Amp Recommendations

Hey everyone, 
I have been upgrading my home system, but then moved due to a new house for work. The power amp was the last one to be updated. After 3 Monoprice amps, instead of getting another warranty replacement, I decided to return and upgrade in the process. So needless to say, I need a new power amp to use for my set-up. I would prefer to stay around $5k or so, but flexible as needed and looking at both new and used. Room is a split use 70/30 music/movies that measures 14'x20' with vaulted ceilings (peaks around 14'), but opens to the kitchen/dining room behind which is another 11' deep. I had a 5.2.2 system at the old house and will probably do the same here, but will at least start with the 2.2 and go from there until I have time to get set-up and play with the set-up.

Speakers: Sonus Faber Serafino Tradition

Processor: Anthem AVM 70 8k





Since you are starting with 2.2 what do you think about going with monoblocks? Then every time you add another speaker you can simply get another monoblock to go with it? Maybe Van Alstine M225 (around $1700 each).

The Emotiva XPA-HC1 class A/B monoblock looks interesting too (around $900 each).


OP, the customer reviews on the Emotiva monoblocks are really interesting.

Just get an Anthem P2 and be done, it will last for 20 years and power any speakers you will ever get. It is a very underrated amp that is built to last and sounds great.

These speakers are rated at 4 ohm @ 90 db. Unsure if the impedance drops even lower during certain frequencies. An amp will be needed that can respond in kind. Perhaps a Bryson or an Odyssey amp would work within your stated budget. Both have great warranty timeframes.

Try a Van Alstine DVA SET 500. Great sound with music, good value, solid build, no frills, very powerful. 

As ususal great input and suggestions here ... I'd add Krell to the list.


I have a couple pieces of Odyssey gear that @wturkey suggested, very special!!


Cambridge Audio EDGE W. Yes, Cambridge Audio. While much of their gear is considered mid-fi for the budget conscious, their 50th anniversary EDGE line is their attempt a cost-no-object product line. The EDGE W is absolutely the best amplifier I’ve heard south of $5K, and I’ve heard a lot of amps. I am an authorized Cambridge Audio dealer and I say give these comments when also carrying much higher priced amplifiers like T+A and Margules. Happy to explain the amplifier’s performance capabilities in more detail if you want to PM me. 


I would suggest either McIntosh MC312 or MC462. The 462 is a reference quality amp. Even used, they are above your budget, but these are end-game amps. I have wasted thousands of dollars on audio which I could have saved if I had "bought it right" the first time.

Also another sleeper is the Rotel Michi S5. It is a powerhouse and presents excellent value/performance in this insane world of high-priced amps!

Best of luck in your search!

If those Sonus are on the warm side and efficient I would get a stereo or mono Benchmark AHB2. Used prices are under $5K for the monos. The Benchmark speaker cables are actually very good with these amps. I ended up using the Audience FrontRow speaker cables but the Benchmark SpeakON cables are really good and cost nothing compared to the FrontRow.

The Schitt Tyr seems intriguing ever since I bough the much lower powered Aegir amp. My Aegir is now my long term headphone amp. The Tyr is more powerful and is said to sound similar to the Aegir.

I just got their new headphone amp/preamp (not delivered yet) to go with the Aegir. Schitt is now a company I assume that their top end gear will sound great.

Thank you everyone for the suggestions, definitely have been doing my research on the recommendations above. 

@kota1 I have considered monoblocks and definitely not opposed to doing so. The Van Alstine have been on my list of possibilities. 

@wturkey While they are 4 ohm @ 90, they do dip down to 1.9 in the bass region, which a lot of amps have struggled with. 

I also worry about the amount of power required, as SF recommends 80-350W. When I was originally looking for new speakers, a local shop stated the Nova III was night and day difference with more power driving them and assumed that the Serafino would be the same way. 

1.9 ohms is rough. Not sure if AVA would be best for this scenario. Frank used to make amps with extra transistors to deal with low impedance speakers. Not sure if that’s the case nowadays. 

Odyssey Audio states their amps are good in low impedance situations. 

Sanders and Coda may be another option if Bryson is unsuited for the role.