Please help me find an amp

Hello everyone, I haven't been able to stay up to date with the latest trends and new audiophile products.

I was hoping I could rely on your expertise to pick an amplifier either a single-chassis dual-mono design or mono blocs that:

-extremely low noise floor,
-slightly warm but not bloated,
-can retrieve subtle nuances, low-level detail
-quality at low volumes,
-preferably slightly forward as opposed to reserved, bright as opposed to dark...
-PRAT, bass...
-power efficiency and power consumption must be low, or lower than it's peers.
-versatility ( I listen to virtually everything, and might occasionally watch a movie in stereo )
-should be able to make sub-90db speakers "sing"

I'm not against tubes but would prefer to have either a high maintence woman or a high maintenance piece of electronic equipment, not both :)

Not even sure such a product exists, probably not...but had to try :)
Hi Cagliostro, several things you mention in your post spell efficient solid state class A/B amplification or quality class D. I will give you 4 of my favorites. All of these run remarkably cool and are very efficient; they can drive low efficiency speakers with ease; have plenty of authority, but also musicality and subtlety; they are not warm per se, but rather on the neutral side of musical and extremely resolving.

1. Jeff Rowland (JRDG) 312 stereo -- This is my favorite and is the amp in my system. You will find my capsule review of it on issue 188 (December 2008) of The Absolute Sound, part of the larger review of the Vienna Mahler speakers, which starts on page 78.
2. Theta Citadel monoblocks -- I heard them many times driving Vandersteen 5-A speakers and they are extremely engaging.
3. Bel Canto Ref 1000 Mk.2 -- heard the Ref 500 Mk.2 little brothers at RMAF and they were very scrumptious.
4. Spectron Musician 3 -- several iterations of these available in stereo and mono.

If you would consider an integrated, I would also add the Rowland (JRDG) Continuum 500. . . very similar circuit as the JRDG 312, but also including a fabulous linestage. . . same circuit as the JRDG Capri. .

Take a look at the Butler Audio TDB-2250. Or, for true monoblocks, the Butler Monad. These are exceptional amps and fulfill most of the requirements you specified...

what are you driving? what is your usual Volume level? What is other associated equipment?
I'm using an open-baffle custom made speaker,full-range high-efficiency, with Visaton and Supravox components.

My usual volume level is loud enough to listen to music and converse with someone 6 feet away without shouting... Bass and sound quality at low-volumes is very important.

Normally people say S.E.T. for this kind of setup, but I don't understand why my choice should be limited to S.E.T. just because of its "sweet midrange"...

After doing some research it seems the Red Wine Audio 30.2 would shine in this setup. As for my source and control I'm too shy to post them here.I started with the speakers, then chose the amp, then I'll pick the control after I investigate synergistic potential with the amp...or use a source with volume control feeding the amp directly, don't know that yet...

All I know is I have the speakers, and I don't have the luxury of bringing amps home and testing them in my own setup... and that really sucks.
Or maybe a pass XA30.5?
If I had very sensitive speaker as you do I would have to say a bat vk-60 or Sonic Frontiers Power 2 for tube and for ss bat vk-500 or audio research d400mk2 and I would highly recommend a Sonic Frontiers Line 1 preamp.
Given the efficiency of you speakers you might go with the Rowland Continuum 250 or the Rowland Capri pre-amp and the 201 monoblocks or the 102 stereo amp.

You need to make your amp and pre-amp choice together. They don't have to be the same brand, but your objectives would point toward something like Rowland, Bel Canto, or a couple of others.

hi cagliostro:

i would suggest that you listen to some amplifiers in your own system. only you can decide if an amplifier satisfies the criteria you have established as meaningful.

why let someone else tell you what an amplifier sounds like, when you can decide for yourself ?

perhaps you should set an upper $$ limit for your purchase and listen to as many amps as posssible within your price range.