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I have to agree with Elizabeth. I believe you when you say you're not usually an upgraditis victim, but you are now. You have an amp you really like, but have convinced yourself that it can't be good enough because it's too cheap. One of the finest inexpensive amps out there is the Adcom GFA 535II but no one thinks so because it can be had used for $100 or less. The only cure is do what JLM did and get an all in one unit, streamer, DAC, amp all in one, I believe his is a NAD, where there is no component upgrade path. The other option is embrace the illness and get a couple amps to compare, dealers and mail order outlets will always support home trial with minimal cost. My experience? Put off buying a new DAC because the old, no, ancient, one was good enough. Until it fried itself, can't believe I waited this long, best upgrade in years.
Get rid of the damn amp!!!!You said two things:1. I bought it as a temporary measure2. it's now the weakest link in my systemYou decided when you bought the amp that you were gonna replace it, so stop flip-flopping and follow through on what you promised yourself you would eventually do.
Once this pandemic is behind us are there some audio stores you can hit?For many years I was always in the x amount of power + y amount of distortion = z sound quality.Boy, was I ever wrong!One fine day I was thinking about guitar amplifiers and how the only ones I've ever had that were worth owning were tube amplifiers. All the solid state ones I tried just didn't quite do it for me.So how come I've never had tube amplifiers with my stereos? I wonder if that would be worth doing? Maybe I should stop thinking about it and find out.Turns out that was the missing ingredient.
If you like your amp keep it. But if you are curious then by all means upgrade. Buy an amp with a good return policy like AVA or from audio advisor. I own a Class D audio amp and it is just ok, mid-fi at best. I used a Parasound A21 with my maggies and thought it sounded great until I upgraded to a Pass Labs X250 amp and I was blown away by the improvement. Same goes for the AVA amps that I reviewed for Frank Van Alstine. They sounded way better than the Parasound and Class D amp. You already upgraded the rest of your system so upgrading the amp to put all your gear on equal ground. Maggies really respond to upgrades. They will tell you the weak link in a system.Larry
That ClassD amp is small enough you can drag it along with you for an A/B demo if need be.
Thats one of the reasons I was looking at the bel Canto reference 600 monos. Or even the ref 500 stereo. Ive had a few discussions with people who paired them with Maggie and very happy. Wont break the bank, and I do tend to like tube or tube hybrid pres with class D amps.
Good choice on the Bel Canto amps. I have heard them paired with Maggies and an ARC tube preamp at my local dealer. The sound was sublime.
I have a Class D Audio amp. The Canto's sound better than the A21. The A21+ is supposed to sound better than the A21.Also consider PS Audio Stellar 700's. They are better than the A21.
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