I ran an Ayre AX-7 for a while. When I inserted a Rogue CMII into the system, the Ayre got relegated to the secondary system.
- 77 posts total
- 77 posts total
Hi. I switched to SS: Ayre MXR's, but after a couple of years was not satisfied with the outcome. I went back to tubes: Octave MRE 220 with Super Black Boxes. They are simply superb and have provided the absolute best of a tube and SS amp: fast, articulate transients and deep inner detail of the former and the true flesh and fulness that only tubes can properly deliver. Don't know how the age of your current tube amp is but if its more than 10 years old then you should know that some modern tube amps like Octave have closed the gap (shut!) between the worlds of glass and transistors.
Pass/First Watt are a good place to start and Gryphon would be another option. D'Agostino even better....does everything right. A used S200 might be a little over your budget but worth stretching for. I'm surprised Ayre has been mentioned as close to tubes....excellent solid state but it is said to be a bit dry. Another suggestion would be to look at a Jeff Rowland amp. Truly among the best of solid state.
Octave has an excellent reputation, including their integrateds.
As I understand it, and I might be wrong, Gryphon Diablo 120 is not quite Diablo 300 only less powerful. The latter is a reference level integrated. You would want to listen to them both if you considered Gryphon. The phono stage, $2200 option in either, should be excellent. Diablo 120 is $11k and Diablo 300 is $16k, without phono or dac. This would no doubt be different sound - Octave and Gryphon top integrateds.