Upgrade Time Again.... please help

OK it’s upgrade time once again. Sometime this year I will be upgrading my amps so the hunt begins. I have compiled a “short” list of amps and would like constructive feedback on what else I should consider or not consider. First my system: Front End CAL Delta (next upgrade after amps), dCS Purcell/Delius combo and two Golden Tube monoblocks (re-tubed with 6L6GC and NOS driver tubes) and B&W Nautilus 802 Speakers. I listen to mostly to Jazz, a little Rock and some Classical music. What I like about the Golden Tubes – great midrange, deep and wide soundstage with instruments precisely placed. What I don’t like – flabby bass and highs are not as airy and delicate as I would like. What I am looking for in the amp – great midrange (not syrupy or overly warm, but not dry either), extended deep very well controlled bass, and delicate extended highs that are not in the least bit bright or harsh. The amp needs to throw a wide and deep soundstage without giving up accuracy in instrument placement (no fuzz around the instruments). JA had this to say about the impedance of the Nautilus 801 in Stereophile - “(The impedance for the 801) drops to 3 ohms through the midrange and to 4 ohms in the high treble. In addition, a punishingly high capacitive phase angle in the midbass, coupled with a low magnitude, will demand a good, current-worthy amplifier.” My absolute max budget is 10K and I prefer to buy used but if need be I will by new. Here’s the list: Bryston 7BST Monoblocks, Plinius SA-250 Mk IV, (2) Plinius SA-100 Mk III, Jeff Rowland 8TIHC, Jeff Rowland 10TI, Jeff Rowland Model 12, Ayre V-1x, Mark Levinson 336, 335, 334, Lamm 2.1 Monoblocks, Lamm 1.1 Monoblocks, AR VT-200, (2) AR VT-100, and Wolcott Presence 220 Mono Blocks. I am looking for informed feedback from owners of these amps or people with a similar system. If I had to make a choice today I think I would go with Levinson, Lamm, or Rowland. Cheers – Dan.

Showing 1 response by cornfedboy

dan: you've gotten some excelent advice already but i'd like to pick up the invitation you issued to sagger to "go outside your list." the impedence curve of the 802's seem quite clearly to auger in favor of high output/high current amps. those in this categorey of which i'm familiar, and i am seriously considering to replace my rowland 8ti, are the boulder 1060 (300w/side stereo into 8, 4 or 2 ohms) or a pair of accuphase a-50v's (400w per, bridged into 4 ohms). i've not heard either of these amps on b&w nautilus speakers but have listened to them extensively on avalon eidolons, my present speakers. both the boulder and accuphases drive the eidolons (nominal 4 ohm imp.) effortlessly. moreover, both are very "fast" and allow the eidolons to show their strengths exquisitely in the mid's and highs, while powering the bass range in a controlled yet "ballsy" manner. the boulder eats up power, sounding best in its switchable 220 amp mode (requiring, of course, a powered 220 outlet behind the amp). i've not listened to wolcotts on eidolons, tho i'd love to do so. for me, tho, both the boulder and accuphase provide the sort of mid-range liquidity one would expect of the very best tube amps and the bottom-end power and control best accomplished ordinarilly by solid state. i applaud you for having already considered a rather long list of very good choices. i hope you get the chance to audition those i recommend you add to that list. good hunting. -kelly