What amp $1000 for Rockport Tech Mira Mon?

I have bought (shipping is pending) a pair of Rockport Technologies Mira Monitor speakers (here on Audiogon).

I am looking at choices in an amplifier. Sensitivity on these is 85 dB. But I will not be driving them loud anyway, so don't be afraid to recommend a 30 watt tube.

I know everyone will say that I just need to listen. Right. I know that. But my local audio shop (about the only in town) doesn't carry any amps with less than 5 channels. Whatever I get will be ordered and auditioned, and then sold if not liked.

I kinda broke the bank on these speakers, so I'd like to stay under $1500, preferably under $1000 for this amp. I have at home in other systems a tiny NAD power amp (I think it's 20wpc), and a Sunfire Cinema Grand. I will take a listen with those when I get the speakers, just because I won't be able to wait.

I have a passable Nikko Pre-Amp right now. My eventual plan for this system is a nice pre-amp with digital inputs and a good DAC.
comes with 30-day in-home trial. check em out. if you don't like them, try again.
Well, you have a really refined speaker, (I love Rockport Speakers!), so you really should spend more money on a fairly high powered, but really, really good amp.

But, since you are willing to give up some power, you might want to try a Class "A" SET amp from Pass Labs. There is a 60 wpc one for sale on Audiogon for $1,200.
(And no, I have no affiliation with the seller.)
Note, the seller says that the bass response is a bit soft, but given that you're only using monitors, that might not affect your sound, as your monitors are rolled off anyway.

Aleph 5 Amp for Sale

If you're really broke, you could try one of Pass's first designs, A Threshold S/200, which has 100 wpc, (which power wise is a better match, but it is not as good as the Aelph. There is one for sale here on Audiogon too.


My two cents worth.
I agree with Kurt that the Mira Monitors really would benefit from high quality amplification (I am a big Rockport fan as well) but they do like a lot of power even if you are not going to play them loud because they will sound closed in and unenvolving when underpowered (even at low volumes). That's why I suggested the Odyssey amp. Jonathan Valin's review of the Odyssey Khartagos suggested they punch way above their price point. With the Stratos, you are getting affordable high quality 150wpc and a 30-day in-home trial. Whatever you decide to get, make sure it has sufficient power for those speakers. Good luck.
ARC VT-100

Used it with a variety of speakers, used, close to where you want to be.
You might want to call Rockport for suggestions. Andy Payor is a very nice guy.
Yeah I second Jfz's suggestion to call Andy, but be prepared to be convinced to pay up. :) He will tell you to use the best of course. I called him and was originally going to use my existing Mark Levinson equipment but now I'm about to plunk down on Gryphon Mirage and Colosseum's.

Then again I only asked what's better... and the conclusion is the more expensive the better of course!

Ok so in all seriousness, within your budget I liked the above suggestions. The Odyssey sounds very good for the money (but I don't have any experience with them) and so does buying a used Pass Labs, Krell, ML, etc.
Thanks for all the suggestions.

The ARC suggestion has led to some research. There are a lot of letters in the names of AR amps. VT-, D-, VS-, etc. Can anyone give a link to a description of what these indicate?

Calling Andy is a good suggestion. I've been in his workshop a couple times and he has played some great stuff. Last time it was Hyperions driven by Mark Levinson 33s with the Gryphon CD player.
The only hesitation there is that the system should be built gradually. Maybe someday, I'll get a really fine amp, but I'll be content with a good one right now. Andy isn't in the business of giving advice on what would be second best - or third, or whatever my budget is (probably quite a bit further down). But I'll call him and see what he says.

Re: Pass Labs Aleph 5
I did some reading on this one. I don't understand why a Class A amp that consumes 300 W would not double to at least 120 into 4 ohm. The Mira Mons are 6 ohm, so it seems that whatever I choose should be able to maintain voltage at least at 6 ohms... not sure, though.
I'd try a Bryston B-60 -- I see there's one on this site for under $800 (not mine -- mine is sitting happily with the rest of my system) -- nice sound, durable, fits your price range, and you can easily move it if, for some reason, you find that it's not what you're looking for...

good luck and keep us posted...

I called Andy. He was very kind as always, but he didn't have any recommendations in my price range.
I'm just curious: What specifically did he recommmend?

