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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have just started investigating top tier ampliers and would love to have everyone's opinion. I started this thread as to not hijack other existing threads.


Here is what is on the list so far: Lamm, Tenor, ARC, Halcro, Edge, Boulder.


Please feel free to add other amplifiers that you think bear comparing to this group. For instance, should Krell be included here?


I am new to tube amplifier technology and am thus leaning more towards hybrids, but am willing to be convinced otherwise.


I am a detail freak, but am very concerned about the perceived lack of musicality and sterility with the Halcros. I like tight bass, but am not a bass freak.


Thanks,


Damon
 

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For solid state, Boulder is the winner with Halcro a close second. Like you however, I found Halcro to be just too sterile for my taste.


For tubes I think you picked the top 3 (Tenor, Lamm and ARC). Of the 3 IMO, ARC provides the best bass for a tube amp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
oneobgyn,


I have not heard the Halcros myself. I am just reiterating what has been voiced on this forum.


Do you think that the Krell and Levinson amps deserve to be included in this solid state group? Being a former owner of the big Krells, what do your ARCs do right that the Krells missed?


Also, do the Boulders keep the finger snapping musicality that the Halcros (may) lack?


Lastly, does ARC make a hybrid amp?


Damon
 

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Indeed Krell and Levinson should be included in this group.


As for ARC vs Krell, IMO the tubes just sound so much more musical and that is what I have always strived to achieve.I also found the soundstage to be far better with the ARC than with the big Krell The Krells however had that gut renching visceral impact BUT the ARC Ref 600's do provide tremendous bass (as Tzucc can attest to).


I still use a Krell 750 Mcx to drive my Wilson XS.


The Halcro just didn't do it for me as far as what I have now. Nonetheless a very good amp.


The Boulder is a phenomenal amp. In fact the entire Boulder line is in the top of the pack. Very pricey but excellent.


Finally another excellent SS to add to the group is Spectral. My only reservation is that you must buy the whole system in order to maintain their warranty and also to guarantee that you won't blow a driver as they have unbelievable bandwidth.


As for an ARC hybrid, you can refer to their website

http://www.audioresearch.com


Finally, the new Lamm Hybrid just released should be worth an audition. it would be interesting to a/b it vs the Tenor hybrid.
 

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i have had the opportunity to audition the system of "oneobgyn" using the arc amps, and the full compliment of krell's. i completely agree with oneobgyn that the arc units takes his "as good as it gets" system to the next level!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Great stuff!


Spectral is out - just too limiting.


Anyone care to comment on Lamm, Edge, or Tenor?


FYI, the amp would be mated with Watt/Puppy 7s, as I don't have the space for anything larger.


Off topic: oneobgyn, you should check out the Meridian 861 digital preamp and 800 CD/DVD-A. I think you will find it better than the Linn DVD-A by a noticeable degree. The 861 is significantly better than the Krell home theater piece, if you are still using that.


Damon
 

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Kevin--I heard the Siegfried VTL unveiled last June at HE2003 in SF. Luke Manley was there showcasing his new amps with Wilson Maxx's. Somehow I just didn't get into it. The WP 7 's with the Spectral system sounded far better.


Damon, I would agree about your comments re the Meridian. For now however I am happy with my Krell HTS 7.1 as I continue to play 2 channel music (Redbook and SACD stereo) through my ARC Ref 2 Mk ll preamp using the Meitner SACD and Meitner DAC. Also I have the Meitner Switchman 3 preamp on order so for what I use the other components for, I am very happy. If I were to make a switch, I would probably buy the Ayre D-1X.
 

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Kevin--I did hear the Atmasphere monos at CES. They were excellent but with a price tag up in the ozone layer. If I remember right MRJAZZ from the forum showed his new speakers (Stealth) with these amps.
 

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Damon--for WP 7's you would be very happy with the Krell 750 Mcx's. I used these amps when I had my WP 6's and Maxx and they performed terrific.


if you want a more musical sound at 1/3 the price have a look at the new mono amps from Audio Research. They were shown at CES with the new Van Dersteen's and everyone commented as to how good they sounded.

