Quicksilver m60's - sweet smooth- Deosn't get much better...
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Keep in mind the need for power. Your room size and it's absorbtion, tastes in music, and listening levels are some considerations. I often play my Eidelons loud, and although my room is of medium size, sometimes I crave more power. I run the Eidelons with Atma-Sphere MA-2s, rated at 220 watts/ch.
Prior to the A-S amps I satisfyingly used CAT mono-blocks. At 100 wpc, only the most demanding recordings presented a power issue. I have not heard the Stereo CAT, but Ken Stevens, the designer, has proclaimed it better than the monos at half the price.
I heard the ARC amp at an audio shop, with much disappointment. Could have been the set-up, cabling, who knows... but it exposed a hard edge that the Eidelons have with certain solid state amps.
Paradoxically, I did try out a pair of Krell monos with the CAST preamp. This was a short three day audition, and, although I hate to admit it, the Avalons were very musical with nice frequency extension.
Other experiential set-ups included Classe 301 and Lamm 2.1. Both worked well, but if you can find the room, the Atma-Spheres, with the OTL design, has played the Eidelons most musically and with least want.
One last thought. I did run Avalon Ascents with Jadis JA-200s. Also, very musical, but not a great pop/rock combo. And again, these are mono-blocks.
Thank for all the responses so far. I am actually contemplating on adding a medium power tube amp for my jazz, instrumental and chamber type of music listening. It is very difficult to find a tube amp that is powerful enough and with a reasonable price tag for rock and large scale symphonic music. My listening room is about 400 sq ft and I like to listening with relatively high volume.
Siddh, I am wondering how bad the ARC VT200 will sound. It is actually in my short list of stereo amp to consider. A used CAT JL2 is a good idea. VTL450 is also one of my favorite. Although the MA-2 should be good choice, it is out of my budget and difficult to find in used market.
If there is any other good ideas even with mono block, I would like to know.
Cmtong. All that I have heard from other's experiences with the ARC have been complimentary. The set-up, plus my individual tastes likely veered me away from the VT200. I actually approached the demo with the ARC as the amp to buy.
I also heard the Rowlands (100 watters). Other than lacking steam, they sounded quite musical. It appears, that for you auditions are unlikely, but keep in mind that certain gains may create sacrifices when swapping out the Classe. But isn't that always the case?
Hello Cmtong, I can highly recommend the BAT 150se mono amps. I agree with Steve on the ARC 200. I compared the ARC 200 to the BAT vk60 mono amps a few years back and much preferred the BAT amps. A year ago I upgraded from the mono 60's to the BAT 150se and it is a truly magical match with the Eidolon. Good luck to you. Tom