i would go with accuphase int amp- it will not sound bright at all!
I've only heard Wilsons with strong SS amps fueling them. Ayre mono's was the last incident. 400wpc. Transparent cabling. I WOULDN'T HAVE TOUCHED THAT SETUP WITH SOMEONE ELSE'S MONEY.
I do see them as very capable speakers and setup right probably will do exceptionally well... but they do seem to enjoy power from what I've seen online here and elsewhere.
I'd look for amp (s) that are very refined or at least one not agressive, with 200-250wpc or better.
Another note on bright sound might not be 100% many amps' fault. I doubt too many amp makers ever intend an amp to sound bright when they are designing it. many other factors do contribute to winding up that way and it's not ususally the amp which did it all by itself.
Then there's the budget too... BAT, Mac, Butler, McCormack among others.
VTL also still produces the little MB-125's. These mono's use the EL-34's , where as the ST-150 uses 6550's. The 125's may have the same power, and the Wilson may really sing w/ the EL-34. BTW, their prices are close, $5000 I believe. FWIW, the 125's also have the Triode mode like the ST-150. That said, I am not confident that either in Triode would be enough power. Perhaps it may be, but I am not sure. At the ST-150's price point, there is also some other interesting choices IMO. Maybe a C-J Premier 12, seen under 3K used, or a Quicksilver V-4.
CJ 350A would be very good. Don't expect best bass quality with any tube amp, trade off for midrange quality. Choice depends on priorities, if you want full volume and best bass go SS, if tube sound is priority then go for as powerful a one as fits budget. Large Audio Research are excellent but pricey. Big Krell probably best bass but also very high.
Depends on your space.
I have been running my WP7s for several years with the 100 wpc Music Reference RM200, which is a glorious combination in my relatively small room. Bass quality is exceptional, but not Krell-like. Of course, the RM200 is not your average 100 wpc tube amp.
I've heard the RM200 with Sophias and it works great as long as the room is not too large. Since the Sophias are relatively efficient a gigantic amp should not be necessary unless you intend on habitually playing them at jet plane levels in a large room.
"I dont think I could live with a ss amp on Wilson for it would be too bright."
SS amps, like any other component, have different sound signatures. Some are overly bright and fatiguing, some are warm and sloppy, and many are in between.
I've hears the Sophia 1 on Simaudio w5 (SS), and the sound was stellar, some of the best I've heard on any setup. We swapped to a tube amp, and the magic disappeared (weak, sloppy, boring sound)
As you proceed with thinking about the right amps, please keep an open mind as to amp topology, and find the right amp for you whether it is SS or tube!
I have no experience with the Wilsons, however I went from a McIntosh MC402 (400 watts, solid state) driving Dynaudio Special 25s (88db, 4ohm) to a VTL ST-150 and have absolutely no regrets. The VTL is a wonderful amp based upon the 6550 tube. It puts out more like 180 watts at 4ohms. Plenty of bass, lush midrange, good PRaT, etc.
I do not agree with the "high current needed" comment. I'm currently running them with 27WPC Audio Note Japan Ongaku SET amp and they sound spectacular.
I also have a big, DIY 35WPC SET monos based on GM70 tube (think Lamm ML3 for the poor) on loan from a friend and they also sound excellent with Sophias II - in fact, better than ANY transistor amp I tried (and I tried quite a few - Dartzeel, Lamm, Pass, Krells - you name it).
I didn't say high wattage, I said high current, which are two different things. Of course other factors such as: type of music, preferred listening volume, and the size of listening room can influence which amp an individual prefers. You don't have to agree, because I'm talking about my experience with the Sophia's and I like you have listened to many amps.
I've read one of your prior post, concerning the lack of bass output with your current equipment. At least that was my understanding of your post. I have an opinion, I didn't say it was a fact. I use this forum to give food for thought, based on my experiences and my preferences. There isn't a one amp fits all. As a Wilson dealer has told me; Sophia's require quality, not quantity. If you love your sound and I love my sound that's great. We end with the same results with different opinions.
I have had the Sophia 1 for a few years and have heard the Sophia 2s many times. I love them with my Lamm M1.2s, although I know that amp-speaker combo did not sing for Elberoth. They also sound great with Ayre mono blocks. I did not care for them with the big Krell mono blocks.
I have them in a fairly large room and they breathe and fill the room with sound and the Lamms seem to drive them without difficulty.
I did find that the Sophia 1s can sound bright with some music with Virtual Dynamics cables. They were not bright with Transparent but did not sing either. But with Purist Anniversaries the sound is always liquid AND detailed with the lowest noise floor I've heard.
I'm not surprised that Elberoth's Sophia 2s are beautiful with the 27WPC Audio Note Japan Ongaku SET amp. I imagine that is a beautiful sounding system.
Nickt, I have been going through the same task of looking for the right amp for my Sophia 2s. Since I am going to use them for a large Home Theater room as well as 2 channel I have been looking mainly at high current SS amps. So far I have auditioned, Krell, Pass, BAT, and Parasound.
I have been impressed with each of the amps for different reasons, but was unexpectantly impressed with the Parasound JC-1s. A good price and has the ability to really rock the Sophias. None of the amps were bright IMO.
In my opinion, the VTL-150 won't work with the Sophia 2's. I have both (although in separate systems) and tried them together. Bass was F-L-A-B-B-Y. I'm guessing that amp doesn't have enough juice at 4ohms.
I'm guessing you also don't want Ayre. I heard Ayre electronics matched up with Wilson Sasha's at RMAF and it was thin and bright sounding - not my cup of tea. If you like realistic body, you're going to need tubes in your path somewhere (imo).
I have Pass amps and use a tube preamp to balance out the sound. I have heard nothing but good things about the Parasound and would love to audition them one day. I did try the preamp and it was very warm and nice, but a little rolled off on top. I wonder how the amp would sound...
Sorry to be late responding. Haven't checked this thread in a while. First, let me say that I have never really liked the Krell sound. It has always been too analytical for my taste. The new Krells are a big improvement, but still don't quite get there for me.
With that disclosure, I found the combination of big Krell mono blocks with both Sophia 1s and 2s to just not have the magic that Sophias with Lamm M1.2s have or the warm midrange they have with the Ayre mono blocks.
If you like the Krell sound, however, I don't think you will be disappointed with Sophia 1s with them. If you go with that combo and find you would like to warm up the midrange, you might try the Purist Proteus Provectus cables. They have fabulous midrange and highs, but were a little bass shy with my Lamms, but that should not be a problem with Krells.
Sophias and Ayre MXRs and Ayre pre are a very nice combo. I have been thru a lot of cables and the best I have found are the Purist Anniversaries (ridiculous price) and second best are the Purist Proteus Provectus (pretty good used prices on the 'Gon). If you like something cooler and mid-hall, the Stealth Indra is hard to beat. Also, the new Virtual Dynamics Revelation 3.0 Conqueror is both flexible and good sounding, holographic cable with good bass (better than the Proteus Provectus). It is a giant leap better than the Revelation 2.0.
Your just going to have to audition a few combinations to see what works for you. I have to laugh at most of the crap that gets posted on the Gon. Most of the posts are from people who have never heard the items they discuss and often in less than ideal situations. RMAF, CES, cold equipment, ect.
The products you are inquiring about are all fine pieces. Are they right for you? Only you can determine that. If you are concerned about the sound being to bright, Wilson's are not inherently bright imo but I have heard setups that sound bright, and want tight bass then perhaps you should consider a tube pre and SS amp.