Summit X - Solid State Amp Opinions

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Necrosuit

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Hello folks,
Been a real long time since I've been on the forum but have all along been using ML speakers in variations. I recently picked up a pair of Summit X and am in the market for a new amp. In the past I always used tube hybrid integrated amps and as of late been into solid state. Currently have the Plinius Hautonga and have been looking at the Esoteric F-05, Esoteric F-3A and Gyrphon Diablo. Who has these amp experiences with ML and would the Esoteric F-3A 30 watt class A give them a real good push with the built in powered subs? Also please suggest other amps in this range that may blow them all away. I've heard the Esoteric F-05 on Wilson Maxx 2 speakers and it sounded absolutely amazing. Way different speakers though. Happy to be back, thanks all!
 

geeji

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Hello Necrosuit,
You seem to be into very esoteric amplifiers.

I may not have "golden ears" and thus have never been able to hear much difference between amplifiers of the same wattage when db output levels are closely matched. I prefer to put my money into loudspeakers, where quality differences are MUCH more obvious.
For Martin Logans, you have to be extra careful for capacitive loads stability, and low impedance (2 Ohms) stability.

That said, I am driving my pair of Summit X with a 2x400W PURIFI 1ET400A class D amplifier, and am very happy with it.
Many resellers use different enclosures, the one I bought for 1349€ was from Audiophonics, but there are many other resellers (Google is your friend).
 

Gordon Gray

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Pass Labs is typically a good match. That's what I had with my Summits. Contact Reno Hifi. They offer an audition / money back guarantee and are very customer friendly.
 

Nutshell

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I once auditioned the ESL11 with a Gryphon Diablo 120 and Accuphase E650 and E480 models. All three were great sounding amps. I finally bought a cheaper amp, the Hegel H390.
 

Northy

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Pass Labs is typically a good match. That's what I had with my Summits. Contact Reno Hifi. They offer an audition / money back guarantee and are very customer friendly.

I have to agree with Gordon. Pass Labs and ML are a match made in Heaven. Especially, if you get their class A amps - model numbers starting with XA....
 

hillbilly

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I tried a class D amp with my Summit Xs and it didn't appeal to me. A tubed Rogue Audio Atlas Magnum II sounded much better for several years. Recently I inserted a Pass Labs XA30 with 30 WPC in Class A, and have to agree with Gordon that Pass is a good match. I was concerned that 30 watts may not be enough power, but it is plenty for me and sounds even better than the 100 WPC tubed Rogue.
Tastes differ, but the Class A Pass makes my Summits sing.
 

Necrosuit

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I tried a class D amp with my Summit Xs and it didn't appeal to me. A tubed Rogue Audio Atlas Magnum II sounded much better for several years. Recently I inserted a Pass Labs XA30 with 30 WPC in Class A, and have to agree with Gordon that Pass is a good match. I was concerned that 30 watts may not be enough power, but it is plenty for me and sounds even better than the 100 WPC tubed Rogue.
Tastes differ, but the Class A Pass makes my Summits sing.
Thanks for info. I am very interested in getting a Class A amp but am very concerned about 30 watts and being loud enough for when I'm in the mood to blast off with heavy music. How do you find the detail vs volume levels if you play something more compressed and heavier if you do at all?
 

Necrosuit

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Pass Labs is typically a good match. That's what I had with my Summits. Contact Reno Hifi. They offer an audition / money back guarantee and are very customer friendly.
Hey Gordon, long time!
Yes I've read about Pass for years and those amps are on my hit list to try someday, maybe now is the time. That sounds like a good idea with reno.
 

Necrosuit

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I once auditioned the ESL11 with a Gryphon Diablo 120 and Accuphase E650 and E480 models. All three were great sounding amps. I finally bought a cheaper amp, the Hegel H390.
I've read a lot about the Gryphon 300 and it is very intriguing to me from the reviews. I chat with another person on threads that has one and he swears its his last amp....
 

Necrosuit

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Hello Necrosuit,
You seem to be into very esoteric amplifiers.

