Pls recommend Hybird Power Amps - possibly with Valves at the input stage + ClassA for first 20W..??

WishTree

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Hi.. I am looking for a Power Amp to go with a Classe SSP 300 mainly for the front Left and Right in music mode operation. I love the sound of Pathos Inpol2 and so any Stereo (or a multi / three channel) Power amp which has same / similar sound character would be nice.

May I ask for recommendations for such power amps which you have heard and would like to recommend. The Budget is around 1000 to 1500 Pounds used. But if something is really that good then 2000 pounds is also fine. To be paired up with Proacs and listening is more on Rock / Classical / Jazz and vocals.

After using Pathos rated at 45WPC, I am not really into technical numbers but recommendations more based on your experience would be great!
 

CnoEvil

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WT, are you side-lining the Pathos?

Can you explain to my poor addled brain where you are heading?

I can think of nothing at that money that comes close to the Inpol. If there are still some Arcam P7s kicking about cheap, it might work for you (allowing biamping if that's an option).
 

WishTree

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CnoEvil said:
WT, are you side-lining the Pathos? Can you explain to my poor addled brain where you are heading?

I need to be really honest and open here.. Just because I managed to get an Inpol2 does not mean that I am worthy to own one. I have been monitoring my listenining habbits for the past two months or so and we realized that we spend 70% of time watching movie / related content and dedicated TV OFF listening is the rest 30%. We are missing the center channel and even if I manage to integrate the SSP 300 with Inpol2 I still feel that I am not doing justice to this great machine.

It is almost like doing only grocery shopping in Aston Martin and so I am hoping that I can give a better home to Inpol2.

However I do not want to comprimise too much as I am already being spoilt and hence the question.

The future set up will have Classe SSP 300 for both DAC as well as surround processor + preamp (I have reached the conclusion that DACs are over rated). I retain my speakers (Proac D Two, CC1 and B&W PV1). The missing link is three channel amplification. Possibly this might sound crazy to a purist HiFi enthusiast but as they say.. one has to walk his own path!

I am considering Classe CA 5100 with the bi-amping the front L & R and using the fifth channel to drive the center or CA3200 with three channel for L,R and center.

But I am having a feeling that I will miss the Valves so was also looking at Vincent SP 331 for starters as a stereo poweramp but I am also very cautious to go full valves mode.
 

WishTree

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MUSICRAFT said:
Hi WishTree

ATC's P1 power amp @£1831 is worth a look (class A up to 2/3 output). The P1 is quite different to Pathos however the P1 also works well with Proac speakers.

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft

Thanks Rick. I will try to listen this but as I was mentioning that I am fine with used goods market and with a 2000 pounds budget I am hoping I can do something similar to Inpol2 . Please let me know.
 

WishTree

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the record spot said:
Check this power amp out from XTZ - ticks most of your boxes, offers Class A up to the first 50w.

I read about this few times over these forums. First reaction is WOW.. price to performance seems to be the best. It almost feels like there is a catch especially when compared to the price of the similar specced machines out there.. ;) Thanks and I will give it a try..
 

CnoEvil

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Your decision making process can't be easy at the moment , as your system has always struck me as wonderfully musical.......but if you need a different emphasis, then that may be where you concentrate the investment.

If you make the change, 5.1/3.1 will be great, but your 2 channel will not be at the same level. This can seem a fair compromise to start with, but after a while you can find the music has lost it's "soul".

I have an Arcam AVR600 which is very good with music (for an AVR). I had a home demo of the MF35i for a long weekend. I thought it too much to spend, so sent it back. For the next 6 months, all I did was miss it.......well you know the result. Once you've tasted expensive kit, it can be hard to go backwards.

The Classe stuff is great, but do keep an eye out for the Arcam P7, which is great value if you can find one........and won't be too much of a shock after the Pathos.

Cno
 

WishTree

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CnoEvil said:
Your decision making process can't be easy at the moment , as your system has always struck me as wonderfully musical.......The Classe stuff is great, but do keep an eye out for the Arcam P7, which is great value if you can find one........and won't be too much of a shock after the Pathos. Cno

Thanks Cno.. I am with you on this completely and I am still trying to see if I can live with the guilt of using the system sparingly.. The best bet for me looks like a Pathos CinemaX which I guess very few people bought it and so seemingly tough to get in used market. Also, while reading on the internet I understand that some other manufacturers use the Hybird technology along with tube inputs and class A as well which to me is a bit relieving but, if I let Pathos go, I will miss it too much.. tought decisions !
 

