Classe or Mark Levinson or Krell??? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 08-07-2003, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
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I want to buy a 2-channel amp for may 802Nautilus I am between these:
Mark Levinson 431
Krell 2250
Classe 2x180 monoblocks

What is your opinion?
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post #2 of 23 Old 08-07-2003, 11:06 AM
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Krell
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post #3 of 23 Old 08-07-2003, 02:30 PM
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PASS LABS!
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post #4 of 23 Old 08-07-2003, 02:34 PM
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I will second Pass Labs.

Go and listen to Pass Labs X350. If you like it, let me know I have one for sale.

Roman

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post #5 of 23 Old 08-07-2003, 02:48 PM
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never mind, i thought out of those three!, i third the pass labs....i've listened to the x350 numerous times and all i can say is WOW every single time....it's just the master of masters....i have to mop up my drool everytime i'm in that showroom....
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post #6 of 23 Old 08-07-2003, 09:07 PM
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The Pass Labs X-series amps consume a ton of power (600w) just in standby. Does anyone have any experience with heat generation or utility costs to run these amps? I was looking at the Krell FPB-300 to drive B&W 802's but the Pass X350 has gotten great reviews.

Comments?
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post #7 of 23 Old 08-07-2003, 09:44 PM
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if you can afford this amp i don't think you should worry about utilities, but i've only seen it get hot after a good session of music....during standby the thing is room temperature...I don't own this unit so i don't know if it will be a problem if on standby 24/7, but i know the it does emit a good amount of heat during play....have you listen to this amp though? it's beautiful i wouldn't even worry about heat/power consumption....
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post #8 of 23 Old 08-07-2003, 09:50 PM
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While there aren't any bad choices with the amps mentioned, there are a ton more that could be added to your list at various pricepoints.

Of all the amps I've heard paired with 802's, I liked the Krell, and the Chord the best(Chord is also used at the Skywalker Ranch with 5 802's). I think others to check out would be Parasound HALO, Bryston, Pass, Rotel 1090, BAT, Theta, Levinson, Classe.....

As for the power consumption, who cares. If you have the money to buy any of these amps, you've got enough money to pay the bill....haha. Actually, the Krell really sucks the juice as well(class A, all the way) and could be used as a space heater in a small room....not sure about the others

-Craig
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post #9 of 23 Old 08-07-2003, 09:57 PM
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There are many options in your price range. craigdcan named many of them. From my experiences I like Bryston, Classe, Theta. They all sound amazing but IMO I think the Theta stands out. Its has power like you wouldn't believe and the sound is amazing like top notch. All the amps mentioned are all excellent performers and I don't think you won't be disappointed with any of them.

GOLDEN-EAGLE!
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post #10 of 23 Old 08-07-2003, 10:07 PM
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If you live in California, you guys would be more concerned about energy cost :(. My stereo is shut down most of the weekdays and usually turned on during the weekends. I have three Krell monoblocks so I guess my vote is for Krell amps but only for the FPB series. The FPB series actually draws about 60 watts or so during idle so it's not really that bad.

Rich
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post #11 of 23 Old 08-07-2003, 11:29 PM
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Yeah, I knew that you guys would all say that I shouldn't wory about the power bill, but I'm planning on a 7.1 system (x350 + x5) and that combination consumes 800 watts in standby mode - just seems very exotic.

Just read the Pass Labs documentation and this does seem like a very interesting approach. Originally, was going to go with the Krell FPB-300 + TAS combination (and I still might as Krell has had great reviews and is a larger company), but this is a bit more expensive and the reviews on audioreview.com have not been as glowing. The Pass Labs amps seem to have a warmer, "tubelike" sound than the Krells - am planning B&W 802/HTM1/805s. Is there anywhere that I could demo this config in the Bay Area? Pass Labs distribution channel seems to be reps not dealers.
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post #12 of 23 Old 08-08-2003, 07:52 AM
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If you want "tubelike", get tubes.

