If you have a small to medium size room, definitely look at the 47 Labs Gaincard, a 25w/ch SS integrated. See it at www.sakurasystems.com, excellent amp and an excellent match for the Virgos.
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I use a CJ PV11 with a Counterpoint SA20. I like the sound of tubes. The Virgo's need something big like the Counterpoint to drive them. I had a CJ SS amp before but I wasn't crazy about the sound. Having said that, Alan Levinson at Imedia sound, the distributor of Audio Physics, uses Pass gear. They sound great there. That's were I was convinced to get the Virgo's.
I have had virgo's since the day they were bi-wired and have tried many amps,solid state and tubes. first I have a vac 30-30 tube amp it does a great job but delivers a great deal more of power. I have used the plinius 100 watter the art audio 24 watter and a few more.this speaker needs plenty of power due to the 4 ohm load and this speaker also is speaker wire dependant. also one of the responses that you got referred to alan levinson as the importer,it is alan perkins at immedia.have fun listening
The neat thing about virgo's is that they are SO high resolution that you can afford to lose a little resolution to have other things - like tube warmth. I use rca nordost red dawn with mine and have excellent sound. I had some balanced kimber 1120's in the system for a few hours, and thought it was a little sweeter, but slightly less detailed. I've read in several places that nordost and yamamura are the best cables for them. For amps, I've used Sonic Frontiers SFM-160's, a conrad johnson mv-50, an audio research vt100m2, a mccormack dna 1/reva, and a set of pass aleph 2's. If you like soundstaging with a warm sound, the sonic frontiers were the best. If you like highly detailed tube sound with natural instrument timbres, the vt100. If detail, bass, and a gutsy sound is your thing then the mccormack rules (it literally shakes my house at ANY volume), and for the ultimate in detail with an incomparable midrange, the pass alephs. The vt100, the mccormack, and the alephs are so close in overall performance that you would have to be neurotic to care about the differences. What is amazing is how much the vt100 and mccormack sound alike with the virgo's, but completely different with my magnepan 1.6's. I vote the aleph 2's the best of the bunch. Aleph's natural music purity + the virgos detail brings out more of the music than anything I've ever heard. I do caution that this combination is unforgiving of less than ideal recordings. The vt100 is much more forgiving.
i bought my Virgos based on five minutes that my brother and i spent with a pair at a Stereophile show a few years back in Los(t) Angeles. they were paired with Rowland electronics but i don't remember the cd source or cables used. all i know is that we sat in a very small room on two chairs that you probabaly would find only find in a high school auditorium (i.e. spartan and uncomfortable) and proceeded to be blown away. the speakers were probably no more than three to five feet away from us and produced a magical sound that very, very few audio salon demos i've heard have come closed to matching, much less exceeded. the sound was absolutely pure. it wasn't until last year that i came up with the scratch to purchase the Virgos and i am going to mate them soon with symphonic line tube pre-amplification and SL s/s amps. i'm excited to hear what the combination sounds like as i understand Herr Rolf of Symphonic Line voices his products using the Virgos. Good luck in your quest.
Cbe, the Avantis go lower, and give more of a sense of volume/weight to instruments -- also closer, IMO, to natural sound when properly set up. So, better. Also more expensive. The new Avantis are easier to drive well than previous models, i.e., to get the best out of them without "euphonic" brightness.
The Virgo is a well balanced speaker, however, and a system that rocks with it will not necessarily do so with the bigger (+more demanding) Avantis. Considerations: amplification (speed & current), room-size.. to name a few.
This being said, I auditioned the NEW Avantis at the local dealer, not at home; amplification was S-Line that matches very well, as Gregg notes above.
Conclusion: if U read this, pls remember my limited exposure to this gear. It could very well boost the magic in your system... but then again, the Virgo is a great speaker IMO.