CnoEvil

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WishTree said:
CnoEvil said:
Your decision making process can't be easy at the moment , as your system has always struck me as wonderfully musical.......The Classe stuff is great, but do keep an eye out for the Arcam P7, which is great value if you can find one........and won't be too much of a shock after the Pathos. Cno

Thanks Cno.. I am with you on this completely and I am still trying to see if I can live with the guilt of using the system sparingly.. The best bet for me looks like a Pathos CinemaX which I guess very few people bought it and so seemingly tough to get in used market. Also, while reading on the internet I understand that some other manufacturers use the Hybird technology along with tube inputs and class A as well which to me is a bit relieving but, if I let Pathos go, I will miss it too much.. tought decisions !

I forgot about the cinemaX.......probably your safest option......but rare as hens' teeth 2/h.

IMO. You should integrate the Inpol with the Classe for L&R, and sort a power amp for the other channels (but I think you know that already). If I can talk you out of selling the Pathos, I will go to bed feeling happy with my days achievements. ;)

Cno
 

WishTree

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CnoEvil said:
I forgot about the cinemaX.......probably your safest option......but rare as hens' teeth 2/h. IMO. If I can talk you out of selling the Pathos, I will go to bed feeling happy with my days achievements. ;) Cno

y? YY?? ;) You are not the only one with this mission.. Somehow the friends over here want me to retain the Inpol2 too.. Well, let us see once my Classe SSP arrives, if I am able to find a solution :)

What do you think about Audiolab 8200M (three of them to be precise) or SP -331Mk / SP-T100 from Vincent Audio or Electrocompanient AW250 or ..

I guess there is a lot out there atleast to look into!
 

CnoEvil

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You bought the Inpol (and the rest of your system for that matter) because you liked it, and not because other people told you it was good. This tells me your intincts are good - so trust them.

Of the makes you mention, the Vincent (more tube sounding) and the Electrocompaniet (organic sounding) would be my choice. I'm less familiar with the Audiolab, but if I remember right, it was a bit clinical - but don't take my word for it.

How about getting one SP-T100 for the centre, thus keeping the Inpol for L&R. :)
 

WishTree

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CnoEvil said:
You bought the Inpol (and the rest of your system for that matter) because you liked it, and not because other people told you it was good. This tells me your intincts are good - so trust them. Of the makes you mention, the Vincent (more tube sounding) and the Electrocompaniet (organic sounding) would be my choice. I'm less familiar with the Audiolab, but if I remember right, it was a bit clinical - but don't take my word for it. How about getting one SP-T100 for the centre, thus keeping the Inpol for L&R. :)

I like that.. so I am hoping to getting lucky with my new solution.. :) Infact, I am thinking of getting three SPT-100 for L,R,C just to try at home ;)
 

CnoEvil

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WishTree said:
I like that.. so I am hoping to getting lucky with my new solution.. :) Infact, I am thinking of getting three SPT-100 for L,R,C just to try at home ;)

Lots of useful thinking. :bigsmile:

Would be fascinated in how you get on......with all permutations.
 

oldric_naubhoff

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WishTree said:
I need to be really honest and open here.. Just because I managed to get an Inpol2 does not mean that I am worthy to own one. I have been monitoring my listenining habbits for the past two months or so and we realized that we spend 70% of time watching movie / related content and dedicated TV OFF listening is the rest 30%. We are missing the center channel and even if I manage to integrate the SSP 300 with Inpol2 I still feel that I am not doing justice to this great machine.

It is almost like doing only grocery shopping in Aston Martin and so I am hoping that I can give a better home to Inpol2.

However I do not want to comprimise too much as I am already being spoilt and hence the question.

The future set up will have Classe SSP 300 for both DAC as well as surround processor + preamp (I have reached the conclusion that DACs are over rated). I retain my speakers (Proac D Two, CC1 and B&W PV1). The missing link is three channel amplification. Possibly this might sound crazy to a purist HiFi enthusiast but as they say.. one has to walk his own path!

I am considering Classe CA 5100 with the bi-amping the front L & R and using the fifth channel to drive the center or CA3200 with three channel for L,R and center.

But I am having a feeling that I will miss the Valves so was also looking at Vincent SP 331 for starters as a stereo poweramp but I am also very cautious to go full valves mode.

hey! is there anybody selling their Inpol2? can I jump waiting queue? :)

hi Wishtree. I red your thread and thought the best solution for your troubles (to get centre channel) would be what you'd figured out - to buy a mulichannel power amp from classe. however, if you go for the 5 channel one you'll not be able to bi-amp front speakers using 4 amps and 5th for centre. it's so because in multichannel every power amp amplifies different sygnal so if you connected 4 amps to your Proacs you'd get front L & R sygnal and rear L & R sygnal from your front speakers! :) I'd go for the 3 channel power amp if you're not intending to introduce rear channels at all.

another good option is to go for 3 monoblocks, rather than stereo + mono. it'll solve any possible discrapencies with gain between different power amps (and it would look tidier too IMO :)). your another pick, this time Vincent SP - T100, is a bull's-eye too IMO. 3 of these and you're set. and I don't think you'll loose much on stereo music using those power amps (they're designed for music anyway, aren't they?). and good think is they seem to be sold per piece, rather than in pairs :)

you may also consider all tube designs. 3 tube monos will do justice to music as well (for instance 3*MB90 from Icon Audio, or maybe something from Prima Luna?).

good luck
 

WishTree

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Thanks Oldric! i know cno would like me to keep the Pathos as well..

