Recommended Modern Amps

Discussion in 'New Gear - Values' started by Bigerik, May 2, 2012.

  1. Bigerik

    Bigerik AK Subscriber Subscriber

    I've Been Everywhere
    The purpose of this thread is to allow people to post reviews or recommendations of the modern gear they have or have used. Again, first person experience only.
    For the purposes of this thread, "Modern" shall mean anything in current production, or the previous model. For instance, both the Rega Brio and Brio-R would eligible.
    If you disagree with a persons recommendation, please take that to a separate thread.

    Again, this is something new we are trying, so we can tweak and fine tune as we go.

    Please post any comments in this thread:
    Last edited: May 2, 2012
    Bridge likes this.
  2. RamblinE

    RamblinE (╯°□°)╯彡┻━┻

    Can I throw in a cheapskate recommendation?

    I've been using an Audiosource Amp100 on and off for quite a while now. It is of solid build. Metal shell, torodial transformer and large heat sinks on the inside.

    At this point I have very few points of reference however for an $89-$99 amplifier with 50wpc I feel like I'm getting quiet a dynamic and punchy listening experience for the money.

    It has it's own volume pot and balance pot. It has two inputs, a line out and the ability to monobridge for 150wpc. I'm seriously considering purchasing a second unit soon to do just that. :D

  3. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    I would like to submit The Bow Technologies Wazoo. A beutifully designed and simple integrated amp with a passive preamp. It is a beautiful 50 WPC beast - that really makes the right speakers sing.

    Last edited: May 3, 2012
  4. krowmagnum

    krowmagnum Compulsive speaker freak

    Space Coast FL
    I'll add the previous model amp from Audiosource to RamblinE's above recommendation. The Audiosource Amp One/A.

    The Amp One/A is discontinued now but there are some NOS units still available and lots of used ones for sale for $100 or less.

    I'm amazed at the sound and power from this sub $100 amp. I started out with one amp and liked it so much I bought another to bridge in mono.
    I got 200wpc for about $150 used. You can't beat that.


    Large torrodial power supply
    80 watts per channel
    200 watts bridged mono
    2 ohm stable
    ilusndweller likes this.
  5. MWalt

    MWalt Super Member

    Looks like a lot of amp for the money. :thmbsp:
  6. Mortsnets

    Mortsnets Well-Known Member

    El Cerrito, East Bay, Nor Cal
    DIYTube ST35

    DIYTube St-35. I don't know if these qualify for modern or not. You can buy a new kit, but the design is vintage. They sound great, balanced, alive, rich, natural. I have a a EL84 SEP and a 6V6 SEP and several SS amps but prefer this EL84 PP amp.
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
    frperdurabo likes this.
  7. Dmannnnn

    Dmannnnn Up Late

    Denver, Colorado
    Odessey Stratos

    Powerful, Reliable, Two Ohm Stable, high current amp. You can get them direct from the manufacturer and they come with a fantastic warranty.

    I sold mine with my Magnepans but probably should have kept it.

    Odessey Stratos
  8. Bigerik

    Bigerik AK Subscriber Subscriber

    I've Been Everywhere
    As long as you can buy it new,then all is good.
    frperdurabo and drbacklash like this.
  9. chitownpete

    chitownpete Active Member

    Pre amp Recommendation.

    I have been using my CIAudio passive pre amp for months now. $300 new, only two inputs. I never had a passive pre amp before. The detail that comes thru was chilling especially after I installed 1 foot Blue Jean interconnects ($29 each). If you are into sonic holograms and acoustic expander type things you may not like it as it doesn't have that over processed sound that many like. It is shocking how much more detail is available when you eliminate an entire stage of amplification (active pre amp). I am using it with an Acurus A150 power amp, Rega TT, Marantz CD, and monitor audio speakers. Volume is not a problem at all. The single biggest upgrade I have ever made after spiked speaker stands.
  10. Hyfi

    Hyfi Super Member

    Bucks County, PA
    Although not as detailed as my Counterpoint, for the money I agree with this choice. I have the model with upgraded caps, but it's an older one and Klaus has used upgraded parts in the newer ones so today's model will sound better than what I have. That said it's been totally reliable for many years and throws off almost no heat at long loud summertime sessions, where I can heat the room some with my CP. They are also wired internally with high quality Groneberg cabling.
  11. JohnVF

    JohnVF Lunatic Member

    I whole-hearted recommendation here for the Leben CS-300xs. I've been playing around with separates for a while, and my other system is a high-powered Levinson no.432 with a Klyne SK-6L for preamp duty, the little Leben integrated hangs right there with it, assuming the speakers on the Leben are reasonably sensitive (it loses itself on less efficient speakers). It looks better than the Levinson rig, it takes up less space, and I think its actually more 'musical', for what that's worth. There is not a single component that I've bought that I've been more happy with. Special thanks to Cableguy for the quad of vintage EL-84s that now reside inside its attractive shell. The Sovteks (the 's' in xs, the supply of Mullards originally in the 'x' was depleted) that it came with don't result in a bad sounding amp, though.
  12. Spektre

