Thoughts on mating ML ESL 11 A's to a butler TDB 2250 hybrid amp

Looking at the butler TDB 2250 Amp to drive ML ESL 11 a's kinda settled on the Parasound Halo A21 until was pointed in the Butler direction. Any thoughts? Will be using a Linn Majik DSM as source and pre amp.


Pvmike we used to sell the Butler amplifiers, they were a cool concept amp but sonically were not magical. 

The Parasound is good you should really  save up a bit more and go for a higher class of amplifier with those excellent loudspeakers.

What is the budget and the rest of your components?

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
Budget right now is about $2000. I am using a Linn Majik streamer dsm that has a 90 watt amp built in this will be my source and pre amp for the time being
I've owned a couple Butler 2250's over the years, along with a 5150.

Very, very nice amp for the money. Small company that I believe only sells direct now.  There used to be a small dealer down in North Carolina that gave decent deals on them.

You could likely find a bargain used, and send it back to Butler for their re-bias/update for about $300.00.

My neighbor has the ML 11's, and we did drive them with my amp a few times, it sounded really great.  

With the powered woofer, the Butler has the muscle and current to drive that panel, but the tubes give just a bit of that fullness that I think benefits a ML speaker.

It always ran at a reasonable temperature also.

Personally I think it give a lot of what the BHK amps are supposed to do at a much lower price.  With your powered woofer section it won't matter quite as much, but I think the Butler had every bit of the bass response as the BHK amp.

BK must be doing something right and he certainly knows tone.  He builds pedals for all sorts of the top guitarists in history.

Dep14 we were Butler dealers and we had the Monads as well.

We didn't find the lower end solid state amps to sound particularlary good they were average sounding amps, at best. The proof is where the company is in the market which is no where.

It is perhaps their cheap Chinese implemenation of a good circuit design, we sold Bulter for a few years and then got rid of the line.

Persoanlly we would take a pair of Nuprime STA 9 mono blocks at $1,500.00 a pair for 290 watt mono blocks coupled with a good preamp for cheap nirvanah. 

As we said still love for the OP to save up some additional funds and seek out a really good amplifier, the BAT amps are spectactlar.

Some of the Classe amps are also quite good with the ML.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ

Butler doesn’t have dealers anymore.

But that’s beside the point. It’s a good sounding amp in my opinion, especially for the money as they can be found for under $1500 used. But it’s a small company, guitar pedals seem to be the main business and it’s basically BK and his assistant. So... if that ever changes one could be SOL. Lots of small companies like that.

The Monads, if you want to go there. I agree, way, way, way overpriced. Cool looking, but not special enough to justify the price.

I would agree that BAT amps are excellent, a used one under 2k would be an excellent purchase for the OP.

A used BAT VK200 would be outstanding, I sold mine last year for 1k, I wanted to keep it as I felt it punched way, way, way above it’s weight. Ballsy as all heck in the low end. I think the Butler Top end has a bit more sparkle, I think the VK200 is a better amp overall.

Classe, depends on the amp.

I’ve owned all of the above over the years. (except the monads)

BK Butler makes a fine amp, under 2k used you have lots of choices. Butler is a good one with just a little bit of tube seasoning.  I suspect it would sound excellent. 

Vincent audio makes something similar, If you want another small company doing some unique things - you could check out Van Alstine.

If you want class D... plenty of similar options out there. Personally, with powered woofers and ARC doing the EQ. I would go the direction you are, solid state with good current, with a little flavor (depending on your pre-amp).

But if you are going to get class D, I would get one of the less expensive online companies, unless you pay the uber bucks for the companies that MIGHT be making significant changes to the modules.  

I just demoed a bunch of different higher end amps with the 11As.  This is all about taste, really depends on the types of music you listen to and sound signature you like.

Biggest take away for me is that the ML electrostats are naturally warm and transparent speakers.  What you pair it with is really makes a difference and you can hear the differences pretty quick.  For me, the best pairing is an amp that has crisp highs, lush mids, controlled bass.  I ended up ordering the Luxman 509x to replace my MC452, which felt was a bit too warm for MLs.

If you do decide to go the class D route, you may want to check out the NAD amps/integrateds as well.  I haven’t heard them myself but seem like a good bang for the buck.
I keep poking around and discovered Manley 250 monos any thoughts on this amp paired to Martin Logan ESL11A using a Linn DSM as a source and pre amp
I would personally steer away from tube amplifiers with ML.  While I'm sure those Manley monos are very nice, they explicitly state the optimum speaker impedance is 5 ohm and the output impedance is 0.538 ohm.  The ML panels are very capacitive and the minimum impedance is 0.6 ohm at 20 kHz, so probably not a good match.  If you crave the tube sound I would look at a hybrid design, since you already have your source/pre.  For what its worth I have the predecessor to your ESL11A (Montis).  I power them with Pass INT-150.  I think Pass amplification works well with ML.  I'm sure there are many other (less expensive) alternatives that would work as well.
I heard Butler amps a few years back and thought they were very good. Now the Manley 250's would be in a different class altogether IMO.Since Audiotroy doesn't sell Butler anymore I could have guessed what he would have said! Oh well I'm sure you can read into his posts.
I definitely agree with jtucker on  the Manleys, the 11As are rated at 4 ohm average, dipping below 1 ohm, so don't thinks it's a good match.