Originally Posted by jlafrenz
Does anyone have any suggestions on an amp for the Mozart Grands. I have been considering the Emotiva amps because of their price and great reviews. I see that the rick suggests b&k, which also gets great reviews. I have seen some reasonable prices on used B&K amps online. I know people whom are using both amps and think very highly of both. On paper the Emotiva looks better than the B&K as far as THD, but does not have the range. Any thoughts on which is a better amp for these particular speakers or overall and reasoning behind it?
I've been through a large number of amplifies with my Mozarts (old model, not the Grand), both tube and solid state.
Tubes are tough. The wacky impedance curves on the Mozarts play havoc with many tube amps and forget about trying to power them with a SET--it's push-pull or the highway. Honestly, an amp I still regret not pairing them with was the Music Reference RM200. It provided perhaps the most beautiful sound from my Mozarts and delivered balanced frequency response and plenty of power, including nice, deep, taut bass.
In solid state, it really comes down current delivery and just amp quality. The Bryston 3BST sounded like Bryston with the Mozarts--a little Mosfet fog, but clean, powerful, and musical. For several years I used a B&K AV5000 on them in an HT setup. Again, no problems and they delivered the B&K house sound. I had a Bel Canto EVO200.2 (no longer made, new ones are different tech and haven't tried them) that combined the best of tubes and SS but ultimately left me a bit flat. When I got my current Yamaha surround receiver (RXV1600) it had no problem driving them and sounded decent. However, it sounded like a receiver. So I went a different route and tried several integrated amps to use for my 2 channel audio that included home theater bypass features (where HT sources use the amps in the integrated for L/R via a unity gain input that allows the receiver to control volume and maintain channel balance and all your 2ch sources go direct to the integrated and their volume is controlled by it). I tried the NAD M3, Krell 400x, Bel Canto Evo2i, and Musical Fidelity A5. All in the 2500-3000 range. The Bel Canto sounded like and perhaps a bit better than my old Evo200.2. The NAD sounded like NAD; not for me. The Krell was very dynamic and I think complement the VA's well. In the end I got the Musical Fidelity as it didn't fight the warmth and timbre of the VAs (I love the Mozarts on stringed music) and had, hands down, the best bass. It then became obvious to me that VAs don't just want power, they really need power. 100 watt SS and tube amps were fine to a point, but what the Mozarts want is juice--250 in the case of the A5. So, I'd say, go for the watts in a quality amp. Parasound, B&K, Musical Fidelity, Classe, and Bryston are all good and offer amps in the 200 watt range that won't break the bank. I bet a Krell FPB amp would sound awesome, but that's probably way overkill for a $2500 speaker.
I've heard that VA voices their speakers in Austria with Audio Research tube monoblocks (the big ones).