It may be time for you to move up the food chain in the Martin Logan line. Try the new Ascents or maybe some SL-3's. The difference in bass response is significant over the aerius.
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I think that you have a nice balanced system at present and while some of the gear you are looking at now is better than what you have I wonder if it(new gear) will be fully realized given you want to stay with the Aerius??? Those speakers (which by the way I like but do not own) may limit the potential of some higher end tube gear. The Classe amp you auditioned should have performed nicely and if there was no toe-tapping I therefore would not recommend the Bryston 4BST as an alternate choice. The Sim W-5 is a wonderful amp and might sound "warmer" and provide great control. Definately try this amp - I would have bought it had the price not been twice what my 4BST cost me. I still can't get away from the Aerius limiting the potential of your choices.... but hey thats just my opinion.
I guess I may not have asked all my questions. Have any of you ML owners auditioned the Bat 3i/vk200 in your system. And if so how does it compare to what you own now? I have listened to the Bat combo and should I say Wow, compared to what I own and have tried(See above). Still would like to try the sim stuff. But so far it looks like bat. The bat was night and day over my dc1/3bst and the equip I listed above. My wife agreed and that's hard to get her to okay spending the $$$$. Just want to be sure I guess. If you don't think Aerius i has bass, try it with the bat combo, the bass is extremely controlled and truely goes right thru you, it almost hurts ya. So that's all I have, and feel free to keep the info coming. PCC
Well, it sounds like you've already made up your mind. I ran a similar thread asking for inputs on tube pre's to match to my SL-3's. The three most reccommended were the BAT, Sonic Frontiers Line 1, and Conrad-Johnson. After reading several opinions I discovered that the "tube warmth" I was searching for would be minimal in the well balanced BAT and SF. I'm not sure if that helps you or not. Check for the thread under BAT 3i. I have to disagree with you about your verdict on the bass response of the aerius. That is why I opted for the SL-3's. Still they share similar greatness in the mid's and highs. Good luck.
What you are hoping to be told you are never going to get. Even if I have tried and love a set of amps with the aerius, which I have , it is just my tastes that are satisfied, not yours. Trust your ears! Your room that you listen in is in itsself enough to change the sound of a set or components enough to make that combination not acceptable to you.
I have a Bat VK30 which works great with my Aerius Is. I'd try to getthe newer bat stuff vs. vk3/5 - the newer pieces are better, esp. the user interface. classe CA200 is my amp, which works well and has no faults I can find with it. I have also tried other combos (including Classe 30 preamp which I own) and this has worked out quite well. I am bringing home some Conrad Pr5 monoblocks soon to see how those work out well, and I have a 47 lab gaincard on the way too. BAT vk200 is a nice amp certainly, I liked it - but not enough to swap my CA200 with it. I think Bat's best stuff is preamps and maybe their CD player. Their tube amps are nice too, as are their solid state amps, but their preamps are the real stars (IMHO). Re: the aerius limiting your system - not so. With a good sub (like the one I have that I built myself) I'd stack these up against any of the larger ML stuff (up to the Prodigy level). I have also done extensive auditions of other stuff (much in home, same system, some in store) and the Aerius hold their own. Nothing like panels for a really stunning open gorgeous sound. I'd take them over the Watt/Puppys, all aerial under the 10Ts, and the JM lab stuff up to and including Mini utopias (have heard it all). Also better than the myriad of less speakers I have had in house. The only thing I've heard that I consistently want more than the ML stuff is the Avantgarde Duos. SL3s are nice btw, but not worth the difference. Just get a good sub and you will have better bass (and tighter/faster mids) than the Sl3s no problem. -Ed
Just to provide a little support Pcc, the Aerius i can indeed provide very good bass. Few people know how to set these speakers up, is half the problem, but also the room is important. I don't use the Aerius i, but have set them up for others. In many situations the Aerius will outperform the SL3 as the SL3 is more difficult to match to a room. From what I have experienced with the Aerius i, you can go on improving your system quite a long way before you will outgrow them. The bass just gets better, the better signal you feed it. Tubes have always been the best way to go with these speakers, but there will be some life missing unless you have 100 good watts. The Svetlana KT88 sounds good with this speaker. By the way, have you experimented with the forward tilt of the Aerius and spiked them rigidly - the Aerius sounds indistinct and boring if you don't do this.
I have Aeris I with Bryston 9bTHX. Very Detail. Right now I have Marantz SR96 PreAmp(Outdated but Musical). CD is Ah Tjoeb, Oh what a sound. The tubes are a wonderful compliment to the Bryston. Bass is sumptuous, with the highs rolled off just enough. Looking for upgrade for PreAmp, (HT as well as stereo)