The M180's are pretty special
22 responses Add your response
Bojack...very good point. I have no intention of getting rid of the six pacs. I do however realize their limitations. As my current reference amp they precluded my purchase of a pristine pair of egglestonworks andra ii speakers. They are also a bare recommended minimum for the janszen speakers that I am about to audition. I am leaning towards a set of of mc275 running bridged mono. I was just curious about the bigger rogue amps. Certainly a used set of rogues are more powerful and less costly than the mcintosh. I had even considered Dodd, etc, but I digress.
The M180 are very nice, but never really impressed me (have auditioned in a few systems, but not owned) like my Apollos. I'd wait to pounce on a used Zeus (which occasionally come up used for very reasonable prices) and re-tube it in KT120s. Then pair with an Athena pre and you'll never again want for more power or quality.
These Rogue amps also really like a good 5751 (e.g. GE black plates) in the phase inverter position, and 12BH7 in place of 12AU7.
Thanks to all for the recommendations. On a couple of points. 1. I have a new Emotive Audio Sira all tube preamp that will never leave my system. Fred built it for me and it's probably the only bespoke piece of audio gear that I will ever own. It sounds significantly smoother, bigger and more defined than my Audible Illusions that it replaced. 2. I am curious if anyone can give comparisons between the aforementioned components? I have heard the mc275 as a single powering a set of Wilson Sofias. It was nice, but I am not a huge Wilson fan. It was hard to determine the sq and signature of the Mcintosh b/c of the flavor of the Wilsons. I have never had a chance to hear any Rogue gear. 3. I had considered the Zeus seriously, but is the sq better than the 180's? 200lbs+ for an amplifier sounds great until I am having the hernia repaired!
Lastly, I had forgotten about Quicksilver. I also wondered about an ARC VS115. I am open to all choices. When I make a purchase I want to make sure that the amp/s can handle harder to drive moderate sensitivity speakers. My current Gallo Ref3.5 sound great with the SixPacs, but I wonder what doubling the power would do. David Janszen expressed some concern that I would be underpowered for the ZA2.1 electrostatics which are being delivered tomorrow.
Fwiw my current room is relatively small at 13x15, but it may not be the final room where the system resides. I also lean more towards warmer sounding gear. The hyper detailed Krell, etc is not my cup of tea. The flavor of a slightly warm tint is what brought the Mcintosh into the fray. I only fear that I seem to recall a lot of negative feedback being run in the MC275. My experience with the SixPacs is that I run zero negative feedback. The 10db negative feedback switch on the SixPacs kills the soundstage and imaging. No thanks.
You have a very high quality preamp to build your system around and it deserves a good quality amplifier. Of those mentioned, the Quicksilver V4 is a good candidate. These are very well built, point to point wired and use high quality output transformers. Their design is very easy on the output tubes, This company has an excellent reputation for dependability and customer service.
my janszen speakers arrived today and by what I am hearing this all may be a moot point. holy smokes these things are holographic. 94db spikes and I didn't even realize it was loud. we'll see how this continues to flesh out. thanks again for the ideas. I will review more on the quicksilvers. I would still appreciate anyones direct comparisons b/w some of the amps that were recommended.
I can tell you that the Russian KT120 is a very happy marriage with Rogue power amps. You'll get an appropriately long lifetime out of 'em (having run my last set 3 years), and they sound awesome. Also Rogue may have gotten that rep from the M120 days when their amps were cathode bias -- which runs hot as hell and is definitely hard on power tubes AND circuit boards/components. The M150 and more current models are much cooler and easier on the tubes.
And yeah, 200 lbs for a Zeus is tough to handle without a strong friend. Rogue said that's one of the big reasons for the Apollos. But hey -- it's also real hard for burglars to steal?
I had a 275 for a few years and now own a pair of m120. For the application I use them for I prefer the m120. They are two different amps, with the 275 having more of a traditional tube sound. Also, the Rogues can be used with a wider variety of speakers and present with more weight on the bottom and see to be more pronounced up top. Again, a lot will depend on the speakers you match them with. Coupled properly you would not be disappointed with either.
Thank you Raymonda. If I may, have you experienced any difficulties with tube life? I would be interested in trying the 120 just because of the price point. They are certainly easier to swallow used than shoveling out for a pair of mc275. I think that 120w vs my current 60 May be enough. The m120s are cheap enough to experiment with if the output tubes have any kind of life whatsoever.
I bought mine in September and I don't have any idea how many hours were on them. They are EH KT88'S. They get used daily and, although it has only been a short time....I have had no problems with the tubes....kow.
I know that the amps are said to run hot.....but they don't seem to run and hotter than other tube amps. BTW Rogue ' s service is second to none.
Thank you all for your responses. I have stumbled upon a couple of other options that I would love to get opinions in light of the other options.
First is Conrad Johnson. It's either the premier eight or premier twelve that will meet my power needs. My only concern is that from the reviews it may be just a little too sweet.
The second is the cary slm200. I anticipate I will lose some of my triode smoothness by going ultralinear. But my thought is that since it is a Dennis Had design it may be a similar flavor. It's hard to find much info on them. That's never a good thing.
Merry Christmas all and thanks again.