Originally Posted by AudioFiend
I appreciate the suggestions. I had forgotten about Ayon. The Triton is nice - I lean more toward the Mercury (only because the Crossfire is our of my range!). I really like the Berning ZH-230 - I would also consider getting the Berning pre-amp eventually.
I should have mentioned my speaker of choice: Reference 3A Grand Veena. Also I heard a really nice Vandersteen Treo at RMAF (driven by Audio Research VSi60 - I think). It isn't available for purchase yet.
I always liked Pass & Bryston but SE tubes is where I'm probably headed (I could use a 20 year warrantee - on me! I'd be in my mid-70s). But then if I hear a SS amp that knocks my socks off with finesse rather than sheer power...
One of my customers has a Crossfire ... he reminds me about once a week how incredible it sounds. And I'm sure it does, I just love my Triton. I've also spent some time with my speakers on a pair of Lamm ML1 monoblocks and thought they were simply incredible amps.
But I'm really excited to have one of the BMC amps coming to me this week, the C1 stereo amp. What I've heard of them so far has been a revelation, if they deliver that same experience at home I'll own one for sure.
Also IMO but there are much better speaker choices than the Ref 3a stuff. I've heard many of their designs over the years, and they always remind me of full-range drivers ... just with a bit better top end. They're one of those speakers that can do certain things very well, and fall apart completely on other stuff.