When you say you auditioned the Nagra, was that with your speakers? or somewhere else with something else?
Reason I ask is some tube amps "get along" better with certain speakers. If you have already heard these with your speakers you are ahead of the curve. Another more highly touted amp may not gel with your speakers and to your ears.
btw, I do the same thing. I alternate my Magnepans with a Pass ss amp or a tube amp. Have it set up where it takes less than a minute to do.
Onemug - Thanks for your response. I have actually heard the Nagra VPAs with at least two and possibly three speakers - Vandersteen, Verity (but not the Amadis), and possibly DeVore. None of these listening sessions were in my system. I agree that some tube amps play nicely with certain speakers and others not so much. I am hoping to especially hear from some other Verity speaker owners using tube amps, or at least from those who have heard Verity speakers impressively driven by tube amplification.
It is my understanding that Verity sometimes uses Nagra amps at shows, for whatever that info is worth!
BTW, after I started this thread, I did some more reading, and it appears that the newest Leben stereo amplifier (CS-1000?) could be a good match. But that amp is so new that there might not be anyone who has heard it yet with Verity speakers. What I really wish is that Shindo made an amplifier that could drive the Amadis with ease for the music I want to listen to and at the volume levels I enjoy.
Thanks again for your comments.
I'd suggest checking out the Shindo GM70's. They will match well with your Shindo Preamp. The GM70 is an overlooked SET tube - especially for those looking for a little more power than the traditional SET.
Sibelius - Thank you for the suggestion. I guess it would not hurt to arrange an audition, but it is hard to imagine that 20 watts a side is going to drive the Amadis properly when listening to something like large-scale classical music. And it is my understanding that the Amadis, despite its 93db sensntivity, has a bit of a challenging impedance curve, so much so that I had already pretty much ruled out the much more powerful Shindo CC 80s. That said, it would be great if Shindo amplification would do the trick!
So thank you. I will reconsider Shindo and perhaps arrange auditions.
As a very rough rule, I would say don't rule out amps that are supposedly too low in power for a particular application. I would at least give the Shindo a try. They make quite decent sounding gear. I tend to like the intrinsic sound quality of lower-powered tube amps much more than the higher powered amps. I have not heard a 100 watt or more tube amp using pushpull tetrode and pentode tubes that I really liked much. My favorite amps tend to be single ended triode amps, followed by pushpull triode amps. It has been quite a while since I heard the 211 amp made by Wyetech, but, I liked the sound of that amp and I would bet it has more than enough power for your needs.
If you feel that you do need more than 20 watts, consider an output transformerless (OTL) tube amp. These amps deliver incredibly dynamic and lively sound regardless of the nominal output level. It has been a while since I heard the Nagra amps, but, I would hazard a guess that Atmasphere OTLs would be to your liking; the alternative I am familiar with (Joule) are warmer sounding than the Atmasphere and probably less like the Nagra.
The only speakers that Ive really liked the VPAs paired with were by Verity (Fidelios and Parsifals), so you might have found the right amplifier right off the bat.
Larryi - Thank you. The comments by you and others reinforce my decision to audition two of the Shindo monoblock offerings. I have heard of Wyetech and Atmasphere but am not familiar with their products. I appreciate knowing about those amps, but I believe I will begin with Shindo since they are available locally, and if they work for me, I will finally get to experience the much-praised Shindo synergy magic.
Phaelon - I was pleased to read that you liked the VPAs with Verity, especially the Parsifals which I understand are a bit difficult to drive. Out of curiosity, though, what speakers did you hear the VPAs with and not like the pairing as much as you did with the Verity speakers?
Thank you both for your comments and suggestions.
All of my VPA experience was at a friends audio dealership. When he began to represent Nagra, we hooked the VPAs up to virtually every speaker he had in stock. Besides Verity, these included Sonus Faber, JM Labs Utopia, Avantgarde, Merlin, Reference MM de Capo and a couple others that escape me.
Im sure this is completely subjective but, until I heard them with the Veritys, I was having difficulty getting emotionally involved with the music, finding the VPAs to be too antiseptic. This is all going a while back. In fact, the VPAs had just been launched, so it might be a different amplifier today.
Steve - For what its worth, I recall also liking the BAT tube monoblocks with the Veritys.
Phaelon - Thank you for sharing in more detail your past listening experience with the VPAs. I guess if I do end up with the VPAs, my choice of the Amadis would apparently prove to be serendipitous. But I do still intend to give Shindo amps a listen, and I have not ruled out also listening to the aforementioned new Leben CS-1000P if one should become available locally for audition.
What differences do you recall hearing between the VPAs and BATs with Verity speakers? If you had an overall preference for one over the other, what sonic trait(s) was/were the basis for your preference.
Again, many thanks for your comments thus far, and any other information you can recall and are willing to share.
Steven - Its been too many years since I've heard them for me to make meaningful comparisons. BAT has a new statement amplifier called the Rex that might be worth consideration if you youre concerned about power. Going the other way, an amplifier that I heard at a recent Axpona, that made a great impression with me, is the Purity Audio PSE300b parallel SET. I wouldnt have mentioned it, but I read somewhere that Verity claims 18W/ch. is sufficient.
Since youre planning on buying new, and none of these amps are cheap, I trust that you will insist on taking home a demo model for extended auditioning with your equipment in your room.
Amazing music making machines, that is. I still miss mine. Maybe one day, if I have the space and money to house two systems, I will buy the Nagras again ... one can dream :-)