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Looking for a new amp. Need some suggestions


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I have a pair La Salas and a pair of Khorns. I have an MC275 which I LOVE!! I’m definitely keeping it. I also have an MC 2205 which pales in comparison to the tube amp. I am selling the MC2205

The delima: I will have 2 sets of speakers and one amp. I would like to try something different. Let’s hear it guys!


Mark Levinson?


Edited by RobF
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I had a pair of MC-30's on my Khorns.  I went through a variety of tube amps.....finally deciding (and my wife actually agreed) that the Transcendent SE-OTL amps sounded the most real/natural of everything I'd tried....


Their only drawback for me was their low power (I had a pair and bridged them to 4 watts each).  I finally sold all the tube stuff and went solid state.


If I ever went back to tubes, I'd first go back to an OTL design.  I had considered another Transcendent OTL amp for the Jubilee's but he doesn't (or didn't at the time) really have one in the power range I thought would work for me *AND* also had XLR inputs which I need to mate with my active.


So I stay blissfully happy in the solid state world.

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On 5/27/2021 at 3:16 PM, Fido said:

Decware - Primaluna  Evo - Dennis Hadd Inspire. There  are lots of great tube amps out there 


I am using a PrimaLuna EVO 100 integrated with Heresy IIIs, and can confirm that the amp is very well built, full of clever solutions and sounds a delight.

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DIY/Kits may be something to consider and will possibly get you higher quality for less money because you assemble it yourself. On the flip side you can expect lesser resale value should you not like it. Take a look at tubes4hifi.com their VTA-70 might be a nice fit. Works very well with my CW4.

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I also have an MC275 MkIV (along with C22CE) for 18 years as my main amp driving all sorts of speakers well, since a few months ago I rediscovered my old 1977 LaScala. The sound is just musical and fatigue free with this combination.
It is so that the subject of amplifiers is closed for me. If an amp achieves this goal, it is a good situation.

I have had mixed results with very weak amps. While they are very spacious and colorful, they are also fatiguing to me after a while. It's all subjective but I prefer a good current delivery capability to the holographic signature of a SET if there are tradeoffs associated with it on the other side. But to each his own.
There is one amplifier I can highly recommend besides Mcintosh tubes. It is the old original Quad II monoblocks. Only 15 watts, but this is quite sufficient for LaScala or KH because this kind of moderate power is linked to a sensational current delivery capability with the Quad II. Quite a partnership with the Heritage series. They were originally designed to drive QUAD ESL 57, an electrostatic panel with a very treacherous impedance curve. That's why the Quad II can drive almost anything. They are a bit like imagining a V8 with a very modest horsepower rating but plenty of torque.
Of course, I don't know if these amps are offered as often on your side of the pond as they are here.

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The Leben amps (German for „Life“) looks immensely special and super elegant. I know the smaller Leben amps which I think are very good and which also have a wonderful sound. Of course we are in a different price range than an old Quad II. But the Leben is a gem.

I like the Japanese manufacturing work of these small companies. The owner and designer was formerly with Luxman and is very highly regarded.

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This is not meant to sound heretical. If the second system is to require less large investment for an amplifier, then perhaps I would consider a completely different approach.
I have had a bluesound node 2i as a digital source for two years and have been very happy with it. Friends have the powernode 2i and are also very impressed. Now there is the new powernode (without additional letters) with 80 watts per channel. it should sound according to first reviews very excellent and it has a new digital generation of converter chips without becoming more expensive. If this combination router, converter, amplifier meets the need, I think it is worth a try. One can of course feed a turntable as well into the input.
On the one hand we are talking about several 1000 dollars for tube amps. But on the other hand, this new generation of class D amplifiers is now quite mature and technically it has some similarities with SET amps.
Personally, I will try this alternative next time I need it out of curiosity, even more as Heritage Klipsch speakers did not need so much power at all and the powernode seems to play quite well at low volumes also after what I have read.



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If you love the tube amp, get another one. I have the Boyuurange A50 III 300B amp with La Scalas and love it. 8w per channel is plenty of power for the 106 dB La Scalas. Your choices for 300B tubes are also abundant, with many superior choices. It really shines on acoustic music, like James Taylor, or light jazz rock like Steely Dan. You might even dedicate the amp to cover a specific genre, like the 300B is known for being a softer sound, and I have found this to be true. So depending on the music styles you listen to, you can select the other amp to cover those styles.

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