Need some juice --- High power amps

I am looking for a high power amplifier to drive my 87db / 4 ohm speakers. I am interested in any real experience in comparing the following solid state amplifiers:

o Edge NL-12
o conrad johnson Premier 350
o Pass X-250.5
o Ayre V-1xe
o McCormack DNA-500

I understand the price differential, what I am most interested in is the musicality of the five amps as well as any other amps that should be considered in this company.

FYI, an Audio Aero Capitole Mk II SE will be feeding the amplifier directly.

Thanks for your help and time.....
H2o Signature Monoblocks should be added to your list - they are a relatively new startup company. Very primitive website at:

There are many reviews, most over at the Apogee users forum. There are a few others out there trying these amps with more conventional speakers, however your 87 db / 4 ohm load looks quite easy to these amps I have witnessed the standard monoblocks throwing around Apogee Scintilla's... somewhere around 76 db with impedance dropping under 1 ohm...

Disclaimer: I am a satisfied owner of these Signature monoblocks. I am in no way affiliated with Henry or H2o. I have owned the McCormack DNA-2 Deluxe (not as current as the new DNA-500) and auditioned the "boss" Ayre amp a model or two back, also not the most current - for what it's worth - neither could hold a candle to the H2o Sigs. Also, both the McCormack and Ayre were stellar in performance then to me - you really don't know there is "that much better out there" until you find it... and it makes what used to be "superior" sound "above average"...
Hi Crozbo - allow me to submit this discussion on the Clayton Audio line of amps for your perusal:

I think most Clayton owners would support this summary of their amps.
And, this publication's issue also compares the McCormack DNA-500 and the Clayton S2000 to some degree here:

Sorry about not knowing how to provide these as direct links.
Good luck in your search.

Oops - guess there's not much involved to creating a link - didn't even know I was doing it - heheh. Now, where'd I put that drink...
I also run inefficent speakers 87 db carver's and 87 db magnepan's which are both 4 ohms. I have used many solid state amps and have found that Crest Audio amps are very powerful amps. I am running 2 sets of maggies in parallel (2.7 ohms) and they sound great, and the amp has never even gotten the slightest bit warm. No matter the speaker I have hooked to it the speaker gives up before the amp. Carver also makes some pretty stout amps that can be had at a firly reasonable price.
My personal pick would be the Crest Audio, but in the end the choice is yours. Enjoy your music.
You should put the Parasound JC-1s in that company, as they are quite happy with difficult loads - certainly more difficult than you have. Good sound and good value.

One amp I've used that had an almost frightening amount of housepower is the Perreaux 350A. This thing pumps some current! Spec'd at 350 per ch at 8 ohms, it actually delivers ~500 per side; at 4 ohms it truly doubles-down. So that's potentially 1000 watts per ch, & with 87db speaks you do need it. I've cranked it & cranked this amp some more with never any signs of petering out, until I feared for the life of my speakers. The SPL's kept increasing until it felt like something's gonna come apart. Musical yes; however I can't say about the matchup with your speakers since they aren't mentioned: what speakers do you actually have?
Mcintosh mc501 - mono's, 500 watts per side of muscle and musicality. It came down to these and the CJ 350 for me. Haven't heard the others on your list. These boys woke my up thiels!
FWIW, for my 85db / 4 ohm / large room / blues & rock, I went with big tubes. If you prefer solid state, great, but ASL and Rogue and one or two others have got significant tube wattage at a fair price as an option if that is also of interest.
Add the Aragon 8008BB to yor list of affordable powerhouses.I have 2 systems.System 2 has seen many well regarded and very expensive amps come and go.The Aragon has stayed in my other system for 4 years without a thought of replacing it(except maybe for Palladium Monos).
I also would suggest adding the Clayton amps to your list.

Let me say first that I've never listened to any of the amps on your list nor the Clayton.

But assuming you have full-range dynamic driver speakers, and not hearing either, I'd guess the Clayton, Edge NL-12, and McCormack DNA-500 would easily surpass the other 3 contenders. Not only in speed, but potentially offering a far more robust, tight, deep, and simply more realistic bass and overall sonic reprodution.

However, I would challenge you to find a better more powerful and controlling amp than the McCormack DNA-2 Revision A model. Perhaps the most tube-like sounding mid-range ss amp, but with all the speed and fantastic bass that only the most powerful and best built solid state amps can muster.

If you should try the Clayton, Edge NL-12, the DNA-500, or a DNA-2 Revision A amp and if you do not presently own some of the better speaker cables available, I'd also highly recommend you audition the relatively inexpensive Audience Au24 speaker cables at the same time. (some reviewers consider the Au24 better than the Nordost Valhallas).

These tiny Au24 cables do so much to minimize time-smear, that with any of these three amps, you should hear a bass reproduction that few even know exists. On some lesser amps, the Au24s can sound as though some of the bass has disappeared, even though certain aspects of the bass may sound so much better.

Power rating specs can be misleading,I have amps rated at 800 watts not delivering the power of 200 watts rated amps.You could add to your list YBA Passion 1000 monos(some one on audiogon was selling a pair)Gryphon amps there are a number of high power ones both class A,monos or stereos.Gryphons can be very expensive and very heavy.A recently available digital amp rated at 1000 watts at 4 ohms and very cheap,light and cool is Acoustic Reality 1001,they also make an expensive version of the same amp.Their amps sound great.The YBA are the best sounding amp I have ever listened to.
I second what audiofankj had to say. On a tough load, or on an easy load, the H2O lets you into the music. You won't be thinking in terms of tight bass, warm mids, or airy highs. It's the music in all it's glory, when it comes to the H2O's performance. I'm running my H2O Signature monos on the 1 ohm Scintilla. There is no bigger amp hog.