I have received my Classe SSP 300 and it is awesome.. There is extremely clear seperation in instruments.. I guess it is the Pathos + Classe combination:)

Regarding the power amp I was reading alot and getting excited at every corner of a Hybrid amp.. I have dumped the direction of the multichannel amplifiers as I have found many reviewers not happy with multichannel power amp performance in stereo which is understandable..

I switched my search only to Stereo / Mono Power amps.. I was about to consider Vincent SP-331MK as it is Hybird, Class A in the first stage but somehow it was not feeling right in my head.. Then strangely a british company came in search for Hybrid amplifier which is Astin Trew. I never heard them before but based on the feel good factor of the company that I had just from their website and the hybird nature of the amp with Valves I ordered for two of them.

Initially I will let one channel get wasted but in future I might bi-amp the L & R and get one more of the amp if it is that good.

Regaridng bi-amping, just to be clear I will be using an RCA splitter for both front L & R to duplicate the signal from Classe and run two speaker wires from each channel of the power amp to the speaker.. I am looking forward to hearing this power amp!!

Yes, if my experiment works out my dear Inpol2 would be looking for a new home!!
 

WishTree

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oldric_naubhoff said:
it'll solve any possible discrapencies with gain between different power amps (and it would look tidier too IMO :)).........

you may also consider all tube designs. 3 tube monos will do justice to music as well (for instance 3*MB90 from Icon Audio, or maybe something from Prima Luna?).

good luck

Hi Oldric.. I forgot to write this in my previous post.. With Classe in place I do not have to worry about the gain mismatch, I guess. Since I can use auto calibration mode with Classe when three channels are fed with power, it automatically sets the levels.. And when in music it will be only Stereo mode

Somehow, I am not there yet when it comes to full blown valves amps.. be it the tiny power specs they have or the running life of the power stage valves or the too much of honey coating to the music.. or all together.. still not there..

BTW.. was looking at Conrad Johnson.. they have a multichannel power amp like Pathos Cinema-X and it looks very promising too.. :)
 

CnoEvil

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WishTree said:
BTW.. was looking at Conrad Johnson.. they have a multichannel power amp like Pathos Cinema-X and it looks very promising too.. :)

Now I'm starting to be relieved again.......Conrad Johnson all the way. One of the few makes you could give the Pathos up for. :)
 
A

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I've heard good things about the Yaqin VK-2100, but it runs hot so you have to take the cover off or mod it. No free lunch as with most Chinese stuff!

The circuit looks reasonable too, the VAS (Voltage amplification stage) is all tube (via two SRPP stages) and the transistor bit is merely a follower to drive the current.
 

WishTree

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CnoEvil said:
Now I'm starting to be relieved again.......Conrad Johnson all the way. One of the few makes you could give the Pathos up for. :)

I am glad! Have you heard any of those amps from CJ? They seem to be going much cheaper used (like 3500 USD for used vs 8500 USD new). I know it is a different story when it comes to UK but.. it gives some hope!
 

WishTree

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Globs said:
I've heard good things about the Yaqin VK-2100, but it runs hot so you have to take the cover off or mod it. No free lunch as with most Chinese stuff!

The circuit looks reasonable too, the VAS (Voltage amplification stage) is all tube (via two SRPP stages) and the transistor bit is merely a follower to drive the current.

Hi Globs - Thanks for your recommendation. Looking at your signature of self made valve amplifier, I will consider your recommendation for sure.

I am a mere enjoyer of the musical output and your knowledge in tube amps gives me good confidence. it would be great if you could comment on my new purchase as well - Astin Trew AT5000 (two power amps - each for one speaker)
 

CnoEvil

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WishTree said:
CnoEvil said:
Now I'm starting to be relieved again.......Conrad Johnson all the way. One of the few makes you could give the Pathos up for. :)

I am glad! Have you heard any of those amps from CJ? They seem to be going much cheaper used (like 3500 USD for used vs 8500 USD new). I know it is a different story when it comes to UK but.. it gives some hope!

Very briefly, but don't know the model. Very musical. In GB, Branco Bozic of Audiofreaks does them new and 2/h.
 

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