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Looking for a new amp. Need some suggestions


RobF
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On 5/27/2021 at 3:38 PM, Shakeydeal said:

If it absolutely must be a SS amp, then I'd recommend looking at Plinius or a reconditioned McCormack amp. Coda is very good too.

 

Shakey

 

 

 

I had a McCormack once, paired well with my current Martin Logan Sequel 2s. Since then I have tried Musical Fidelity (terrible) Bryston 4B-SST (still own, maybe not quite as good as McCormack) and a Mark Levinson 432. The latter is definitely the best to my ears but I have no idea how either would pair with very efficient speakers. I also believe my preamp, Mark Levinson 326s, is better value than the power amp. 

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Many good suggestions here, which I will complicate with another submission…

 

I recently acquired a Line Magnetic LM210IA (SET 300B, 8w/channel) to drive my Heresy IIIs. The sound is so life-like it occasionally brings tears to these old eyes.

 

The other night I was listening to the Solti Siegfried when my heart leapt to my throat – I was sure my front door was smashed through by a home invasion. But, no - it was the tenor Mime, entering stage right, 90 degrees from the Heresy’s center line i.e.…that’s realism, that's soundstage.

Edited by Boston Chris
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On 5/27/2021 at 8:33 AM, Coytee said:

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.

I second the Transcendent OTL option. I've gone through many vintage tube and SS amps since I built my Altec/Klipsch hybrids about 15 years ago.

 

I have to agree with Coytee the OTL amps are the best sounding system I've ever heard. In the past year and a half I've built the Mini Beast (old version) power amp, Grounded Grid preamp and the TS phono preamp.

 

I just recently built Bruce's new Slider preamp that replaced the GG and the phono preamp. The Slider has a phono section built in.

 

  

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On 6/11/2021 at 6:18 PM, Boston Chris said:

Many good suggestions here, which I will complicate with another submission…

 

I recently acquired a Line Magnetic LM210IA (SET 300B, 8w/channel) to drive my Heresy IIIs. The sound is so life-like it occasionally brings tears to these old eyes.

 

The other night I was listening to the Solti Siegfried when my heart leapt to my throat – I was sure my front door was smashed through by a home invasion. But, no - it was the tenor Mime, entering stage right, 90 degrees from the Heresy’s center line i.e.…that’s realism, that's soundstage.


I had a Line Magnetic 518i a few years ago and it was a great amp. That’s some high quality chi-fi fer sure.

 

Shakey

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I have had both vintage and more modern McIntosh gear powering my Klipsch Forte III's.

 

I started with an MX110 and MC240 (restored by Audio Classics) pure tube magic. I now have a McIntosh C41 and MC152. 

 

The differences? The vintage tube gear had an ethereal essence about them that was seductive. The tube gear begged to be cranked. The solid state gear is more quite and performs better at lower volumes. Having a 150 watts (probably closer to 200) on the Forte's really helps suss out all the dynamics they are capable of. When you turn it up, because it is so clean, it is very easy to not realize how loud it is. The more modern gear is missing the tube magic, but delivers tighter bass and more separation (meaning, it sound more precise). It also requires 0% maintenance or new tubes. My Forte's with solid state gear, reminds me of how the sound system at live show sounds. The tubes are there own thing -- still very pleasurable and enjoyable but reminds me more of why a lot of guitar amps use tubes -- for artistic reasons. 

 

I picked McIntosh for ascetic reasons and build quality. I contemplated a Yamaha integrated -- which for a lot less money I am sure would have done a very nice job. Do my McIntosh separates sound better than my 1980s era NAD integrated I picked-up at a Good Will 15 years ago for $10 and  that powered my first stereo? I am not so sure. On some days, I wish I did not give the NAD to my brother.

 

I did pair the C41 with the MC240 a for a while. It was a nice mix of vintage tube lush and modern solid state electronics. Have you considered a tube preamp with a solid state amp or like what I did, going the opposite direction? That might be one way of spreading the MC275 love around that you enjoy so much.

 

I do really enjoy the "moderness" of solid state and the convenience that brings. I also totally get the allure of the harmonic distortion that tubes introduce (it really can seem like magic). I have not sold my MC240 yet, and in an ideal world, I would find a way to keep both the MC152 and the MC240.

 

I wonder what your old MC2205 would sound like with a tube preamp? What preamp are you using? Does it differ between the MC275 and the MC2205?

 

If wanting tubes, another suggestion is a Scott tube integrated amp. I really enjoyed one in the stereo I had in my childhood room.

 

You have gotten a lot of great recommendations. Good luck on your selection! 

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On 5/27/2021 at 2:55 AM, RobF said:

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?

Bryston? 
etc.

If you've got the funds this is my choice...Cary Audio SLI-80HS (heritage series). Cary teamed up with Klipsch to come up w/ the Heritage series w/ walnut, cherry, or black ash side plates to match the Klipsch speakers. Pricey and beautiful making beautiful sound. I desire the walnut version for my Klipsch Forte but have to be satisfied w/ my less costly Mystere IA-11 tube integrated amp. Cary tube amps have a legendary sound. You can step up the Cary's separate pre and power amps.

 

https://www.caryaudio.com/2019/05/17/introducing-the-sli-80hs-integrated-amplifier/

https://www.caryaudio.com/products/sli-80hs/

 

https://carydirect.com/shop-now/integrated-amplifiers.html

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