Funny reading this cause he mentioned Ayre to me today, as a solid state option along with Mcintosh with a autoformer. Im just too undescisive right now. I have this old b and k 150 watt amp into a awesome joule pre. The joule just replaced the b and k pre but more importantly upgraded the sound quality immensely. I could never listen to that b and k pre again with merlins. Its only two speakers but they sound like more then that now, Once I get a good deal on a pair of atma's or maybe even blue cirlces , i will prob be in audiphile heaven. But right now its still the best Ive heard, except for Bobbys new integrated he had at the NYC show, that lil amp blew me away, I visited several more audio rooms and found myself running back to hear how nice that simple setup was.