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Need some suggestions for an amp upgrade, not up on the latest gear available and don't want to make a sideways move. Currently using a long in the tooth Simaudio i-5080 with Altec A7-800. Looking for the same type of clear, dynamic presentation, gobs of power not needed. Willing to spend around $2000 or so.
As you are using a SS Integrated amp currently you might look at the Ayre AX-7e. It's a great amp that you should be able to find in your price range. It has been discontinued by Ayre so used will be your only option.
I agree that you would probably like the Quicksilver amps as well. I think they make some of the best tube amps out there and if you want to try tubes you can't go wrong with any of their amplifiers. You will need a preamp for the Quickies, they do not have an integrated amp. Good Luck!
Maybe a Parasound Halo A23 or 21 depending on power you can do with, or without. Maybe an ATI 2000 series.
Sim is a good amp, just not sure if you can best it in your budget.
Thanks for all the suggestions, but at this point want to stay with SS amps. Forgot all about chip amps, will have to look into them.
Lots of very sensible tube suggestions, but I notice you are using solid state. Perhaps an esoteric 'chip amp' might suit?
If I owned your wonderful speakers, I'd be curious to listen to a good chip amp on the end of them, such as those made by Clones Audio (like the 25IR). Alternate finished amps are about, such as the Blok made by PTP Audio and others, but are more expensive.
Perhaps a Tripath amp might also play well, like the few remaining of those crafted by Virtue Audio? With their better power supplies, I think you might discover something new and worthwhile.
Other than that, I think an ANK L1 El84 might also be a usefully musically combination, from my experience of EL84s - and it would still be in budget.
Just a few ideas.
"... only a very few individuals understand as yet that personal salvation is a contradiction in terms."
That would put you in the sweet spot for a recently restored Harman Kardon Citation V or an older restoration of a Citation II. Look for ones done with Jim McShane's kits.
An HH Scott LK150 is another one to look for.
Ya know what could surprise you is a vintage amp. And then have it professionally rebuilt and restored.
I just had a Marantz 250M totally redone and it's an amazing sounding piece. Like taking the originally design and adding nitro. New low ESR caps, better low noise diodes, new beefier transistors, better relays, etc...
If you think about it amp design didn't radically change in the last 40 or so years, but the material technology did. This route takes advantage of both. And vintage gear tends to have that original big beefy power supply that in the end really makes that stuff special.
First I would find out what used amps are in my price range.
Then check out a few online which seem interesting.
Then watch the ads for one when ready to buy.
The only thing to watch for is old caps. If the amp is getting over 20 years old.. did it have a cap replacement?
"Once this was all Black Plasma and Imagination" -Michael McClure
I recently purchased a Forte Audio Model 1a. It is 50 watts a channel pure class A power. Something like this would work for your speakers....
I'm going to throw my hat into the ring. I built the St-70 and put in the Gold Lion KT-88 output tubes and have been happy since.
The only way I can review this amp is like this:
My wife gave me a little over $8000 to go buy myself a stereo with. I still have my Latino ST-70 AND the $8000 sitting in my room.
The Bottleheads 300b and 2A3s are nice but a tweakers delight. I just wanted to build it and never look under that hook ever again.
Here ya go!
+1 on these as well as the above. Can't go wrong with any Quicksilver I've heard. The Mid-Monos are superb.
If you can get by with 2.5-3W look on the Audio Trader, here, for Bottlehead Paramount V1.1 2A3 monoblock amps with Magnequest Nickel iron.
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