If I were spending big bucks on an amp, I'd want to be sure that I've heard all possible/reasonable options. I'd hate to spend this kind of money only to realize, a few months down the road, that there was something I'd prefer than the one I bought. You can get all the opinions on amp characteristics, and matching ideas, but noone knows the answers like you do. Having Siskel and Ebert give two thumbs up doesn't mean YOU will like the movie.
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post #13 of 23 Old 08-08-2003, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
I'm planning on a 7.1 system (x350 + x5) and that combination consumes 800 watts in standby mode - just seems very exotic
Shouldn't that be 350x7 ?

Anyway, my take on the MC side of the amplification question is that you should invest in your two mains (n802) for stereo and since they take the most power. The other channels can have less capable amps and still sound just great.

In my installation, N802, HTM1, N804, I have Bryston 7B-STs for the N802s and use my old ATI AT1505 to power the HTM1, bi-amped, and the N804s. I do a lot of 2-channel listening and when I fire up the HT everything blends perfectly.

Also, you want to set your sub crossover up to a reasonable frequency. I had the unfortunate experience of wiping out a pair of woofers in one N802 watching SW-AOTC with my crossover set at 40Hz. I now run the crossover at 60Hz just so I don't have another meltdown.

My $0.02
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post #14 of 23 Old 08-14-2003, 04:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your comments.
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post #15 of 23 Old 08-14-2003, 07:07 AM
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My suggestion is the Innersound ESL, available in 300w X 2 or 800-1000w monoblocks. It runs cool (the 300w idles at 4 watts) and is stable to below 1 ohm. Build quality is second to none (sourced at Coda Techologies). Sound is utterly transparent - the best amp I have heard. You can audition for 30 days; check the reviews.

Dsmith

"The truth is out there!"
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post #16 of 23 Old 08-14-2003, 08:26 AM
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I was considering upgrading to the Parasound JC-1s for my mains, but now you've got me curious about the Pass Labs X-250. One of the nice things about the JC-1s though, is the ability to set the switch to Class A/B startup earlier, which will save current-draw during operations.

One question about the X-250: Does it consume 600W at idle also?
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post #17 of 23 Old 08-14-2003, 09:41 AM
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I believe VTL has a new tube monobloc that goes to 800w.

I started out with a pair of 7B's but switched to Theta about a year ago and had not looked back.

PF
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post #18 of 23 Old 08-14-2003, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Drew Hoffman
Is there anywhere that I could demo this config in the Bay Area? Pass Labs distribution channel seems to be reps not dealers.
The Analog Room in San Jose is a Pass Labs dealer.
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post #19 of 23 Old 08-14-2003, 06:22 PM
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Quote:
One question about the X-250: Does it consume 600W at idle also?
X250 consumes 270 watts at idle.
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post #20 of 23 Old 08-14-2003, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by pmf
I believe VTL has a new tube monobloc that goes to 800w.

I started out with a pair of 7B's but switched to Theta about a year ago and had not looked back.

PF
The VTL Wotan's have 1250 Watts...
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post #21 of 23 Old 08-15-2003, 06:18 AM
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Scoot, I'm sure most of us tubey's had heard of the Wotan's one time or another since they've been around a while. The reason I mentioned the 800w monster is for it's looks & features that rivals some top-notch SS's. ;)


http://www.vtl.com/pages/Amplifiers/Siegfried/

PF
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post #22 of 23 Old 08-15-2003, 06:42 AM
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Hey PF,

Are you ever going to take the plunge into big tube power amps or are you still happy with your big Thetas?

Phil

ps. Good to see you're still around.
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post #23 of 23 Old 08-15-2003, 06:54 AM
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Phil, my best guess @ this point is may be a different FRONT end (speakers! :) ) if I were to make any changes down the line for the Theta is just so sweet & soothing to listen & look at (& probably sounds closest to tube without the hassle, of all SS amps anyway).

Hope you're doing well.

PF
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