Best SS Amp under $3K? - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 70 Old 01-18-2011, 11:06 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
mazbl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Lansing, MI.
Posts: 42
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Have been looking @ the A21 Halo (Parasound)..
Seems to be one of the best @ it's price point..

GO BLUE!
mazbl is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 70 Old 01-18-2011, 11:32 AM
 
geekhd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 2,305
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by mazbl View Post

Seems to be one of the best @ it's price point..

Depending on what constitutes "best" amp. Is it something that meets the need of your speakers in order to produce necessary SPL within specified distortion level? Is it about blending in with the home decor? What are the criteria that you are looking to meet?
geekhd is offline  
post #3 of 70 Old 01-18-2011, 11:59 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
penngray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Florida
Posts: 26,779
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 29
I think buying used on Audiogon will get you a HUGE bang for your $$$.

Many SS amps are on their for < $3K. You can not really go wrong with a parasound. Will it be better then a Outlaw or Emotiva amp? Thats up to you!

It is not "open-minded" to reject knowledge - Bob Lee
penngray is offline  
post #4 of 70 Old 01-18-2011, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
mazbl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Lansing, MI.
Posts: 42
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekhd View Post

Depending on what constitutes "best" amp. Is it something that meets the need of your speakers in order to produce necessary SPL within specified distortion level? Is it about blending in with the home decor? What are the criteria that you are looking to meet?

I know I was pretty vague, just wanted to get the conversation going. @ the heart of my system are my beloved Celestion A3, being a mid-range lover as I am, these are wonderful speakers. When I was younger I liked the whole 5.1 thing. Got tired of all the space it took up & started using my Rotel Rmb-1095 for 2 channel only. I was running an AC4 Celestion Center & B&W 604's for rears. Once I bridged my 1095 for 2 channel use, I noticed what people meant by "headroom". That's when I knew I needed to go with something at least 300wpc @ 4 ohms to really open these speakers up. I read that the A21 has VERY good mids, so thinking well matched there. I was also considering the Bryston 2 Channel..

GO BLUE!
mazbl is offline  
post #5 of 70 Old 01-18-2011, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
mazbl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Lansing, MI.
Posts: 42
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

I think buying used on Audiogon will get you a HUGE bang for your $$$.

Many SS amps are on their for < $3K. You can not really go wrong with a parasound. Will it be better then a Outlaw or Emotiva amp? Thats up to you!

I really like those McIntosh Amps I see on Audiogon... What about the new 15 Series Rotel over the Outlaw & Emotiva?

GO BLUE!
mazbl is offline  
post #6 of 70 Old 01-18-2011, 01:19 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
penngray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Florida
Posts: 26,779
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by mazbl View Post

I really like those McIntosh Amps I see on Audiogon... What about the new 15 Series Rotel over the Outlaw & Emotiva?

I do not own the new rotel amps but I have owned many other brands and I have owned older Rotel amps. I can not find a measurement that would convince me any of them are actually better. I have a Bel Canto EVO 6 right now in use and its a great amp (very cool looking) but it isnt better then my Outlaw mono-blocks. So far Room (speaker placement, room design, room treatments) and speaker design fully control what SQ we get. This is assuming all electronics are not screwing anything up.


Im still looking to pick up a Parasound Halo amp some day. I just picked up an ATI amp so that will be my next test.

It is not "open-minded" to reject knowledge - Bob Lee
penngray is offline  
post #7 of 70 Old 01-19-2011, 07:38 PM
Advanced Member
 
barryecohen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: GSP Exit 165, NJ
Posts: 918
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 16
If you want smooth, but detailed sound, with a ton of head room, get yourself a Cherry...

http://stereotimes.com/amp093010.shtml

So much media, so little time...

 

barryecohen is offline  
post #8 of 70 Old 01-19-2011, 07:51 PM
AVS Special Member
 
CDLehner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Dark Side of the Moon-Right Side of the Bay, MD
Posts: 9,012
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 94 Post(s)
Liked: 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by barryecohen View Post

If you want smooth, but detailed sound, with a ton of head room, get yourself a Cherry...

http://stereotimes.com/amp093010.shtml

Really? I didn't care for the one class-D amp I tried. Don't want to paint them all with the same brush, but it does make me wonder. Lots of bang for the buck, that's for sure.

