Solid-State Power Amp Adventures

Discussion in 'Power Amps' started by purr1n, Jan 24, 2017.

  1. Brad1138

    Brad1138 New

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2017
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Olympia
    I am selling my Mark Levinson 331 :(

    I am looking for an amp to replace it with, and have found these 3 in the price range I am looking at, all under $700.

    Looking at NuForce STA 200, Schiit Vidar and Vincent SP-331 (used but like new)

    I Have a Schiit Freya preamp, and Tekton Lore-S speakers.

    Any thoughts on which is the "best" amp. The speakers are efficient, and very detailed/revealing.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
  2. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

    Pyrate Contributor
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2017
    Likes Received:
    7,633
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Canada
    Hey man, you’re into 3 threads now about this.

    There’s a general power amp thread that this would make the most sense in, rather than a separate thread.

    Edit: Was moved to the thread referenced.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
  3. uncola

    uncola Friend

    Pyrate
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    585
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Oahu, Hawaii
    Small report on new amp acquisition for bedroom setup: Mivera version of b&o icepower 1200as2 amp in the ghent audio case.. better than the DAC Inline Maraschino monoblocks and Emerald Physics ep100.2se I had, which were also class d. The treble is just better and it's easier to pick out individual instruments when a lot is going on all at once in the song. I haven't heard an ncore based amp but the sound quality of this is equal to very nice class AB amps I've owned like odsysey kismet and firstwatt f7, my new kinki ex-m1 which is so nice it made me ditch my home theatre setup to create a 2.1 setup in my other room. I definitely recommend you guys give icepower 1200as2 with the new iceedge architecture a try if you're looking for a new amp.. in addition to ncore etc.. especially if you are power/space constrained like for a bedroom setup in a hot climate
     
  4. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

    Pyrate
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2016
    Likes Received:
    2,749
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    Home Page:
    Read great things regarding the Odyssey Kismet stuff...Kinki is even better to your ears?
     
  5. uncola

    uncola Friend

    Pyrate
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    585
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Oahu, Hawaii
    Yes, but I've changed too much gear since I used the kismets full time to do a direct A/B comparison.. swapped dacs, interconnects, preamps etc and the kinki has a built in preamp with no way to bypass it so I don't want to slag off the kismet too badly.. but yes kinki sounds a bit better/more refined to me.. and the build quality of the kinki is amazing.. feels like I have a mini boulder amp in my home theatre room now
    relegated to my pile of also extremely good but unused amps.. odyssey kismet monoblocks, folsom 7297 diy, bykoz audio passive rk27 preamp(not that good)
     
  6. nickwin

    nickwin Acquaintance

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2016
    Likes Received:
    56
    Trophy Points:
    28
    I think the Emotiva SA-250 (Sherbourn PA 2-250) is worth looking into. @purr1n I saw in an old post you mentioned you avoided Emotiva because you thought it wouldn't do anything special compared to other inexpensive consumer solid state amps, I would say you were right in that assumption, but IMO the SA250 is the exception to that. It was designed by Sherbourn so really shares no similarities to the other Emotiva amps. It sounded huge, smooth, and very holographic when I tried it. It made a Parasound a21 sound compressed and grainy in comparison. To be honest it sounded different than any other amp I've used including various pro and "hifi" amps in terms of the perceived size, 3-dimensionality and smoothness of the sound it through out of my speakers. It definitely seemed to have some "magic" going on.

    Reliability is questionable and they are only available used at this point, but I think it may be a excellent sounding amp at the $750 they sell for used.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2019
  7. beemerphile

    beemerphile Friend

    Pyrate Contributor
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2015
    Likes Received:
    755
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Danielsville, GA USA
    I'd agree that Emotiva XPA amps are not "all that", but there is one that I tried, and still own, that was many cuts above - the SA-250. It was only offered for a short while and appears to be the twin of the Sherbourn PA-250. 1" thick milled faceplate; discrete class A-B; 1200 kva toroidal transformer; switchable gain; balanced and SE ins. The unit weighs about 60 lbs. Still occasionally available in the used market. More than all that, it sounds great and has deep power reserves for any speakers I have used with it.
     
