SS amp/preamp suggestions for Avalon Arcus?


i'm looking for a good SS amp & preamp combination (or integrated) for my new avalon arcus speakers. i'd like to stay under $3000 total. i'd consider new or used/demo stuff. btw, if you're not familiar with these speakers, they are 2-way floorstanders with a great open sound but only so-so i probably need at least 100 watts/ch. the listed nominal impedance is 4.5 ohms.

i prefer a very detailed and accurate sound, as opposed to a "warm" tube-like sound. soundstaging and imaging are big priorities too. any help is appreciated.

Try the Muse Model 160 amp and the Model 3 preamp. There
is definitely a great synergy between the Avalon's and the
Muse. Please refer to Muse's website @ By the way if you want more power
I am selling my model 175 monoblocks for close to what the
160 retails for. You should be able to get the 160 and the
model 3 for your budget. Regards and take care.
Sounds to me like Spectral DMA-90 and DMC-12 would make you happy. You will need MIT cables too.
Good luck :-)
I have Avalon Eclipse speakers and have used the following amps over the last 6 years in order of preference:

- Spectral DMA150 II
- Plinius SA100 III
- Adcom 545
- Rowland 3 Monos
- Music Reference RM9 II
- Muse 160 II
- Electrocompaniet ECI-1 integrated

Preamps used:
- Spectral DMC20 II
- CAT SL1 Signature III
- Superphon CD-MAXX

Solid state is definitely the way to go with Avalons. The folks from Avalon admitted as much. Adcom impressed me in terms of bang for the buck. Try the 750/5802 combo and you just might be surprised. Spectral was clearly the best overall. You might be able to get a DMA80/DMC12 in your price range. The Spectral stuff sounds real nice with the Avalons although you do need to use MIT cables. You don't need the real high end stuff, though. Old, entry level MIT cables do just fine. Sim, Pass and Ayre are probably worth trying as well although I have not heard them in my system. Good luck.
thanks for the replies. i will consider all of these suggestions carefully, although the spectral stuff seems relatively uncommon on the used market (probably a good sign for spectral).

has anyone tried or considered BAT's SS stuff, e.g. the vk200, with avalons?
I beg to differ with jdc1114's opinion, based on my personal experience. I also have eclipse and have tried the following:

Adcom GFA-565
Rotel RB-990BX
Rowland Model 5

The BAT is the absolute best amp I have ever heard with these speakers, the tubes sound soooo warm and involving. I was contemplating using the VK-500w/bat pack but ended up with the VK-60 and am very glad I went this direction. The best part of the VK-60 is it is so easy to use, very few of the tube weaknesses, and loads of there benefits. Also Avalons are very cable sensitive I have had outstanding luck with most repuatable silver cables, both interconnects and speaker wire. In fact I am already planning a upgrade of Eidolons and another VK-60 making them VK-120 mono's. Where is Kelly??? he is the resident expert on Avalon's he knows stuff that most don't I think he sits in on there meetings, don't tell him I told you that, hahahaha. I don't understand why avalon folks don't recommend tubes, most have never tried them, most all moderate power tube amps will sound super on avalons. Don't listen to people telling you that you need solid state, listen for your self and don't rule out tube. Good luck ~Tim The Tire Guy
Consider how Avalon speakers are shown at CES, the Stereophile show and other trade shows. It is always with solid state electronics such as Ayre, Classe, Spectral and Muse. The Avalons are wonderful speakers but tend toward warmth. Also, they are not champions in terms of retrieving low level detail. Both of these factors tend to make them more suited for solid state. That is not to say that tubes will sound bad with Avalons. In fact, they will sound warm and rich as you have described. I got decent sound for a couple years with a CAT Signature III and Music Reference RM9 II. But I didn't get the same level of detail retrieval as with solid state. Since S2K Dude indicates a desire for detail over warmth, I think SS is the way to go.
Good point, just trying to give S2K another option, I suppose it depends what one is looking for sound wise. Detail=SS, warmth=Tube either way I am sure it will bring a smile to your face.
decamacho1 - good call on the muse model three.

tried out some muse stuff last night and while i wasn't crazy about the amp (160?), the model three was a very nice piece, especially in the two-box configuration (separate power supply). the amp was a little too in-your-face for my tastes. however, when paired with a more laid-back CJ SS amp, the model three's detail, imaging & bass response(!!) were noticeably better than those of several other preamps (including the CJ). i am exploring the possibility of buying the CJ amp/muse pre-amp combo. we'll see.