Starting Over--Amp First

Starting my audio system over and I'd like some advise from you guys about amps. I.d like to buy an amp that will be OK for a future sort of lower High end system. Stuff like NAD, Rotel, Adcom, etc, not Levinsen, Pass, Krell. That said, I have a chance to get a Krell KSA-100 (100 watts/per pure class A) or a Conrad Johnson Motif (200 watts/channel, Or a McIntosh MC-2125 (120 watts/channel) All of these at about $1,200.00 or should I go with newer and more powerful: Adcom 5800 (250 watts/channel-all MOS-FET-Nelson Pass design) Older NAD 2700 Monitor series @ 150 watts /Channel--These others are significantly less expensive but are they good enough for a potentially "High End" TYPE of system.ALSO-I'M sticking with solid state--Been down the tube road with my guitar amps and don't want to repeat it----(Tubes DO sound "Sweeter" IMHO.


IMHO, you should decided on your speakers first.
the cj motif would be the 'one' with the biggest upside, but rotel and nad still are more than good for the money. if the cj is in fine condition though, its a true high end amp in any system.
I owned a Krell KSA-100 for a few years in the early 90's and while it was (supposedly) a seminal amp for it's time and years after, I found it kind of hard and brittle to listen to. Of course, it could have simply been the horrendous digital front end I had at the time.

I've also owned higher powered Rotel and Adcom amps. Good, reliable, amps but not the most musical sounding to my ears(I'm a toob guy). The Rotel was the most neutral and balanced of the three if I had to guess.

If I was going to start over with solid state again right now and $1k-1.2k was the target price, Beyston and Odyssey would be at the top of my list for sound, dependability, and resale value. It might aslo be worth considering Bel Canto's eVo amps.

But, some of the best affordable SS amps I have heard in the last 5-7 years are Monarchy SE-100 Deluxe(or SM-70) monoblocks. A used pair can be picked up for ~$900($600 for the SM-70's) or less. These things are real performers far beyond the Adcom, Rotel, NAD, etc. amps I've heard - no comparison, sonically..

2002 Stereotimes review

2002 Soundstage review

2000 Audioexpress review(.pdf file)

1999 Soundstage review
Speakers first: Always
Room size -> speakers -> amp -> preamp -> source -> IC -> power cord.
No such thing as buying "amp for the future"
It is either it mates with your system or just a piece of junk sitting on your rack.
Agree with the above from Unsound and S23chang. You speakers will give you the sound that you prefer for the type of music you prefer in your own room. You cannot just buy what is the "best" components and put them all together in your room, it won't work. I owned the Pass Labs X-250 which is a really great amp but it did not work with all of the speakers that I tried in my room. Sometimes it sounded horrible.

Speakers first and then find an amp that mates best with them, and it does NOT have to be the highest priced amp either.

Happy Listening.
IMHO: Speakers/source---Preamp----amp---power conditioner----cords---speaker cables
IMHO: Speakers/source---Preamp----amp---power conditioner----cords---speaker cables

Wow, Warren, really? In that order? That provides entirely new insight into the workings of your audiophool mind.
It is quite a mind, though. Speakers and source are no brainers for this 'phoolish brain as far as the embryonics of my rig. I'm not married to the which comes first chicken or the egg thing, regading amp and preamp, but speaker/source?-- for sure. OOPs, I forgot the ICs. I'd put them right after the source. Don't want to start my source behind the eight ball would you? Ah, a heavenly signal, now the journey to the speakers.
amp speaker cables and speaker should be selected simultaneously. They should be thought of as a system.IMO
your on the right line about buying "better used gear' than "new gear" at the same price.

would suggest suggest considering muse, pass, and classe (i have a older pair of muse mono's and they are not outclassed by my classe cam 350's)

going with a tube preamp gives the listener about 80% of the tube sound with a lot less tube hassle (imho..)
Perhaps a bit off topic, but, perhaps most importantly I agree with myself (HA!), S23chang and Bigkidz with minor changes: budget,room, speakers, amp, pre, source(s), speaker cable, ic, rack, power. Sorry if I'm being petty.
Mike IMHO (given your percentage measurement analysis)80% leaves a hellava lot of room for improvement for these ears. 20% of a million dollars is still, no matter how you look at it $200k. That is a lot of money to throw away. I'm guilty of these ridiculous percentage quotes myself. Don't know where I get them, but what I'm trying to say, IMHO, 80% of-- doesn't cut it for me...
I would consider these:
Pass Aleph 3 (used)
Aragon 4004 (used)
Plinius SA-50, SA-100 (used)
Odyssey Stratos (new)