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Amplifiers (Mono, Stereo & Multi-Channel) Go on a power trip talking about everything to do with power amplifiers.

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Old 05-29-2007   #1
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Thumbs up WHO MAKES THE BEST AMP?

I first heard a Mark Levinson amplifier about 10-12 years ago(maybe longer) at Innovative Audio/Video in Brooklyn. With a pair of Proac bookshelf speakers. Now I know that most people are not pairing a high cost amp with bookshelf speakers, but that demo till this day I have always remembered. Those Proacs were so clear and articulate. The bass for their size was unbelievable.

Then, here in Scarsdale, at the Listening room a few years ago, I heard a McIntosh amp, with Von Schweirt speakers. That McIntosh amp played so cleanly. It seemed as though the speakers could sing forever.
But who makes the best one? I always wanted to hear the Brystons, they seem to be on everyones recommended list. But I`ve never heard them?
Anyone out there? Let me know.
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Old 05-29-2007   #2
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Default Re: WHO MAKES THE BEST AMP?

I heard Proac speakers when I was a teenager (version 3 or something like that) and they blew me away. It was at a dealer in my neighborhood in Philadelphia called Chestnut Hill. The dealer's name was Community Audio. They are still there and sell all sort of odd, high end AV stuff. I bought a Naim 8 watt integrated amp there as a 17 year old. Loved it. They also sell Linn which sounds great.

I have had the good fortune to have owned a number of Levinson amps and you are right - they rock. Like a Mercedes, they are polite yet high performace. They are responsive without being too balsy. I have also owned Krell which are more Ferrari-like and also very enjoyable. i think the Krells are more fun and have deeper bass. The Levinsons are more ballanced overall.

Mark Levinson No. 436's and Wilson WATT Puppy v7's make up my reference. I just wish I had my other kidney back from that auction on eBay.com
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Old 05-31-2007   #3
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Jerry, I have to agree with you. My friend had a pair of those side firing NHT, I believe 3.3s and a Krell amp. These tall NHT`s imaged wonderfully, but I always felt the bass was just a little too much. The Levinson that I heard, was excellent. Any music that was produced thru those Proacs sounded just wonderful.

Every since then, I have wanted a Mark Levinson amplifier. Have you ever heard a Bryston? The reviews from all have been good, if not glowing. They always say, great bass slam and control. And you can play them long and hard. Have you heard them there Brystons?
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Old 05-31-2007   #4
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Default Re: WHO MAKES THE BEST AMP?

Bryston is a fine amp, however, I found them to be a bit dark sounding. The highs aren't quite as refined or extended when compaired to a Mark Levinson amp but the Bryston bass is very solid. For the money they are very good, but they face stiff competition. If you're in the Bryston world you owe it to yourself to listen to some Anthem products. Anthem is just as controlled as the Brystons but they have a bit of sweetness to them that I personally like. Mark Levinson is a beast all their own and for my money make some of the best amps money can buy.

Andrew
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Old 05-31-2007   #5
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That is good to know Andrew. I do not know of any Bryston dealers here in Westchester County or New York. So, I`ve never heard them. I did have the pleasure of listening last year at the High End Home Theater show, to Anthem electronics with Paradigm speakers. Full surround assault, starting with the title track of Cafe Blue, Patricia Barbers voice sounded great, my first listen to her. Then a full surround demo. To me, this was the best sound of the show!!
Can not argue with you about Mark Lev. But there is one company that to me sounds great over all like Mark, leaves no signature really of its own, and always plays without effort, MCINTOSH. The boys in Binghamton no what they are doing.
They still offer a 2 hour tour, I plan to take it. It goes over the assembly from nuts to bolts, faceplate, everything. But what to do after, there is nothing in Binghamton, N.Y.
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Old 05-31-2007   #6
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Default Re: WHO MAKES THE BEST AMP?

McIntosh is a personal favorite of mine as well. They are sweet. I love that blue glow of the old world faceplates. However, they don't play as nice with other components so to fully enjoy all they have to offer you kind of need an all McIntosh system. Not that that's a bad thing, just not the best for a busy reviewer like myself. =) That being said, if you're looking for two channel only their integrated amp is KILLER!

andrew
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