what makes you think this is an "upgrade"?
Never mind Shakey's response. Over the years, I have used many different amps, Class A, AB, SET, and Class D most recently. I still use an SET 300B for that time when I feel the urge, but in order to not put too many hours on some very expensive output tubes, I use Class D Audio CDA 254 kit amps I built. The sound is smooth, detailed and capable of tremendous transient response.
I would have preferred the Hypex Core amps, but they're just too expensive for me.
A complete kit, such as I built, can be had for under $450, or, they have assembled amps for around $600 or so. They run very cool, sound great, and parts quality is high. The usual disclaimer applies here, I am not in any way affiliated with Class D Audio. Just a happy user.
What he said. I have a class d audio sds 470c and its price to performance is off the charts. Having said that the ncore amps are incredible. If I were in the market for new amps and had twice your budget I would jump on the ncore mono blocks listed on here for $1500 and pocket the rest. Best of luck with your decision.
I also recommend class d audio. The website pics dont do it justice - really great build quality inside and out and great balanced inputs if you use that. It sounded much better than the bel canto 7 i auditioned. There are other good class d amps but the prices are higher and its hard to beat the sq build and power you get with class d audio.
Here I thought I`d be first in line to recommend the Class D Audio SDS 470C...Was wrong I see !
The SDS 470C has a nice sound stage wide and open, great detail too.
I had a Rogue ST90 that I really REALLY liked but my speakers could use more power so I got the Class D and was very pleasantly surprised !
They both have their merits and I can live with either but the added power of the 470C is nice to have @ 300/600 watts.
Mine is silver with blue lights and looks nice !
It has a fairly hefty feel to it at 22Lbs no fly weight like some class d amps are.
I`ve said it before, for the money/performance ratio the 470C reminds me of the NAD 3020 I bought new back when to power my DCM Time Windows.
I say check out Red Dragon Audio's Class D amp offerings. I have the Red Dragon M1000 Mk1 monoblocks and I couldn't be happier. With my Ohm MicroWalsh Short SEs the M1000s made the music from them more lively than when I was using a Hafler 9505 or a Jolida 502P w/ Tung Sol KT150 power tubes. Even with a pair of ELAC Debut B6 speakers the music sounded more alive with the M1000 monos vs the other amps I have. The great thing too is the monoblocks only consume about 35 watts total vs the 300 watts the Jolida consumed.
I purchased the Wyred for Sound SX1000 mono block amps which we find to be a very compelling and solid choice. They have performed flawlessly for years. Fantastic liquid sound that I have only heard elsewhere in much more expensive equipment. We have their STP Preamp and DAC-2 DSD. Not the cheapest solution but IMHO a very compelling one even at double the present cost of admission. Their integrated amplifiers are really nice too. Hard to go wrong with any product they build.