you should check out the new krell xd amplifier's, best amplifier's competing with twice the cost of what krell is retailing currently.
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IMO Luxmans are a "delicate" sounding amp. Not bad, tons of detail, fantastic for female vocals, won't hurt you.
Don't have much experience with ARC other than a few in-store demo's. I find them to have more ooomph than a typical tube amp.
The Pass, Very good bass, excellent midrange a bit on the thicker, more musical side. Has the top end, but not as airy as the Luxman, and doesn't have that last bit of sparkle.
For my money, Pass if those are your three choices. Will hold it's resale best also, especially if you pick up a used or demo.
What speakers? What music?
Roxy would need to know more about the system, we are Dali dealers with the Epicon 8 on display. The speakers tend to be on the warm side so you need to be careful in system matching or you will make the Epicon’s sound way too boring by losing too much top end detail.
Currently there is a T+A PA 3000 power amp for sale on this site. The T+A gear is in our opinion like the Luxman but an even better amplifier for the money:
T+A design advantages over Luxman: both are $19k list amplifers so price is a tie.
1: T+A exclusvie High Voltage design, runs internal rails at 360v with specially designed components to accheive more linear transistor function makes solid state take on tube like qualities
2: Twice the power 300 watts vs the Luxman’s 150
3: Upgradable by adding the T+A power supply which turbo charges the amplifier with an external 1,200kv transformer used to power the output stage with the internal 1,000kv transformer being used to power the input stage.
4: Internally devided into two separate sections with an aluminium shield input stage kept internally separate from the output stage.
5: Fantastic German buld quality
6: Cool ass meters!
7: Unbelievable sound quality, dimensional, detailed, smooth.
We do agree with Audiolabyrinth that the new Krell amplifiers are giant killers they are just not as refined as the T+A gear, however for the money are unbelievable sounding amplifiers.
To answer your question we would recommend in this order:
1: Luxman or T+A for better bass control and dynamics over the ARC
2: ARC very clean sounding not overly warm tubes
3: Pass too warm for the Dali unless your system is balanced correctly with cabling and sources.
Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ T+A, Krell, Dali dealers
Shocking a post from audiotroy where what he sells is better, and Pass is "too warm".
While I could care less if you buy Pass, not sure where this "too warm" thing comes from? It's not like Pass sounds like conrad johnson, old school McIntosh etc.
In fact, it's almost impossible to find an even luke "warm" review of the new Pass .8 series. (Ok, hard to find many bad reviews by publications anyways, but I digress)
It's not a old school Krell with lows and highs peaked, but it sure seems like many MFG, including Krell with their new "XD" upgrade are trying to do exactly what Pass does - excellent midrange.
Oh yeah, and his post comes off as straight up promotion.
I wonder what a dealer that sells both Luxman and T+A would say? That’s right, very few dealers come in here and straight up promote constantly.
I guess so trudat we advised the op to purchase a used amp not from us so self serving of us.
Considering we also sell Epicons means nothing either about how they sound and what gear works well with them either.
So to recap we told the OP to purchase a used T plus A amp from an ex dealer.
We sell Epicons so we just might know what works with them.
So i guess both you Trudat and Oddfioyl are arm chair quarterbacks i dont think either one of you own Epicons do you?
Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor Dali dealers
I called Audio Doctor a few days ago from Vermont just to ask advice on a couple of items I am thinking about purchasing. Even though Troy knew it was unlikely that a purchase would come from the phone, call he spent a good hour talking with me. It was just a pleasant conversation talking about new and old gear.
Having a highly experienced specialist in audio equipment willing to share his ideas is a valuable resource to our community. It beats a number of posters here who provide their highest endorsement for a product this week, only sell it for the new best product next week.
I started by simply responding to the OP's question. Gave my opinions on 3 amps he asked about.
You on the other hand, changed the topic, and sure you talked about a used amp that allowed you to pump up T+A gear. Made sure to take a shot at Pass labs, something you don't sell.
Come on, pretty transparent what you were doing. Maybe the OP should find a bargain basement Krell that can be sent in for the XD upgrade and save $1000's over a new one?
Or, why not a pair of JC1's that can be found used all the time?
Not real hard to go find posts by you where you shift an OP's question to talk about something you sell.
Yes trudat you got us by the way we sell Parasound as well.
Sure how many dealers tell the Op to buy an used amp not from their dealership?
Again Trudate do you own Epicons?
You really dont have a grasp here.
Why would the Op buy a used set of JC 1 when he can buy a brand new amp for the same money that will sound better?
