Thoughts on choosing an amplifier

After much thinking, too much actually. I have narrowed my amplifier choices down to a Parasound a21+, a Benchmark AHB2, or two Schitt Aegirs. Presently, my modest system is a Pioneer PL 71 turntable with an Ortofon 2M Red cartridge into a Schitt Mani into a NAD C 326BEE feeding Quad 12L Classic monitors. Time for an upgrade, eh? I though I would start with an amp and some more speakers. 

The plan is to remove the jumper on the NAD integrated and use the NAD as a preamp until I choose a preamp to go with the amp. For what it is worth, I am leaning towards a tube preamp - maybe a 6NS7. I also plan to buy a few modestly priced speakers, such as Magneplan LRS,  Zu Omen Dirty Weekend, Bowers & Wilkins 603, GoldenEar Triton Five, KEF LS50, or Warfedale Linton, rather than one more expensive speaker. I like the idea of swapping out speakers for fun, type of music, etc. So I am looking for an amplifier that pairs well with many different types of speakers designs.  Which one of the three amplifiers would you choose?

From reading the forums, people often ask the poster what type of music they like to listen to. My music tastes run from Americana to jazz to opera to classic rock to ambient electronic; mostly Americana and jazz tho.

Thank you in advance for your collective advice. It is very much appreciated.
BigMusic - First time poster
"I understand I won't end up with the best match but that is an acceptable trade off. "

Then why ask for advice...


Whats wrong with asking for advice even if the OP feels that he/she may not end up with the best match.

Perhaps after asking for advice and receiving positive suggestions, the OP may actually end with a good match or matches. It's only after asking would you find out and learn more, whats wrong with that?

OP, never heard of the Benchmark but certainly looks nice and the Parasound I'm sure would be a good contender. 

Jay & Big:

Sorry I missed the Magnepan/ZU choices (my bad, it's been a hectic day).

My advice is to opt for Two different speakers which would be well mated with the same "type" of amplifier (thus achieving a decent match with both).


I'm using a Benchmark AHB2 now and can't imagine that being the weak link in your system, no matter what speakers you choose.

I use one AHB2 with multiple powered subs, so 100 wpc is fine.

It is extremely transparent and throws a deep, wide soundstage with great imaging. My only complaint is that it's compact, lightweight, energy efficient, and affordable. If they put it in a huge case and doubled the price it would be even better.
Following because I am considering the Benchmark AHB2 for a second system after reading the detailed measurements of this amp’s performance.
In particular, .00016 THD is impressive.