Belles 150 any iteration, any McCormack, Sumo Polaris or Andromeda. All those are great amps and where the principle of diminishing returns on dollars spent starts to kick in with more expensive amps. My opinion only though.
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As much as I don't like people peddling their goods without listing on the forum, the Muse 160 is a terrific amp.... I've followed them many times, going price is $800. Also agree with Marqmike, his list is all good, I'd probably recommend a Sumo Andromeda II or III. The original is getting very old, but with some updates can be great also.
If you can find a B&K EX442 Sonata, sweet, musical, and tube-like as all heck. I once a/b'd an EX442 Sonata against a pr of Paoli 60M tube monoblocks (8417 outputs) which is a super moded pr of Dyna MkIII's and could barely tell the difference between the two....and the B&K will run you half of your $1K budget....best bang for the buck, IMHO.
Have you considered something from Monarchy Audio? I see a pair of SE100 MK2s ([email protected] ohms / [email protected] ohms) listed on Audio Circle for $1075. The SE100 MK2s are Class A monoblocks so you will need one amp per speaker.
I have no experience with the SE100s, but I do have a SM70-Pro which I like very much. I've owned three different pieces of Monarchy equipment over the years and each piece has been very impressive to me from: (1) a build perspective, (2) a performance perspective, and (3) from a value perspective.
Thank you everyone who replied.
Sooo.... I won't buy Musical Fidelity anymore because my v-dac broke after 1 month and took 3 months before the salesman just gave me a new one because they were sick of dealing with those MF guys... Worst customer service ever.
I don't mind people offering thier amps for sale on the thread; if it fits the criteria, thanks for the thought and option.
I do like Monarchy Audio and would consider them.
I did look up the Sumo Andromeda and the Belles also. Both good options, thanks!
I ended up going with a Classe CA-200 purchased locally for $850.
You would probably like a Rotel RB1090.
I'm thinking you meant the Rotel RB1080 at 200w/ch, as I can't see this 2-way monitor needing 380w/ch."
Sorry, I just saw that post. Actually, I did mean the 1090. I know its a big amp, but I was just going by sound quality (and it matches the type of sound you are asking for). Its one of those components that Rotel really got right. Kind of like the RCD-1070 CD player. The sound quality is much better than the 1080; its not just a bigger version of the same basic design.
I'm interested to hear your experience with the Classe/Paradigm combination. Specifically, I'm curious about your thoughts on the Signature tweeter and the Classe amp. For some reason, I think I've read on these forums that the tweeter in the Paradigms can sound a little bright, but I can't remember if it was the studios or the signatures they were discussing.
Ahh, and it is doing a fine job :)
Pgawan2b, i have had studio 10's, 20's, 60's, all V.4, and I also had Studio 40's V.3. I couldn't live with them because they were way to bright for me. I think they are built well, and look beautiful but too hot. I ran all those in the same set-up I have currently, except I had a Classe CA-150 at that time.
Sooo, these Signature 2's with the berrylium tweeters are so much better. They do have a similar house sound, just much more refined, and the highs aren't in your face like the Studio series. Great extension on both ends, and the highs are detailed, nuanced and airy. I love these Sigs, and I don't know that I'll ever sell them, unless it's to move up to the S6's. I also really like this Classe CA-200. It sounds like the CA-150 but with more headroom.
It's strange, but to me the studio's sound dark and too bright, if ghat makes any sense.