May I suggest Yba passion amp.
14 responses Add your response
Rlew, it certainly does make sense to give very strong consideration to an YBA separate amp given all the strong press on the YBA Passion integrated.
The problem is finding a dealer anywhere in my section of the country. The YBA web site does not have a dealer locater facility. I have invested a lot of time trying to find dealers for this product line and it has not been an easy journey. East of the Mississippi River would be preferable.
The Utopias are wonderful speakers. You did not mention your source, but I assume it too is of high quality. Given what I know (I own the Calypso, Dunlavy IVa speakers and Plinius SA-102 amp) I could simply say PLINIUS MAN! But I don't think you are asking me how much I love my system, but what options should you consider. If it was me, and understanding I like the solid state, yet pure Class A, 125 watt characteristics of my Plinius, I have two used amps to consider.
First there have been a number of four to seven year old Rowland amps for under $5000. These are very natural, magical amps and might be an excellent match to your system. The second is clearly over your budget, but you asked if there was something special. I would do some research on Lamm. Lamm has been the step up for many Plinius owners. They are pure liquid magic. I will never be in a position to consider these amazing products, but if you can stretch, I would certainly look into them.
Classe and YBA are fine amps to look at too, but for my taste it would be a simple look.
Great input on the solid state options.
YBA, Plinius and the Rowland have made it to my solid state short list for sure.
BTW, my sources are an MMF7 turntable (with a Living Voice Carbon Fiber record mat)going through an EAR 834P phone pre for the analog path. The digital path starts with basic cd transport that gets processed by a Monarchy DIP Upsampler then through a Benchmark Media DAC1 then into the Calypso. I listen to everything 'guitar' across every genre imaginable. Speed and accuracy is very important to me, but I am also looking for a full rich sound as well.
I am really starting to believe that having the Calypso as a tube front end and a high quality solid state amp on the back end may be just the ticket I’m looking for.
Buckr, I also own the Calypso and can not say much more beyond what has been mentioned by others. The Calypso is very easy to match and I don't think you'll run into very many amps with input impedances that are below 30Kohms.
For the record my Calypso is controlling a pair of Rogue M-150's tubed mono's and a Classe CA301 SS which handles the LF chores. The Calypso responds very well to tube rolling, especially the 6922's. I've also owned the MMF-7 and the 834P. Once you get this amp thing sorted out, you want to think about replacing that 834P with a Rhea. ;)
My updated short list:
Solid State: Plinius 102, Rowland 112, Edge G4/G6. (dropped YBA from the list because information and dealers are too sparse for my comfort level).
Tube: Rogue M-150 monos, Conrad Johnson Premier 140 (a bit over the budget, but might be worth it).
Dan_ed, thanks for giving me something else to save up for ;-). The Calypso is an amazing piece of equipment so I can only imagine the Rhea to be cut of the same cloth.
The Calypso just seems to keep getting better and better over the four+ months that I have owned it. It has really begun to blossom. Actually, it is this blossoming that has driven my extreme desire to upgrade the amp. My current amp (an Harmon Kardon Signature 2.0 mult-channel amp that double duties as an HT amp) just seems to be strangling the signal path coming out of the Calypso and throlling down what the Utopia's are capable of reproducing. I am expecting a big improvement here.
if you go to the
the importer for YBA,
go the dealer tab on lower right hand corner,
you enter your zip code and it should give you a list of nearest yba dealers...
or you can email them, they are very responsive to my emails/questions, unlike other companys, and offers the best customer service support i have come across, i also wish to chime in that BAT also has excellent cusstomer service support.
Rlew. Thanks for pointing me the YBA dealer locator. It came up with three YBA dealers between 216 and 255 miles away from me. Not exactly short jaunt, but I understand that travel is just part of the quest ;-). I'll likely wait to see where my next business trip takes me and hopefully find a dealer there.
As a follow-up on the short list, apparently CJ discontinued production of the Premier 140. Off the list it comes.
Just to complete the story, I ended up purchasing a Simaudio Moon W-5LE and I couldn't he happier. It wasn't on the short list mentioned above, but after borrowing the W-5LE and listening to it in my home for several days, there was no way that puppy was going back to the dealer! It had found a new home. It has a little more power than I need for the Minis but I'll just be careful not to take the volume to '11'. lol
The combination of a true fully balanced tube preamp and a true fully balanced dual mono amp really cooked up some magic and was just the ticket I was looking for. The sound was jaw dropping. I litterally found myself listening to music with my mouth open. Do they make bibs for Audiophiles? If not, they should.
Anyway, thanks to all who contributed input. I may not have purchased any of the specific equipment recommended, but your comments helped shape my decision in many ways.