I recently picked up a pair of Mythos STS and have been having a heck of a time getting the sound out of them that I'm looking for. My old Panny SA-XR55 sounds plain terrible with them. So, I've been on the hunt.
I have space concerns, so I'd like an amp that's sub 5" in height. I don't have too many concerns about width or depth. I am looking for an amp that's 5.1 at a minimum, has LR pre-outs, and has a focus on 2-channel audio quality. Bells and whistles don't matter as much.
As of right now, these are the options I see:
1. Yamaha RX-S600
2. Marantz NR140X/150X/160X
3. Sherbourn SR-8100
4. Cambridge Audio Azur 340r and 540r
5. Harmon Kardon 15XX/16XX/17XX
6. Pioneer VSX-C300
I demo'd the STS with the Yamaha, Marantz NR 1603, and a chinese tube amp for giggles.
The Yamaha sounds terrible no matter what I did. Flat, lifeless, boring. Also, very quiet. The Marantz wasn't bad, but it didn't blow me away. It just sounded good. The tube amp absolutely blew me away--super lows, crisp highs, airy mids. It was a little musical epiphany.
So, I definitely have a tube amp in my future, and I'll likely run it off of my AVR's pre-outs or put it on a separate amp switchbox for use whenever I want something a bit more quality. I just can't be without the convenience of the AVR, and I would definitely miss it for HT use.
I don't have a way to audition with many of these amps, so I'm looking for outside input. Is there any slim amp that will get me ANYWHERE near the sound quality of the tubes? At this point I'm holding out hope for the Cambridge or Sherbourn. Is the sound quality of these things really all it's cracked up to be? Would it be that much of a difference over one of the more common brands?
Thanks for your help!
Total bummer! I saw the "add to cart" on the Sherbourn website, but I missed the fine print saying "unavailable at this time." That was actually my first choice, at least first choice without a demo.
I like the Marantz, but I don't love the Marantz. Have you ever had any experience with the cambridge?
Essentially, I am looking for an amp that is oriented more toward quality music production than other features/bells/whistles. The current amp I have sounds pretty poor, and I have been really unimpressed with some of the newer amps I've demo'd (namely the Yamaha RS-X600). The best sonic quality (especially 2 channel) is what I'm looking for, with HT ability.
|Yamaha Rx S600 Home Theater Receiver , Sr 8100 Receiver , Marantz Nr1603 Slim Line Av Receiver|