The most emotional amp out there?

OK gang, I need your votes for the amp you feel that brings the chills, the goosebumps, yes maybe even a teardrop or two when you sit down and listen to your particular music of choice. Although many responders will automatically think of tubes, I do not necessarily share that "prejudice". I'm trying to find that special amp to mate with my Virgo IIs that really takes me to the heart of the opposed to just performing the requisite audiophile tricks (e.g. imaging, soundstage depth, etc.). I'm tired of appreciating the specific virtues of a well known amplifier that I am auditioning but never really being transported to a place where I forget about the gear and simply am enthralled with the music.

Don't get me wrong - I enjoy the audiophile thing as much as the next person. But I am searching for the amplifier that will transcend the need to go through the checklist of listening attributes a reviewer does and instead will simply allow me to sit back and just be enveloped by the message that the particular recording artist I am listening to is trying to communicate.

I hope I'm being somewhat inteligible here and thanks for your suggestions.

my votes would be the CJ Premier 12's and The ARC VT 100
Kora Cosmos Reference monoblocks. The most musical and emotinally involving tube amps I have ever heard. They do all the audiphile tricks right too.
It's gotta be a tube amp.
Try a pass labs x-350,
Tenor may not make the most emotional amps, but they make the most emotional owners. Imagine, not being able to get service on your five figure investment. Brings tears to my eyes.
Just some,

Conrad-Johnson,Cary,Quicksilver,nice old school mids and then some.
Viridian: Where do you get your information from? Service is readily available for all Tenor owners.
If you know how to feed it properly, the MH2O Signature monos are in a class of their own.
Cary CAD 300SEI. 15 watts of 300B sound.
If I were moving to another planet, I'd leave my Rowland, Pass & Aragon amps behind.
This amp would be fine.
I wondered how long the H2O would take.
The tears from my wife are directionally proportional to the $$$$$ value I spend on my amp.

Is that what you mean by the "most emotional amp"...???
VAC Phi Beam power 220 monoblocks! The best ever!
I think you are talking about an OTL amp, like Joule or Atma.
The amp you are looking for doesnt exist,you will have to create it,heres how....find a well-built/designed amp by any of the masters,you know who they are,add a drop of Irish,a pinch of Hawaiian and a taste of Peruvian and turn down the lights and look at what you have,an emotional experience possibly never before heard or felt by any audiophool on the planet,good luck,Bob
The Edge Electronics NL Reference! I cried when I saw the price! Then my wife brought me back to reality!
I've owned about 7 solid state amps and I've demo'ed and heard quite a few more SS and tube amps.

I'm aware that there's a few out there, but I've never heard any amp even come close to the sonics of a McCormack DNA-2 Revision A amp. These Revision amps are off-the-shelf amps and are essentially gutted by McCormack and then he installs the finest aftermarket parts and tweaks.

Some amps may be fast(many are slow), some may be rich, full, and warm (many are cold, sterile, lifeless), some may be detailed (many are veiled), a few may even exhibit tremendous control over the woofers providing a tremendous life-like bass that few have ever heard or even imagined (good luck finding any amp with this attribute), but none that I've heard have it all in one chassis.

That is except for the DNA-2 Revision A. There is no substitution for having such an amp as this.

But even with outstanding amplification, the complete immersion into the music (or as you say goosebumps, chills, tears, PR&T, etc) still won't quite get you there without shoring up the other shortcomings in a given system. ie proper line conditioning, cabling, vibration control, speaker placement, dedicated circuits/lines, etc..

In my experience, proper amplification will get you closer to that emotional experience than any other single component or tweak or any other combination thereof. And once you've found such amplification the controversy over tube v. solid state suddenly goes to the North Pole.

Along that same note, I've been hearing some fascinating rumors about the new NuForce digital amps and I may even have the opportunity to hear them shortly.

It may have been self-hypnosis, stress or whatever but the BEL 1001 Mk-V's (on loan) thru my old Audio Artistry Dvoraks is THE best sound ever heard in my home.
Atma-Sphere OTL's. Enjoy!
Emotional amp, thats funny....I suspect if you were to connect to an un-emotional pair of speakers, you would come up with some type of hi-bred sound?

Whatever amp is driving whatever speakers playing Bob Marley's "Wait in Vain" in the background while my wife and I walk on Mayaro beach, Trinidad in the full moonlight at midnight.
But seriously to answer the question, I heard at my dealer one time some monoblock Futterman OTL's driving Nestorovic speakers and that took the cake for me, irregardless of the low level hum problem they had.
>>I wondered how long the H2O would take.<<
Spot on. There are probably 2 owners world wide and 1 happens to be here. Gets old doesn't it?
With the right speakers, which is the case for all reference amps, Ralph Karsten's amps are superb and priced quite fairly vis a vis their quality.
Jtinn, please read my post carefully, I did not say that service was not currently available on Tenor amps. To quote you directly from another Audiogon post, "For all those who would like service on their amplifiers, be patient and Tenor's service department will be up and running shortly." This would indicate to me that, at one point in time, owners did not have service available. So, as I pointed out, they were not able to get service on their amps. Hey, I think that we both live in Portland, OR. Come over for a beer some time and set me straight on the exegencies of small-scale manufacturing. I'll buy.
The emotion is within the disc, not the hardware. Hope I caught the tenor of the thread.
I agree with Tripper. Since when did a pile of glass, silicon and wire get a soul. There ain't no ghost in that machine!
I had some of those emotional amps but I had to get rid of them. The tear stains on the front of the amps were just too distracting.

Tripper is right on. Get some music that really turns you on.

