seeking compatible amp/ CJ pv10, Vienna Acoustic

Hi Everyone,

Need helping weeding through the under $3000 power amp/integrated amp used market. Seeking suggestions regarding proven winners, especially regarding quality-price ratio. Real budgetary constraints.

Am having a hard time with all the options for a USED integrated or power amp to go with my Conrad Johnson PV10 preamp (currently being upgraded by Bill Thalmann) and Vienna Acoustic Mozart Grands speakers. Also using Rel T3 "sub-bass system." Will probably switch in a used Rega Apollo when I switch out the Linn Classik.

Currently playing two-channel music only in man-cave library. Seeking suggestions for highly MUSICAL amp for dad's music room, not for blasting through whole house or being at the cutting-edge of audio sound or architecture. Playing vinyl (jazz, rock, hiphop) through Rega p3-24. Currently using nice-sounding Linn Klassik integrated amp (with cd player) but simply need more power (amp goes to "rest" when volume goes too high). The Mozart Grand speakers don't want to be be-amped. But how power-hungry are they, really (4 ohms, 90 dB rating)?

Here are some of the non-obscure used things I've been tracking lately:
Primaluna Prologue 7 (and Prologue 1 or 2) --tubes
Conrad Johnson MF2200, 2500, 2250 --solid state
Conrad Johnson MV 60 --tubes
Rega Elicit, Exon monoblocks --SS
Cambridge Audio 840W --SS (had a CA 650avr that stopped working after 2 yrs)
Linn LK 180 and other better SS power or integrated amps
Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum, and other models (only if under $3000)

The above items ranged at USED prices from $1000 (or less, with some Linn and Rega items) to $3000 and over (some Rogue, and CJ).

These are very well-known brands but no audio salon in southeast Detroit has any used models of them to audition and possibly buy.

It's been recommended to me that I might need SS in order to offset the warmth and mid-range focus of PV10 amp and the "dark" coloring of the Mozart Grands (known for slight roll-off in high treble range). But I don't know how much tube current it would take to make the Mozart Grands sing.

Basically I'm a teacher, not an orthodontist or businessman. Lots of freedom; not so much cash. So I need to go used. And I need to go smart. I listen mostly to acoustic jazz on cd or vinyl and some rock, hiphop, and soul that need higher volume. I prefer instruments made of wood (piano, drums, bass, clarinet) and seek to focus music reproduction on mid-range magic and dynamic range and quiet noise floor over precise and deep bass or sparkling high trebles or analytical precision.

The term "polite" is not a deal-killer in my house. I think psychoanalytic terms help here: A polite, agreeable but not dangerously censorious superego matched to a self-managing and competent ego and linked to a growling, voracious id might sound just about right when I look in the acoustic mirror.

Thanks for suggestions based on listening experience and study.
I like Vienna Bach Grand and Odyssey Khartago Plus.
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 [email protected] 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.
I used a CJ pv10al and my McCormack DNA-1 Deluxe with SMcAudio upgrades, playing thru 86.5 db 4 ohm Hales Revelation Three. This was a really wonderful match IMHO. Sometimes I wish I still owned the CJ...
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.
The combo of CJ and Vienna offers a warm/smooth/musical presentation but needs an articulate dynamic amp with outstanding detail to bring out their best in my experience.
i have a 2500a paired with a pv12 that I got from a fellow audiogoner, I also have a 2300a paired with a pv10l for my wife. ive tried them with each other and ive found the pv10 works and sounds better with the 2300a....this might save you some money and time..............
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.
Paanders: How's that CJ tube amp working out for you?
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....