CD

Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. -Plato
CDLehner is offline  
post #9 of 70 Old 01-19-2011, 08:12 PM
Advanced Member
 
barryecohen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: GSP Exit 165, NJ
Posts: 918
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDLehner View Post

Really? I didn't care for the one class-D amp I tried. Don't want to paint them all with the same brush, but it does make me wonder. Lots of bang for the buck, that's for sure.

CD

Well, Penn will tell us they all sound the same unless there is something wrong with them. But I've heard the Cherry amp compared to Wyred-4-Sound, and Nuforce amps and the Cherry offered a more pleasing presentation than the other amplifiers. The amplifiers were the only thing being changed in the system during this listening session.

So much media, so little time...

 

barryecohen is offline  
post #10 of 70 Old 01-19-2011, 08:53 PM
 
geekhd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 2,305
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by barryecohen View Post

Well, Penn will tell us they all sound the same unless there is something wrong with them.

Did he say anything else?

Quote:


But I've heard the Cherry amp compared to Wyred-4-Sound, and Nuforce amps and the Cherry offered a more pleasing presentation than the other amplifiers.

You've set through the comparison session or you've heard about the comparison done by someone else?
geekhd is offline  
post #11 of 70 Old 01-19-2011, 10:02 PM
Advanced Member
 
TurboFC3S's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: STL, MO
Posts: 819
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13
I'm not a big fan of the A21, to me it's always had a touch of upper mid edge that can cause the soundstage to collapse. Right now I'm really like my Electrocompaniet amps, they're one of the most refined sounding amps I've heard. McCormack DNA-250 would be a great amp in your price range, you can even find a used Bryston 4BSST2 for just a hair under $3000 and they're absolutely fantastic. If you don't mind used used there are tons of other great options, so many options in fact that it would be impossible to choose one as best.

Oh, and forget about anything Rotel. I just heard all their new stuff about 2 weeks ago and left with a headache ... very fatiguing.

Speaker Designer/Builder
Vapor Audio
TurboFC3S is offline  
post #12 of 70 Old 01-20-2011, 06:11 AM
Advanced Member
 
barryecohen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: GSP Exit 165, NJ
Posts: 918
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekhd View Post

Did he say anything else?

Penn has widely posted his views on the forum, and the gist is all here in this thread too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by geekhd View Post

You've set through the comparison session or you've heard about the comparison done by someone else?


Yes, I sat through the comparison session. I'm a member of an Audio club in my area, and we regularly gather at a different member's home to listen to the host's stereo and do equipment comparisons.

So much media, so little time...

 

barryecohen is offline  
post #13 of 70 Old 01-20-2011, 06:22 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
penngray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Florida
Posts: 26,779
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by barryecohen View Post

Well, Penn will tell us they all sound the same unless there is something wrong with them. But I've heard the Cherry amp compared to Wyred-4-Sound, and Nuforce amps and the Cherry offered a more pleasing presentation than the other amplifiers. The amplifiers were the only thing being changed in the system during this listening session.


That is a false assumption.

I will say they sound the same if they are the same design class, similar specs and same audible measurements.

I have never once posted that "all amps sound the same unless they is something wrong with them"

Post the measured audible difference between two amps then I will believe the subjective opinion until then I choose to think subjective opinion is just full of too many holes.

The Bel Canto does have a difference noise floor then my Outlaw amp so does the ATI.

It is not "open-minded" to reject knowledge - Bob Lee
penngray is offline  
post #14 of 70 Old 01-20-2011, 06:26 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
penngray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Florida
Posts: 26,779
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by barryecohen View Post

Penn has widely posted his views on the forum, and the gist is all here in this thread too.

I posted more about science then I do about opinion. My subjective view isnt really important. I also corrected your assumption because I have never posted that statement. Did I say the Bel Canto sounds the same as the Outlaw?? NOPE! There is a measured difference in the noise floor. Surprisingly my Ribbons have a slight more hiss with the Bel Canto (without any music, just speaker connected to amp).

Quote:



Yes, I sat through the comparison session. I'm a member of an Audio club in my area, and we regularly gather at a different member's home to listen to the host's stereo and do equipment comparisons.


Was it a properly controlled listening test? If it wasn't then its kind of a moot point to scientific audio discovery...again too many holes.

