Sim I-5 vs. Plinius Integrateds. Which one?

Hello. Currently I'm using a Sim Audio Moon I-5 integrated amp with 70 watts/channel. It sounds awfully nice through my dynamic speakers. However, with the best of my "system buster" CDs it will occasionlly go into clipping if I play it at front row levels. I've been considering one of the more powerful Plinius itegrateds but, since I'm unable to hear them let alone A/B them, I'll ask for comments from anyone who can offer an opinion about these two products. I would entertain other suggestions as well. The two requirements are that it have a remote control and not cost more than about $3k new or used. Thank you!
If you are having occasional problems with clipping, getting another integrated amp with marginally more horsepower isn't likely to solve your problem. Remember that to get only 3db more gain (usually regarded as about the lowest audibly noticeable increase in volume), you need to DOUBLE the power output of the amp. Put more directly, if you want a LOT more listening volume, and to avoid clipping, you may need 6-9 db more gain, or 4-8 times the amount of amplifier power you currently have. Hence, you'll need to get an integrated with at least 150 wpc to realize even a minimal increase in volume/gain. If power is the issue, there are two ways to solve the problem: get more efficient speakers (such as those made by Coincident Technology), or get a more powerful separate amp. If you decide to pursue a more powerful amp, then you may want to get something in the 200-250 wpc range, and use your current integrated amp as the preamp. Or, for your $3k budget, you could get something like the Bryston 4B-ST power amp (rated at 250 wpc, but actually closer to 300 wpc), which sells new for $2400 (I know a dealer that sells the 4B-ST for about $1750, if you are interested) -- or you could buy a used unit for around $1500-1600, which would also leave you enough money to get a good used preamp -- such as a used Bryston BP-25. Before you decide on what to do, you should give some thought to your overall objectives for your system -- if power is your primary issue, you may need to upgrade from your Sim Audio integrated amp (which, by the way, is a fine unit, which may suggest that new speakers would be the way to go if you like to listen at higher volumes).
I would agree that if you're speakers are not happy with that amount of power you may want something easier to drive.
Bel Canto is coming out with a new integrated version of the eVo around the new year. With 120W on tap it will probably cost somewhere in the vicinity of the price you are looking for. this might be the on to wait for.
Hi, Penragn. I second Sdcambell's suggestion using the pre in the i-5 and slap on the best deal you can swing on a bryston. I've heard bryston amps on sim pres-amps and they swing together very well....however might I should mention the sim amps sounded even better than the bryston on a sim pre....if you locate a sim 4150se power amp you could get a lot of amp for a very reasonable price as they are [like my 4070se], now discontinued. The 4150 is 150 into 8 ohms and doubles easily into 4 ohms....This would give you a chance to experiment with higher power without breaking the bank....good luck. whatever you choose do try it on the sim first, and good hunting....bluenose
It looks like you have gotten some good advice aleady. At 3k I would consider the Musical Fidelity AC3R amp and pre, that said, my guess is that these will not play the "thunderous" rock level you would like; the Bryson that was suggested may be your best bet.
If you are happy with the sonics of your Moon I-5, why not use it as a pre and pick up a W-5 amp? A used one with a decent used interconnect should be within your budget. Happy listening. Erik
Thanks to all of you who responded...good suggestions all. Just to clarify one little point: I don't listen to rock (Dire Straits is about the heaviest rock I listen to). The clipping I heard on my 92 dB efficient Tyler Linbrook Monitors was on a Reference Recordings CD of Stravinsky's The Firebird and also on a couple of other RR "system busters." I wonder if I've become a volume junky??:)
I got an I-5 hooked up to 91 dB Virgos and never run into any clipping problems. Guess, I listen at pretty moderate levels, though. With regard to the volume junkie, take care and don't ruin your ears!
Actually, I plan to get a tube power amp (probably a BAT VK-60) sometime soon and wondered, if anybody actually used the I-5 as a pre and can comment on its pre-amp qualities (the I-5 sounds a little too neutral to me, hence the tube amp).