There are many. BUY USED and save $1000s.
Tube: Conrad Premier 11 (can but bought for $3000)
My recommendation is purchase 2 music fidelty A3cr (solid state)and bi amp. They are very hard to find used because they are so, so good. You should be able to get them new for about $1500 each. One will work with efficient speakers.
Get the A3cr not the 300. Match it with an ADCOM 750 preamp. You can get that used for about $750 - $900.
You will have a superb set up for a song. I have treid almost all the names you see on Audiogon (Madgril, Cary, CJ,
Audio Research, McCormack, YBA, REGA, and many more.)
The reality the above combination with efficient speakers will do about as good as it gets.
Best speakers for the $$$ Virgo (biwireable) and Dunlavy IV
(not the IVa). Either of these can be had used for about $2500 - $3000 used)
Inteconnects for the money Audioquest Quartz.(Used - $75).
Speaker wire for the money Audioquest midnight III or dh labs (Used $200-$400).
Yo, Dzz; You got to say what speakers you got./ and do you plan to keep them? How big is the room/ how loud do you listen? Is the rest of your equipment in keeping with a 7/8k amp? So many speakers "need" SS and there are many that don't. There are many great amps in this range / making the right choice is partly dependant on the ans. to some of my questions.
I've owned many amps, tube and solid state, and my favorite
thus far (which I've been using now for 2+ years) is the
Mark Levinson 27.5 It has a smooth, refined presentation,
excellent bass definition and slam, extended and pure
high frequencies and superb imaging/soundstaging. It is
also essentially "bulletproof". They can be found occasionally used for $1900-2100 in excellent condition.
They will also lose very little on resale as there is a
demand for them. They were last made in 1995. Even 3-4
years ago, they sold for about $2000 used.
Depending on speakers and it may be hard to beat the Gamut D-200 (SS) or the Pathos twin towers (hybrid) in this price range.
My suggestion is an Innersound ESL amplifier, rated at 300 watts per channel. It will drive just about anything excellently, and electrostats superbly. It weighs 40 lbs, runs cool, has XLR & RCA inputs, and compact size. Retail is $2995, and often at Audiogon for 1/3 less. Most important, it has outstanding reproduction of music, and equally outstanding product support from Innersound (Roger Sanders, the designer.)This amp will go the distance, because it is so overbuilt, really unstrained; but capable of huge dynamics when called for. The website is "www.innersound.net", for pictures, reviews, and tech information. Good luck.
Is this a trick question? Like on Jeopardy?
If so, the answer is... A BARGAIN!
If this is a technical question, some answers are: ML332, Pass X250.
Proac Response 2.5 and i am going to keep it for awhile along with my future. My room is 156 (13ft) X 204 (17ft).
My preamp is a Yamaha DSP-AX1 same as the RX-V1 but it is a a/v amplifier.
Are you looking for a 5 channel amp to match the Yammie? If you are using the Yammie as a pre for music, I would suggest getting a used 2 ch pre and a used amp. Putting about equal $ into each piece (1500-1750 each)would give you much better 2 channel sound than a really great amp with the Yamaha as a pre.
KRELL FPB300 can be found occasionally for as low as $3300. The FBP200 can be found more easily in your price range, but many people feel the 300 and 600 are better choice for sound quality.
You should spend $2000 on an amp and use the other $1500 to buy a good used preamp, you definitely need to upgrade from Yamaha. Maybe a good solid state amp like an Ayre or M-L, or BAT, and a tubed preamp such as a BAT 51.
Buy a musical fidelity M3 integrated it kills every amp here except the pass x250 maybe and it has a lot more power and a really good preamp to boot. Lastly it is much much better than the A3cr, believe me i've owned both.