It is not "open-minded" to reject knowledge - Bob Lee
penngray is offline  
post #15 of 70 Old 01-20-2011, 06:52 AM
Advanced Member
 
barryecohen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: GSP Exit 165, NJ
Posts: 918
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

I posted more about science then I do about opinion. My subjective view isnt really important. I also corrected your assumption because I have never posted that statement. Did I say the Bel Canto sounds the same as the Outlaw?? NOPE! There is a measured difference in the noise floor. Surprisingly my Ribbons have a slight more hiss with the Bel Canto (without any music, just speaker connected to amp).




Was it a properly controlled listening test? If it wasn't then its kind of a moot point to scientific audio discovery...again too many holes.

Fair enough.

So much media, so little time...

 

barryecohen is offline  
post #16 of 70 Old 01-20-2011, 06:56 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
penngray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Florida
Posts: 26,779
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 29
Thanks If I really did think they are all the same. I wouldnt keep buying them.

Now TurboFC3S has me bookmarking another amp and there is one or two on Audiogon.com

It is not "open-minded" to reject knowledge - Bob Lee
penngray is offline  
post #17 of 70 Old 01-20-2011, 07:50 AM
AVS Special Member
 
CDLehner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Dark Side of the Moon-Right Side of the Bay, MD
Posts: 9,012
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 94 Post(s)
Liked: 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

That is a false assumption.

I will say they sound the same if they are the same design class, similar specs and same audible measurements.

I have never once posted that "all amps sound the same unless they is something wrong with them"

Post the measured audible difference between two amps then I will believe the subjective opinion until then I choose to think subjective opinion is just full of too many holes.

The Bel Canto does have a difference noise floor then my Outlaw amp so does the ATI.

Penn, to this point...I respect your opinion, and would be curious if you've ever found any statistical differences between class-D designs, and class A/B?

CD

Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. -Plato
CDLehner is offline  
post #18 of 70 Old 01-20-2011, 08:49 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
penngray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Florida
Posts: 26,779
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDLehner View Post

Penn, to this point...I respect your opinion, and would be curious if you've ever found any statistical differences between class-D designs, and class A/B?

CD

I remember some Class D measurements posted on the Amp/receiver forum showing some differences.

Im definitely more curious in the effects of each amp on speakers.

It is not "open-minded" to reject knowledge - Bob Lee
penngray is offline  
post #19 of 70 Old 01-20-2011, 08:53 AM
Advanced Member
 
TurboFC3S's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: STL, MO
Posts: 819
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

Thanks If I really did think they are all the same. I wouldnt keep buying them.

Now TurboFC3S has me bookmarking another amp and there is one or two on Audiogon.com

How about this Simaudio, fantastic sounding amp

http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....-W-5-Power-Amp

I've probably had more class-D amps than anybody on this board. Every ICE module made, multiple Hypex, ClassD Audio, a Spectron, etc ... bottom line, they just don't have that last bit of presence and air that the best SS amps do. As much as I'd love to report back the exact opposite, I have to be truthful. They do offer great value, but none offer real Reference level sound quality.

Speaker Designer/Builder
Vapor Audio
TurboFC3S is offline  
post #20 of 70 Old 01-20-2011, 09:30 AM
 
AJinFLA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Take a guess
Posts: 1,579
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboFC3S View Post

As much as I'd love to report back the exact opposite, I have to be truthful. They do offer great value, but none offer real Reference level sound quality.

How do we know that isn't just your imagination? Purely psychogenic in nature.
Why don't you explain to all how you specifically prevented delusion for being the sole cause of the differences you "heard" during your "listening"?
Thanks.
Btw, getting in a huff and diverting from the answer with a smoke screen about being insulted/I won't tell, because AJ is so mean...will have answered the question also.
AJinFLA is offline  
post #21 of 70 Old 01-20-2011, 09:50 AM
Advanced Member
 
barryecohen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: GSP Exit 165, NJ
Posts: 918
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 16
For those interested, here's another Cherry review...

http://www.affordableaudio.org/aa2010-09.pdf

So much media, so little time...

 

barryecohen is offline  
post #22 of 70 Old 01-20-2011, 10:35 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
penngray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Florida
Posts: 26,779
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboFC3S View Post

How about this Simaudio, fantastic sounding amp

http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....-W-5-Power-Amp

I've probably had more class-D amps than anybody on this board. Every ICE module made, multiple Hypex, ClassD Audio, a Spectron, etc ... bottom line, they just don't have that last bit of presence and air that the best SS amps do. As much as I'd love to report back the exact opposite, I have to be truthful. They do offer great value, but none offer real Reference level sound quality.

