Checkout the KR audio/ KR enterprise amplifiers. Quiet,transparent and powerful. You can get a pair ranging from originally $10,000 to $20,000 mono blocks for around 4 grand.The tubes aren't cheap, but the last a very long time!
Do a Google search..it will be tough to find a bad review on any of them. Here's a review of the Kr audio Kronzillas
Google BWS Tubes, call Bruce Wenger and beg him to make you a pair of Amps. I have his electronics with Duos and the combination is excellent.
Some popular pairings are:
Viva, Lamm ML-1, Audiopax Model 88, Tom Evans Linear A and B (some folks I trust think these are the best),Tron. Probably lots of other good ones.
Top choice IMO is the Lamm ML2, but in your range look for used Audiopax 88s or Art Audio PX-25, you might get lucky and find some near that $$ level. Happy hunting!
I believe that 845 SET is not a logical choice for Avantegarde DUO's ... I would rather think in direction of good SET with 300B or 2A3. There are a lot of producers of quality SETs with these tubes. Look for example in direction Japan ... Shindo, Yamamoto, ...
Another possibility is to try Pass Labs XA 30.5. Excellent MOS-Fet A-class design.
Third possibility is to try Avantgarde mono's of 50 W in A-class. I heard them with Avantgarde Trio's and they sing together. Very expencive though ...
Lamm ML2 or ML2.1 or Atma-Sphere OTL
Hi Ola, your speakers are very sensitive towards quality amplification. I heard a pair of AVG's hooked up to Audio Note Oto SE's. The sound was simply unacceptable - not transparent enough, poor imaging, and a LOT of horn coloration. I was about to walk away, when the dealer suggested Graaf OTL. The sound was MUCH more acceptable - more neutral, detailed, and with better rhythm. I have also heard the Duo's with my old Cary 805-AE SET's. Very nice, but I preferred the sound of the Graafs.
I have not heard sound from the Avantgardes which have really impressed me, but that might be because they need better amplification than what I have heard them with. Best of luck with your quest.
I have a pair of Avantgarde Unos, powered by an Art Audio Diavalo, pure magic.
I believe that your dream amps are still available in an Agon classified right now: Audiopax 88s. I used the Audiopax 88s with the Duos and the combination was stunning. I have heard that the Lamms are an improvement, but I went in another direction before making that upgrade.
Don't let the Duo's efficiency fool you, though. The Duos sound best with something more than flea-power. The Audiopax is around 35W, I believe, and I found that optimal. I tried the Duos with a Wavac 300b and found that dynamics suffered noticeably.
It's a no-brainer to me.... Get an Art Audio PX-25 (AVG/low gain model). I have tried quite a few amps (some much more expensive) and haven't found anything as good. Joe Fratus really treats the people who buy his amps well, and has got to be one of the best people in high end audio too.
Hi Olaps, If you liked the Bat VK75se you might like the VK 55 even more, plenty of power for the Duo's or you can get them mono, they are more 'tubey' than the 75se and it is in your price range. I use mine with Duo 3.2's and a Bat VK51se. Try to give this amp a listen.
I drive my Duos with Wavelength 300Bs Cardinals. Seems contradictory to acquire High Efficiency speakers and not take advantage of high resolution low power amps. Px 25s is definitely a choice as any good 300Bs, but Bat 75? 8 to 20w max.
After having two very respected people tell me I must try the Tom Evans gear with my Unos I finally did and they were right. That was after trying the Art Audio PX25, Wavac 300B, Wavelength, and others. I'm through looking and just enjoying the music. Check out Jeff Day's review on 6Moons. He nails the sound and really gives an excellent description of the engineering that went into Tom Evans amp, prea-amp and phono stage.
Hi everybody, and thank you for recommendations.
Based on this, and own experiences, I guess I'll stay with SET amp(s).
I have now tested a modified 45 Star Chief from Welborne Labs, and was impressed of the resolution and the "airy" presentation. Even the bass was acceptable (a choke had been replaced and improved the bass control). But, in total, I missed some "fundament" and body.
The SET I probably will look for is 300B's (and may be some PX-25) from Wavelength, Welborne, ArtAudio, Wavac, AudioNote (interstage models).....
BTW, why not use 845 on the Duos (ref Dejanm)?
I see there is a good offer on a modified deHavilland Aries 845 c/g here on Audiogon. I like the 845 sond and soundstaging........
BTW, have anyone tried the Audio Note Kits, ref
I especially wonder about the Signature levels (3399 USD and 5549 USD).
Some of these would have to be used, some not:
Audiopax 88s, Viva Solista, BAT VK55 or VK 55SE, First Watt F4, Pass Labs Aleph 30 or 3, Used Tom Evans Linear A, Pass Labs XA 30.5, Art Audio PX-25 (if you can handle the low power).
