Solid State amp with wide soundstage

So I bought a tube amp for a project and fell in love with the elbow room tubes give each musician. Unfortunately, because I listen to a lot of electronic music, the amp just doesn't give me the slam in the low end and the detail up top that I love. So please recommend a solid state amp that gives the best, widest soundstage. Budget $1000 used. Speakers Revel M20s.

$1000 used, ey? Hummmm....
first, may I suggest that you'll never get "that slamm" outta those dinky speakers on their own! They're small in size and low sensitivity, and the laws of pysics take over.
You can however get a good solid state amp to help you out however, in the areas your after, yes. You'll still want to add a subwoofer to the system to make it rock! Infact, you may want to loop a surround processor into the system, that will alow you to kick the deep bass outta the F20's for heavy sessions, and let a good sub or two handle the rest! Processors like the Acurrus Act3 are relatively cheept to get, have advanced bass mangament capabilties, that will alow you to cut off the mains at say, 50-65 hz for best performance on heavy dynamic activity, and let the subs do the rest. Depending on the quaility of your system overall, the act 3 may not be as absolutely pure as an ultra high end preamp, but it's darn good!..and more than good enough to use when your using lot's of Rock for music.
I too am a good rock and roll buff, and use some sonus Faber Minima Amators (similar output to your little revels), and have a sub kicken on the bottom. I mostly use the speakers running full range however, with the sub playing as well. But when I do home theater with the set-up, I cross the speakers over, and let the sub play below about 60hz....anyway, it's a suggestion.
Now, back to your original question...
Those revels are pretty low sensetivity (around 85db) I think, and are about 4 ohms nominal. They should really have something like a 200 watt amp to drive those properly. If you have a smaller room however, you can get by with a very good current 100-150 watt amp(minimum) and a subwoofer is a must!!!
For something in that price range that's used, that has adequate output power for your set-up, you could consider finding a used Aragon 8008ST amplifier at 200w/ch. They can be had around $1000 price for used. The 8008BB is even better but about $1200 on up is the norm for these used.
Classe amps at around 100 watts and above are descent current for the newer amps. The older amps are a bit weeker, but very good sounding for the money. The likes of McCormack DNA-1's and DNA-1.5's are about the same sonic league as the Classe offerings, but are a bit stronger for rock dubties!(at least stronger then the old CA 100/150/200 and such series). You can find the DNA-1 (about 185w/ch) at around $900-1000 sometimes,and it's a very good amp overall.
For a slightly warmer sounding amp with good snap and slam, the Bryston 4B's are strong amps. But I slighty prefer the sound of the others I mentioned, as they're a bit more refined, cleared and detailed sounding.
Other choices to consider would be the likes of Parasound(HCA2200,3500,maybe HCA1500), Adcom(HCA5802,5500,555, etc), and Rotel's under that price bracket, but these are a slight step down over all. I take it back, the Adcom GFA5802 is a pretty darn good sounding amp overall for the money, and has about 300 watts per channel! you could find one of these for close to $1000 used as well.
Used Aragon 4004Mk II's are worth considering, if you find a good deal on one cheaply(like $500-700 range).
In summing, I'd say my first choice to look for would probably be the Aragon 8008BB at just a bit over $1000 mark, followed by the 8008st, then the Adcom GFA5802(simply because of it's 300w/ch and good sound overall), Then probably the McCormacks(prefer the DNA1 over DNA.5 if you can, but both good)
the likes of a Classe CA151 at around $1000 used(the older Classe series is good sounding, but not as strong), then and Aragon 4004mk II, then the Bryston 4B, then the others I mentioned.
All of the top mentioned amps are strong enough to consider to driver your speakers to a wide soundstage, given the set-up and room acoustics of course(this area is where a lot of people fall way short).
There's some other amps to consider, that you may or may not come accross at higher prices, should a killer deal come a long, but it's if'y.
Everything is ultimately system dependent, and a balancing act in ultimate terms. I still think, once you find a good amp, to get something integrated into your system that might divert heavy bass dubties away from the Revels and into a sub. However, if you listen at more modest sane levels in a small/mediumish room, you might be ok just running the Revels in paralell with a sub for good results.
I love the sound of my $3k 2 way Minima Amators with solid state all the way through, mated with sub of course. I've got it sounding way way too good!
Anyway, good luck...AVDcreations
Consider VanAlstine, best bang for your buck solid state amps on the market. He only sells direct so there is no distributor or dealer mark-up. His solid state betters ALL the Levinson, Bryston, Classe, Acurus, Adcom, Rotel, gear in this class and for less money. Build quality excellent, aesthetix left wanting-very plain vanilla. But if you desire high-end performance on a beer budget consider them. See at
hi dhcod the previous 2 posts failed to mention the highly respected Electroacompaniet. maybe alittel more than 1k but this lab is worth serious consideration in the ss. sound.
Bryston 4B-ST
Although mentioned above by brand name, I'll be specific: add the Bryston 3B-ST to your list. A fine amp that can bought used for $1000-1200, provided that roughly 140-150 wpc (actual output, not rated output) is sufficient for your needs.
Conrad Johnson. Take your choice of models, they're all good
I'll second the McCormack DNA-0.5 or DNA-1. Very open, quiet, transparent, and smooth but with great detail and wide/deep soundstage. In fact, lots of tube lovers have praised McCormack amps. Another plus is you can save your pennies and have them upgraded by Steve McCormack(SMcaudio) into what many call some of the best amps available at any price. I've been using a DNA-0.5 Rev. A for a couple years and haven't come close to even thinking about upgrading. Steve is also great to deal with--very honest and straightforward. Best of luck.

