I think I am very fortunate in that I spent very little in audiophile terms to already have purchased the amp I think I will use for quite some time. It's the Gaincard. Why are you not including tube amps? Personally, I'd rather stick with solid state for ergonomic reasons.
I've got both Levinson 436's and Krell FPB 350 MCX's.
Both are at the top limit of what I want to spend on
amps at this juncture, but that could change.
I've had both in my system for a time powering my
front L & R.
They are slightly different sounding, but I think I could be happy with either of these amps for the long haul.
I might put them in different kinds of systems. Having
both, I am covered. I would use the Krells in a system
that felt sluggish, with speakers that were hard to drive,
or was lacking in either low or high end extension. I
would use the Levinson's in a system that was leaning a bit too much towards the dry and analytical. They add
a touch of warmth and liquidity while maintaining a grip
on detail and micro dynamics.
Tenor 300Hp to me that is the last stop.
my goldmund mimesis 29m will be my last stop......i think.
so far Pass Alephs do it for me...would like more horsepower occasionally otherwise not looking. ML 33(H)'s are possibly quieter, but musically the Aleph's are the finest.
I'd stay for Pass X250 or Plinius SA250. Both of these products are realy ultimate on all audio qualities you can only think of, but certainly costly. If money's no option, I'd certainly choose preamps from above brands.
Krell FPB 350 MCX, I stopped looking.....for now.
Once I obtain my Acoustic Reality Ear Two MKII I will be done. It is the only amp that has beautifully synergized with my bitch to drive 1 ohm Scintillas.
Levinson 335...power, refinement, three-dimensional.
Anybody heard of CLAYTON?
Viggen, I didn't include tube amp because I believe majority pursue solid state amp for its sheer power, which is tube amp's achilles heel (IMO). Plus, tube amp is another game all together which certainly can be another thread on its own.
Mrcaspence1, like the way you described your Apogee speaker. :)
Haven't heard Pass... best I've heard is Simaudio, their Dynaudio setup with the Moon Rock monoblocs, or more realistically, the Moon W-5 stereo power amp.
With a workin' man's budget, the Clayton M100s do it for me.
I ain't never saying I'm done. I get bachi every time I say that. That, and I'm still learning and gaining experience.
I have Bryston 4B ST amplifiers. I believe that the Bryston is the best bang for the buck, and offers a full 20 year transferable warranty. 250 watts per side and have sold used on audiogon for as little as $900.00. For me the 4b st is the final stop.
I have the Krell FPB 200 and I am very happy with it. BUT... if I had the chance, and/or the money I would gladly move up to the bigger FPB 600, or maybe mono blocs! Why can't I dream with someone else's money???
Hey, Nrchy! Try Clayton's, and you will forget those Krell's. Unless you are related to D'Agostino's family!
Please don't consider it a "flame" if I ask you: Why do you care what others think might be their "ultimate" amp? I never understand the motivation for questions like this one...What can possibly be learned by reading these (inevitably various) answers?
Zaikesman, in some way this question is very similar to "What would you do if you have a million dollars?". And I believe almost everyone have asked or been asked this question before. Why? First and foremost, I am curious. I am curious to learn which solid state power amp audiophiles here would consider their dream power amp that they believe they will be happy with for a while.
The reason for framing the question with a budget constraint so that we can get a more "down to earth" answer (instead of Halcro in every response). Plus, it might help a few of us who have never thought about this question to at least think about it. Do I learn anything from this thread? Yes, I have learned a few solid state amp that people would enjoy their music with for a long time when they have finally saved up their hard earned money. And I am very grateful of all the responses that I have gotten. Thanks!
Halcro DM58, oh darn you did say within my budget I have a Mcintosh mc 352 I do beleive for what you pay retail $4500. Does it only sound 1/2 as good as a Pass x350 at $9000? which is a beautiful sound amp.David
Krell Master Reference($100k),,,,,,,,,,,,,now where did I put my wallet!
Edge Reference monoblocks. 800 watts. High current. High voltage. High quality. High price. $75K.
FM Acoustics. Their big amps are reputedly quite excellent. They might also scratch that itch. Also high price. $50K on up.
- Mike (Edge dealer, amp addict - budget? what budget?)
I believe I have the amp I'm going to spend a long time with, the Plinius SA-250MkIV. But, I would love to audition, in my system of course, the Clayton M-100, Edge ML-12, Boulder 2060 and the Tenor 300HP. The only problem is, if I take an irrepressible liking to one of them, how do I match up five channels for my home theater..........John
tenor hp300 versus the halcro dm58 which one is better ? in what sense ? more dynamic , tranparent,natural ? value for money ? powerful in practice ,reliable ? built quality ? nicer shape ?
To my ears, the Jeff Rowland Model 12s. Althought they're expensive, they're worth every penny. Exquiste workmanship, even more beautiful music. They have best out the usual Pass, Levinson, and Krell in my system.
p.s. I have audition the newer 2 and 3 series and they're NOT an improvement over the 12s. Brighter but not better.
