Upgrade Fever

You know it, you love it, and I've got it again, unfortunately. I am one of the lucky ones that got a Supratek Syrah preamp (see Preamp of the Century thread), and now I am looking for a good mate for it. I am leaning toward a Plinius SA-102 or Gamut D200, but would consider other suggestions. My speakers are Piega P10s, and for the front end I have an EMC-1 24/192 and a Nottingham Spacedeck.

While I love tubes, I am probably more inclined to stick with a good SS amp due to my budget and listening preferences. Budget: $3-6K. Of course, I prefer to buy used, and hope to stick closer to $3K but would stretch for something special.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Reprimands?

Thanks as always. I've gotten a lot of good advice 'round here.

Superb set-up there, Walter! Many amps probably dream "shacking up" with a Supra & a Piega... Of the ones mentioned, I like the Gamut 200 -- but haven't heard it with yr speakers. Haven't heard the 102.
Another amp I would thoroughly recommend (I mentioned this at another thread, too) is the Symphonic Line Kraft 250 classA, which I've also heard with your speakers -- but driven with a CAT pre. While this is a very expensive ($~16k) dual mono, it was listed here used for within yr price range -- which is why I mention it. IMO, the sound was superlative (note: I listen & judge by classical). It's a German product & is (or was) marketed by Odyssey.

Lots of other options are sure to come up! Cheers
Check out the listing just posted for
Sonic Frontiers power 3 Monoblock Tube amps...
These are killer pieces!!
I think the seller wants 3200.00 for them...
Excellent amps for your setup..
They are tube though... you can buy these and get
a set of kt90 tubes from upscale for another 400 for both amps and have an incredible monoblock tube setup!!
Good luck,
Custom Audio LLC
Look into a David Berning ZH-270 perhaps.
Great "OTL" tube amp with SS-like bass. See threads here and at AA. $4,500 list - street price of $3,800. Rarely available used here. Tubes good for 20 years! Weighs 10 lbs!!
Just saw a pair of Pass Labs Alph II for $3000.00!
And a Cary 805c for $4000.00.

Waltersalas, check with Mick (and others) before getting the GamuT. I know it has a high input impedance and don't know if the Supratek is exactly compatible. Early on in MY amp quest, I asked Mick about the Supratek's compatibility with the GamuT and he said in typical Mick fashion, "of course its compatible". Needless to say, I wasn't convinced.

The Supratek sounds fantastic with most any amp, and seems to enhance a system to such a degree that amps can be less important - to some degree. For instance with the Supratek in my system, LAMM M1.1's sound barely better than a McIntosh MC2000. Weird. Now I am itching to try a Tenor or LAMM ML1's to prove this theory wrong but so far, since the Supratek arrived, any amp I've put in my system (Electrocompaniet, Chord, LAMM, Accuphase, McIntosh) has been irrelevant for the most part.

What cartridge are you using with your Nottingham?
And... what amp are you currently using?

Thanks for ths suggestions, all.

Bwhite, I am currently using two Bel Canto EVO 200.2's in a mono block configuration. Lots of power, and I do like the sound, but can't help wondering if I might get better transparency and more "dimension" with the Gamut, Plinius, Berning, Pass, or something else. Like every other person in the hobby, I want it all--solid state's muscle and tube's finesse. The Bel Cantos are OK, but are they the weak link in my system? I don't know, but I suspect it. I admit I have wondered the same thing about the Supratek as you, but I guess I'll never know whether different amps make much of difference in my own system until I try. I wonder why there isn't more feedback on Mick's amps? Maybe he is so busy trying to fill backorders he doesn't have time for anything else, but it would be great to know people's experiences with those.

BTW, I am using a Dynavecter 20XH cartridge with the Spacedeck. It's a bargain and a good match. Thinking about a Shelter, though. Obviously, I will be much better when this upgrade fever breaks. After 15 years away from analog, it has been a blast getting back into it. Of course, the sound is amazing, and it is fun chasing auctions on eBay and finding deals in used record bins. Just yesterday, I won an auction for a near-mint Miles Davis LP for $1.50. I felt like a Boy Scout earning a merit badge. It'll be even more fun when I get it, clean it, and cue it up.

And people wonder why we're addicted to this hobby...

Keep those suggestions coming, folks. I appreciate your recommendations. Leaning toward the Plinius, but still mulling it over and checking the classifieds approximately every fifteen minutes.

best regards to all.

IMO, Pass X amps have no peer when it comes to dynamics, and dynamic swing. Seems to me, with the Supra in hand imparting a wonderful sound, all you need is the ability to spark up your system, keep it crystal clear, and unfatiguing. With your fairly efficient great ribbon loaded P10s (89db/4ohm), you don't need one of the monster X amps, a used X150 will do <$3000.

I'm using an X150 on the Piega's daddy, the Apogee Duetta, with spectacular results, and it presents a more difficult load at 86db/3ohm.