Years ago I tried a 2004 with my Thiel CS3 speakers for a few weeks, it drove them easily, although I wound up returning the Aragon to my dealer and getting a Krell KSA 50 Mk II because I didn't like the Aragon's softness on top compared to the Krell, which was cleaner, more extended and yet still sweet-sounding. Aragon amps were at least a partial Krell design, I think the 2004 should have more than enough power for your needs unless you drive the speakers really loud.
With a good amp, I think the ammount of power is less an issue. I'm not sure how much power you think you need for your system. Lower power does not mean 'poor sound quality' and by the same logic, more power doesn't mean 'better sound.'
I owned an Aragon 8008st and found it to be a very good sounding amp. I replaced it with an amp that was the same 'on paper' but the sound quality was vastly superior. I bought a Krell FPB 200. Both amps are rated at 400wpc into 4 ohms, but the Krell is hands-down better!
BUT in your situation there are some issues that must be resolved. How hard do you drive your gear? What kind of music are you listening predominately?
In my opinion, buy the 4004, or if you can swing it get the 8008. The reserve power of the bigger amps will allow your speakers to reproduce those sudden attacks in the music that a lesser powered amp will not have available. Unless you are only listening to old presidential speaches you will appreciate the power reserves.
I hope I did not ramble too much. Sometimes thoughts are not expressed as clearly as one would intend.
Good luck, Aragon makes nice amps, and the 4004 should be a nice upgrade from the Adcom.
While I think the Aragon will be an nice upgrade from the Adcom, I wonder if you could do better. Rcprince are you sure Aragon were a partial Krell design? I would have thought an Aragon would have had more in common with Mark Levinson.
Rcprince, Krell's KSA-100 is on my list. However it's a bit out of my price range for the time being. I would also like to try some in-between amps (better than Adcom, not as good as Krell) so I can gauge how much of an effect the change makes.
Nrchy, I believe my problem is a lack of power to the speakers. I installed dedicated lines a few weeks ago and the improvement was startling to say the least. Hence I want to try an amp that double downs as Thiel recommends. My Adcom sounds like it's straining (sounds hard, bright, and compressed) to provide enough power and so I'm thinking it's probably both a quality and size issue. I realize the Aragon is a better design but I'm also wondering if the power is enough from the 2004. I mostly listen to female rock/alternative vocals, classic rock, and reggae and I listen fairly loudly as I have no neighbors. :-) These are also my home theater speakers.
Unsound, my recollection is that Aragon amps were called the "poor man's Krell" at the time, as I believe Dan D'Agostino had a hand in designing them. I agree that they're excellent amplifiers, overbuilt and great values for the money. Leo, if you can find a KSA 50 Mk II, I'd go with that over the 100 unless you absolutely need the extra power, it was a nicer sounding amp in my view, its sweetness in the highs (which the 100 lacked, comparatively) would work well with the Thiels, and it might fit in your budget. Be a little careful with old Krells, though, as the one thing that went on them before the KSA 80 series were the cooling fans, that's one reason Krell switched to heat sinks on later models. The Aragons don't have that problem, as they use a passive heat sink arrangement.
Unsound, I'm sure I could do better but I can't spend every penny that comes in. This season's plan is to improve everything a little at a time. Must... not... spend... :-(
Rcprince, my limited space might actually mean replacing fans is better than heat sinks. I'm already in a pickle trying to figure out how I'm going to get enough air to a heat sink amp. I'm thinking I need the power of the bigger amp but I'm gonna keep the sweetness in mind as that is my main musical choice (female vocal sweetness).
So far we've got one vote for 2004, one vote for 4004, and three excellent posts. :-)
Leo, if you have limited space the Aragons might be a better choice, as the early Krells are pure Class A designs (Aragons were Class A/B) and run MUCH hotter than the Aragons; fans notwithstanding, they could overheat. You could look for some fans to mount behind your units/rack--I know Audio Research makes them, and there are others available I'm sure for less from electronics supply houses. You might want to call Krell about this if you're serious about getting an older Krell, as at least in the past they were always helpful on questions about their older units. Good luck, and remember, must...not...spend!
Leo, I'm sorry. I didn't mean that you needed to spend more money, but, that there might be nicer options at the same price point. I also think that the sound you've described from the Adcom (it mirrors my own experince with Adcom on Thiels) is more due to the sonic signature of Adcom amps and not due to a lack of muscle. I've heard 80 Watt amps with less current sound better than 200 watt Adcom with better specs. Mind you I agree Thiels like power and current.
Bigger is not always better as you've heard. I would go with quality juice for those Thiels. I used to own them, and they do, indeed, love some serious quality wattage. Always quality over quantity. That's an audiophoolish no brainer. peace, warren
I had a pair of 1.5s for 2 years running with both a Muse amplifier and a VAC PA 80/80. The Muse was ok, but oh did I love the VAC/Theil combo! The 1.5 is a great little speaker!
Right now I am using a PS Audio Delta 100 with my 1.5's and it is a great match. Excellent bass control with a warm full bodied sound. I am using a sonic frontier's tube pre and I am very happy with the combination. Krell is a popular suggestion for Thiel but for me it's too strident, I rather have an amp that is a bit warm to add some romance into the music. The 1.5 is super neutral and revealing...so you can really tailor your sound based on electronics. People complain that Thiel can sound bright, but that's usually their source material and their electronics.
Our opinions on PS Audio and Krell on Thiels is just about opposite.
Hi all ! I had a aragon 4004 mk2 and it was too bright with my 1.5's . A nice 100 watt Rotel would work quite nicely ( although a more expensive amp like a Ayre probably will be better )
Some Thiels can be tough to drive...can reach down to very low impedence, which can roast a lot of amplifiers. I had a 2004 MkII Aragon for some Infinity Kappa 9's, and I was continuously blowing fuses. Find something that can push with high current instead of just looking for pure wpc type power.