(And what power range did he recommend too?)
Rockport speakers do need some gas. I would probably not mess around with an amp with less than 70w. If you absolutely need to stay under $1000 I would look into:

Monarchy SM-70 Pros. Even though I sold mine after a while, I really liked them for the price.

An old Simaudio Celeste. I never owned a stand-alone Celeste amp, but I did have one of the Celeste integrateds.

One of the old Classe amps (there are a few models that 100w or under that sell in the sub-$1000 zone). Never owned Classe gear, but I've heard it over the years on other speakers that need some current (Dynaudios, B&Ws, etc) and the sound was always pretty good.

Oh, btw, +1 on all the Pass Labs / Threshold / (or even Forte) Nelson Pass designs. If you can find a higher powered one for under $1000, you'd probably be alright with one of those.

Enjoy your new speakers. Rockports are great.
McCormack DNA1,.05 Deluxe,theres one for 1100$ now on the Gon,forget the model.You cant beat his stuff,YMMV,Bob The Bryston is a good choice also...........
"I called Andy. He was very kind as always, but he didn't have any recommendations in my price range."

This should suggest a serious reconsideration of your budget. Contact Andy again and ask him for a few of his most frugal recommendations. Audition them and get financially creative. You committed yourself to this path once you purchased those speakers. In the long run, you'll be happy you did the right thing now. Best of luck.
This could be the ticket for you (I have no affiliation with the seller. Just saw this and thought of your post): http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?ampstran&1269450046&/Classe-Audio-Model-25-(l-twent

Let us know how you make out. Good luck.
I'm just curious: What specifically did he recommmend?
He basically said that he didn't have any personal experience with units in the range I'm talking about, so he didn't want to speculate." I didn't push him.
... get financially creative. You committed yourself to this path once you purchased those speakers. In the long run, you'll be happy you did the right thing now. Best of luck.
haha interesting response. I love it!

After the Shema, the theme of my life is probably, "Everything has room for improvement." I will upgrade in the future. If I spend more now, where will be the fun in the future of upgrading?

Right now, my top runners are:
a VT-100 here on Audiogon - are Gold Lion KT88's really an upgrade?
A Bel Canto S300iu Integrated (I like the USB input) (recommended by the firm selling the Miras) - this one depends on the price. But he would do this as a demo, so it might be good.
An old Classe. There's one on Audiogon now.
"If I spend more now, where will be the fun in the future of upgrading?"

Sivert, I completely understand your position, but trust me on this one thing: No matter how much you spend on upgrades, as long as Audiogon lives, that fun will always be there.
While looking for an Amp, I found a VT-100 MkIII for a good enough deal that I should be able to do a turn-around if I don't love it and not lose anything.

The VT-100 arrived today, so, more to come . . .
It took me a while to get the thing extricated from the two boxes and plastic wrap. Then I removed the top cover, opened the foam-wrapped vacuum tubes and seated them. After finally getting the top cover back on, I hefted thing onto the table I'm using for an amp stand and on the way over to it, something metal slides inside! That's weird. About this time my parents came over. So we took the top cover off and eventually found two washers sitting in the bottom of the unit. Well, "I'm glad I found that before I turned it on," I thought. We looked around and couldn't see any similar washers anywhere in the unit. Weird. Then I decided we better make sure there's nothing else. So two of us picked up the unit and tipped it in several directions. Sure enough, a small click-tinkle of metal was heard coming from the right side of the unit. So we took the side panel off. There was an inch long bolt - well, an inch of a longer bolt - with a nut on it sitting on the circuit board! I'm really glad I found that one!
So now I have a broken bolt, a nut, and two washers loose in my new treasure. After looking more, I found that there are four bolts that mount the main power transformer. One broke off. After assuring myself that all the pieces associated with that bolt were accounted for, I hooked up the amp, powered it up, and . . .

owhw-howhwh . . . that's nice.

Listened to several familiar pieces and sound is lovely.

I'll do some more listening with my wife tomorrow.

Now, I suppose I need to replace that bolt . . .
Great that you got a nice amp for your speakers (also a Rockport Fan). How is it coming along/does it all sound?

That's great, Sivert. I'm a big Rockport fan too.
Nice choice with the VT-100. I think I remember reading somewhere that Andy does have some Audio Research gear that he will put on his speakers sometimes. I imagine that they are extremely expensive monoblocks, but the VT-100 definitely has some grunt.

Also, glad to hear that your "loose parts" were nothing serious. Keep us updated.
congrats...let us know how it works out.