I've made numerous post over the last year looking for two channel amp recommendations and received many thoughtful and detailed responses. Thanks so much to those of you who took time to help, I really appreciate it.

I sold my trusty Outlaw Model-755 multi-channel amp and bought the highly recommended Odyssey Stratos. However, I didn't realize it had a 19" face plate and wouldn't fit into my entertainment center, so I had to sale it.

I hooked it up to make sure it worked properly before putting up for sale, and I wanted to see if it lived up to it's reputation. It does. Sweet, articulate amp that just gets out of the way of the music. A lot has been written about these amps and I can see why. I know of no other amp in it's price range that can best it.

Regardless, it wouldn't fit so I started looking again. From the many recommendations I received, the Belles, McCormack, Odyssey, and Bat seemed to be the front runners in affordable amplification.

The Belles and Odyssey are the only one's I've actually heard. I've always loved the Belles sound, but it was out of my price range. But, as luck would have it, right after I sold the Odyssey I found a great deal on a one year old unit and if everything goes right I'll have it in my system by next Friday; cant wait.

I now have the Naim CD5i source, Arcam AVP-700 (direct mode) pre, Belles 350A Reference (replaced Outlaw) and Usher CP-6381's (replaced Energy Veritas 2.3i).

I think my weakest link now is probably the Arcam. What do you guys think? Once I get my Veritas sold, or find a good trade, I'm probably going to look at a stand alone pre-amp with HT pass through.

Since you guys guided me so well with the amp; do you have any pre-amp recommendations? Unit must be black, no wider than 18" and be remote controlled. $1500 used would be the very top end of my budget, but hope to find something a bit cheaper.

Thanks again for your assistance.
I don`t know its dimensions and I don`t think it has remote capability but if it were me, I`d get a good used Audible Illusions mod.3 to partner with the Belles in particular. $600-$700 used.

I know that that would make a terrific pre/amp combo.
Give Klaus a call at Odyssey. He can build you a Stratos in a Khartago case which I believe is smaller. You would have to ask Klaus or a member for the dimensions. Just a thought.
Jack, congrats on your system. What do you think of the Ushers? I just got the Usher BE-10 and so far I love it! The clarity, soundstage, and dynamics are great!
consider the nobis proteus used, although i am not sure of its dimensions. i own one and am listening to it right now.
Thanks for the responses so far. Tboooe, I think the Ushers are special. I don't want to give them too much of a review until I've had some more time with them, but right now I couldn't be happier.

I can't wait to see how they sound with the Belles. :-)
What about a Belles 21A? Not sure of the width though.
I have listed a Belles 21A special Auricap option. The only reason I say this on this thread is I to love Belles gear and the synergy is very good. I also own the 350 Reference amp and the combination with the 21A preamp is wonderful.

I am going to buy David's new 28A and thus the reason for selling the 21A.

As a 21A/350Ref owner I say look no further then the 21A with the Auricap upgrade. Yes, the new 28A is even better, but it costs $4500 new and you won't find any here on Agon used!

Feel free to email.


Yep, you guys are right. I will put the Belles on my short list. However, I'm curious if thier soloist pre-amp wouldn't fit my needs. I only need one set of inputs for my CDP and the HT by-pass because my Arcam will take care of everything else.

Still haven't sold my Veritas' so I will have a while to ponder.
Hey Jack-

Any thoughts on a tube preamp at all?
I do agree on getting a dedicated preamp.
Good luck!
Lkdog, I certainly like the way tubes sound and would consider a tube pre-amp. However, tubes are a bit of a hassle IMO and do have their draw backs.

The Belles 21A that some have recommended is a tube pre-amp and I imagine a very good one. But I really doubt I'll go with tubes. I cant find much on the Belles Soloist, but the features fit my requirements and I bet it's a good match with the 350A.

Note that the new Belles 28A is solid state.

BTW, for those of you buying used Belles eqipment, they do not offer a transferable warranty. I checked with them and they said no can do, only original owner. Bummer!!