I like Vienna Bach Grand and Odyssey Khartago Plus.
11 responses Add your response
I own your speakers in a second system and yes I think you need a SS amp based on this speakers personality for best results. I would go with one of these.....
Conrad Johnson 2500a, 2250a make sure it is the "A" version. These are great amps. For the money hard if not impossible to beat.
Next I would consider Blue Circle hybrid amps like the BC22 and 24.
Lastly a nice Belles Reference 150 or 350.
I agree with Grannyring, that the VA speakers need a good high current SS amp for best performance. I have read that the impedance and phase angle of the load with some VA speakers are just not suited for tube amps. You mention higher volume and dynamic range, so you definitely need more power than the Linn. Since the 75w@4ohms is not enough, I would be looking for a 4 ohm rating of at least 150w, but recommend higher than that. Since this works on a logarithmic scale, double power is only a 3db increase, which is not that much.
Again, IMHO, I recommend avoiding tube power, unless it was a beast, which would exceed your budget.
I also own those speakers. I agree with the posts. The Vienna Mozart Grand really benefits from reasonably high current(doubling its power from 8ohms to 4ohms) ss amp power and a good power cord to control the speaker. I use a Belles Reference 150 V2, and a passive pre with excellent results. You have some very nice speakers there, they can sound really really superb. Let us know what you do. Have fun.
Thank you for these responses. Such a great knowledge base here!
So I've added some new names to my list of used power amps to look for in the under $3000 range that may synergize nicely with Mozart Grand speakers, CJ pv10 amp, Rega TT, and acoustic jazz.... SS names like Blue Circle. Belles Reference. McCormack.
I am the OP? Just bought a used conrad Johnson premier eleven here on the 'gon. Seemed a decent price at $1650. Got tired of waiting for a cj mf2500a and figured for near the same price I could get 70 watts of tube power from a classic piece.
Now realizing that this might end up as a warm tube system for moderate volume listening to small group acoustic jazz rather than a yank me crank me system for also playing air guitar alongside jimmy page and bonzo bonham at stadium volume... I'm okay with that possibility.
Thanks for asking.
As for the initial brute matter of needing more "juice" to push the speakers and make them sing, I can safely say that the 70 watt CJ tube power amp goes further than the 75 SS Linn amp. So that's a big dumb thumbs-up.
As for the matter of sound quality and increased musical experience, this is harder to answer. Definitely not a step down. But I do not have golden ears for hi-fi gear and am, I suppose, a slow-moving gestalt-listener rather than a quick-witted precision-listener. And going back a/b between amps is not my idea of fun for a Friday evening after the kids are in bed. And subjective bias is awful mighty when one splurges on a big heavy new piece of classic kit. And my better phono preamp is in the shop, so I'm making do with a Rega Fono.
That said, I think there was a new kind of presence to the music. To re-baptize the Premier 11a, I played Van Morrison Moondance (recent audiophile LP remastering from Mofi, I think) and first-pressing On the Beach by Neil Young. The sound reminded me (or the thought of the sound reminded me) of what I can hear from my tube amps for electric guitar and always missed from SS guitar amps. An ultra-dynamic snap and thwack utterly missing from the smooth Linn SS amp. That snap changed the timbral colorings of the snare drum, the hard-strummed guitar, and other instruments. And the music hovered before me in a new way. Or perhaps that's the hallucinatory power of subjective bias....