    Spektre Brit alert

    Peterborough, England
    Of all the kit I currently own and have in the past the Creek Audio Destiny 2 is probably the only thing I'd give an unreserved recommendation to. With 100W it can wrestle most speakers into submission and the sound is smooth, effortless, and detailed. It seems to have all the virtues of a valve amp of rich midrange and holographic imaging/ sound staging without any transistor harshness or grain its both luxurious and dynamic. It also has enough guts to get up and rock provided you use appropriate speakers and sources. Its probably one of the most neutral audio components I've heard and doesn't favor any particular music genre and I really notice this because I use so many different types of speaker. Its gonna take something pretty major to upgrade on what this amp has to offer, its such a good all-rounder.

    Last edited: Jul 31, 2012
  13. cubdog

    cubdog banging through drywall Subscriber

    Oregon IL.
    I have to recommend my Bel Canto M-300 mono blocks. One of the best audio purchases I've made. Plenty of power and a great combination with my RF7IIs. I've said before, one of the best things about them is that, I rarely think about them. It's about the music and they simply do the job they are intended to do.

  14. MWalt

    MWalt Super Member

    One word: PLINIUS.

    The Plinius 9100 is well built and has a simplistic appeal. It runs cool, warm to the touch and has great fit and finish. To my ears the Plinius 9100 sounds like good Class A separates of the solid state variety. It is oh so smooth with full, rich midrange and slightly sweet highs with an absolutely black background. It is fast and dynamic, lively, detailed, lifelike, neutral, and yet leans ever so slightly to the warm side. I noticed that the Plinius is quite revealing and needs to be matched well with other equipment. I haven't heard many SS integrated amps that sound better with the exception of a few. I would have to spend substantial money to better it at its price point.
  15. jimfet

    jimfet AK Subscriber Subscriber

    I will recomend the Monarchy line.

    I have two of the SM 70 Pro's and love them. 25 wpc class A. I like them better than the Series 20, 30 wpc amp I used years ago on a set of Altec 19's. Plus I have e-mailed CC Poon several times with questons, and he always responds with in 24 hr's.

    I also have Parasound Z breeze fans on top of both. They almost fit perfect. Mr. Poon say's the cooler you keep them the more power you will get. One of them is running a pair of 4 ohm speakers with no problem at all.
    Last edited: May 9, 2012
  16. cableguy

    cableguy In Twang We Trust

    Jakarta Indonesia
    This is a very sweet amp...:thmbsp:
  17. Catcher10

    Catcher10 Prog-tastic!

    Puget Sound
    Nad c356bee

    Simply an amazing amp! Powerful, beefy, simple but incredibly musical. All the options you could ask for. Also this amp, along with its big brother C375BEE, are MDC capable, so you can add NAD modules. I added the PP375 Phono stage...still breaking in but a very sweet sounding phono stage.
    The C356BEE is rated at 80wpc, but on occasion performs at 100-120wpc seems....I contribute that to their PD (PowerDrive) technology, kinda like a turbo stage, gives more when needed. I have only "seen" it in action once as I turned up pretty loud one day, when nobody was home.
    That was scary!

    I really like the lowend it gives my Epic 2s, tight refined but not messy or spread out. Mids and Highs are pleasant and not bright at all....For the jazz and R&B I listen to its very complimenting for brass and percussion.
    I really enjoy the 3-D like effect I get on occasion, specifically with vinyl, the wide soundstage is really nice.

    These recent NAD amps really perform at well above their cost, they give much more than what you pay......and in my book that is pretty nice reward to have when I come home and just want to relax....or during the weekend when I get the opportunity to get in a good 6-8 hours of listening.

    Cheers and enjoy your music :music:
    Last edited: May 10, 2012
  18. JohnMichael

    JohnMichael Super Member

    Central Ohio
    I would like to recommend the Krell S-300i. The S-300i is their current production integrated amp. Compared to an Onkyo A-9555 and Cambridge Audio 640A this amp is noise free and lower in coloration. The amp has solid full bodied bass, detailed midrange and extended, open high frequencies.

    Soundstaging is wide and deep. I had read about earlier Krell int. amps and having more of a two dimensional soundstage. The Krell S-300i has a detailed and layered soundstage.

    I bought this amp to have a quality amp that could drive any speaker I could afford. I wanted a neutral amp that could be my last amp I will need. After more than two years of ownership I am still very pleased with the sound and it's non fatiguing nature.
  19. OneMalt

    OneMalt Will work for music

    Buffalo, NY
    I couldn't be happier with my McIntosh MA6600! At the risk of sounding cliché, it is one of the most musical amps I've ever heard. I can listen for hours without fatigue setting in. 4 years and I still break out in a grin when I hit the power switch. Easy on the eyes too.
  20. davidro

    davidro Lunatic Member

    Sydney, Australia
    I am v much interested in this amp. Some time this year I might upgrade to a handmade tube amp. Wonder if I should go for this instead.

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