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Joey_V

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I'm looking for amp recommendations for my Vantage.

Here is a few of what I'm considering:

1. Rotel RB1090 (the king of the Rotel line up and should be a step up in the Rotel house sound.... should be a definite upgrade from my RB1070)

2. Krell 400xi Integrated amplifier (solid integrated as I auditioned this with the Vantage on several occasions... not sure how it stacks up against the 90 pound Rotel monster though since it isnt a dual mono nor does it have extra large capacitors for storing current)

3. Parasound A21 (a solid parasound amp, next to the JC1 monoblocks)


I am not very keen on the Parasound as numerous reviewers have stated that even the RB1080 is pretty equal to the A21. The A21 isnt a dual mono design and the RB1090 is held in higher esteem over it. That said, the Krell 400xi is also held in very high regard as a "special" krell - one that actually sounds musical.

I dont know... I could keep the Rotel setup going or I could start a-new.
 

Joey_V

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If I want to go a little crazy, which is always possible:
1. Mark Levinson No383 Integrated amplifier



Regarded by many as the reference integrated...

I cant afford any of the Pass Labs nor do I really want to go tubes - I guess I'm more of a solid state kind of guy.

My ideal budget is around $2000.... but I guess I could go as high as $3000-4000 depending on how good the item is. Remember, I need a preamp if I go true separates, with an integrated, I wouldnt need one.

Tell me your 2 cents... :) .
 
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dyazdani

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You can get a Pass X250 for around $2500 if you look around. You've got many choices for a good SS amp in your price range. Rotel, Bryston, Classe to name a few. You'd be looking at slightly older models, but they're still great.

What else is in your system? You said you need a preamp or integrated - did you sell the Rotel pre in your sig?
 

Joey_V

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dyazdani said:
What else is in your system? You said you need a preamp or integrated - did you sell the Rotel pre in your sig?
I still have my entire Rotel setup... the preamp included. If I went with the RB1090, I wouldnt have a problem using my RC1070 until I find a suitable RC1090 replacement (hard to find here since no one carries the RC1090). I figured that it shouldnt be a problem since the Rotel RB1090 would be a significant upgrade anyway.

As for Bryston and Classe.... I have been looking at those - the older models, too. I just wanted to get something a little more recent I suppose.
 

Jeff Zaret

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Joey,

If I had only known, I sold my Rotel RB 1090 amp about a month ago. If you decide to go that way I can tell you that you will have more than enough power and will not want for more. I loved my amp. It powered my Sequel II's (bi-amped) which were current hungry and then my CLSiiZ's!! The amp never seemed to work real hard and in reality I think I never pushed or had to push it that hard for loud levels. Most of the time it was never driven that hard.

Parasound I have heard mixed reviews so I guess that depends on who you talk with.
The Krell I have not heard but I am sure will be fine but my feeling is you will want separates later on.
As far as the Mark Levinson, I can't afford one either and I wonder how much better it really better it is for the price. :confused:

For the record, I actually traded in my Rotel for a SS Conrad Johnson 2500A amp and I am extremely happy.

Jeff :cool:
 

Joey_V

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Jeff,

Noooo!!! I've been searching for one forever (1090)... gah! I shouldve posted a WTB ad here. So, how do you like your new Conrad compared to the Rotel 1090? Why did you upgrade?

Joey wants to know.. ;)
 

Spike

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Lots of choices

Joey,
For the Vantages, you don't need a whole lot of power to drive the panels. Here are some to put on your list... A pair of Monarchy Audio SM-70 PRO, Odyssey Audio stereo amplifier, Marsh Sound Design stereo amplifier, Pass Labs X150, Balanced Audio Tech VK200 can all be had for less than $2k budget. I'd look for amplifiers around the 100wpc and focus more on finesse rather than (brute) power. Plinius, Classe' and Bryston deserve mentioning since they are built to last a long time.

Good luck
Spike
 

Joey_V

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You know... come to think of it, the Levinson might be just a tad out of reach.

So, I guess the max limit is around $2000. I dont want to eat Ramen forever now... hehehe :p . I guess the easiest upgrade to take is to go for the RB1090. The Krell 400xi would be good also, but I feel uneasy about the cash I'm spending on such a "somewhat wussy" sized amp (single torroidal, non dual mono design and not a lot of high capacity capacitors).... perhaps I'm paying more for the name "Krell"? Granted it sounded good, but I have yet to hear an RB1090.

The A21 is out of the running I think since there have been mixed reviews and the fact that it's design is closer to the RB1080 than the RB1090 - and as reported by people over at Club Rotel/Paradigm at HTGuide.com.

Ah well... maybe I'm destined for the 1090?

But the Krell is enticing....

OK, to bed I said!
 

kach22i

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Chicago Illinois? There has got to be an authorized dealer of Blue CircleAudio near you. I've been curious sbout them for a long time, but they are no where to be found in Michigan.

Although not 400 watts of power like the big Rotel, would you consider one of these hybrids of Blue Circle?

The BC24 MSRP: from 2450.00 USD conservatively rated at 80 watts/channel into 8 ohms.



