Need insight on these amps


I just sold my power amp and a few other components. Looking to buy a first class amplifier for my Platinum Audio Solos which are a difficult load but I like the way they sound. Right now I see the following amps available in different websites:
1) Krell FPB 300
2) ARC D-400
3) ARC 300.2

I would like to hear from anyone who have heard these amps in the past what is their opinion on them. I'll be using a tube preamplifier. I'm also open to suggestions on amps that retain their value over time. Thanks in advance for your time.
Previewaudiogabby
Like all things audio, I would make sure that you can audition these amps before you buy. As a former owner of a Krell amp and you notice I said former, I was very underwhelmed with it. Power yes, music, nope. I also use to be a huge fan of ARC stuff but not since the early 2000s have I been anywhere near ARC gear as (to me) the musicality went away; no involvement or "drawing you into the music" anymore. If you are going to stay with solid state amps, then I would recommend that you get something from BAT. For me, BAT amps sound like music. I had a huge VK-500 that was marvelous and I was sorry to see it go but at 108 pounds it was just too large and I had no need for it anymore though it was nice to have around. It would drive anything.
Like everything audio, one man's meat is another man's poison. I am not a solid state guy  so I am limited as to what I can recommend in that arena other than the BAT amps I had and the former Krell and ARC things.  I cannot say enough that be sure you try before you buy!
That's an interesting response that I value a lot as i am a tubes guy myself.I'm not set on any amp yet but i'm doing my homework. As you know, it's not that easy to audition amps that are not current production amps on display. Btw, i owned a VK-200 way back in the early 2000 and I agree on their musicality. I will continue to read as much as I can before pulling the trigger. Thanks again. 
What amp did you have? What are you looking to improve upon?  What amp and overall sound characteristics of a system are most important to you?  Without this info we’re just throwing darts in the dark. 
I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest a Luxman as a counter point, or Ayre.

I think you should audition them if you can. Both will drive those speakers very well, add a lot of liquidity, with different overall characteristics though.
I owned the FPB-300 for about 20 years. I thought it was one of the better amps that Krell had produced SQ-wise, at least with the right system combination. But it does suffer from long term reliability problems. After about 13 years, I started to get distortion and had to send it to be recapped. It started acting up again after another 7 years and the expected bill to get it fixed wasn't worth it. I found someone to buy it for parts for more than I could sell it in fixed condition given the repair costs. I'd be pretty leary about buying another one of this generation. 
Hi audiogabby,
The VK-500 I had was opted out to the max as well. The difference between the 200 and 500 was extraordinary but so was the price. And yes, my 500 came from the early 2000s and I have to wonder if Viktor's stuff is still the same. I certainly understand about the ability not to be able to demo. It seems with the advent of the internet there is a lot of gear for sale but not much ability to "try before you buy". What type of load does the speaker you wish to buy present? The reason I had the Krell was to drive a pair of Apogee Stages way back in the day. Interesting story is that I actually drove the Stages with some tube amps. Jason Bloom the former owner of Apogee learned of this and he actually called me to tell me it could not be done. I played for him over the phone the amps playing the speakers (no Youtube or text messaging in those days) and he was astonished. He had promised to see this the next time he was in Seattle but sadly he passed before that happened. The reason for the story is this: some tube amps can drive some difficult loads; it is just not all that common but possible just in case you want to stay or go with tubes. Another choice might be some older McCormack amps, the DNA series. I used a pair of their monoblocks once and while not in the same league as the BAT or my large tube amps, they were pretty good once Steve "hot-rodded" them.
Thanks for the patience with my long answer.

soix, 
My last amp was a good amp but lacked transparency and therefore i felt the soundstage was not that well defined. I thought also about getting more power. They didn't feel like they were that powerful driving the Solos.
@audiogabby , sorry I doubt an amplifier is going to fix your problem with those speakers (based on Stereophile review, good bass, but too polite in other areas). You should consider selling the speakers as well, and purchase an amp and speaker combo that's had good reviews.
@golfnutz  So your assessment of the OP's "problem" and advice to the OP is based solely on your referencing someone else's review?  None of this is based on your first-hand experience?  And your advice is simply "sell everything and buy something else with good reviews"???  No one needs input from a message board for that.
The Solos are tough but they are good speakers. I paired them with a few amps in the past that have brought up some good qualities in them. The thing is those good qualities were at the expense of something else. With the right amp these speakers are keepers. 
@audiogabby

