There is no doubt that amplifiers with highly stable current capacity and drive capability are the two most important factors in driving ML stats. However, there's another element that lies between these two factors that I refer to as soul. It's a musicality trait of the amplifier/s to be able to properly grip the stats yet provide that fine level of musicality. Once that soul engages in that immersive soundstage, you'll notice it straight away!
Over the years with reference to amplification, what I've experienced is that one kind of amplifier installed within a specific system will create a signature sound, where nearly every type of music played on the system virtually sounds the same! So basically, this particular brand/ type of amplifier has taken over that signature sound... now whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, I'm not sure.
However, for me it's not a good thing, simply because after you've played through different types of music and genres, if that signature sound has taken over, it will morphe and shape every piece of music into that type of sound. To me, after a while it gets really boring, and everything played on it, whether it be CDs, SACD's, digital files or vinyl, pretty much sounds the same.
So, just before I finalised on the CLX's, during my time with Quads and Ethos hybrids, I tried seven amplifiers to determine this. Once I found the most neutral sound, the most transparent sound and one that allows more of the music to flow from your favourite recordings, I then decided on that particular brand. After many years of owning them, several mods were done in order to arrive at a custom sound. I went for full grip in the bass, detailed & well layerd LF, along with a high level of midrange palpablility, and extended airy highs that seem limitless during dynamic peaks. This involved several mods on the power supplies, caps, voltage rails, resistors and large reservoir caps as well. Once that was achieved, several tests had to be done over a year to ensure there was no thermal overload to the trannys. Once that was established, final tweaks were done on Vishay resistors making the amplifiers super quiet, which resulted in even greater transparency and fine detail. So with all that done, I'm very passionate about tubes, and I've used various kinds on stats; from ARC, VTL, Manley Labs, Audio Note, Cary, Golden Tube Audio, Melos, Ayon, Jas Audio, Cayin, and McIntosh all tube designed. So far the only one that gives me total satisfaction, supreme reference quality and absolute synergy with a true custom sound that delivers music according to what's on the recording, is Conrad johnson.
In my systems of big & small, simple and complex, over decades of dealerships, trials and errors, for some darn reason I keep going back to CJ. I guess once you find and appreciate that type of synergy and it works extremely well within a specific setup, might as well just stick with it!
After all "it just sounds right."
Enjoy those very fine tunes!