I heard the Duos with many different amps and to my ears the Audiopax Model 88 offered the most lifelike sound: gorgeous, rich tonality, tons of refined detail and very natural transients. These amps are amazingly fast.
My second choice would be the Viva Aurora monos followed by the Lamm ML 2.1.
I ave tried quite a few with my UNOs - and have found the Audio Note Meishu w/WE300B and Cunninham rectifiers as one of the best options for my ears.
Curious about Eistein thou....
Thanks a lot all of you.
I have ended up with Star Chief 45 monos (2 Watt) from Welborne Labs, far more powerful than I expected. And the EML tubes lifted them to another level than what the TJ mesh plates could.
So far they play together with my BAT VK-51SE. These are two pieces of audio equipment representing two entirely differnt levels of design complexity.
But a very musical combination :-)
I have the A-V Duos driven by Lamm ML2.1s and the preamp
LL2 as well. Bass is phenomenal. A bit shrill and
bright in the upper range so I get fatiqued. Am about to
try a passive pre-amp like Creek or Placette. Will report.
Olpas, I have the Audio Note Kits Ccore output and interstage monos. They are fantastic amps, and I'd very much like to hear them on Duos but I have not. On my Cain Single Ben horns (98dB) they are quiet at idle. Astonishing control and deeply textured and expressive true to the AN sound, if you will.
Sounds like you've chosen your amps, but if you decide on the diy route, I'd strongly suggest you check out the AN gear and let us us know what you find.
I've used the following amps with my Duo 3.2 system: Wavelength Triton WE300B, Wavelength Venus 45, Welborne DRD 300B, Yamamoto A08, Yamamoto A08-S. I settled on the A08-S (EML 45 solid) and have been very happy for about three years. Great match, very quiet. No desire to upgrade.
I've heard, and liked the duos with a number of different amps, such as the Art Audio PX-25 and the Viva Solista. I particularly like it with the Solista. I also heard the Duos with a couple of different OTL amps (one by S.A.P., the other a custom design) and liked the sound, but then again, I like OTLs. Generally speaking, I think this is an "easy" pair of speakers to match with amps because it just does not sound bad with a wide range of amps. This is probably because the bass is handled by its own dedicated amp.
To me, the weak point of these speakers is the bass, which is not totally integrated with the horns (sounds more sluggish than the horns) and also has a "one note" kind of emphasis in a particular range. Perhaps this kind of quality will be exacerbated by really "fast" and lean sounding amps, such as OTLs, but, I am personally not a bass freak, so I liked them with the OTLs.
I have not heard them with kit Audionotes, but I did hear them with the crazy expensive Gaku-On and a prototype Sogon. The warmer and "slower" Gaku-On sounded really good with the Duos, but I personally liked the leaner sounding Sogon even more. Again, these speakers are resolving enough that one can easily hear differences between amps, but unlike other revealing speakers, I never heard it sound really bad with any tube amp (I never heard it with high powered pentode amps, something I generally dislike).
FI 2A3 from Don Garber. Listened to it yesterday. Great!
I am running my Avantgarde Mezzo with a pair of Klimo Beltaine SET using TJ mesh-globe 300B. Fantastic and not missing any bass. Separate tubed power supply on the Betaines do it. Only 7 Watt but more than enough even at hurting levels.
I am afraid I am not a fan of Avantgard speakers, but I recently heard them at GT Audio, the UK importer. I was auditioning the TW Acustic one turntable. They were driven by Grahams own Tron amps, 3 watts I believe and a very beguiling sound. They seem to tame the shrill, wearing edge I have heard in the speakers. I also heard them through his Tron 7 phono stage, the first I have heard at a reasonable price, to better my K&K phono stage
Larryi, a comment about your opinion with respect to the bass. Having been an owner of the Duos for almost 5 years, I agree with you. But, three years I had the opportunity to compare the standard subwoofers with subs upgraded with other electrolyt capacitors in the power of these. The upgraded subs had ELNA Cerafine caps, with a total capacity of 150 % MORE than original. And that sounded definitely better!
Better cotrol, more speed, and more nuances; in total a more natural representation of the bass. And with this change the bass also seems better integrated with the rest of the speaker system.
Please could you provide more details on the the Elna caps and values. Also how long did it take to burn in before you found a change in sound. thanks in advance, Neville
"Please could you provide more details on the the Elna caps and values. "
I would also like to learn more abou it, but it looks this link is dead now :(
I use an Ayon Mercury II integrated amp and the sound it amazing. I believe 300b tubes are the best for the Duos. Bi-Wire the subs to take it to the next level.