I have read a lot about simaudio, just have not found many in the used market.

I have the Hypex AS100.2 amps in my hand right now....Full DSP and everything for active 2-way speaker designs. Im just one of those hack DIY speaker builders but these little amps are damn cool!!!

It is not "open-minded" to reject knowledge - Bob Lee
penngray is offline  
post #23 of 70 Old 01-20-2011, 11:00 AM
Advanced Member
 
TurboFC3S's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: STL, MO
Posts: 819
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

I have read a lot about simaudio, just have not found many in the used market.

I have the Hypex AS100.2 amps in my hand right now....Full DSP and everything for active 2-way speaker designs. Im just one of those hack DIY speaker builders but these little amps are damn cool!!!

They are cool, definately fun to play around with. I'd say any designer should have one or something similar just to add another useful tool to the toolbox.

Speaker Designer/Builder
Vapor Audio
TurboFC3S is offline  
post #24 of 70 Old 01-22-2011, 06:01 PM
AVS Special Member
 
ddgtr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: In A Government Yard In SacTown
Posts: 1,830
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13
Pass Labs X250.5 can be found on A-gon with a bit of luck for under $3k. Excellent amps, and great service and support. Good value for the money.
ddgtr is offline  
post #25 of 70 Old 01-22-2011, 09:05 PM
Advanced Member
 
TurboFC3S's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: STL, MO
Posts: 819
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddgtr View Post

Pass Labs X250.5 can be found on A-gon with a bit of luck for under $3k. Excellent amps, and great service and support. Good value for the money.

I have a X350.5 ... and honestly I don't like it at all. I've been meaning for some time to get it listed on Agon. I find it very fatiguing, and wouldn't recommend it unless you have something like a pair of Harbeth or Spendors that just gloss over every bit of detail.

Speaker Designer/Builder
Vapor Audio
TurboFC3S is offline  
post #26 of 70 Old 01-23-2011, 12:17 AM
AVS Special Member
 
ddgtr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: In A Government Yard In SacTown
Posts: 1,830
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13
^^
I respect your opinion, but my experience with Pass amps has been totally opposite, especially in terms of fatigue which is non-existent both in my system and the ones I've listened to.
ddgtr is offline  
post #27 of 70 Old 01-23-2011, 04:34 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
penngray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Florida
Posts: 26,779
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddgtr View Post

Pass Labs X250.5 can be found on A-gon with a bit of luck for under $3k. Excellent amps, and great service and support. Good value for the money.

Its an interesting reference point to think any amp sold used for $3K is a good value for the money I do like Pass Lab amps but I never considered them value options ever.

It is not "open-minded" to reject knowledge - Bob Lee
penngray is offline  
post #28 of 70 Old 01-23-2011, 08:21 AM
AVS Special Member
 
ddgtr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: In A Government Yard In SacTown
Posts: 1,830
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13
What I was trying to say it's that you get a $7k amp for $3k that you know will not let you down and if it does, the folks at Pass would take care of you, without charging you an arm and a leg.

C'mon, it's not that hard to understand... If you have $3k to spend like the OP, how would that not be a good value for your money, IF you have it?

If you don't like paying $3k for a used amp I understand and respect your opinion, it's your money and everyone's income is different.

Again, the OP asked a question, looking for an amp for under $3k that he has (or had). Do you honestly not think that if he can find an X250.5 for that price it would be money well spent?
ddgtr is offline  
post #29 of 70 Old 01-23-2011, 09:38 AM
CLS
Senior Member
 
CLS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Toronto
Posts: 244
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboFC3S View Post

I have a X350.5 ... and honestly I don't like it at all. I've been meaning for some time to get it listed on Agon. I find it very fatiguing, and wouldn't recommend it unless you have something like a pair of Harbeth or Spendors that just gloss over every bit of detail.

What were the speakers? Just curious.

Vin
CLS is offline  
post #30 of 70 Old 01-23-2011, 11:46 AM
Advanced Member
 
TurboFC3S's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: STL, MO
Posts: 819
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by CLS View Post

What were the speakers? Just curious.

I build all my own speakers, specifically with my Vapor Audio Cirrus ... if you're interested see my sig

Speaker Designer/Builder
Vapor Audio
TurboFC3S is offline  
Reply 2 Channel Audio

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off