Did you read TJs review on the new Coda amp
Considered the 6’s for quite a while. Frankly I felt the midrange was recessed (and one reason I personally think Pass would pair nicely with them). But just my opinion.
I own Pass among others.
Yes, I’m aware you carry Parasound and rumor has it Krell might be a new line for you. Is Anthem one of yours? How about Paradigm, how are those new Persona speakers...I hear they are the cats meow. You know, if you want something hyperdetailed bright and sterile... though hey maybe a warmer amp might work with those?
Yes, I read TJ’s review. TJ does a nice job. Coda makes a good amp, frankly similar to Pass in many ways, which makes sense as they have the same "tree" from which they came. Now, I could be wrong (and it wouldn’t be the first time). I think they both use the same toshiba transistors.
I like Doug at Coda, I’ve talked to him many times and owned a Coda amp for a while. Very nice unit. Unfortunately, and this is in the eye of the beholder I think that amp is butt ugly. Doesn’t mean a bit regarding sound. I like meters, I like black, I’ve liked CODA’s look before. Just my opinion it’s freaking butt ugly. I’m sure it sounds very nice, Doug builds a very nice amp.
As for me not having a grasp, well I’m pretty confident that I do have a grasp on companies, my own ears, and what your intentions are in 95% of your posts. It’s your right to promote your business, suppose it’s my right to be annoyed at how you go about doing it.
Then again, maybe I’ve lost my grasp...
It’s clear you have decided that the pro’s of continuing to do what you do, blatantly changing/steering posts, or posting thinly veiled "questions" to push your wares is a good business decision for you. It very well may be. Lord knows I’m not the first, nor will be the last to be annoyed by it, or call you out on it. Your business, your decision.
Might go over a little better if you sponsored ads on here, maybe pay and post some ads for your products, offer some "agon" users specials etc. Maybe you have, I’ve not seen them. If you have, I apologize, my bad. I've lurked for years but rarely post.
As for this particular thread. I tried to stick to the OP’s question. They asked about 3 amps, I gave my thoughts. You did not. Sure, you suggested a used amp, but of all the used amps it just so happened to be one you sold and could post a mini-ad. Call it what you will, that is what is was.
I’ve heard the Dali’s multiple times. I consider them to have a bit of a "smile" house sound on them, which I feel has a recessed midrange. You may not. I feel that Pass labs more than the other two amps would help liven up the speakers that were described as unexciting...
I tried to answer the question directly. Suppose I could have asked about the room? Overdamped? Maybe. But the bottom line is that yes, the Dali’s IMO are a bit tough to liven up.
Ironically, Pass would not have been my first choice either, but it was the best of the options posted.
Additionally, I’ve heard T+A (on tektons among others) and yes it’s possible it might be a nice option. That said, the tekton speakers are very dynamic, fast, and super lively to start with (at least those I’ve heard the DI, the DISE, and the Ulfs and DI monitors). I have thoughts on those also, but I digress.
The problem I, and many have had is your veiled, and at times not so veiled attempts to promote constantly. Much more so than other dealers out here.
But, your business, do what you want. Many of us here are experienced and have opinions we could give if we push the threads in different directions.
OP - I hope you find what you want. Many times I’ve chased components in an effort to "tune" a speaker. Short of an EQ... many times it’s just the speaker that isn’t working for you. Which sucks for anyone. So tough to buy a speaker after hours of traveling, demoing, reading, posting to get it home and simply realize it doesn’t work for you for whatever reason. I hope that isn’t your case.
trudat "The problem I, and many have had is your veiled, and at times not so veiled attempts to promote constantly. Much more so than other dealers out here."
Hey pal, you joined this site 4 days ago, and every one of your post have been criticizing audiotroy. Who are you to tell anyone what problems we have had with him?
I know the ARC75se very well plus the luxman. I’ve never been a fervent ARC guy but it truly is superlative with plenty of slam, extended highs and very detailed with a wonderful midrange. Total high end piece.
I also know the Luxman amp as well as i have one in my home right now(and the ARC). It too is at the highest level of the other camp, SS. It’s plenty smooth without giving up an ounce of detail. The unit has under 20hrs on it but still it’s really good. I would call it very transparent and musical but not warm at this point.
i have a little experience with pass but it’s hardly definitive. i auditioned in home a 250.8 but was not inspired to purchase it. i believe, but it’s just an opinion, that the pass was not as detailed or exciting to listen to as are the Lux and Arc.YMMV
to correct an item from above. the luxman lists for 15k not 19k. most audio gear is overpriced but the m-900u looks the part and has the sound to back it up. it’s a beauty.
ref 75se’s used or demo for the going rate of 6k or so may be one of the best buys in audio with performance to match anything within its power range. my apologies for being so verbose.