Krell 750 Mcx .......$29K

ARC monos .......$10K
 

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Damon,


you have some great amps listed here.


i have owned the WP 3/2's. 5.1's and 6.0's. i have had the Halcro's and Atmaphere MA2's in my room and owned the Levinson 33H's and 33's.


currently, i own the Tenor 300 watt hybrids on Kharma Exquisites. in my experience so far, i do prefer the Tenors to anything else i have heard......but a few others listed here would also be excellent choices. of ss amps, my personal favorite would be the Edge monoblocks, although i don't care for the fact that they don't accept balanced interconnects. a friend has just switched from big Boulder monoblocks to the Tenor Hybrids.....his comment was that the Tenors did everything as well as the Boulders.....but were way more involving. i do like the ARC Ref. 600's alot......but you will need a very effective air conditioning system to handle the heat they generate. i agree that they probably have more dynamic grip than most other tube amps.


the Lamm hybrids i have heard (1.1's) were lacking in dynamic grip and overly polite for my tastes. they are excellent amps but i'm not sure they would be right for WP7's.


the Tenor Hybrids are quite special.......the best of ss (speed, frequency extention, dynamic grip and low noise floor), the best of tubes ('breath-of-life', mid-range clarity without any grain, and lack of mechanicalness) and lots of power (they double-down into low impedences) so they work with any speaker. they don't sound like tubes or ss......they sound like music......they simply present the musical event with all it's own character. you don't have the heat of lots of output tubes (only tubes in the input stage) and they are beautiful and easy to live with.


i hope this helps.
 

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Mike--I agree completely with your observations. I thoroughly enjoyed the new Tenor Hybrid shown at CES with the Kharma/Meitner setup. I thought it was one of the best rooms there.


I hung out at that room each day hoping to connect with you and Jonathan but I was told on Saturday by Ed Meitner that Jonathan was ill and you didn't make it.


Re the Lamm, I agree about being too "polite" but I understand there new Hybrid 1.2 is supposed to address those issues. I haven't heard it.


No doubt the ARC 600's create heat sufficiently severe that I added another central air unit solely for my room and that problem is overcome.


I feel Boulder is the best SS but once one goes to tubes for music, IMO it is difficult to ever consider SS again.
 

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Hi


My personal favorite amplifiers do not figure on the list. Burmester 909. I do not own it. I have what I call a mental block anything be it electronics or speakers or, God forbid, accessories, over 20 K bothers me. I may take the plunge one day but for now, the Burmester 911 is fine with me
 

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Another brand to look at is Chord. Rather expensive in the US, but a very nice product.


I've not heard the Jeff Rowland 300 series, but given my very positive experience with the 201s, it might be another direction to consider.


Drew Dean
 

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I would tend to agree on the Rowland 302s being on your list from all accounts. Or save some money and try the new 501s, which should sound almost identical from what I heard at CES. I have heard the Sim W10s, and they sound excellent (and replaced Edge amps my friend had)


For tubes, I'm not the ARC fan that everyone else is. I think they sound too ss in most systems. Now, admittedly i will reserve judgement on the Ref series which i have not heard.


BAT VK75SE is my favorite "sanely" priced tube amp. Lamm and Tenor hybrids of course are worthy of an audition if you got the scratch.


Halcro was dead sterile to me, as well as Spectral (and btw, Spectral has universal amps now i believe) in setups I've heard.


Cheers,


KeithR
 

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Hi All,

I thought that I'd chime in here, since I have owned several well-regarded SS amps. I am driving Avalon Osiris speakers, a very difficult load. I have a CTC Blowtorch pre w/phono and my sources are the Meitner DAC 6/SACD 1000/Switchman with a BAT VK6200 doing surround duties.I also have a Basis Debut with a VDH Colibri (thanks Mike L!) I started with Rowland 9Ti's drivimg the main speakers and I found them to be very boring and uninvolving. I switched to Pass 600's which were much more dynamic and detailed, but the sound, especially the midrange was thin, lacking a certain tonal richness. From there I went to Krell 750 Mcx monos, which had a much richer sound than the Pass', but were every bit as detailed. I was in heaven... until I demoed the Boulder 2060 stereo amp. Now I have it all, detail. imaging layering of instruments, rich tone and just plain music that is fun to listen to. As an aside, I am really enjoying my SACD multichannel setup. It sound great, especially as compared to stereo. Now it really depends on the source material, but I think that the engineers are really getting it. My next step is the room, as I am converting a basement room to a dedicated listening/ HT room. I plan to get some good acoustic help here, possibly Rives, since a friend of mine has had good success with them.


David Shapiro
 

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KeithR you and I need to chat further re your impression of SS sound from ARC. Wow, I have never heard it described that way but then again you have not heard the Ref series.


David--like you I have the Meitner gear and find it to be the most engaging source I have ever used for music. I bet it sounds great with your Boulder amps. I like mine as well with the ARC Ref 600's
 
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