Ever think about a hybrid? I have experimented with various top end brands components some that worked well and some that did not no matter how much money I through at it, no question that component system matching by manufacture makes things perform optimally from head to toe. Now on the other hand I have to admit that there is huge magic when you blend tube and solid state together whether it be a class A,AB, or D amp with a Tube Preamp or S/S Preamp Dac with a tube Amp. Hence the reason I doubled down with P.S. Audio BHK Hybrid Amp and Preamp along with S/S DirectStream Dac. It has it all no guess work or money poorly spent in a guess tweaked by Bascom H. King Designer Tuner for 90K systems and above for Constellation Audio along with many other great companies and now for himself and P.S. Audio with his Signature Line Amps. and Pre.

Great Product Great Price and a Steal on the used market while the renaming dealers deplete there current inventory subject to P.S. Audio’s decision to go direct no more dealers model.

Hope this helps :)

First off like everyone has suggested, you have to try in your own system.  A number of years ago I heard an all Krell system with Sonus Faber Cremona speakers and it was breathtaking.  ARC products are decent but IMO there are better options.  I used a Krell KAV-250 on my Alon V MKII speakers with good results at one time.  As I am not familiar with your speakers, it is hard to know how they sound and how your other components match together.  Even a used Rowland M-112 is a good little amp that has a sweet mid-range.  Too many options without knowing your speakers.  Sorry that I cannot be more helpful.

 

audiogabby OP


The Solo’s are not too hard to drive, but with the climbing treble response 5db up at 20k, I’d be more inclined to go with tubes if out of the 3 amps you put up have them.
https://www.stereophile.com/content/platinum-audio-solo-loudspeaker-measurements

Cheers George
@three_easy_payments 
So your assessment of the OP's "problem" and advice to the OP is based solely on your referencing someone else's review? None of this is based on your first-hand experience? And your advice is simply "sell everything and buy something else with good reviews"??? No one needs input from a message board for that.
Yes, my advice is to start over, too many times guys throw good money trying to fix something that can't be fixed. JA was being polite in his Stereophile review.  Those speakers are easy to drive, so there shouldn't be that much of an issue with any decent amp.
 
My message was to give OP something else to think about, which he's stated he's happy with the speakers, so that's fine. All the best to him.
Outstanding advice on the big BAT amps.  They are a pain to deal with due to size and mass, but wow, what a great product.  Keep your eyes out for the 600 stereo amp.  I am wanting one of these myself and pass on the 600 mono amps I have.  Simply outstanding, powerful, bold, dynamic presentation.
We have a demo Vk 255Se which is a current BAT amplifier and unless you play super loud or your speakers are power hogs this will be a fantastic amplifier for you. 

We are no longer selling BAT so the price is really good, it has been barely used so it would be a great amp for you and the sound quality is exceptional way better than the older amplifiers you have on your list.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ 
There’s a McCormack DNA-1 Rev A available at US Audio Mart for $1400 that’s sure worth a look.  I have a DNA-0.5 Rev A and I can tell you transparency and expansive 3D soundstage are two of its strengths among many others.  The DNA-1 should have plenty of power to drive your Solos as well.  Best of luck. 
The thought about selling the speakers crossed my mind but that's gonna open a new can of worms for me. To be honest I hate to ship speakers.  I'm getting some new perspective in my search. Also i have driven the Solos with tubes amps to good results but they have such a deep, earth rattling bass that a good ss amp is a must. The search continues.
Audiogabby the Platinums were very good speakers and even though they are an older speaker by today's standards they were built to a very high standard. Phil Jones did an excellent job on these speakers.

So the real question should be are you getting the most out of them.

We would caution about buying a really old amplifier as many older amplifiers can require service when they are that old.

Good luck on your search. 

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
This is to let you guys know that after three weeks of looking around i finally found what I consider to be a world class amplifier for my Solos. The best part of it was that it was only 12 miles away from my house and I got a chance to audition it before buying. That was a treat in itself since the owner is an audio distributor in Central Florida and had three listening rooms full of exotic equipment. Anyways, the amplifier i'm talking about is a Symphonic Line La Musica integrated with a phono input. The phono input is amazingly clear and extended to boot. Thank you again to those that responded and provided me with me alternatives.