You may be able to find An Aloia amp used for close to a grand. A great amp regardless of price. Sold my Wolcott amps which sold for $9000 and got better sound.
Perhaps add a sub for low end slam ... ACI or REL. Both can be had under $1000. A high powered (100+), detailed solid state amp for under $1000 is a difficult find. You might get power, or fidelity, but probably not both at that price.
for a grand the pass labs aleph-3 is the best out there.
read the reviews.check all the awards.listen to one if you can.dont be fooled by the 30wpc rating.plays loud with my 92dB speakers.great bass too.some say the bass is crap with the aleph series.I say it sounds realistic.ever hear the bass of a mega-watt krell?? doesnt sound realistic to may crack your cement foundation but it doesnt sound natural.
get a pass aleph-3 and hear how music really sounds.
arc d200

a wonderful piece and there's one on ebay right now

I had a huge solid-state stage with a McCormack DNA-1 Deluxe driven by a Golden Tube SEP-2 pre (or SEP-3). Cables are what really made it happen though: Kharma KRC 1A silver cord on the CD, XLO Type10a on the pre, Custom Power Model 11 on the amp. Other cables didn't stage as well but had better tonal balance. All this stuff was relatively inexpensive.
i'm w/tweekerman on the electrocompaniet amps. a pair of excellent aw60ftt's were advertized here on a-gon for $1200 - a steal at the price. no typical solid-state sound here. all the detail, w/no harshness or grain. works great w/tubed preamps, too...

dave99's recommendation of pass amps is good also, but i'd go for one w/more juice - those m20's aren't efficient enuff for 30wpc, imo... and, *real* slam will be difficult w/*any* amp - those speakers yust don't go low enuff...

doug s.
I agree, Doug. The guy needs the Revel F30 fed by Aleph 2s.
I found that to be a GREAT combo.
This may be a bit out of your price range, but try the Plinius 8200. I have this integrated with my M-20s and I really like it. The amp is 175wpc (in New Zealand), so I think it may be closer to 200 or more here. I've seen them on AA used for as low as $1500. I have a cheaper sub (a Klipsch sw-12... which will be replaced when funds allow), and it helps with the bottom end. Although, I really like the sound without the sub.... I think the Plinius helps to push those speakers a little harder. Anyway, hope that helps. Let me know what you decide on.

any more votes? Plinius vs. Bryston vs. Electrocompaniet i am staunch with sedond. Point of Fact: the norwegian lab Electrocompaniet makes a superior quality cdp just behind the Audio Aero and the Audio Meca, that should tell you something. I'm sure all the above mentioned are good amps. but what we are after in this thread and every other thread is which is the superior in terms of overall sound. yea you may pay a tad more for the electro. but you get so much more.

tho i love my ec amps, i'd also consider the pass amps, if the extra scratch inwolved is not a problem. of course, w/a budget of only $1k used, this pretty-much limits ya to the aleph-30, which means ya need more efficient speakers...

doug s.
Check out Odyssey Stratos amps at $995. Very highly rated by The Absolute Sound. Check out consumer reviews of this amp at Should still be a 5/5 with perhaps 100 or more owners doing the reviewing. Rated second best SS amp by International Audio Reviewer Peter Moncrief back in 1999.

150 wpc, 45 amperes, class A/AB, 20 year warranty, etc.. 30 day money back guarantee.

Their website is They should have a number of links to mag's reviews on their amps.

More than likely, you'd have to spend $4k or more on a SS amp to even come close to the sonic abilities of the Stratos. So people say. I had recommended these amp to a few people and they bought them. I have not heard any complaints about this amp. And no, I do not own this amp myself, nor am I in any way affiliated with any mfg.

I wanna throw in my own amp. The 8002 Aragon. This amp is a sleeper. Check out its reviews on When set up right, this amp beats 8008 and most amps quadruple its price. I got a VD powercord hooked up to it.
NAD S200 and Adcom 5802 are my recomendations.
Threshold or Forte both Nelson Pass designs. Can get both a PreAmp and Amp that will be in your budget. And to be quite candid Nelson Pass has forgotten more about pure solid state design than other designers will ever remember. His white paper on Cascode design set a bench mark for solid state design. In my opinion stay away from the later Threshold/Forte with IGBT technolgy. The IGBTs are no longer made.