Nova Ovation -- which amplifier works best?

Hi --

I recently was sold a pair of barely used Nova Ovation speakers from a friend.

I know these have excellent potential. Does anyone own a pair? What kind of amplifier works best with them?
There's not a lot of information in the reviews of the Ovation about amplification, and while I'm sure there are plenty of Nova speaker owners, they don't seem to participate much in these boards, so you might have to do a bit of experimenting. What do you currently own? What are you considering? Budget? Ancillary equipment? Even better yet, what does your friend think?

I haven't heard the Ovations but have owned Nova Bravos for several years. The Ovations appear to be a bit easier load to drive than the Bravos and that could make a difference, otherwise I'd guess that they are very similar in terms of response to amps.

I consider the Bravos to be on the warm/musical end of the speaker spectrum and I'd guess that the Ovations are the same. I've liked most of the amps I've used with the Bravos, although each brought out slightly different qualities. Much will depend on what you want to spend and whether you're willing to put up with tubes.

That said, I've preferred the Bravos with tube amplification, or tube-like solid state amplification. It's just plain and simply a nice match: full notes, warm midrange, nice musicality. What I most love about the combo is that ability to float a note right there in the soundstage. The trade off is a little less detail and a bit softer bass. The amps I used that had those qualities were the Granite 860.1 monoblocks (tube 30 wpc) and Monarchy SM70s in balanced monoblock configuration (solid state 70 wpc). Of the two I preferred the Granite and to this day wish I hadn't sold them. That was a nice match.

I've also used high powered solid state, in this case Blue Circle BC8s at 225 wpc. More power brought out more detail and took better hold of the bass, which I like, but I still think warmer sounding amps are a better match in terms of overall sound. I have in fact just moved the Bravos in to my second system because that's where the Monarchy amps are.

The one amp I didn't think was a good match was a BAT VK-200. Not sure why, but that combo really didn't do much for me. Seemed dry, sterile.

I know info about the Bravos isn't exactly what you need, but we Nova owners have to stick together.

Good luck!
Thanks for the response. I didn't know we Nova-owners were such a rare bunch.

I actually have a "warm-sounding" amplifier to work with the speakers as well: a McIntosh MA6100 integrated solid state.

As you note, this kind of amplifier plays to Nova's strengths, musicality in particular. But I wonder if it's not too much of a good thing. The sound is rich and solid -- but it also seems slightly lacking in detail and separation.

Nova themselves recommend Music Hall and Classe. Have you (or has anyone else) heard much about these?

Thanks again for the feedback. I'm new at this -- so it helps.
Yes, I don't know whether we're a rare breed or a quiet one. In any case, I've posted a few questions (at AudioAsylum) about Nova's and didn't get much in the way of replies, and none of them were from people who'd actually heard the Bravos.

Don't know anything about Music Hall. Classe is a pretty warm sounding amp, I understand. They also are fairly well known for having good control over a speaker and that might make for a GREAT match in this case. The Bravos at least are pretty iniefficent. I've either heard amps that are warm sounding or grab hold of the speaker. Not both. Of those two variations I still prefer the warm sounding. High powered tubes or warm sounding solid state are probably dynamite.

If you've got the Mac and the speakers all under one roof, I'd encourage you to try living with them for a month or two. That will provide a good reference. ALSO for what it's worth, I've found the Bravos to prefer copper cabling. Silver never did much for me in any system the Bravos were in.

Also, you can try posting at AudioAsylum, but to get responses you might use a subject line like: Amp recommendations for warm speaker. If you use Nova in the subject, you'll probably not get much response.

Good luck.