If you can go up another $600.00, there's a Spectron Musician III Mk.2 in the ads right now.
What about pulling out some of the tubes until it equals the outout of the ma1;reduced power and less tubes should be less heat.I would call and ask Ralph if that is able to be done on the ma2 but I recall from several years ago that pulling tubes to lower the output can be done;would the wife go for that?
Krell man, I really didnt like the sound of the Nuforce. Is Spectron more "tubey"? Rleff, good suggestion, but I think I'm stuck with getting her an ss amp. Furthermore, my SP Tech speakers really need a lot of power and the MA-2 certainly does it adequately, but I dont think half the tube power would do it. 150+ watts of solid state power, closer to 300 if I get any of the amps I'm thinking about, should be better.
I would try a slightly different take on Rleff's suggestion and go with a Rowland Model 2. It's a better vintage of Rowland than the Model 5 (many argue that the Rowland 2/6/8/9 are the best Rowland amps ever made). It puts out 150 watts into 4 ohms, but what the amp really brings is refinement and build quality - both superb. Being fully differential balanced like your Atma-Sphere amp, it should substitute well for it with regard to cabling. It does not run particularly hot. Try to find one with the battery power supply - when run from batteries, there are only a small handful of solid-state amps that compete with it. PS - Like Rleff, I ran the monoblock version of this amp (Model 6's) and it was amazing how similar it sounded to my no-feedback triode tube amp.
Nah, find a way to vent the heat. If it is your home, run a duct from area to vent with a quiet fan. Just pumping the heat into the walls could do it if you made a vent above area.
I used to think about just running a duct to the window for my amp with a whisper fan at the outside end...
All you would need is a hood like arrangement above the amp with a flexible duct...
Elizabeth, I have enough trouble edging my 6 foot SP Techs further and further from the wall whenever she's out without having a hood and duct to totally freak her out! Get real:) The MA-2s already occupy a coffin-like enclosure along an entire wall. No, a neat little ss box locked in the cupboard with the pre-amps, CDP and tuner is the ticket here. Unfortunately.
Check out McIntosh's MC7100 power amp, 100 wpc @ 8 ohms, 150 wpc @ 4 ohms, THD @ .005 maximum. I have one, and it runs so cool and would be perfect for your needs. AND it's a great sounding amp. The later models like mine, have balanced/unbalanced inputs, to boot! No meters, or autoformers. Currently they can be had for about $700 or less.
I did, yes. Assuming your question goes to the differences between battery power and wall power, I had 20 amp dedicated lines and battery power was still the way to go. The batteries, even in a highly resolving system, brought no improvement at normal listening levels. It was only during very demanding orchestral passages that the batteries showed their worth - because they provide a very low-noise power supply, the crap/grunge that would normally find its way into the signal path, and which gets amplified very audibly at high volume, is largely absent. The effect is a sense of more natural dynamic range, even though the batteries actually lower available peak wattage. The benefit is also audible with cleanly recorded rock played back at high volume, but mostly, the batteries are for people who are very serious about the playback of orchestral music.
The Rowland Model 2 and 6, if run from batteries and run balanced (i.e., with fully differential balanced source components and preamp) in a well-assembled system, offer some of the very best performance available from solid-state. I sold my Model 6's several years ago (my current amps are a darTZeel solid-state amp and VAC Renaissance 70/70 Mk. III triode tube amp), but have been running a Rowland Coherence II battery-powered preamp in my main system for seven years now.
... fit into 17 X 8 X 19 inch space in Stereo closet and run cool, budget under $2K used.
Is it possible to take the $2k that you're going to spend on a amp (that will most certainly not compete with your wonderful Atma-Spheres) and instead spend it on modifications to the stereo closet that would help the amp run cooler? I ask because...
