Pass Labs X250 with merlin VSM-mm/system overhaul?

This is my first post on this board. I own a pair of Merlin VSM-mm's with Super Bam - current CD player is a Sony SCD-555es and amplification is bryston B-60 with occasional berning EA-230 and Bedini 25-25 amplification. I understand that this is not the perfect situation - solid state preamp section on my bryston running the berning or bedini.
I guess I need an overhaul of my system - looking to run a new preamp - ditch the bryston bedini and berning and get a new amplifier. I don't believe that the super high end esoteric stuff is my game - so I don't want to spend more than 2000 for a preamp and similarly on an amp(used). Oh - and I NEED a remote for the pre - not having a remote for the bryston has driven me nuts. tube preamp and ss amp - that's what I'm thinking. Not really interested in an integrated - actually not at ALL.
Best Regards,
Consider the Dodd preamp. It's battery powered, so you also save by not needing an expensive power cable. Tremendous value, and dead quiet. You can tweak it a bit by your choice of tubes. Looks gorgeous and has a nice matching volume-only remote. In your price range.
For a ss amp to match w/the Merlins the Belles Hot Rod is a good choice that's affordable. Cheers,
The Joule preamps are commonly used with Merlins. I use a modified Joule LA 100Mk.III, this will nicely warm up any SS amp.

I also can't imagine Merlins sounding their best with any SS amps, these speakers are best suited for tube amps. I'm not saying SS won't work, just not the best.
Bobby P. often mentions the BEL 1001 solid state amp as a good match with his Merlin speakers. They can be found used for $1500 - $2000.

Provided the impedance match with whichever amp you select is good, the Dodd or Joule preamps would be good choices.
Agree with Sns but add the AR amp below.

Joule Electra la-100mkiii line stage preamp
Audio Research VT 200 tub amp

Both are on the GON
...or bag the separates and buy the integrated amp specifically tailored for the Merlins, the ARS- Sonum Filharmonia SE.

One was listed for sale today.
I use a Joule pre & several different power amps with my VSMs. The right SS amps actually sound great with this speaker - the bottom end really firms up. (And who among us doesn't enjoy a firmer bottom end?) The TAD Hibachi monos are a very good match - and they're priced in your neighborhood. That said, I, too, usually end up going back to tubes with the VSMs.

Prima Luna monos are a good tubed choice at your budget, and allow for easy output tube rolling. This excersize is really rewarding with Merlins because they are unusually revealing of any upstream changes.

yep - I think I might need to go for a joule preamp - 100mkII or III but I NEED a the remote option. I need to review the info on the Dodd pre as well. Amplifier is wide open at this point - maybe I'll just do the pre first and then see if the Bedidni is to my liking - to be honest the Berning doesn't have much grunt but the midrange is great - maybe monoblock bernings...
Best Regards,
Oh - and the BEL 1001 - I almost pulled the trigger on one of those but I wasn't sure of the model 1001 as they appear to relatively different between MK#'s. Anyway - lets say that I will probably get a joule 100 mkII or III - the 150's are still too expensive.
Looking for that liquid midrange smooth top end with controlled and tuneful bass. I'm not asking too much,right?
I am NOT there with my current setup.

My recollection is that regarding the Joule 100's that the upgrade from mkII to mkIII is VERY significant. Cost difference is negligible, so I'd say to avoid the mkII. FWIW, I've owned the LA100mkIII, the LA150, and the Dodd, and the Dodd is my favorite. When you factor in no need for an expensive power cable, and it's striking looks, it is a hard value to beat. If you have phono, the joule's LAP150 version might be the best value of the Joule line. These are all good pieces, so it comes down to personal taste and is almost splitting hairs. Cheers,
before you do anything i suggest to get the lead free power cord for the sbam, get the new 230 mah cells for the same, the cardas merlin lead free jumpers for the vsms and to have the mme mod done to the speakers. this would improve the sound as much as 40 to 50% imho.
cost is very reasonable but for that you will have to mail me at even with your present system you would get so much more body and room filling ability that i think that you may even hold off of the other changes you are asking about. it is always best to get the speaker as far along as one can before electronics changes can sound their best.
many have done what i suggest and stood with their present system after the mod. some have also gone on to improve the rest too after what they hear is possible for themselves.
best, b
think 47lab gaincard, audiosector patek se monos, weiss minerva

-> try peachtree nova or decco 2 - much better (best) digital than your sony. gainclone - a really good low powered solidstate alternative to tubes. enough power for merlins. tube pre included. Its only a matter of taste but the quality is said to be up with the best megabuck gear. its integrated but most probably betters your current separates.
rwa 30.2