. I'd recommend trying the newest SimAudio W-5, McCormack DNA-225, Pass X-150 or the best sound-for-dollar amp I have heard, the Rotel RB-1090.