I recently moved my equipment into a dedicated closet just outside my listening room. My amp is class A, so I was worried about heat. My solution was to place the amp on the top shelf of a tall rack and have the closet ventilated from above with a large but quiet cooling fan. The fan sends the hot air through a duct in the attic to the exterior of the house. A one inch space between the bottom of the door and the hardwood floor acts as an air intake. Even with the door closed all day and the equipment on, the closet doesn't get warm. Total cost of construction work (not including rack): $300.
Rleff, the Rowland Model 5 looks huge, but no dimensions are mentioned in the manual, but it weighs over 100 lbs and I dont see XLR inputs in the photo, although the manual alludes to them. For what it's worth, I'm looking for a Conrad-Johnson type-sound, rich and lush, not lean, as close to tube as possible, without grain or glare in the highs; the C-J MF 2250 would be ideal but has no XLR inputs. Anybody heard the Cary CAD 200? Thanks for suggestions so far.
Don't get a ss amp, it will spoil your ears. Other then a new wife, try the laptop cooling approach. Laptop coolers are very inexpensive, some less then $5. All will run on a wall wart and hub, so you do not need to actually have a laptop. Most laptop coolers are very quite. The trick is to use more then one, each with dual fans. I have three running on my cayin 100 tube unit. They run all the time, and can't be heard.
I am a tube lover and live in the desert southwest, I feel your pain. (58 tubes/class A...... well maybe not that much pain).
A 5 blade ceiling fan would make you/wife feel 7-8 degrees cooler. Don't know if that is enough for you.
A McIntosh amp from the 80's/90's with autoformers might be an okay change for the few months.
Two amps I use, but are less power than you are looking for, are a Bedini 45/45 ss amp and a Red Wine Audio 30.2 battery powered chip amp. They both have a sound I like and run cool or even cold in the RWA case.
On the power you are looking for (150/4 ohm): I used to think I needed gobs of it with my Apogees and Maggies until I heard a 50 watt pure class A Accuphase driving them. Sounded better than my 500 wpc ss amp. There are lots of reasons why some lower powered amps would work but if you really like to crank it, maybe you do need the watts.
Springbok10: In an attempt to get a better feel for your tastes for purposes of your question, I went back through some of your A-Gon posts. If you are still running an Atma-Sphere preamp (which is differential balanced), are intrigued by Jena cables (all my IC's and speaker cables are Jena Symphony), own a dachsund (we have short-hair and long-hair mini's), and judge equipment on how it does with orchestral music - :) - I have a feel for who you are and again mention the Rowland Model 2. The Model 5 went out of production in 1991 and is somewhat primitive compared to later Rowland vintages - it's very well built like all Rowland gear, but it's a bit too colored (molasses) and if it breaks, Jeff doesn't like to do repairs on his really old equipment. Take a look at the Stereophile Review of the Model 2 - it's pretty much spot-on.
It sounds like you really want a bit more power, however, and given your placement constraints and the need to find something that will really do justice to your preamp, the only thing that comes to mind is Model 6's (they can be had for less than $3k in this market). Jonathan Tinn likes Model 6's for customers who buy Evolution Acoustics speakers, yet can't afford to power them with a darTZeel.
Good luck with your search.
Raquel, it is amazing that you went to all that trouble! The only thing not current is my affinity for Jena cables -everything else is true! The Rowland 6 consists of 2 monoblocs, right? That would be a problem fitting into the cupboard space - any ideas of the dimensions? I will take your advice and look into Rowland. I appreciate your efforts greatly! There is a 6 on A'gon for $4700 and I have asked the seller for dimensions.
Thanks. Cant find reviews of the W-5.3 except on Audio Reviews. Are you familiar with the amp? A bit above my budget - I am favoring the Bel Canto Evo2 Gen II, used, for less than $1K. In the $3K range there is a lot of competition. Any information on the W-5.3's sonic character would be apprecaited.
Thank you all for your input. I have bought a used Bel Canto Evo2 Gen II for $1K. Fits in space, runs cool, balanced, and, although I have never heard it, is Stereophile Class A. 240 WPC into 4 ohms. I dont expect to replicate the sound of the MA-2, but for part-time listening, hope it is acceptable.