I may not have "golden ears" and thus have never been able to hear much difference between amplifiers of the same wattage when db output levels are closely matched. I prefer to put my money into loudspeakers, where quality differences are MUCH more obvious.
For Martin Logans, you have to be extra careful for capacitive loads stability, and low impedance (2 Ohms) stability.

That said, I am driving my pair of Summit X with a 2x400W PURIFI 1ET400A class D amplifier, and am very happy with it.
Many resellers use different enclosures, the one I bought for 1349€ was from Audiophonics, but there are many other resellers (Google is your friend).
I've only recently heard the Esoteric F-05 and it is the first amp in a very long time that blew me away with detail, separation and drum thump! I could have sat there for days. So I started looking at other Esoteric but it is not my absolute choice at the moment. Yes the ohm is always a factor for ML and part of my search criteria.
 

hillbilly

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Thanks for info. I am very interested in getting a Class A amp but am very concerned about 30 watts and being loud enough for when I'm in the mood to blast off with heavy music. How do you find the detail vs volume levels if you play something more compressed and heavier if you do at all?
I pushed the volume as high as I could take it a couple of times to see if the meters would indicate the amp was leaving Class A. The needle barely moved, and all the detail was still there. However it was much louder at that point than I'm comfortable with. I listen mostly to jazz and female vocalists so it's a good match for me.
 

Russr

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Hi folks

I know I keep saying this, but it might be worth giving some Bryston amps a listen. Manufactured in Canada, with a US service center (if you ever need that.. they come with a (transferable) 20 year warranty), they are used in studios and cinemas all over the world..

If you're looking at monoblocks, the 7B ST, 7B SST/SST2s would be interesting. 2-Cahnnel would be 4B ST, 4B SST/SST2s, then there's the whole new generation whose model numbers I do not know.

Just my $0.02

Russ
 

Len44

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Mark at Reno Hi-Fi was very helpful, as so many on this forum have noted. I ended up with XA160.8s, which are now sitting just inside my front door, waiting for my son to stop by this Friday to help me set up (OK, move to the media room), and start the break-in. Really, really appreciative of the guidance Mark provided, after we discussed speakers and sound I was seeking.
 

18000rpm

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I know I keep saying this, but it might be worth giving some Bryston amps a listen. Manufactured in Canada, with a US service center (if you ever need that.. they come with a (transferable) 20 year warranty), they are used in studios and cinemas all over the world..
I've been using a Bryston 4B SST with my Prodigies for over 10 years. Sounds great to me but I don't have anything else to directly compare with. Completely bulletproof; in all that time it never failed or went into shutdown/protection etc once.
 

Northy

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I pushed the volume as high as I could take it a couple of times to see if the meters would indicate the amp was leaving Class A. The needle barely moved, and all the detail was still there. However it was much louder at that point than I'm comfortable with. I listen mostly to jazz and female vocalists so it's a good match for me.
Well, if I may give you my two cents, my XA 30.8's needle barely moves when I crank up to uncomfortable levels. The sound remains pristine. Nelson Pass has mentioned that XA 30.8's firepower is very similar to that of a 300-watt amp! The sucker weights 88 lbs and has 240,000 micro farads of capacitance with 20 output devises per channel. It is truly a very, very under-spec'ed amp.
 

Necrosuit

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Hello folks, ended up with this setup and couldn't be happier. ML Summit X, Esoteric F05 Amp, Rega Planar 8 Turntable w/ Apheta 3 cart, Cambridge Audio CXN V2 streamer. Thanks for the opinions!
 

Don Quichotte

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I once auditioned the ESL11 with a Gryphon Diablo 120 and Accuphase E650 and E480 models. All three were great sounding amps. I finally bought a cheaper amp, the Hegel H390.
Hi Nutshell, can you please give me some more details about the ML11 / Accuphase matching? How did the 2 Accuphase amps compare sonically? Any hf rolloff due to the low impedance of the panel in the upper octave? Was the bass extended and controlled even with the 30W E650? A few words about the Hegel in comparison to the other two would also be appreciated. Thank you!
 
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