Brown Electronics Lab (BEL) - Still the best SS amp I've ever heard. I prefer it to tubes so far as well. The problem is that tubes are very different in some ways. In any case, I've put these amps up agains serious competition and they've always been my preference. At only $3895 each they're a huge bargain.
I have the CAT JL2 + SL1 Ultimate and Klyne System 7 Line &
My next stop it's The VIOLA LABS NEW SS AMPS/PRAMP.ex Staff of CELLO.
The Gryphon Antileon Signature Monos would be mine.
Nothing beats a Bose acoustic 5.
Maybe I'll stop at the BAT 6200.
I am there already with my Theta Digital Enterprise monoblocks. The only upgrade that I could even fathom (and this would be some time down the road) would be to upgrade to Theta Digital Citadels.
Krell 400cx I've had for over a year will probably be the last stop for me. I would ultimately like to have the 700mcx monoblocks but they would be too cumbersome to move, take up too much space and burn too much juice for my needs.
For me, I have been drooling for a long time over the Mark Levinson 33H's. They are pricey and heavy but the sound is to die for! Time to save up!
Lamm 2.1, Edge NL12, Meridian 559 amps bridged.
Theta Citadels, Levinson 33H
I replaced my FPB 200 with the FPB 700cx. I can't beleive the difference. I certainly won't be looking for a new amp in the next five (or many more) years. For me this is the end of my amp search...
Nah Nrchy, you'll get the monoblocks before then... :-)
I'm saving up for a used pair of Pass Labs X-600 monoblocs. It will be about a year or two before all of the dough comes together.
I'd also like to try a pair of the Krell 750 monoblocs, but they are way out of my price range.
I thought I had my dream pair of McIntosh 1201's but since I am routinely moving beyond the 1200 watt ratings maybe its time for four 1201 monos to biamp the speakers.
Too much seems to be never enough. Part of the fun is there isn't an ultimate stop, yet.
There is only one ulitmate amp.... despite what the 'haters' would have you believe.... Halcro dm58 (or dm68).
If you want to deal with real world budgets, then you should answer your own question yourself. if you want my response, then the answer is Halcro.
I have owned it for years... and have had to be without it as well. Anything else is a compromise. IMHO
Lamm... I wouldn't trade mine for any other SS amp that I'm aware of, regardless of price. If I'm building a system from scratch with an unlimited budget, Audio Note is in the mix... Kegon, Gaku-On, something. That's getting away from solid state though... if I have to stay SS, the Lamms stay.
Okay, I lied. I sold the Krell due to financial concerns and replaced it with a Classe Omicron. I can't imagine going back to Krell. Not that they are bad I just like the Classe better. Krell still makes a great product, I wonder what the evolution series sounds like?!?
I could and another Omicron for a lot less money... 1450wpc into my little Talons?!? Wow.
anyone here who informs the others that XYZ is going to be his/her "last stop" for amps is not being very true!!! LOL!
I've heard that statement many times "oh, this amp/preamp/DAC/TT/power conditioner, etc, etc, etc is my last!" I turn around & look & what do I see, that fellow's got a new amp/preamp/DAC/TT/power conditioner, etc, etc, etc! Some new model came out, somebody put a bug in his/her ear about "really" trying this other unit & he/she just "had to have it"!
This audio Lkean & there is ALWAYS something out there that is better sounding &/or better looking than what you have & you will simply get the itch to have it in your system even if what you have is superb sounding!! :-)
Ach! sooooo many audio pieces out there to listen to & just 1 life.....
(also people hear differently so last stop for these various members might not be the last stop for you).
Just for fun, I'd like the new MAC 501 monoblocks.....Bobbaywalla is right though.....still we can have fun....on threads like this.
I have been delighted with my GamuT D-100 Mk.3 which in my system is very natural, nonfatiguing, dynamic,life like musical. I have plenty of power to listen at realistic volume levels. For those who need more power, GamuT makes more powerful amplifiers with the same wonderful design. It is the single high power, high current switching mosfet output device which makes all the difference = single voicing like my SET tube preamp. A french magazine says the GamuT has been rated one of the five best SS amps in the world. I had the Pass Aleph 5 before the GamuT which was extremely good in my system, but the GamuT is better. I have had the GamuT for 2 years and no desire to change even if somebody offered me $10,000 to do so! Well actually, I might buy the more powerful GamuT D-200 Mk.3 and spend the other $4000 on CDs!
Krell FPB 300 cx. Have it for 3 years and never think about replacing it -- assuming I could even lift it again!
I went through Rowland 9Ti's, Pass 600's , Krell 750 Mcx's and have finally settled on a Boulder 2060 stereo amp. To my ears (and those are the most importanmt ones to me), the Boulder has it all. Power, subtlety, imaging , staging, etc. Of course, i'm sure that something else will come down the road, but til then, I''m very happy. Paired with a tube preamp, the ARC Ref3, I'm in heaven.
David, what preamp, if any, are you using with your Boulder? If you have a great non passive preamp, and no funky wires, I suggest you borrow some H2O Sig monos from their builder for a listen. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.