The sound you get from your system is all about synergy in your selected components and how they integrate with your room. There is no quick certain fix - its just a lot of work and it takes a lot of experimenting.

How do you know that what you want can be found in the amp - it might just be your sources or preamp, or your set up, or your room, that is the problem? Or maybe your Virgo's, god forbid. Even worse, maybe your expectations are just plain unrealistic. Have you EVER heard what you expect from any system anywhere?
Why is it that the erudite always need re-clarification? Or did I just answer my own question?

It should go without saying that we are conversing in a forum with an emphasis geared almost solely toward hardware.

If that is true, then it should also go without saying that not only does the hardware influence the software, but the software is rendered completely lifeless without the hardware.

If I’ve misread some of your postings, then please share your ‘emotional’ experiences you encounter listening to your software on your am/fm/cd clock radio and/or phonograph and compare those experiences to other systems.

And while you’re at it, why not also explain why you spend so much time posting on a hardware-oriented web site like Agon?

For the record, I never talk about my experiences as being ‘emotional’, but I freely mention the significant impact that hardware often times has on the software.

McIntosh MC 2000!
I disagree with Tripper: the emotion is NOT within the disc but within the music. But if you rely on recorded music (at all) there is gear able to transport this emotion. The above mentioned McIntosh surely is one of the strongest horses in that field.
I would put my 2 cents for a Berning, or a vintage McIntosh Mc225.

I am finding my cheapy Fisher 400C to be a beautiful music maker.
Gotta be tube amp for sure, Art Jota BX, Mastersound 845 or Vaic amp.
Jadis JA-200s surely vie for the title but I think ARC VT-100s have a spooky synergy with the Virgos especially if you run them on the 8 ohm tap.
Glad some of you came around ;o) BTW, is this a hdwe site, or one for all aspects of the audio life? And no, that is not a contradiction. A new audio friend is able to listen ~8 hours a day or more, so audio Is a big part of his life. Would that we all had that kind of time to enjoy our music.

Aida, the music is surely Within the disc, and we need the hdwe to which to play it. This gets circular quickly.

Last [counter-] point: Rather than wait for tubes [rolled or otherwise] to warm up, go out of bias, fail, etc, my ss rigs play at the touch of a button and play as musically as I need them to. Not to disparage the magic of tubes or the opinions of those above--they are distinctly wonderful and I own a fine tube dac and monoblocks--but with good ss, I can get inside the music in an instant without the nervosa that plagues many of us. And the musical message is just as valid, no matter how you get there. One of my favorite systems is a simple CD/Headphone setup that can pack all the emotion wallop necessary.

Music is life
Theater is art
TV is furniture

Have a safe holiday and pray for the poor souls in NO and Biloxi.
I'm swooning over the most luscious Heathkit UA-2's. They are unmodified but completely refreshed, generating 16 watts (per side) from NOS 6BQ5's.
Why is an amp supposed to be "emotional"? I thought the goal of us amp makers was to produce a product that neither added to, subtracted from, or changed the original source.


There seems to be more soul in most LP's than in the whole lot of CD's out there. Tonight with a few beers the best was some old R&B on a scratchy old disc.

I'm tellin' ya 'bout my Rocket 88, cruisin and boozin' along...

It's all about the company you keep... and the joy you find there
Audio Note Kegons... wow.

My Lamms really are wonderful as far as connecting me to the music, but the Kegons just blow me away. Maybe someday....
The MUSIC suppys the emotion--I think the question is better asked, "Which amp PASSES more of the emotion of music?"
I know what he is asking...since the first time I heard cj gear, I heard this emotion in the music rendered like never before. It was intoxicatingly real, and very different for me than with solid state.
The key seems to be tubes--and the way they pass the micro and macro dynamics of music, which are the emotion clues.
Great Question!!
My tenor OTL's have beem the heart of my system since they
were first introduced. I have always had excellent service.
Their service department remains(check their website).
Snowfun 3, and Judy426, there are actually lots of H2O owners, I am just the only one with a mouth. There are owner reviews here, and elsewhere that echo the review at 6moons.

The H2O allows the emotional content of music through like no other I have heard.
Pioneer SA 9500-II had tears streming down my eyes when I was nineteen. Never found one that emoted so well.
I always thought that emotion is in performance pace, distinct emphasis on certain parameters of performance..and majorly, on the composition. The greeks first discovered which kind of music pumps you up and which brings you down...

I cant believe that someone would need a top level setup to get the emotion out of a piece of music...
There's a lot of people satisfied with a $15 bottle of wine at dinner too. Different strokes you know.
Have to agree with Jsujo. Said it amny times.
Oh yeah, reproducing music electronically is just like wine... The comparison is old, tedious, boring and not instructive at all. A wine does not seek to reproduce anything; it is not the ersatz of another liquid. So trotting out the old snobbish wine line is a joke.

Sorry, no cigar!

Oh, and the point about the Pioneer is simply that nothing really compares to that first system insofar as being overwhelmed by the machinery; the rest actually comes from the performance and that does not require amps from companies that want 35K for one and simply manage to bankrupt themselves in the process.
And there are some people who will happily pay top dollar for old vintage wine, even though it tastes bad. ;)
I would rather have an older well know wine than something new, unproven without the test of time. That's what you're dealing with. Junkmail.
No matter what the question, H20 appears to be the answer. Maybe it's the next DK.
I agree with Stanhifi...Boone's Farm for me, I have a bottle left over from 1969...the good apple stuff!

The original BF or Strawberry Hill? Makes a big difference.
Ditto- give me the wine (amp) with the reputation and pedigree not the flavor of the day from some new fly by night winery (amp manufacturer). I'll take good wine over suspect H2O anyday.