  8. Sounds Major

    Sounds Major New

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2018
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    San Antonio
    My primary amp is a MC2505. I've owned it for about fifteen years and had it fully recapped last summer. It was a very easy amp to listen to before that, but after the recap the level of detail and speed it could provide increased considerably. I leave it on 24/7 and use it for music and movies. It is completely non-fatiguing. I love that it has a headphone connection, too. The recap work cost me $500US.

    I used it to power Klipsch Cornwalls for a long time, then I sold them for a pair of Spatial M4 Triode Masters, and it is a very very good combination. Very good imaging and it can push the M4s to play tight bass and clear highs when the music calls for it. It's got plenty of grunt on tap. There are times I take my McIntosh C28 (also fully rebuilt) out of the system and feed the MC2505 with my Oppo BDP-205 and the sound gets even faster and tighter.

    I have put it against two Class-D amps. While the Class-D amps provided more low-level detail, I'd rather live with the MC2505's rich buttery goodness and couldn't get comfortable with their glare.

    So yeah, if you can find one for a good price, I'd recommend it. They're built like tanks and will last forever if taken care of.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2019
  9. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Most improved member; A+

    Pyrate Slaytanic Cliff Clavin
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    5,321
    Trophy Points:
    113
    The QSC RMX 850 is a huge bargain for the price. Thanks to the guys who recommended it. I would definitely buy one used if I was further from the amp, had an amp room, and used big inefficient passives. Fan noise was too annoying for me though even if I am used to the hiss from powered monitors. Needs to be in another room or used with a gaming PC if you are bothered buy it. Maybe a mod is possible but this is insane sound quality for 150 used or 500ish new. Just stick it in a rack and mod that fan.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2019
  10. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

    Staff Member Pyrate BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    89,444
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Padre Island CC TX
    Find the part number on the fans and get the lower RPM versions from Mouser, Digikey, or eBay.
     
  11. nickwin

    nickwin Acquaintance

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2016
    Likes Received:
    56
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ive had really good experiences with Noctua fans https://noctua.at/en/products/fan They specialize in quiet case fans. They are about half to 75% the db level of a typical amplifier fan for the same CFM, and the sound they do make blends into typical HVAC noise better than most.

    If you look hard enough a lot of pro amps will list the min CFM required in the manual or spec sheet. If not then I usually aim for ~80% of stock fans CFM, which I feel is conservative, you could probably get by with less unless you are driving the amp super hard. Pay attention to the "mm H2O" spec too, this tells you how air the fan will move when airflow in restricted (like in an amp, a lot of cheap fans will struggle here).
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2019
  12. Sounds Major

    Sounds Major New

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2018
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    San Antonio
    Has anybody who has lived with a MC2505 compared it against a Vidar? Because a Vidar or Ragnarok is tempting.
     
  13. philipmorgan

    philipmorgan Member of the month

    Pyrate BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    3,789
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    In the wind, so to speak
    Home Page:
    Back in my darkroom days I would move sources of vibration outside the darkroom and use dryer exhaust ducting (light, flexible, cheap, easy to work with) to move air from the fan to the enlarger head or whatever. I'm considering doing that with my Crown X1000S since the fan on it is kind of noisy. Doing this will be super fugly, but super quiet as well.
     
  14. Kernel Kurtz

    Kernel Kurtz Friend

    Pyrate Contributor
    Joined:
    May 19, 2018
    Likes Received:
    1,609
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Canada

    Yeah, heat. I've mentioned my issues dealing with it on the Vidar thread. It was a problem last summer in the upstairs even in a house with central air. Now I have two of them LOL. I was going to put a portable AC for supplemental cooling in the listening room, but that would just be way too loud (plus I would have to run another circuit). I'm gonna see how it works in another upstairs room this summer, and already I am thinking of creative ductwork possibities. Of course it's -35C today so I'm not thinking too hard. The amps are nice and toasty and sound awesome :D
     
  15. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

    Pyrate Contributor
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2017
    Likes Received:
    7,633
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Canada
    I have a Kinki EX-M1 amp inbound. Looking forward to putting it to the test against Freya and Vidar. Some folks seem to have a pretty high opinion of it, so we’ll see.
     
