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A great Solid State amp?

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 
I'm brainstorming for far in the future. What is a great solid state dynamic amp to add to my collection.

I've narrowed it to 5:
Beta 22
Luxman P1U
RSA Apache
Meier Concerto
Headroom Balanced Desktop
Headamp GS-X


Any suggestions ?

Thanks:)

And since I write this OP on Xmas eve I feel it appropriate to wish everyone a merry Christmas!!!
post #2 of 58

So long as it is a 2-box setup with well thought-out wiring, the B22 is my favorite on that list - without a very careful build, however, it picks up noise very easily.  Close second would be the Dynamid, but if you DIY it will literally cost 1/3 of the GS-X, which seems to be stupidly overpriced

post #3 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Doug View Post

So long as it is a 2-box setup with well thought-out wiring, the B22 is my favorite on that list - without a very careful build, however, it picks up noise very easily.  Close second would be the Dynamid, but if you DIY it will literally cost 1/3 of the GS-X, which seems to be stupidly overpriced



The GSX while pricey, is in line with what a commercial amp would cost built in the US, with respect to parts/labor.  There are many other commercial amps that run multipliers that are higher than the GSX, that use more simple circuits.  That being said, given that the OP is considering both the Apache and the Luxman, I'm sure he has that that out already.  Of the choices listed, I'd consider the Luxman, B22 and a GS-X.

post #4 of 58
I'm fond of the Beta22. Thoroughly vetted by the DIY community and it sounds terrific.

The Dynamid is a worthy amp, as well. If you can find someone to build a couple of Dynalos into a single amp, you'll be rewarded. Some years back, the Dynamid/Gilmore Reference used to be considered the top of the heap.

If you really want to go over the top, see if you can find a DynaMight or have one built for you. The DynaMight has always been the ultimate solid state amp for me. Overkill in every way and the casing has to be carefully done to appropriately heatsink it.
post #5 of 58

I would consider:

 

The Beta22, obviously. Not perfect though (but it depends a lot of the build).

The Larocco Headcode. Best SS amp in my opinion, though I have not heard the Dynahi yet.

The future Harmony Design EAR909 (to be released in a couple of months) might be of interest.

 

I would NOT consider the RSA apache and the meier concerto.

 

post #6 of 58

^ whats wrong with apache and concerto ?

post #7 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by winzzz View Post

^ whats wrong with apache and concerto ?



I can't speak with respect to the sound of the Concerto, but I have heard the Apache, and I'd take several amps ahead of it.

post #8 of 58

^ could you elaborate more bout the apache ? just so-so kinda mediocre in performance you mean ?

post #9 of 58
I own the Luxman P1u and think very highly of it. It offers a lot of what I hear from the tube amps in my signature, but offers better bass and zero noise with low impedance headphones and IEMs. It is still my "go to" amp for the JH16s and sounds terrific with the LCD-2s. I have no experience with the Beta 22, but FYI a few commercial builders of the amp who I contacted (Rockhopper, MisterX) thought a Beta 22 would be overkill and noisy with the JH16s and recommended an M3 instead. With high impedance headphones, I don't think a solid state amp will compete with your high end tube amps.

 

post #10 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by winzzz View Post

^ could you elaborate more bout the apache ? just so-so kinda mediocre in performance you mean ?



The performance is mediocre to bad with respect to how much it costs.   For $3000, I expect more.  And I've heard better for just as much, or even less. I'd take a balanced B22, Headamp GS-X, Luxman P1u, as well as several options that cost a fair bit less.

post #11 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by minimus View Post

I own the Luxman P1u and think very highly of it. It offers a lot of what I hear from the tube amps in my signature, but offers better bass and zero noise with low impedance headphones and IEMs. It is still my "go to" amp for the JH16s and sounds terrific with the LCD-2s. I have no experience with the Beta 22, but FYI a few commercial builders of the amp who I contacted (Rockhopper, MisterX) thought a Beta 22 would be overkill and noisy with the JH16s and recommended an M3 instead. With high impedance headphones, I don't think a solid state amp will compete with your high end tube amps.

 



Can you elaborate on "better bass" 

post #12 of 58

Add RudiStor RP-010B MkII to the mix. Remove opamp->buffer toys as we're talking about the top.

post #13 of 58

I have not had an opportunity to compare the Apache to the various other high-end SS amps mentioned, and the OP should bear that in mind, but nevertheless I think the following points are relevant.

 

  • I did have an opportunity to compare the Apache at a meet where there were some high-end tube amps, including a 307A.  I was mainly interested in comparing cables for the HD 800, so I was not focusing on comparing the amps, and the sources were different so it was not clear how fair a comparison would have been anyway, but I did not come away pining for a different amp, despite a certain amount of upgraditis.
  • Ray made some changes after the first production run and then made them available for free to current owners.  Some comparisons were based on the earlier version.
  • In research I did before getting the Apache, and in comparisons I have seen since, there are those who prefer other SS amps, and there are those who prefer the Apache.
  • It is handy having an external gain switch, so I can use it with my iems as well as my cans.
  • I am fond of both the HD 800 and LCD-2 with it, as well as the UE-11s.  In particular, I find that tone and detail of acoustic instruments are incredibly good.  This is not to say that I do not still have upgraditis; who knows what the future holds.
  • I am quite pleased with it as a pre-amp as well.
  • It has been a pleasure doing business with Ray. 

 

What this suggests to me is that I think it would make sense for the OP to include the Apache in the list of amps he personally auditions.

post #14 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMahler View Post





Can you elaborate on "better bass" 



 



The bass I hear out of the Luxman just has great textural detail that I have never heard out of my tube amps. For example, I hear nuances in the Peter Wispelwey recording of Bach's Suites for Cello that are simply stunning. The Luxman is really amazing with well-recorded orchestral music and jazz when paired with low impedance headphones, especially the JH16s, where a low noise floor is essential. That is what makes the Luxman shine, in my book. On the other hand, it will not make lousy recordings sound good.

 

post #15 of 58

The HeadRoom amp gets my vote.

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