Amplifiers
Solidstate, Tube,
Major Solidstate Amplifiers, Major Tube Amplifiers

Audio Federation Dealership Magazine Music Guide Blog

 

 

   

These tables list amplifiers by the type of experience they were apparently designed to produce. Secondary characteristics of an amplifier, if any, are listed in order of significance. There are no better or best in these lists - just different. We have personally heard all of these amplifiers, most of them many times using our test CDs.

The sound of many amps seem to be intentionally veiled (recessed midrange and treble) apparently in order to try to avoid a solidstate sound. Some of these amps are: BAT, Levinson, McIntosh, and older Pass Labs amplifiers.

There are no Magical solidstate amplifiers that we are aware of.

Impressive - Exaggerated bass and/or dynamics
Sophisticated - Detailed and finesse, nice to listen to, pleasant
Workhorse - Powerful with no real intention to do anything specific especially well
Sweet - Exaggerated harmonics and/or warmth
Natural - Timbre and tone are correct, everything else well balanced
Emotional - Music often pulls at heart strings
Real/Truth - Transparent, accurate
Magical/Spiritual - Precipitates psychological effects other than what might be expected

     

Use the ears, Luke.

 

 


Solidstate Amplifiers
 
    Impressive   Sophisticated   Workhorse   Sweet   Emotional   Real  
                           
Picture              
Brand   KRELL   EDGE   Rowland   Accuphase   LAMM   Halcro  
                           
Models   All   All           M2.1
M2.2
  DM88
DM38
 
Price range   $15,000   $3,700-125,000           $20,000   $20,000-40,000  
Secondary characteristics       Real       Impressive
Sophisticated
  Impressive   Sophisticated  
                           
Notes   Over-emphasis of bass               Hybrid amp design with a vacuum tube.      
                           
                           
Picture                  
Brand   Boulder   Hovland   Parasound   McIntosh          
                           
Models       Radia   JC-1              
Price range       $10,000                  
Secondary characteristics   Workhorse   Emotional
Sweet
                 
                           
Notes                          
                           
                           
Picture                    
Brand   BAT   Goldmund   Burmester              
    Balanced Audio
Technology
                     
Models                          
Price range                          
Secondary characteristics       Real   Sophisticated              
                           
Notes                          
                           
                           
Others   The amplifiers from:
 
Accustic Arts
 
 
Pass Labs
(various pass Labs generations jump from Workhorse to Sophisticated to Impressive)


 

  The amplifiers from:
 
FM Acoustics
 
darTZeel
 
Linn
 
Ayre
 
 
ASR
 
MBL
Innersound

 

  The amplifiers from:

Chord,
Kharma,
Bladeilius


EAR?
         
 
 
                           

 

 


Vacuum Tube Amplifiers
 
    Impressive   Sophisticated   Natural   Sweet   Emotional   Magical  
                           
Picture              
Brand   VTL   Audio Note U.K.   Lamm   Jadis   Joule Electra   Audio Note
Kondo
 
    Vacuum Tube Logic                      
Models                          
Price range                          
Secondary characteristics       Natural
Emotional
  Sophisticated       Sweet   Natural
Emotional
Sophisticated
 
                           
Notes                          
                           
                           
Picture              
Brand   BAT   WAVAC   Tom Evans   Cary   Audio Aero   Audio Note
U.K.
 
    Balanced Audio
Technology
                     
Models               Their tube amplifiers       Level 5 series  
Price range                          
Secondary characteristics       Impressive           Natural   Natural
Emotional
Sophisticated
 
                           
Notes                          
                           
                           
Picture                
Brand   ARC   Zanden   Tenor   McIntosh       Lamm  
    Audio Research
Corporation
                     
Models               Their tube amplifiers       ML-2  
Price range                          
Secondary characteristics       Sweet   Sophisticated   Impressive       Natural
Sophisticated
Emotional
 
                           
Notes                          
                           
                           
Others  
 
 


 

     

 

CAT
Convergent Audio Technology

         
 
 
                           

 

 

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