  16. LetMeBeFrank

    LetMeBeFrank Won't tell anyone my name is actually Francis

    Pyrate
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2017
    Likes Received:
    3,758
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Jackson, Mi
    I ordered the Emotiva A-150 and PT-100 for my 2-channel rig I'm setting up at the new house, but the A-150 came in a few days before my moving day. I couldn't resist hooking it up in my office 2.1 system to test it out. Holy shit! I never would've thought an amp alone could make this much difference. This thing absolutely slays the little class D SMSL SA-50 I have. Setup right now is Fulla 2 > SYS > A-150 > Dayton SUB-800 > Micca MB42X. The treble especially is on a completely different planet, so crisp and clear, and they layering of instruments is much better. Looks like I'm going to be buying an A-100 for the office at some point because there's no going back from this.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2019
  17. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

    Pyrate
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    Likes Received:
    5,060
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Quite the contrast to the Fulla 2 in size. Now to upgrade the speakers!
     
  18. LetMeBeFrank

    LetMeBeFrank Won't tell anyone my name is actually Francis

    Pyrate
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2017
    Likes Received:
    3,758
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Jackson, Mi
    I think the Micca's will probably be around for a while. The A-150 has shown me how much better they can sound with a proper amplifier. The PT-100 and A-150 will be hooked up to my KEFs in the living room at the new house, and I'll pick up an A-100 for the office 2.1 setup.

    Edit: Might replace the Micca's with something like the KEF Q150 some day.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2019
  19. Aklegal

    Aklegal Almost "Made"

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2016
    Likes Received:
    615
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    On the left Hegel H360. On the right Hegel H200.
    [​IMG]

    I've owned the H200 for about a month and a half. If you want to know what it sounds like read Marv's review of the H2 - its spot on. The H200 is just a H2 or H20 amp with a linestage.

    I got the H360 for a couple reasons. The H200 is bright albeit it is a pleasant brightness but I think it can prove to be a bit much with speakers that are already really revealing. I have a pair of open baffle speakers that use a open backed planar tweeter, the Bohlender Graebener Neo 3. This pairing on brighter pop, rock recordings can be too much of a good thing. Plus I am upgrading my speakers later this year to a pair of GR Research Super 7s which not only use the Neo 3 tweeters but also 4 Neo 10s for the midrange.

    So in comes the H360. It taps down some of the brightness, think 3% to 5%. This is a better balance for my system. Darker recordings don't suffer and the top end of the brighter recordings don't run away from the rest of the frequency range.

    I'm tired of tying in paragraphs so here is a comparison list.

    H200 wins on...
    +soundstage height and width - this is where that pleasant brightness really helps. This thing has spooky good soundstage height and width. In my opinion this is the best thing about this amp by far.
    +upper frequency "air"
    +space around instruments & voices

    H360 wins on...
    +texture
    +soundstage depth
    +instrument placement
    +bass
    +midrange
    +soundstage is more cohesive and more uniform from left to right. (The H200 can sometimes sound like it has a W shaped soundstage - pronounced dead center, far left and right but a little dropped back in between)

    These are both really good amps. I would say if you have a speaker that is right in the middle of the dark / bright spectrum you can't go wrong with either. A darker than average speaker - get the H200.

    On that H360 built in dac. Its alright. Its not offensive so its a good alternative if I feel that the Yggdrasil is getting too "attack-y". The one thing I do love about it is the network input. Its superior to any usb input I have heard and indistinguishable from my sound card AES out. Can we get a network input on the Yggdrasil please?
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
  20. Thenewerguy009

    Thenewerguy009 Friend

    Pyrate
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2015
    Likes Received:
    385
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Are those Hegel amps all class A/B?
     

Share This Page