I second the CJ suggestion if you want to give tubes a try. I have Response 2.5's and use Premier 12's with it and I think it sounds fabulous. They're also known to pair well with ARC amps (either VT100 or 100.2), and I've heard them sound very good with Cary. A used CJ Premier 11a (~50w into the ProAc's) will run between $1500 and $2000, and Premier 12's (~100w) between $3500-$4000. Keep in mind that power isn't necessarily the most important factor as long as the amp is capable of driving the speakers. Tube equipment tends to clip more softly than SS, and so can be driven a bit harder than their SS counterparts and still sound good.
One caveat is that the ProAc's have a pronounced bottom end which can end up being a bit overpowering in a smallish room with a warmer amp (which is what I experience in a 15' x 20' room). However, these speakers simply sing when driven by tubes and I'd give serious thought towards leaning in this direction.
You might try a Bryston 4BST. 250 watts into 8 ohms,
20 year warranty. You can sell it w/5 years left..
If it sounds a little forward in your system, try a Pass
X250. The Pass is more laid back, but it will heat your listening room up....
hello the Yamaha has got to go. Invest in a preamp a placette passive is awesome for the price. I concur with the Conrad Johnson premier 11 amplifiers also.
With the ProAc 2.5's an excellent choice is the Bryston 4B ST. I ran that amplifier with ProAc 3.8's and really was able to enjoy the music. The amplifier was able to control the woofers so that the bass was plentiful and tuneful. The combination also worked because the ProAc's, IMHO, lacked in dynamics and the Bryston, IMHO, was a bit forward in its presentation. Together their individual strengths made up for their individual weaknesses.
I am sure that their are many good choices that you could make. The beauty of the Bryston 4B ST is that you could find one used for around $1500 and spend the other $2000 on source upgrades that could make a greater difference. The warranty period ensures resale value. If you choose to spend more my suggestion would be to find a used Mark Levinson or Balanced Audio Technology amplifier. Good Luck
edge m6m used 3500.00...hard to beat!
Just saw a pair of Aleph 2 monos (100/200 8/4) for only $2800! Can't beat that for a great amp value.
I have tried numerous amps in the price range you are looking in. With the Proacs, the Marsh A400 or the Bel Canto EVO's would be terrific. My experience is that the Marsh is the most neutral and transparent amp around. It may be the best amp, period. The EVO is incredibly clean and fast but not quite as musical as the Marsh....still a great choice. If you are in a medium to small sized room, the Proacs may be friendly enough for a higher powered single ended tube amp such as Antique Sound Lab AQ1006-845. At 22wpc these things have good power into a easy load and are a open window into the performance.
Find a closeout sale on the Aragon Palladium II monoblocks (line is getting new faceplate next year). Bought mine for $3300. Arguably one of the best amps for under 10K. On the flip side, I also second the nomination of the Bryston 4B-ST. You say you want to keep the amp for 15 years, well the Bryston warranty is good for 20.
if it were by a major label manufacturer, it'd be 2x that amount.
ego audio need not apply.
Lots of excellent advice, above. However, Subaru's suggestion for the Aleph2 & Rhyno's for belles are difficult to beat IMO.
I concur that you'll be looking for another pre -- the amps proposed are in far removed league to the Yama (a fine product, nonetheless).
Thanks for the advice. So far this is what i have in mind after the suggestion and comments. I am think of sticking with the tubes Audio Research VT100 MK2 or maybe the VT200 for abit more power. For the solid Pass Labs X250 or Aleph 2. If i do plan to get the Audio Research do you think i should keep my Classe DAC-1 or just sell it away and cut the cost for the Audio Research? What do you think.
i think you're spending too much for the level of performance for AR.
and i think you should demo the amp w/ your speakers rather than decide in advance!!! save yourself!
I agree. There are lots of great suggestions here. My suggestion is the Balanced Audio Technology VK-200, its within your budget and although listed at 100 watts is much louder than you would think. It sounds sweeeeeet! But give it a listen if you can, and make your own decision, be warned that it runs rather hot so it needs ventalation.
Please do not use the Yamaha as a preamp with those fine speakers. Since your $3500 must also include a new preamp, a used Levinson 383 or Jeff Rowland Concentra integrated will work well.