Vienna baby grand

Which is a better amp for this speaker? Solid state or tube

Generally, solid state with a relatively high damping factor and good power into 4 ohms will work best. I'm using a Conrad Johnson CA200 solid state, control amp to push my Baby Grands (around 300 watts into 4 ohms). I have a tube phono pre-amp, so you can see that I'm not anti-tube. Oh, my headphone amp is tube also, but that's a different discussion.

Today's better solid state amps have no compromises in transparency and openness vs. tubes, IMHO. That's not to say that tubes can't work, but you'll have to wait on others to make those recommendations.

The quality of your front-end is probably a more important consideration than whether your amp is SS or tube. If you're into vinyl get the best front end that you can afford. Same for your digital source. The very best amps combined with the VAs will reveal any quality issues in your sources. If you're using an amp like Conrad Johnson, Rowland or Parasound and you hear any hardness, it's probably your sources or cabling causing that hardness and not the amp.

Happy hunting.

Thank Dave.
I have the Primare Pre30 and Primare A32. One of my friend ask me to get a Rogue M150 and a 99 magnum and said that the sound will be significant improve with the VA
What do you think?
Do you think I should get a tube preamp like yours
With 400 watts on tap, I can't imagine that your Primare wouldn't handle the Babies very handily.

My phono preamp is tube, but my control amp is total solid state. If you get into vinyl, then I'd say "yes" because you can get a nice tube phono stage for $400 to $800.

The whole Primare line is excellent. I don't think that you'd notice any significant improvement with the Rogue.

Perhaps a more important question is what cables are you using. Over in Reviews I compare the Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval 8 cables to my old Kimber 8PR. This presented a major improvement in resolution and was already using top-drawer electronics (Conrad Johnson).

So, bottom line from me at least, don't spend any more money on amplification right now. If a friend has Rogue, then trade out for a week or so to see if there's any real difference. However, make sure you're using great cables with those speakers. Analysis Plus isn't the only choice, but one of the ones with a very good price/performance ratio.

If you insist on upgrading amplification, look at Rowland with the Viennas. It's a match made in heaven. The Concerto intergrated will do the job nicely; however, any extra money spent with Rowland isn't wasted.

Finally, everything has to break in before you can reach any final judgements, even the cables.

Hi Dave

Should I spend more for the speaker cable or for the interconnect? Which one is more important?

Oh wow, you're asking for debate, BUT I think that speaker cables come first. I'm using relatively inexpensive Kimber Timbral for the interconnects with great results.

I DO minimize interconnects by using a control amp (like an integrated). The Kimbers are resolving enough that I can clearly hear the improvements going to the Analysis Plus. I DO think that you need quality interconnects, but once you get up into the mid-level you've got a very resolving, involving system.

That said, after my Analysis Plus speaker cables are fully broken in I might try their TT IC and then try a plain AP interconnect between the phono preamp and control amp to see what I hear. The search goes on, but I think that the speaker cables are a critical step and warrant a significant investment.

Be sure to get the Sumiko Master Speaker set if you bought from a dealer. Even if you didn't and have to pay for it, it's worth it. It's more important than anything we've talked about.