Which stereo amp to try under $30k
Having just made several upgrades to my system, it's now time for the amp. Given the number of amps in the 15-30k range, I'm guessing many of you have experiences with them. To get started, I'll tell you my (1) my guidance (2) my current list of options (3) My current setup. Looking forward to getting more options on my list, as I'd like to pull the trigger in about 2 months and need to start listening.
- Under $30k
- I need to be able to hear the amp before purchase, preferably at a local shop (SF Bay Area)
- New or used ok
- Large sound stage
- More Bass... all the bass
- Very much prefer stereo to fit in my rack. I have small children and not enough room for monos.
- Prefer not tubes (already have a tube line stage - too hot for small children and don't fit in rack)
- I'm ok with a colored sound. Prefer musicality and realism over "accuracy" or "neutrality"
- Needs an absolute minimum of 150W based on how loud I listen
- 15/20A or something I can plug into a regular wall outlet
My Current List of options
- Luxman M900u (current top of list)
- Ayre VX-R Twenty
- Pass Labs XA160.8 (doesn't meet all of my guidance)
- Boulder 2160 (a little above budget)
- Audio Research 160S (doesn't meet all of my guidance)
My Current Setup
- AMG Viella Turbo Turntable w/ Koetsu Onyx Platinum Cartridge
- Boulder 508 Phono Stage
- Mytek Manhattan II DAC (next upgrade after the amp - maybe a dCS Bartok?)
- Audio Research Reference 6 line stage
- McIntosh MC452 power amplifier
- B&W 802D3 speakers
- AudioQuest and Nordost cabling or a Symposium Osiris rack
What I listen to: Anything from the 60s on vinyl, some things from the 70s on vinyl. A lot of large orchestral and jazz, also a fair amount of pop, from any decade, on vinyl and digital. Thanks for reading my long post! I'll keep this thread updated with amps I hear. Lots of great shops in the area. My two favorites are The Analog Room in Campbell and Music Lovers Audio in Oakland and SF.