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How about a high quality but compact preamp like the Jeff Rowland Design Group Capri2? It’s 2.6”(H) x 13.7” (W) x 6.2” (D), has optional internal phono and dac boards, is fully balanced and and comes with an aluminum remote. Here’s a link:
Then just choose your class A monoblocks regardless of size, mount them on amp stands and position one behind or next to each speaker, connect each to your preamp with balanced xlr cables and run high quality speaker cables that are as short as possible from each amp to each speaker.
Ideally, it'd be wise to use fully balanced class A monos with balanced xlr inputs for optimum performance, but it's not required.
Thinman, you really do not want to put class A amps in the cabinet with your other stuff. They get too hot and have large EMF footprints. They are much better off behind the speakers. Get amps and preamp with balance connects then run very short speaker wires. I would definitely stick with Pass Labs. Try not to buy too old as older Class A amps will eventually burn out their output stages. I am sure Pass will rebuild any of his amps for a price. I would stick with 10 years or younger.
thinman2 small footprint Class A mono blocks and pre amplifier1/4 of your budget, get 2 Schitt Aegir’s and vertically bi-amp
or 1 Aegir on (mids&highs) and 1 Vidar (for more bass wallop) and horizontally bi-amp
And then a Schiit Freya + for you preamp that is extremely versatile.
Thanks to everyone for your replies. Rugyboogie, Ive been searching the ads for Pass Labs XA60.5 to no avail. Wasn't aware of the Aelph, Zero and will look into them. Charles1dad German Valvet look really nice if I can find a pair used within budget.Mijostyn can't put behind speakers. Got 2 feet on each side and above each unit. Just don't have the depth. Looking for older Pass Labs in good condition as you and Rugyboogie suggest. Plan to run fully balanced system. What Pass Labs preamp would complement the Aelph, Zero?
Got 2 feet on each side and above each unit. Just don't have the depth.Does this mean you can't put the amps beside the speakers? 2 feet sounds like plenty of room. It is true that a class A amp is going to have troubles inside a cabinet. Class A amps make heat and its important for them to get rid of it.
I think you're demonstrating poor judgement and rushed buying decisions.
Have you ever even considered or listened to a single high quality stereo or pair of monoblock class D amps with your speakers? The newer ones are compact, sip electricity, can be left on 24/7,sound very good to excellent and run cool to the touch. If not, you're displaying poor judgment, failing to consider all viable options and have seriously rushed your purchasing decision.
Have you ever used class A amps? Yes, many of the expensive ones sound very good but most mainly consist of heatsinks. They're mostly big, heavy, electricity gulping space heaters that force us to soul search, contemplate our values, search for alternative amp solutions and, in the meantime while we're doing so, either turn down the heat or turn up the AC.
In any case, I would not advocate placing any class A amp in an enclosed space unless you enjoy melting stuff and starting fires. Have you considered a larger and more well ventilated entertainment center?
I just sense you're rushing things, not seriously considering alternative valid solutions that are more effective, safer, wiser, comparable in sound quality and won't burn down your house.
I realize it's your money, system, home and choice. Of course, you're free to ignore my advice, including my advice to double your homeowner's insurance coverage if you decide to ignore my advice.
Regarding biamping with the Aegir on the high/mids and the Vidar on the lows, I dig the idea, but this confuses me a bit because these 2 amps have different wattage ratings/output. Wouldn't the ideal setup be to put an active passover between the preamp and the 2 power amps to control the frequencies that go to the speakers?
I think a good choice would be Electrocompanient either AW-180's or AW-400's if you really need mega power. They operate in class A mode up to 7 watts and don't rely on huge heat sinks. Finding them used may be a bit of a challenge though.
galacticmayanMids and highs take far less than bass so the Class-A Aegir on the mids and highs is ideal. And the Vidar on the bass is ideal.
As for the different gains, which they will be, as they are different amps, the one with the highest gain will need a $49 Schiit Sys on the input so it can be level match to the other amp. (see diagram
br3098. I am enjoying immensely my Passlabs Aelph Zero Class A mono blocks. They image flawlessly with my Passlabs XP30 line stage preamp. They get very warm but not so hot that I can't put my hand on top for short period. I do have plenty of space on 4 sides and we have ceiling fans that keep the air moving in a large room with 14 foot ceiling. I appreciate Noble100's concern the heat is below combustion temperatures.
br3098. I am enjoying immensely my Passlabs Aelph Zero Class A mono blocks. They image flawlessly with my Passlabs XP30 line stage preamp. They get very warm but not so hot that I can't put my hand on top for short period. I do have plenty of space on 4 sides and we have ceiling fans that keep the air moving in a large room with 14 foot ceiling. I appreciate Noble100's concern but the heat is below combustion temperatures.