Like anything audio, it comes down to opinion.
As for overpriced - oh I suspect most of it is!
No question Nelson voices his amps to have a house sound. I'm a fan, I have a 250.8. But I try to give some context. I want a live sound, I listen to rock, blues, reggae. I like a big sound, I do NOT like every single cymbal to come forward. But I do like a nice thick midrange, a very coherent sound and my bass a little "hot". Excitement however - that I do really, really love. I will sacrifice pinpoint imaging for a "live, big sound)
I've heard Dali's, but not my cup of tea so I can not comment there. Good speaker, not for me.
I think the ARC stuff actually punches pretty well for a tube amp. I heard them pushing some DynAudio Contour 30's and they were slamming in the bass.
Luxman - gorgeous old school stuff. I think the tone/loudness controls on the preamps are very useful for many.
The amps - way cool looking. Some of my favorite. I finally heard them just this past week at a friends house. Very nice amp, maybe a bit "airy" for my tastes. Compared to another he had (BAT) the bass wasn't quite as deep, powerful, or punchy. The highs were more defined and more delicate.
So, I think for the Dali's - either the ARC or Pass might help the excitement level.
(I have a Pass 250.8, XP12, and just acquired some Ohm Walsh 5000's, I really dig the combo but I'll admit its a bit different set-up than many "audiophiles" would use.).
Or, time to demo some speakers, what amp/pre/source do you have currently Roxy?
Hegel H30 Nice deep soundstage but as others have said looking for something more exiting. Interesting too that I read in a magazine review certain instruments have less impact on this amp than they would on another amp. I found this to be true!
I would be interested in other suggestions as trudat said to excite my Dalis a bit more which I like a lot and a speaker changer would be too costly and overwhelming at this point.
Thank you for asking who the "F" I am (saw your post before you edited that out, nice of you to stay classy, they would like you in San Diego)
I’m a long time lurker who yes, just began posting recently. As for other details, I’m a 40+ year audio enthusiast like many on here. Happen to have a bit more time these days as my kids are out of the house. So, I’ve formulated many opinions over the years on audio, I don’t think they are better or worse than anyone else.
That said, it’s pretty clear not only in this thread, but many others (that I have seen over the years) that many, but not all here are a bit tired of Troy’s self promotion and how he goes about it.
Glad he helped you out. I hope your system brings you joy.
That said, I am interested to hear how power cords, isolation products and more accessories will bring Roxy’s system more excitement.
I had the Pass 250.5 (not .8) with an ARC REF5 SE and sold it for a REF 75 which I still own. The ARC combo is the best I've heard in my room and I had a few high-end units over the years to compare (Bryston, Classe, Simaudio, Luxman, Pass Labs, etc). Synergy is critical and of course this is facilitated when components are coming from the same brand. I was skeptical initially about the relatively small power number of the ARC amp (75W) but it sounds as powerful as 200W SS amps I had in my room and does have the quality of tubes without the 'disadvantages' (very neutral sound not warm). It's a Stereophile class A if that can help :-) I highly recommend this ARC amp and I've read many times that it sounds better than its bigger brothers in the ARC line (could not confirm that myself though).
I find nothing wrong with a dealer or manufacturer making a contribution to a thread if they feel it’s warranted. Even if such posts might be perceived as blatant self-promotion, it’s up to the OP to evaluate the content of each post, as well as the reasons why such info might be discounted. Most here are adults, so I’m confident that everyone can discern the content of each post for what it’s worth.
@celander You are right. Impedance matching is particularly important and I've learned the hard way that mixing components that are great on paper but do not mix well does not provide the optimal setup. Of course, great combinations can be found even when components are not from the same company but like you said, gear coming from the same place is expected to sound great. It also help 'solve' the "what if" problem as what you get is what was intended in term of synergy and you are no longer wondering how the system would sound if you were to change a component in the chain. At least it worked for me as I do not have the same sense of urgency to make a move as before. If I wanted a different sound, it is very likely I would have to change the whole setup and go a different route. Anyway, some people may disagree with my statement but for me, finding a combination I like helped me focus more on listening to music than to my components/system :-)
@guyl, +1 for your impedance matching insight. I have a new thread devoted to that topic (again).
Yes, manufacturers often voice their gear together. Once, the late John Ulrick of Infinity Systems and Spectron Audio fame told me to keep my Dunlavy SC-IVa’s with my Spectron Audio Digital One Class D amp because John Dunlavy voiced his SC speakers with that amp as one of his go to amps.