Time for a new 2 channel amplifier - looking for suggestions


I’m currently running a pair of restored Klipsch Chorus II speakers on a Rotel RB-1080. I loved this amp when it was connected to my Vandersteen 2CE sigs, but it’s never felt right with the Chorus II’s. My plan is to move the Rotel back to the setup with my Vandersteens, so I need something for the Chorus II’s.

I’m not interested in going with tubes. I just want to throw that out there since it’s a common suggestion for these speakers. I’d like to stay around $1000, and I’m not against buying used. I’d like something around 100 watts/channel. I do play my Chorus II’s loud from time to time.

A couple things I’m currently considering.

1) Restored vintage Yamaha B-2 VFET amplifier
2) Parasound Halo A23
3) ??
4) ???

Thoughts on the above or alternate suggestions?



mustangjeff
What preamp are you using?  Could an integrated amp be a possibility?

Chorus II's can be a bit finicky with placement, amps, sources.  The right amp and placement can really make the Chorus II's shine and yes they can play loud, very loud.  

When I had my fortes and Quartets, they seemed to be at their best when I used older Denon integrated amps(PMA).

Bill
Give this a try !
http://www.odysseyaudio.com/products-khartago-stereo.html
If I was looking for a new $1000 amp I would go with the suggestion by yogiboy.  
Or this mosfet !
http://www.avahifi.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=158&Itemid=254
My parasound Halo 21 is a GREAT amplifier. I've been looking to get my system down to a bare bones but maximum bang for the buck system. The Parasound fills the spot for amplification. Used they go for maybe $1500.00 Does the smaller unit sound similar? Look into one. No hype; just good electronics by John Curl. Good luck. Joe
I second/third/whatever what yogiboy said above.  I'd stumbled onto a Khartago deal years back and even today am still so pleasantly surprised with what it does and does for the price.  New or used it's a darned good bit of bang for the buck - highly recommended!
Great suggestions everyone.  I've crossed the Yamaha off my list.  As appealing as those sexy VU meters and the vintage/rarity factor, that thing is one mishap from being a door stop.
I second the Khartago by Odyssey Audio. My Stratos HT3 (with cap upgrade) is now almost 10 years old. Every time I read about a hot new amp, I think about it for about 5 seconds, then conclude that I could not improve on the Odyssey amp without spending silly money.  FWIW, I compared the Stratos HT3 to AVA's entry level 3-channel amp and the Rotel 1066 (which I owned and ran as a 3 X150 watt amp) when I wanted a better sounding amp than the Rotel (and that was with Vandy 1Cs, too).  The AVA was brighter than either the Rotel or the Odyssey.  The Odyssey was by a wide margin the cleanest, smoothest sounding amp, and had the best soundstage presentation of all three amps as well.
I concur with the Parasound suggestion, but if the A21/23 are a little high, you could go with their Classic line. Used the 5250 would be under your limit, and new Audio Advisor still has some(no affiliation!)

Another option would be a Nad 275 used, they put out 150 wpc, which is plenty for your Klipsch.
You might be able to find a used Job 225 slightly above your price... it's a phenomenal amp.
Aren't the Chorus ii efficient? Why do you need 100 watts? Personally, I'd go with a Clones Audio amp, or even Funjoe's integrated.
One of the most impressive integrateds I've had. 

The Chorus II's are efficient but do respond better on the low end with a bit more grunt.  My buddy had a pair of Chorus I's and drove them with a Cambridge Audio 540A(50w/ch)and though they did sound nice, they really opened up when he added an Acurus A200(200w/ch).  There was thump and punch that just was not in abundance with just the 540A.

Bill

what do you like about the acurus sound?   Maybe an old Aragon might suit your bill nicely.   With Klipsch it's kinda hard to recommend anything but tube gear as they have a unique sonic signature.   I'm not a Klipsch fan but have had la Scala and the k horns . I never did find a ss amp that would not become fatiguing on the larger Klipsch . I tried my odyssey gear and way too bright and have tried nad which was more mellow but less punchy.  Klipsch just beg for set amplifiers 

Anthem integrated is worth a look. Discontinued now, but some stock may remain. It’s a quiet, capable and dynamic instrument.
If you have a preamp, an Edge is very nice. Drives difficult speakers easily. I might even sell mine(!).
And I like the Parasound.
All of those should make your Klipsch's happy.
Another vote for Parasound.
"what do you like about the acurus sound?"

Just about everything.  Dead quiet, cool running, detailed, neutral, and oh yes I almost forgot, the bass drive.  Kind of like the suggested Anthem from the previous post.

Bill
Try a NuPrime IDA-8. I compared this integrated to the highly regarded Hegel H-80 driving Paradigm 95fs and was impressed. Ended up with the Hegel (seemed slightly more "organic", almost tube-like), The two amps were very similar in terms of soundstage, bass control and smoothness- close enough that I have occasional second thoughts (especially since the NuPrime is half the cost!). The IDA-8 had great dynamics and was dead & I mean dead quiet. NuPrime has a good return policy if you don't feel it works in your system.

FYI- The current issue of the Absolute Sound features a review of the IDA-8
I would concur w/timber77 from my days w/Klipsch products. Have a Rotel 85wpc amp and while technically good, it does not stand up to the musicality or imaging of my other amps.
Consider a later model Bedini, class A design for tube like uppers but solid sate current delivery for the bass. Great reliability & good pricing used.
If you are looking for a power amp only- the NuPrime STA-9 power amp with 120watts/ch stereo is $649 (can also be configured as a 290 watt mono block).