New Audio Frontiers 211 SE amp opinions and experience


An opportunity has come up to get my hands on a New Audio Frontiers 211SE (stereo version). Wondering if anyone has any experience with them? Not too much press state-side but plenty in Europe. I've had Art Audio Carissa 845 that performed very well with my Harbeth SHL5s and Zu Essence but eventually lost out to 2a3 and 45 amp with my Klipsch LaScala. The rest of the system are: LP12/Origin Live/Lyra MC, Esoteric SA50, David Berning ZOTL PreOne, and Chord, Crystal Cable and Nordost cables. I have as mainstays Alan Eaton 2a3, Paul Birkeland 3C24, and LTA Ultralinear, but crave a more balsy (for lack of a better word) presentation or slam from time to time. As always, positive opinions and constructive criticisms are greatly appreciated.
bananaslug
No idea BUT for that kind of money why wouldnt you buy something that would have better resale value in case its not to your liking. You will get killed selling a boutique brand here in North America that nobody knows about. Just trying to be helpful really. Losing 50-60% of your investment is hard to survive especially if done on multiple occasions. I had an Audio Note Jinro (211 amp) and I bought it (Demo) and sold it 2 years later for the same amount.
Hey Banana John,

I don't know anything about New Audio Frontiers 211 amp, but I thought I'd say hello anyway. My 3C24 amp is still chugging away as it has been for so many months now. Still hope to get together some day.

Good luck with the new 211 amp, should you buy it.

Regards,
Dan
Looks nice. They also do a 20w 845 for less money. Have you looked at Atma-Sphere OTL at all?
Thanks for the few responses here. I think I'm going to pass on the New Audio Frontiers 211SE. Just realized that it weighs 110 lbs. I had enough of that back-breaking work with my VAC Renaissance 70/70 and Lamm ML2.1s as I am no longer young and reckless. Looking forward to an A/B with your 3C24 or just hang out, ISLANDMANDAN.
The NAF 211 is exceptional and will be a good fit for a more ballsy sound. Understand about the weight. It may be difficult to find a nice valve amp that has balls, sounds remarkable, but is also light; I find weight is often correlated with quality.
@bananaslug , I'm curious what you think about the LTA Ultralinear compared to your Eaton 2A3 amp on your LaScala. I'm running a 2A3 amp on Cornwall IV. While the sound is wonderful at lower volumes it runs out of gas a bit when I turn it up. The LTA UL is an amp I'm seriously considering. Does it really provide the SET magic?
It's hard to say at this point. The Eaton 2a3 has been my main amp. I previously had a pre-owned LTA Ref40 which I loved and regret getting rid of. The Ultralinear has not broken in yet (less than 20 hrs of use) so it's not fairing as well against the 2a3 in my ears at least. But I mostly listen to vocals, acoustic, blues, and compressed 70s-90s rock and soul music so that might be limiting my impression as well. Two years ago, I spoke to a fellow who owned both the ZOTL Ref40 and Ultralinear and he preferred the latter for its "more refined sound", which is why I decided to give it a try.  I'll plug the Ultralinear back in and give you my impression if you're patient.
Apologies but the last comment was for WRM57.
I might add also add that the Ultralinear is definitely a quieter amp by a good margin.
@bananaslug , thanks for comments. I look forward to hearing more about the UL as it breaks in. I've been torn between trying it and the 40Ref. Nicholas at LTA seems to think the latter would be better for the speakers I have in mind for it, Cornwall IV. Perhaps he's right. But I'm enamored of the 2A3 SET sound, and my sense is the UL would have more of that delicacy. My concern is that it might be a bit sterile, at least relative to SETs. I'll be interested in your opinion.
Bill
@wrm57, as promised, I'm finally getting back to you with my impression of my LTA Ultralinear amp. I've recently spent a significant amount of time listening to the Ultralinear and having owned the ZOTL Ref40 I can tell you that the sound of the UL is more like a 2a3 SET (I had a JA Burgess 2a3 with Hashimoto OPT and currently own an Alan Eaton 2a3) than my Ref40 was. I don't listen to classical music as much so my impressions are primarily based on vocals, acoustic, blues & folk, 60-90s rock and R&B, etc. The UL is much better at conveying both male and female vocals and gives you goosebumps/listening room airy presence than the Ref40 but acoustic music is presented with a slightly less life-like presence. I'm conflicted with blues & folk music as some recordings sounded better with the UL while others were more pleasing with the Ref40. It's a wash with some compressed 70-90s rock and R&B music but resolving amps tend to be less forgiving to poor recordings and both UL and Ref40 are. Hope that helps. Best to you. John 
John,

Can you clarify, did you end up picking up that 3C24 amplifier? I'd be curious how you rank it compared to your other fine amplifiers...

Markus
Yes, I've had Paul Birkeland's 3C24 for a while and intend to keep it. Sent you message.