Musical Amps

This question might sound strange but what characteristics does an amp SS/Tube have to have to be considered "musical". I ask this question form reading the many posts through out the 'gon.

From the posts that I've read most members think very highly of Plinius Amps/Intergrated Amps. Now I know this sounds childish but why. Some don't consider Bryston amps to be very musical and yet PMC is parterned with them again why.

My current system is very simple:
Paradigm Studio 60
JoLIda 100 level-2 mod
Nad T762.

Many Thanks

usually 'musical' is a buzzword for inaccurate or it has no bass. this is however not ness a bad thing if you enjoy it.
Every component needs the right matching partner. Some amps sound better w/certain spks. than others. That's why is so important to have tons of equipment lying everywhere around the house! The main characteristic a system needs is the ablity to make your toes tap and tells your brain "now that sounds right." Musical vs. Analytical. A musical amp is like a co-worker which has a good sense of humor and makes the time go by quickly. The latter is like a humorless/serious co-worker, which gets the job done but a complete bore to be around. I prefer products which have soul and convey the spirit/emotion of the music.
I've never thought of a single component being musical -- as Kotta suggests, it's all in the synergy. The source systems have to have the right timing for anything right to happen later. The speakers have to reproduce seamlessly, as if the cross-overs weren't there. In between, the details and power need to be there so that, at the end, it feels as close as possible to someone sitting in the room singing to you. My view is that the amp's main job is not to color anything but to simply provide solid amplification. If the rest is right, musicality will follow (by the way, there's a terrific old thread on musicality you might want to peruse -- it had quite a few responses to it).
When I read that word used to describe a piece of gear (or listening session) I think of it just like how Kotta explained it. Everything is clicking together and you are enjoying the music instead of analyzing the system. Kind of like the days before you thought you had to upgrade.

"That's why is so important to have tons of equipment lying everywhere around the house!" ROTFLMAO
Thank you guys for the insights I guess it comes down to how one enjoys the music. From this info I'd have to venture a guess that Plinius amps are a bit on the warm side which can be a good thing if your speakers tend to be bright such as my Paradigms.

I just want to make sure that what I upgrade is going to get me one step closer to never having to tweak again otherwise I'll never enjoy my system not if I keep changing it. Don't get me wrong change can be a good thing but it stops being fun when it turns into an obession.

It comes down to a vision I have on how I want my system to sound and look. I want a toe taping, fun loving,warm,lush sounding system not one that is cold and sterile.

Many Thanks and Cheers.


I've owned Paradigm speakers for 10 years and have found Marantz amps (I used MA500s that are now discontinued) HK Intergraded amps, and Anthem Amp2; not to mention a few demos here and there). I love the speakers and finally settled on Anthem and Sonic Frontiers tube gear to get the warmth I wanted. The Marantz stuff was a close second. Unfortunately you'll most likely end up like the rest of us and never stop asking this question and therefore keep trying new stuff. I sold my long loved Studio 100s for some monitors that I have really grown to like, and am happy with my stuff but want to try Paradigms Sig Series stuff some day...cycle continues.



I too want to try the Sig line in particular the S4. I did manage to audition a pair of monitors from PMC the LB1 Classic but my dealer told me to wait until the Sig series arrives inorder to compare both.

I know that my system will change I just want to be able to keep what I have long enough to enjoy it.

I think of musical equipment as equipment that has lots of textures, and gear that gets the midrange right. Some equipment evokes and conveys emotion much better than others. Some guys like components that give you every bit of detail, but many times, especially at lower price points, a manufacturer makes a choice between detail or texture. Some pieces are very detailed, but the sound is bright and lifeless. Other equipment may give you less bass, andmay compromise on the top end, but it will capture the "soul" of the music. Of course, we are all constantly searching for those products that gives us both, but we all have different tastes. I think of it in the same way some people define pornography. "I'm not sure I can define it, but I know it when I see it. (or hear it)