An amp better than 909 for valve pre

DomT

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Hello everyone

As some of you may know I am temporarily in the UK and am putting together a streaming based system and need an amp that I will use and then sell after 9 months or will take back home with me.

I have my Auralic Aries Mini and Benchmark DAC2 with me. I have bought a vintage pair of IAS speakers and some ex-demo Q Acoustics 3020i as @Lurch keeps recommending them all of the time! I am planning on buying an ARC preamp (valve) and need a power amp to go with it. 

I am wondering if there is something better than the Quad 909 that I have at home. The good thing about the Quad compared to my Marantz PM11S2’s power amp section is that it is warm sounding and this warmth mates very well with my Harbeth P3ESRs.

So I am looking for a warm SS (no valves) power amp with punch, that will have a better impedance match, and hopefully will also have balanced inputs (and balanced signal path) for when I want to use the Benchmark or my mixer directly. But I am not sure where to start. MF is one thought. ARC is another but SS ARCs rarely are for sale at good prices. Open to ideas. Budget up to £1700 secondhand preferred.

Thanks
 

 

Rockchild

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antonio66

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While looking at Radient Red's Copland recommendation, I noticed this T & A amp T+A Amp 8 Stereo Power Amplifier | eBay  One that you may well over look, but T & A have a warmish sound, and this amp was given good reviews.  I see it's being sold by Studio A/V, give them a call and ask for Dominic, speak with him about your needs and see what he says regarding this amp, may well reduce the price for you.

 
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Ian

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Currently got my Amplabs fettled 303 lashed up to my Harbs. It's been sat there months whilst the Croft 7 is in storage. You want warmth and a punch, how about a huge £ saving too  ;-) . Obviously doesn't meet your inpiut requirements though.

 
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bencat

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Meridian 557 comes to mind. 
Above would be good but I would suggest that the following would be better. These will sound very good indeed and they have balanced inputs along with unbalanced. The sound quality is in my opinion much better than the 557 . They also have the rarity value to them which will make them easier to sell should you decide not to take them back to Portugal .

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/203476865737?hash=item2f602a92c9:g:hMwAAOSwpAVgslUv

 
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DomT

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While looking at Radient Red's Copland recommendation, I noticed this T & A amp T+A Amp 8 Stereo Power Amplifier | eBay  One that you may well over look, but T & A have a warmish sound, and this amp was given good reviews.  I see it's being sold by Studio A/V, give them a call and ask for Dominic, speak with him about your needs and see what he says regarding this amp, may well reduce the price for you.
Thanks I had a look at that before but am put off by the fan as I listen 90cm from the speakers and the amp. As it’s a dealer I might be able to have a listen though. Have you heard this amp?

 

greybeard

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I would certainly look at a Hypex class D amp, like the KJF Audio SA-01 you can choose which power module to suit, plenty of power control and clarity, also well within your budget, I believe Stefan is doing a loan scheme with this amp for people to try as well. There are of course other makers who use Hypex modules too.

 
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DomT

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Above would be good but I would suggest that the following would be better. These will sound very good indeed and they have balanced inputs along with unbalanced. The sound quality is in my opinion much better than the 557 . They also have the rarity value to them which will make them easier to sell should you decide not to take them back to Portugal .

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/203476865737?hash=item2f602a92c9:g:hMwAAOSwpAVgslUv
Sorry but have never liked the sound of Meridian gear. Always great aesthetic design though. And I will not have room for monoblocks if I take them home. 

 

DomT

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I would certainly look at a Hypex class D amp, like the KJF Audio SA-01 you can choose which power module to suit, plenty of power control and clarity, also well within your budget, I believe Stefan is doing a loan scheme with this amp for people to try as well. There are of course other makers who use Hypex modules too.
A few of you guys have been on about Hypex stuff for a while and so I really should check it out. Prefer second hand though if selling on again. 

 
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HectorHughMunro

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Above would be good but I would suggest that the following would be better. These will sound very good indeed and they have balanced inputs along with unbalanced. The sound quality is in my opinion much better than the 557 . They also have the rarity value to them which will make them easier to sell should you decide not to take them back to Portugal .

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/203476865737?hash=item2f602a92c9:g:hMwAAOSwpAVgslUv
I saw that. Yes, it would sound better.  I was thinking reliability. 

 
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The Bish

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I’ve been using the class AB CA Edge W with my Croft 25rs. It has high input impedance so matches well with the valve pre and both fully balanced and unbalanced inputs. They are 3k new but think you can find them for around 1.7 to 2 second hand. Lots of grip and power with high class A bias and low distortion, but still sounding ever so slightly warm. Another really good option is the Bel Canto ref 500s or similar BC amp, in budget second hand and with high input impedance and warmer sounding to my ears than other class D amps I have heard.

 
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bigrod

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With that sort of budget you’re spoilt for choice on the second hand market

i used a musical fidelity AC3r pre  into my quad 405 and 606 and it was great 

or a Roksan Caspian

Until anything is hooked up you will never know what it sounds like

..spend the other £1000 on quality interconnects

 

Ian

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Would be good to hear a few more ideas please! Thanks
if you'd like to hear an actual amp, I see you're in Nottingham - you'd be welcome to pop round and listen to my 303 with P3s. I'm 8 miles east of the city centre. Still doesn't meet your connectivity requirements though !

 
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