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Monarchy SE-160 or 250 vs AVA Fet Valve 400 or 600R

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Posted on February 20, 2013 at 14:13:43
Mark V.
Audiophile

Posts: 38
Joined: November 15, 2000
Anyone able to compare those amps, or heard both seperatly?

 

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RE: Monarchy SE-160 or 250 vs AVA Fet Valve 400 or 600R, posted on February 22, 2013 at 11:05:54
mbnx01
Audiophile

Posts: 5952
Location: Hayden, Idaho
Joined: October 22, 2004
I've owned Monarchy products. Nice... but. But the guy is trying to retire and who knows what will happen to the business. But sometimes they have problems (I speak from experience) and who will repair them.

Ditto on Frank. He's old. Old like trees are old. What happens to his gear when he retires? And his gear gets good reviews, but seriously, some people think it's kind of a joke (yes, I've owned some).

Consider casting your net wider in your amp search.





"We are all in God's hands... and God is a malign thug."

-Mark Twain

 

RE: Monarchy SE-160 or 250 vs AVA Fet Valve 400 or 600R, posted on February 22, 2013 at 21:16:45
Mr Peabody
Audiophile

Posts: 381
Location: St. Louis, MO, USA
Joined: August 14, 2010
I agree, in that price there are some good amps, so maybe broaden the search. I'm not familiar with Monarchy, I did have a 400r for a while, it did sound good but just didn't seem to have the fit & finish of a $3k amp. I actually preferred the sound of a vintage Threshold to the 400r.

What are you driving and what type of sound are you looking for? Have you looked at:
Parasound Halo A21
ATI 3002
Channel Island Audio D200 monoblocks
Conrad Johnson has tube amps in that price, do a web search and a dealer will come up
The list can go on, and if you consider used you could possibly get a Pass Labs which is one of my all time favorites compared to many high end brands.

 

Audio companies in general,...., posted on February 23, 2013 at 12:12:44
mitch2
Audiophile

Posts: 1105
Location: Great Lakes
Joined: August 28, 2001
except for the largest brands, are often somewhat fragile as a business. Lots of well-regarded companies are just one guy with helpers. As you indicate, in many of these cases, the company goes away if the "one guy" goes away. That's why all my gear is made by companies where the "one guy" is about the same age as me or younger. However, it doesn't mean I wouldn't buy Lamm gear again. Fortunately, there are some pretty good technicians out there for repairs, and the parts inside most of this stuff are not quite as top secret and unobtainable as the advertising would have us believe.

 

RE: Audio companies in general,...., posted on February 23, 2013 at 12:50:24
mbnx01
Audiophile

Posts: 5952
Location: Hayden, Idaho
Joined: October 22, 2004
I really like Belles gear but the 'one man shop' aspect is a concern.




"We are all in God's hands... and God is a malign thug."

-Mark Twain

 

RE: Monarchy SE-160 or 250 vs AVA Fet Valve 400 or 600R, posted on February 25, 2013 at 13:48:05
Mark V.
Audiophile

Posts: 38
Joined: November 15, 2000
The after sales service is unimportant to me. I am from the Netherlands, if I would buy either AVA or Monarchy in the US and there will be a problem with either of them, it's most likely cheaper to have it repared overhere and pay for the costs myself as having it shipped to the US and repaired under waranty...

 

RE: Monarchy SE-160 or 250 vs AVA Fet Valve 400 or 600R, posted on February 25, 2013 at 14:10:04
Mark V.
Audiophile

Posts: 38
Joined: November 15, 2000
Of course I looked into other amps too, but from things I've read I seem to like one of those amps. But perhaps some other amps could be better suited to my liking... It's difficult without hearing it in my own setup...

The amp needs to be powerful and be able to drive low impedance. (modded 3.6R's) I take "full" and "warmish" sound over "detailed" and "harsh" all day. But best thing would be an amp which can do it all. ;-)

I already owned (still own) a pair of the "worlds best amp" ;-) the Hypex NCore's. They don't do it for me... When listening for short time, they are AMAZING, but after some time I am missing "naturality", "musicallity" and "warmth"... In few area's they will be hard (or impossible) to beat, the bass area is stunning and the projection of width and depth and immaging are very good.

I have owned a Marantz SM11-S1, which was not bad at all, but sold it after being overwhelmd by the NCore's. Would like to have it back now... But it wasn't exactly what I want either...

I REALLY like the sound of big, powerful tube amps (the good ones, not the ones which sound dull and liveless...), but I don't like the hassle with limited life of power tubes. If a power amp is an hybrid design with small pre-amp tubes, this is no problem for me as those tubes do have long life and are not too expensive to replace.

The amps from Mr. Pass always have had my attention, but unfortunately I never could listen to one in my own set. Perhaps I should start saving some more money and buy one (2nd hand). If it doesn't suit my liking, it's quickly sold for the same money I suppose.

 

RE: Monarchy SE-160 or 250 vs AVA Fet Valve 400 or 600R, posted on February 25, 2013 at 16:37:58
Mr Peabody
Audiophile

Posts: 381
Location: St. Louis, MO, USA
Joined: August 14, 2010
The sound of "big powerful tube amp" pretty much describes Pass Labs. I find their presentation to be musical. Pass double down into 4 ohms so low impedance isn't an issue.

 

RE: Monarchy SE-160 or 250 vs AVA Fet Valve 400 or 600R, posted on March 3, 2013 at 02:29:15
Kim S.
Audiophile

Posts: 144
Location: NW Michigan
Joined: March 12, 2004
I own the Monarchy 250 amps which I like very much. They have been very reliable save for a problem I caused myself. (I shorted out the speaker wires causing a blown fuse) I agree maintenance could be a problem when dealing with small brands. However as long as they are not using some exotic proprietary part a good technician should be able to handle most repairs.

 

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