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Sorry, my speakers are marten dukes and speaker cables are dh labs q-10 signature ,externally bi wired, and lavry "blue" d/a. I'll be using them for audio mastering, so a huge variety of music will played through my system. my budget is one to two thousand dollars and i'm leaning towards getting a used amp to save money. i want power and neutrality, since my rig will be used for decision making, not listening for recreation.
i also was just wanting to know people's experience with high resolution, solid state, amplifiers regardless of cost. any info is helpful as i'm a hifi newbie.
I have run through a bunch of very nice tube amps both push-pull and set. I purchased a SS Hovland Radia aboud six months ago and paired with my Audio Aero Capitole MK2se it is nothing short of fantastic!! Very transparent with great speed and control. It is driving a pair of Verity Audio Fidelio's with ease. Sound wonderful at all listening levels, even very low, late at night when a lot on my listening is done.
You've got some heavy hitters here...Solution,FM Acoustics,ect. I would think at this level they better resolve. I know the question gave no dollar ceiling but in the interest of being frugal....10K tops what's the choice?
Btw I have a Accuphase amp that resolves exceedingly well...but it is modified too...$ cost 1500...
I have both Duke's and Miles III, I have used them with YBA pre/pow 400, ML 32/33h, Atmasphere 60W OTL mono's and Spectral 30ss/250. Most resolving of all was and is Spectral combo, ML is dark sounding amp, OTL's are all about midrange, YBA is on the slow side with fantastic timbres, hallographic imaging and natural highs.
Herron M1 Monos. Granted, they are paired with a Herron preamp, but these are very good. So far, much more detailed and resolving than my McCormack DNA-125 Gold, bigger (huge) soundstage, but just as musical. Low-level details are more easily heard. Vocals are more holographic and real. I must say, the DNA-125 Gold is no slouch though, but these Herrons are really nice. I don't have as much audiophile experience as most on the board, but others say the Herron stuff is very uncolored. I little more expensive than you are looking to spend (maybe you can get a used pair for $3k). If you have a budget of $2000, pick up a used DNA-125 and get the Silver revision. It is the best I have heard at that price point.
The Fm A used was 266/411[the original] and the Soulution preamp was the 720 .Source: Digital;dcs Puccini analogue;Simon Yorke S-7 TT/Sp Kharma GC midi.The cablings were FM A for ICs and SP,and Argento SMR power chords..
Just to give you an example:An Evening with david Lanz;a superb piece of live piano solo;With the Soulution ,for the first time I could hear the different places of the cought coming from different part of the hall.You could even tell that the same guy cought twice;once during the middle part and once towards the end of Lanz's take on the Pachelbel cannon.Amazing!!!!Of course I could go on and on with examples,but the gist is you've a highly resolving amp that remind you of live musics.Like I said before,they were the best in my living experience.
I have to be the third to vote for the Innersound / Sanders Sound ESL amp. I have been using the new version, the Sanders Sound, ESL amp for about 4 months now, on my pair of Sound Labs M-1 speakers, as well as a pair of 2905 Quads. The amp is lively, open, has a wide sound stage, places instruments where they belong on stage. For me it seems to answer all the questions posed by the starter question. Micro and Macro dynamics are all there. The background is just noise free, and dead quiet. There is air and space around all the performers, no bunching up of what is on stage. The amp has speed and control, and there is no color, but I will not call it neutral. Neutral to me would mean all media fed to the amp, would sound the same from top to bottom. The Sanders ESL amp presents the sound that is on the media. It does not color it, nor does it subtract from it. When you try an amp for a few months, and you find yourself hearing small details in CDs and records, that even though you have listened to them for years, and the amp is the only thing that has been changed in the system, then you need to accept that the amp is special. Rogers Sanders designed the specifications of the ESL amp to drive ESL loads, but I have also used my amp on a pair of B&W 801 matrix three speakers, and the sound was as good as on my ESL speakers. Other amps tried within the past year. Brystons 7b sst mono blocks, PASS X 350, and the now famous Parasound JC-1. Roger Sanders has improved on the original Innersound amp. The new Sanders Sound ESL amp is much improved, has more power, and is priced fairly.
FYI: I tried the amp because it was priced fairly, and Sanders Sound has a 30 day in home trail, with a no questions asked return policy. Roger wants you to be happy with the product. Warranty is best in the business.
Are there better amps out there, maybe, probably, most likely, but at a price point I will never be able to buy. That being said, Id be glad to unhook my amp and put in a mega buck system, and compare it to a mega buck amp, any day. Im sure it will hold its own.
Roger Sanders is one of the nicest people you will deal with. He will gladly answer questions, on just about any audio topic. I had wanted a small change done in my amp, and he gladly told me how to go about it, if I wanted to do it my self, instead of shipping the amp back.
No affiliation what so ever with the company or the person. I have just had a wonderful experience with both the company, the product, and just think this amp is a sleeper that people should investigate, and try out. Just do a web search for Sanders Sound.
One last comment, I hope this makes sense. When you find yourself listening to music for several hours, and can just sort of drift off, and all that is there is the sound, and that sound can either make you feet and hands move with the music, or just make you feel clam and good, and when you stop the music and system you feel better, then its a great amp. Although other amps make music, and can do this and that, they may not really engage you into the music, they often just provide music, there is a difference. With the Rogers ESL amp I stopped trying to dissect the sound/system, and enjoyed the total package.
Remember you mileage may vary.
Nuforce Ref 9SE V2. But be prepared for the revelation of imbalance from upstream components and cablings. Read up more on their website as these seems to fit your requirement to a "T". One of the e-zine reviewers (Audiophilia) replaced his ESL/Innersound 330 with these as reference. Many other reviewers have done the same replacing this mono-block pair as their reference.
Fafafion, thanks for sharing your experience. However those FMAs used, although still very relevant by today's standard, but imo are way too old (almost two decades old design). I think FMAs latest offerings would better reflect their advances (current sound), hence more appropriate when compared to more recent releases of flagship gears such as the Soul700s.
The Parasound Halo A21is a true sleeper especially if you replace the stock -5 fuses to the Hifi tuning Supreme fuses there is 60 amps
On tap on demand and the first 10 is in pure class A, and there's
NO capacitors whatsoever in the signal path. Using Jfets, Mosfets
And Bipolor transistors for the High current output section
And a good power cord such as the SynergisticResearch T3HC
I use . This is one amp that demands you use the large Supreme fuses
That lower the resistance many times lower then the stock steel fuses.
This amp now can compete with amplifiers several times it's price.
A John Curl masterpiece for price performance.