Stereophile publishes the list in the October and April issues. However, I think you are confusing the Stereophile Class A (versus Class B, C, etc) with the Amplifier classification (which can be A, B or A/B or even D for digital). However, as a student I would strongly recommend that you buy used, and most of the time the older used units, which represent the best value, will not be on the current Stereophile list.
I would suggest you add to your post about your speakers (efficiency is important to know), type of music you listen to, and the volume you listen to. There are many excellent amps on the used market for $1000, but to narrow the field down it would help to know more about the system it would go into.
For a $1000 best to get a used integrated amp. You may be able to find a YBA Integre for about $1K. Maybe a Creek 5350. The 5350SE might be more since it is a new model, but the 5350R will be around $1K. Also look for a Classe CAP-100.
Do not forsake the Class B list. There is some very nice stuff there and some for a lot less than $1K. Bryston B60; Musical Fidelity A220 or A2; Linn Majik and many others.
Saw on rec.audio.marketplace a pair of Meitner MTR-101 monoblocs (100 wrms into 8 ohms, 200 wrms into 4); seller asking US$700 (retail 1990, $3400). They're A/B, not class A, but my advice is: BUY THEM! I would, except that I already have a pair, plus their smaller 50 wpc STR-55 in my bedroom system. These are extremely powerful, very accurate (but rich), detailed mono amps. They'll drive most anything; they have beautiful polished hardwood sleeves. MOSFET output devices. No longer in production, but still serviced and upgraded by A/D/S in Calgary, AB, Canada.
To do significantly better, you'd have to spend thousands.
The Musical Fidelity A3cr is currently a Stereophile "Class A" though it is I believe a Class A/B operation amp. It sells for ca. $1500 new and I have seen it used for $850-$1200 depending on conditionand age. I have one (with the matching pre-amp and love it.
Before I make any suggestions, I need to know what speakers you are going to be driving.
You need an amp that are going to match you speakers.
The Rogue 88 (tubes) is excellent for the money. Can be purchased for under $1000. Can be updated later to Magnum series. Look at an Anthem Pre1L for about $400. Tubes and a great deal at the used price. If you want to keep the cost down look at Cambridge Audio solid state gear. They are an excellent value for the money.
I agree with DR Joe meitner 101 monos are under priced on the used market, very musical, my experience is that most cheap solid state and alot of expensive ss really sounds horrible. be carefull. class a is important for resale but try to be objective many class a components are junk.
How about a quality integrated amplifier, tuner, and cd player all for $1k used? The Linn Classik T goes for $1k used all the time. Add a decent pair of speakers and you're "in business." Cheers!
Pass Labs Aleph-3 "Beyond Class A" $2500 retail.No longer in production.Used $900-$1200 Will drive all but the most difficult speaker.
Abstract7 made the important distinction between Class A operation and Stereophile's rating system. If you're talking about the Stereophile system, that is defined at the beginning of the April and Oct. component rating issues, and of course in this case, Stereophile defines the classes.
I can strongly recommend the McCormack DNA-0.5 and DNA-1 amps. They operate in A/B mode-- this means that the first few watts are biased into pure class A output. Class A output means that the amp is running "wide open" with only one regulation device. These are both Stereophile Class B amps. The Deluxe models are slightly better. The .5 can be found used for $600-700., and the DNA-1 about $1000. A nice aspect of the McCormack amps is that Steve McCormack of SMc can up-grade them to standards that will easily meet or exceed Stereophile's Class A standards, as your budget allows.
I had a pair of DNA-2DXs up-graded to Revision A, and they are fantastic with great bass and a tube-like mid-range and treble. Good Luck. Craig
You can never have too much power in an amplifier. Simple rule to follow: If the first 5 watts are very good, why wouldn't the next 195 be just as good? As far as a recommendation is concerned, I wouldn't sweat "Stereofool" lists too much. Those listings have entirely too much to do with advertising dollars and not enough to do with system synergy.
Most of the amps recommended to you on the other posts are very good. However, check out the Muse Model 160 or any of their amps for that matter. You can get em' used for a song on Audiogon and ironically, the 160 was a Stereofool class "B" contender with $$$ next to the listed price. Maybe they didn't advertise as much as they needed to get that coveted "A" rating. Maybe the amp was too cheap. Who knows? That aside, I used to own it and it drove a few great pairs of speakers that have come and gone in my system, and drove them well. Since you're in college and space is probably a factor, any of their amps will drive the better monitor speakers out there exceptionally well.
Good luck in school and best wishes!
Class A amplifiers and Stereophile class A rated components are not the same thing.A class A amp runs hot and inefficient but sounds as loud as a class AB with double the rated watts.A Stereophile class A rated component is just a rating system for a very popular magazine which can be taken with a grain of salt.They are heavily influenced by advertising dollars. Listen for yourself or talk to some audiophiles that have been around for awhile.But all that aside you can get a very nice class A amp on the used market which is also rated as class A by Stereophile for around a grand.The very popular Pass Labs Aleph 3 solid state.
I couldn't believe I actually got so many responses. For those who wanted the sensitivity of my speakers...i dont know...i'll check the measurements ...but they are home-made (by me) 3-way with a JM Labs Utopia 33WX woofer with a PHL 1220 Mid-Range and a Philips R8TP tweeter. I might add a Raven r3.1
So i Think I have decided on integrated for now.
How are Cambridge audio or Audiosource??
I think i have zeroed in on either a creek 5350 or a musical fidelity a3 (integrated
For Cambridge Audio look for the discontinued A3i. It is superior to their current A500 and other offerings. The A3i was designed top to bottom by Michael Creek, so it's like getting a Creek at a big discount ($250 used). The A3i also comes with a decent moving magnet phono stage.
I use an A3i in a small system in my den/home office along with a pair of the original B&W CDM-1 speakers with MIT-T2 biwire cables; and a Stan Warren modified DVD player. Plus an Onkyo Integra Tuner and vintage Dual turntable.
You can have too much power. Most SET amps lower power versions are better
I used to have an Arcam Alpha 9 integrated that was about 70 watts. Won't win any beauty contests, but was warm, fairly clean and would drive your speakers with ease. Used I think these go for about $450(new 900). When you get some more moolah, you can add a tube pre at a later date, and take a giant step towards the big leagues. I've had some problems with creek stuff, as my cousin has also with an integrated (the 4240?. I you want to go seperate pre/power now, I would look for a used Rotel 980 BX $300 -350 and probably and older CJ tube pre for 450-550.This, IMO, will sound much better than any solid state integrated in that price range.
The Musical Fidelity A3 integrated is a beautiful sounding and looking amp. Afriend has one and loves it. If you want new with a waranty it offers amazing value. They are difficult to find used.