I’m using the NAD C658 preamp / streamer, it’s got the XLR balanced outputs to take advantage of those connections on the amp. But before that I was using the front end of a Sony AVR using RCA connections, it worked fine.
I looked at Anthem and Emotiva and the value you are getting in unbeatable. But I decided that my new 15a speakers deserve something a bit higher end. So I have a Rotel Michi X5. One thing I will looking at was the weight of the amplifier, which indicates the size of magnetics and heat sink. This weighs about 100 lbs and puts out 600W per channel. So not as high end as the Bryston or others that you have noted. I can't wait until the speakers come in.Hi
Just a couple of quick comments/observations.
I've been working with & collecting bits of Hi-Fi for a long time... amps are generally an item that if you can test (or if you are protected by policy), it is a fairly safe bet buying on the second-hand market. My go-to for amping my ESLs has been Bryston. A year ago, I needed a center channel amp, and came across a deal for the Anthem MCA 30 (225W X 3) for less than $1,000. No regrets at all! I still window shop on ebay and audiogon, tho' I don't need (/can't afford!) anything right now!
As for your preamp question, me personally, I prefer the flexibility of a good preamp (tho' for myself I have gone down the Pre/Pro route). For example, if you're experimenting with any of the plethora of new devices out there (streamers, house-wide, vinyl, etc.), it's so much easier being able to switch between a couple of sources for comparing, etc. NOTE: You mentioned SONOS - at risk of stating the obvious, go with the uncompressed/lossless options... otherwise you're using some great speakers to project the "best that XYZ compression offers"... a bit like the 80's and folks swearing by "Dolby compression" - but when you looked at it on an oscilloscope it was like "eeeuuuwwww"!
I "stumbled" upon Anthem equipment about 22 years ago, when I bought a bundle of an AVM-2 and a Bryston 9Bst to drive my Aerius/Cinema-based HT system. I ended up using the system MOSTLY for music listening... I found the AVM delivered amazingly unaltered stereo, and from then I was sold on their Pre/Pros (and also why I felt safe trying out the MC 30). I've never gone with a single-brand system, but Anthem is the closest I've come!
Paradigm is the parent company of both ML AND Anthem. The ARC system is from Anthem, and when I saw it was incorporated into the newer generation of ML speakers, I have it on my bucket-list to upgrade to that as soon as I can (anyone out there wanna invest in a Med-Tech startup, using AI to process microscopy images??!!!)... the concept of the amazing ML sound with a "suite" of electronics built using a common philosophy is probably the most compelling thing I've seen in the industry in a long, long time!
Anyway, just my (very long-winded) $0.02!
Enjoy your system!
You should see Steve Guttenberg's review on his You Tube channel "The Audiopheliac" of a Bel Canto amp that, he says, changed his mind about class D amps. Weight comparisons do not apply here. I don't remember the price, but definitely not "mid fi".I looked at Anthem and Emotiva and the value you are getting in unbeatable. But I decided that my new 15a speakers deserve something a bit higher end. So I have a Rotel Michi X5. One thing I will looking at was the weight of the amplifier, which indicates the size of magnetics and heat sink. This weighs about 100 lbs and puts out 600W per channel. So not as high end as the Bryston or others that you have noted. I can't wait until the speakers come in.
It's worth noting that the Neolith is a completely passive speaker, you're powering the panels and 4 woofers. The 15A uses powered woofers so you're only driving the ESL panel so they should be way more efficient.Paradigm JC5 power amp would be a great option if you like a cooler, neutral sound. Martin Logan often pairs their $90k Flagship Neoliths with the JC1+ monoblocks at audio shows. Another amp to consider would be the McIntosh MC462 power amp if you like a bit warmer sound. Both amps will have plenty of current and wattage to drive that speaker well and provide the type of performance that the 15A is capable of.
Makes sense. So driving Martin Logan speakers is a bit like hauling a heavy load with a truck. Torque is king.I have the 15a's in a large room. 18 wide 32 deep and 32 foot ceilings. I had MC running them and the amp couldn't keep up. Sounded compressed. I can explain it like this. Wattage is like horsepower. Voltage output is like torque. It takes a lot of torque to run these speakers. I ordered the Luxman M 10-X which should be here on Monday. I am pulling the MC box out of the attic as we speak...
Room is 11.5x11.5, it’s pinched in this view by a Murphy bed. Ceiling slopes front to rear wall adding to room’s acoustics, with the B&W DB4S sub it’s amazing. I’m sure some sound deadening on the front wall would help. They’re pulled out 33” from front wall (to face of panel), plus tilted to get panel vertical. It’s a one seat listening spot and it’s a good one to be in! Not to much speaker for the room, I started with the EM-ESL’s which were nice but the 9’s are a world better. But certainly anything bigger would mandate a larger room!Thats a lot of speaker for a room that narrow. Im going to assume its not much deeper than that too? I bet it sounds great.
Looking for amplifier recommendations to use with the 15a. currently using Nuforce 9v3se but looking for something at the same level as the speaker. Listened to the Sanders and did not like it. Recommendations welcome.
Anything you can afford in Pass Labs or Simaudio new or used.
Yes, interesting point there mate.Simaudio??
Wouldn't trust it as far as you can throw it. CP-8 was basically a Denon at 18x the price!! They've shown their colours and done their dash with me.
Same goes for Goldmund, Lexicon, and Gryphon while you're at it.
That's a SERIOUS amp. Wow!Yes, interesting point there mate.
I had a very similar experience with Sim audio's moon power amps, except for the massive Moon 888 monoblocks. Those are on a totally different topology in power amp dual tranny design. They cost a bloody fortune, so at that price range, there's far better (Dartzeel, CH Precision, Constellation, Vitus to name a few).
The very same experience with the Gryphon amps, they really didn't engage me at all. It was just hifi being. Even the mighty Gryphon Mephisto driving Sonus Faber Strads partnered with a top flight tube preamp (same brand as I'm using) just didn't have the emotions... was like listening to a wall.
Then I remember listening to those same SF Strads driven by CJ's ART150 and the same tube preamp GATS2, it was marvellous!
We then ran the Mephisto in Class A mode, that was somewhat better but only just. I firmly believe the Vitus SS-103 is far ahead of the Gryphon and Moon gear, if you were to engage in that price range.