The BC28 MSRP: from 3995.00USD, conservatively rated at 120 watts/channel into 8 ohms


What ever you purchase, I strongly urge you to home audition several models/makes at the same time. All it typically takes is a visit to a high end shop and a hold on your credit card. A good dealer makes the whole hobby more enjoyable - don't just use them and purchase on-line, show some class. :)
 

DTB300

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Joey_V said:
The Krell 400xi would be good also, but I feel uneasy about the cash I'm spending on such a "somewhat wussy" sized amp (single torroidal, non dual mono design and not a lot of high capacity capacitors).... perhaps I'm paying more for the name "Krell"?
Okay...looking for that "Manly" amp? Class A or A/B Switchable Solid State (since you seem to be leaning toward the SS side...). Great controlled bass, amazing midrange like tubes, smooth high end (not your typical SS sould). Can be picked up used for under $2500 and MSRP is $6800 or so...BTW, I have the silver face plater version.

BTW, I also seconded the Blue Circle and Monarchy Audio choices....



And an inside look at the amp...Note the torroidal transformers are located on the other side of the circuit board (bottom of amp) to help isolate from components....

Top of Amp


Bottom of Amp


Later...Dan
 
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LOGANLOVE

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Well I am a little biased because I own the Krell but also remember if you ever want to sell either one later on, the Krell will hold its value better than the Rotel. Krell is built to last forever.
 
S

Steve Daigneault

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The only Krell I'd vote for would be the older, warmer and magical KSA series, either the KSA 50 or the 100. You can find the KSA100 on audiogon for $1250.

Other than that, I'm with Dan on the Plinius, or the Conrad Johnson or Blue Circle pieces. Buy used on Audiogon for a good price, and you can recoup most or all of your outlay when you're ready to move up.

Blue Circle tests their gear w/ Logans. And the older CJ gear is on the warmer side, which I think is a must w/ Logans. These are excellent speakers, but definitely do better with amps that put some meat on their bones.
 

LOGANLOVE

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Hey you should also check out the Anthem Statement P2, I think it retails for 2500 and that thing smokes 500 watts into 4 ohms Yo!!!
 

DTB300

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Steve Daigneault said:
The only Krell I'd vote for would be the older, warmer and magical KSA series, either the KSA 50 or the 100. You can find the KSA100 on audiogon for $1250.
I agree with this too...The new FSB series along with the 300 and 400xi just do not stack up to the older KSA series of amps - again IMO and taste....

Steve...BTW...how are you liking your Modwright Pre? Everyone has nothing but great things to say about Dan's creation.

Dan
 

Reverb

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Sorry Joey,

But I can’t vote for the Krell, I have heard them in several different systems. One with Prodigy’s, another with Ascents, a 3rd with Aeon’s and the Krell you’re looking at, and lastly the most recent a 2ch setup with the summits. Krell amps with the 2nd generation speakers sounded grate (I do love the sound) Prodigy, Ascent, and Aeon all really love the high current from the Krell’s, only gripe would be lacking a little warmth. The summits sounded different from any other Martin Logan I have ever heard on a Krell, at low too moderate listening levels the sound was really good but at height volumes, the Summits would literally scream! The upper end would have this shrilly-scratchy sound that would make my ears bleed.

My vote would be for the Pass Labs. But PLEASE! Joey, if you want to get the Krell, try before you buy. Find a dealer that will let you try it in your setup and see if it will fit your needs. If I keep my current setup I may go Krell, but if I go Xstat, I will not.

Just my 2 cents.
 
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dyazdani

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I have had the same issues with Krell and MLs with the exception of the older FPB series. I haven't heard any of their newest amps though.

I saw a couple of SA-100s on A'Gon for $1600-1900 or so.
 

aliveatfive

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Joey -

The first time I heard Sequel IIs driven by Audio Research tubes, I knew one day I had to have both. Logans have a certain synergy with tube amps that is hard to describe. Even if you can't afford this option now, try to audition a Vantage with tubed amplification just to get some additional perspective.
 

Robin

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Joey,

I really hope you audition any perspective amp at home with your Vantages. Having said that, I would recommend - #1). Anthem Statement P2, #2). Sim Audio and #3). Carry Audio - all of these have excellent duel mono block designs and excellent beautiful sound. :D I know if you look for deals on Audiogon you can pay a lot less cash. ;)
Good luck! :D
HTH
 

tonyc

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Joey just listen to everything you can get your hands on ( in your price range ) in YOUR system before you buy. Your speakers will clearly show differences. Aliveatfive, the first time I ever heard ML speakers was in 1987. They were driven by an arc amp. I do not remember the specific models because I couldn't afford either, but I vividly remember the magic. My speakers at that time were Acoustat 3's and an Adcom 555 amp. It is now nearly twenty years later and I am still trying to get there!
 

Joey_V

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Thanks for all the tips and tricks guys! I am going to listen to any amp I can get my hands on...

I have put a reserve on Dave's (Twich's) RB1090 in case he wants to sell it to upgrade to the Pass Labs. I really like how Rotel sounds - I'm sure there are better out there.. but I think the 1090 would be as good as Rotel sounds. I can approach this 2 ways:

1. I go with the 1090 and stick with it until I graduate and make some real money.... then go upgrade both the speaker and the amp to whatever's next.
2. Extend myself to buy as good an amp as possible right now.... but this would entail MORE RAMEN time... ugh!

Ah well... still looking... ;) .
 
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