Do you have a price point in mind? With that open ended question you may get suggestions all across the board, $400.00 amps to $4000.00 amps. If you are watching your pennies, you can get good quality used mid priced amps for entry level prices.
The likes of B&K, Parasound, Rotel, NAD, Acurus, all have offerings that are affordable on the used market.
We could use a little more info like your budget,tube or solid state, what type of music you listen to, size of your room. I have a Jolida jd502p Tube amp powering some monitors and a sub in a small room and absolutely love it.I listen to mostly rock some jazz an some acoustic. It is a great bargain on the used market selling around $600-$800.The 502p has a wonderful warm and detailed sound and tube rolling can help tailor the sound and not to mention it is a lot of fun.
Thank you for your responses. I am looking to spend no more than $1000 on an amp. I have'nt given tube amps any consideration but would give them a serious look if you feel the studio 20s are a good match with tubes. I have no experience with tubes but would love to learn. My room size is 13X16 and set up for a home theater but I myself am more of a music guy than movies. I listen to mostly Rock,Blues,Alt, and Indie. I guess I would like to seperate my home theater from my music without starting over. I am running a marantz 5005 into studio 20s and cc 490 with the lfe into an ultra cube 10. I think the marantz does a nice job but feel a seperate amp might clean things up a little. So feel free and throw some ideas out there because I need some guidance.
If you are looking for good, clean, two-channel power, you may wish to consider the refurbished ("factory reconditioned") JBL Synthesis S800 listed in the harman online store.
For SS, audition the Odyssey Audio Khartago, ~$1K. It's warm, yet detailed. For tubes, look into Jolida.
Ditto the Jolida 502P (note to Wilson 667..the KT120's haven't melted it yet)...everyone should have one of these and if you don't have one, well...that's too damn bad.
A used McCormack DNA 0.5 with Steve's A revisions should be in that price range. Lots of detail and transparency with good musicality relative to other solid state amps. Best of luck.
I want to thank everyone for their input. I have been reseaching all the amps brought to my attention and am really liking what I see from the odyssey and jolida. Im a little hesitant about the jolida since I have never been around tube gear before. Not that I think its a bad Idea I just not sure what I'm doing when it comes to tubes. If anyone knows of any good reading for a novice tuber(not sure if thats the right description) I would greatly appreciate you passing it on to me.
I was at a local dealer and he was pushing Rotel and Arcam, any thaughts on these amps.
Get a Plinius integrated amp
Everyone has an opinion, so here's mine... At your budget point, pick any reputable name with a decent warranty and enough watts to get the SPL you wish in your room. It's not likely that you'll hear dramatic sonic differences between solid state amps including your Marantz receiver. Rotel and Arcam are both fine options. I would also add Parasound and ATI to the list.
Harman Kardon hk3490. Less than 300 new. Will equal the performance of any amp mentioned and beat them all in terms of reliability. Comes with a tuner to boot. :) You can always tell your audiophile friends that visit, that you just bought it to use until your meag-amp is repaired. That happens a lot. They won't suspect a thing.
Bob_Reynolds I find your opinion abit discouraging knowing that at the price range at which I search for ss a amp may be for not if anything available at that cost is more of a lateral movement than an upgrade. That being said, would you recommend tubes over ss equipment? I am a complete novice when it comes to tube gear so jumping to tubes makes me a little nervous but not enough to where I would'nt love to try.
Wmbode, I didn't mean to be too negative, but it's been my experience that good solid state amps sound much more alike than different and you don't have to spend a mint to get one. That's comforting to me.
The little ATI AT602 I used in my office system for a few years did not sound all that different and definitely not inferior to the Bryston 7B SST monoblocks I used in my main system.
The point I'm trying to make is that as long as you're not stressing the amp, it's the speakers and your room that you're hearing. But, I completely understand the want to buy electronics. Been there, done that too much.
I've owned a few tube components over the years and I think you'll find more sonic variation with tubes. The main reason is based on the impedance interaction of the amp and speakers. Typically, tube amps have a much higher output impedance than solid state amps and that causes the frequency response to follow the impedance curve of the speaker. So tube amps will give better results with speakers that have a smooth relatively flat impedance curve than those whose impedance fluctuates wildly. There's a nice article in the Stereophile archives that describes this with real gear. If you're interested, I can send you the link.
Unfortunately, there are few speakers designed today that have tube amps in mind. You can definitely drive your 20s with a tube amp, but, in general, Paradigm speakers are not the best match with tube amps.
What else is in your system? Is it 2-channel or more? Have a sub? I've been a fan of the Studio 60s for a long time. I'd give some consideration to replacing the 20s with 60s instead of spending $1K on an amp.
I would also add to your list,if you're looking at solid state is an amplifier by Atoll Electronique.I picked up the IN 100SE integrated in December and still enjoying it.Inexpensive new or used.Frequencies are nice top to bottom with great soundstage and detail.It bettered a Bryston and Simaudio integrated in my system.Worth researching.