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Best Solid State Amp? < $500

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
i tried to search for this, but whatever came up was not what i was specifically looking for. i know a bit about amps, but i'm sure there are people here that know much much more, so i'm here for help.

1) i'm looking for a solid-state home amp for the DT990/HD650 (better than my current headfive)
2) by "best" i mean the most powerful
3) i dislike bright/harsh equipment and prefer a dark and slightly warm presentation
4) two other things i'm looking for improvement in are bass and soundstage...really like an open sound.

feel free to give any suggestions...the budget is around $500 as is indicated in the title (less is better though )
Edit: my current equipment is listed in my sig.
post #2 of 17
Rockhopper Audio - Prebuilt AMB M3 and Elpac Wall-wart - $375 Shipped

Great amp, great price.
post #3 of 17
Eddie Current EC/SS has a warmer presentation than other tube amps, the K.I.C.A.S. Caliente does too. Both are great amps. I'm not sure how they stack up to the M^3 though.
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
thanks for the suggestions. as of now, i'm leaning towards the KICAS Caliente which sounds like a good fit for all my conditions (except soundstage size).
post #5 of 17
Maybe look at the CIAudio VHP-2 and VAC-1 combo...
post #6 of 17
How are the Headroom amps in this price range?
post #7 of 17
I dont think I would recommend a micro amp for any hard to drive cans, but I have not heard their other offerings in this range (not sure if a desktop without a dac and power stuff would squeak in).

I would be very interested in that rockhopper M3 if i was in the market.

Dave
post #8 of 17
You could also build the M^3 for about $200-250, if you are very concerned about your budget. It is a fun project and well worth the time, IMO.
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
i'm not too interested in building right now...lack of time
anyways, it's down to the Caliente or the M3.
Edit: forget it, from what i've read so far, the caliente is the better of the two. i've decided i'll stick with that...looking forward to the group buy next week!

thanks for the help guys, much appreciated.
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post
Edit: forget it, from what i've read so far, the caliente is the better of the two. i've decided i'll stick with that...looking forward to the group buy next week!
Ha! You've been reading the writings of people on seriously bad drugs. As was said before, I shall reiterate... I must apologize in advance for all of the advice you will read recommending equipment the person has never heard based on the rumors, speculations and retelling of others experiences which may or may not have happened in the first place.
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by FallenAngel View Post
Ha! You've been reading the writings of people on seriously bad drugs. As was said before, I shall reiterate... I must apologize in advance for all of the advice you will read recommending equipment the person has never heard based on the rumors, speculations and retelling of others experiences which may or may not have happened in the first place.
This is so very true. Be careful when reading reviews and listening to recommendations. I know a lot of head-fiers here wrote that they really like the Caliente, but I have heard neither it nor the M^3 myself. So I really can't say which one is better.
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by compuryan View Post
Eddie Current EC/SS has a warmer presentation than other tube amps, the K.I.C.A.S. Caliente does too. Both are great amps. I'm not sure how they stack up to the M^3 though.
x2 for the Eddie Current amp, it will be my first solid state purchase.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
well, i appreciate the previous few comments as they've prompted me to do some more research before buying.
strongly considering the M3 now as well.
post #14 of 17
From everything I hear about the M3, it is a terrific value for the money, and that it is a "reference-grade" amplifier design. With an active ground channel, three op-amps for voltage gain, and six transistors for current gain, it is going to have a hell of a lot of power.

Got mine from Rockhopper Audio for $375 and it's on the way. Going to buy the Sigma-11 power supply for $200 from Stephen in the not so distant future. Stephen is a good guy that is very responsive to emails and even installed a locking neutrik jack at my request, so I have high hopes for the whole experience.
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by scootermafia View Post
From everything I hear about the M3, it is a terrific value for the money, and that it is a "reference-grade" amplifier design. With an active ground channel, three op-amps for voltage gain, and six transistors for current gain, it is going to have a hell of a lot of power.

Got mine from Rockhopper Audio for $375 and it's on the way. Going to buy the Sigma-11 power supply for $200 from Stephen in the not so distant future. Stephen is a good guy that is very responsive to emails and even installed a locking neutrik jack at my request, so I have high hopes for the whole experience.
yea i was actually wondering how much of an effect the Sigma 11 would have. if it's worth the money i'll get the packaged deal with that PSU.
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