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When I had the 988's, I tried a number of amps: EAR 509ii's (509 tube), Wolcott Stereo-220 (EL34), Quicksilver Triodes (6C33C), Cary SLM-100 (EL34/KT88/6550), Cary SLM-70 (EL34/KT88/6550), Odyssey Stratos Dual Mono, Aragon 2004, and I can't remember how many others! For the tubes, I ended up keeping the SLM-70's. They were modified to be switchable b/t triode and pentode. They had the nicest tonal balance and inner detail of all the tube amps listed. (Disclosure - I am soon to list these on Agon, as I sold the Quads a couple years ago.) A real sleeper with the 988's was the Aragon. It didn't have quite the beautiful mids and tonal balance of the Cary's, but it had great dynamic drive and spatial resolution. For $1200 it makes a great summer amp, or backup amp!
One other peice of advise on the 988's. They are not the most dynamic speakers, so you want to have really dynamic gear upstream. Swapping my Audible Illusions 3a preamp for a Cat Ultimate brought a great improvement. Also, good power cords on the speakers made an audible improvement (I made DIY cords based on a Chris VanHaus design). I also liked raising the speakers by about 10" on solid wood blocks (big beams cut 26" long) to improve the imaging - any higher yielded too much loss in bass.
Coincidently, one of my more recent experiences with Quads (2905s) was listening to them in a store with the MV 60 and CT6. Did you hear them in a store in Baltimore by chance? At the time I already owned the CT6 with a pair of Music Reference RM 10 amps. At the time I was also considering moving to Quads since the Music Reference amps are voiced with Quads and I was told a very good match. Well not only did I pick-up a pair of 63s shortly thereafter which sounded quite good with the Music Reference amps, but I then picked-up a pair of CJ Premier 12s.
To answer your last question, IMO the MV 60 and CT 6 are a very good match, at least with the 2905s, and I would assume with the 988s as well. However, to answer your original post, I can highly recommend the Premier 12 mono blocks with the CT6 and Quads. In my more than 40 years in this hobby, it is one of the most musical and satisfying combinations that I have ever owned.
Thanks for the suggestion on the Premier 12 mono blocks. Based on all the reviews that I have read, it sounds like a good match for my setup. I ended up purchasing a brand new CJ CT6, and now my budget for the tube amp is at the lower end of the range. Leaning towards used MV60 for now. Not sure if I should go for used MV60SE.
I live in Northern NJ, and heard the combo setup at a nearby dealer.
Reporting back on my experience with the conrad-johnson MV60. I purchased a used one which came with the following tubes:
E34L -- output tubes (newer version of EL34)
6SN7GTA Philco -- driver tubes
12AX7A -- input tubes
Once I got the MV60, I was not able to immediately experience the FULL potential of it because I had a 10 maybe 20 year old crappy AudioQuest Ruby 2 IC that was waiting to be replace by Cardas Golden Reference. By the look and sound of it, you could tell Ruby was way past retirement age.
The result? I would describe my system as powerful and full range of response across the spectrum. (Please keep in my that I had used Rotel Integrated prior to the MV60). Occasionally, even in moderate volumes, I thought I had too much bass. Now, based on what I had read about Quads, I am thinking this must be due to my room acoustics. No matter, I may need some bass traps, and diffusors -- and I should be set for a long time. Happy listening!
Sounds like I spoke too soon. Apparently the robust bass that I am hearing is from the Soundstring Power Cables that my buddy sent me to try. When I put the stock cords back into the Quads, bass became much leaner. With the Soundstring PCs, I definitely will not need any subwoofers. Hmmm... it appears I will be spending next few weeks researching Power Cables.