Amps/Preamps for Rockport Aviors

Hi everyone, I just ordered new Rockport Avior speakers a couple of weeks ago and they are coming next week.  My current system is: ARC ref 75SE amp; ARC LS 17se pre amp; simaudio 280d dac and network streamer; Feikert turntable, ortofon cardenza bronze cartridge, and a boulder 1008 phone stage. 

I am thinking about upgrading my amp and preamp for the Aviors.  I was looking at the ARC ref 250SE as well as a used Boulder 2060.  For the preamp, not sure, maybe an ARC REF 6 or a used boulder.  Someone also suggested I look at a simaudio evolution 860 or 870.   My one concern with the ARC ref 250SE is whether those amps will pair well with the Rockports or if im better off getting a solid state.  I am not married to either tube or solid state (I had krell a long time ago before the 75SE and bought the 75SE becuase i thought it paired well with my Thiel 3.7's). 

I am brand new to the Avior speakers and looking to get more out of them than my 75se, and would greatly appreciate anyone's views. 

thank you in advance.  Larry
Ag insider logo xs@2xgasherbaum
You are clearly doing an "upgrade".  Awesome speakers!!!   If you want to bring out the absolute best in your new speakers with a worthy preamp then I would unconditionally recommend the ARC Ref 10.  I have had mine for two years and it is unbeatable.  It is a true and lasting marriage of the best sonic qualities of soild state (transient speed, inner detail to the quark level and bottom-end punch) and tubes (ambience, space/air, sustain and realism).  As they say: the pre is where the damage is done.  My ARC Ref 10 must have taken the Hippocratic Oath because it does absolutely no harm.  It's marvelous!!! 

Contrary to what some posters are saying, the Aviors are relatively easy to drive with a 90db sensitivity and nominally 4 ohm load.  They dip to 3.1 in one or two spots, but have generally smooth impedance curve. As i indicated, the 25w class A of solid state Vitus works beautifully as does my Pathos at 45w class A.  I also expect my new amp of 20-25w pure tube class A will be just fine.  Don't get sold a bill of goods on needing high power amps ($$) for the Aviors . . . . It's the quality, not the quantity! . . . . 
Just so that we are clear, I am not denying that quality almost always trumps quantity. But I don't agree that the Aviors are an easy load. In any case, ease of drive is relative and to that extent I do agree they are an easier load than B&W, Magico and Vandersteen. 

As to quality, all the SS (including the Burmester) and tube amps I listed are extremely high quality amps. Given this level of amplification, I will always drive the Aviors with the maximum power I can afford within each of these brands.



I'm friends with Phil (philb7777) and have heard his system (in the pre Rockport days - with Avalons) and the current Cygnus' with his ARC gear. It's a stunning combo (the ARC and the Rockports (heck, so were the Avalons!)). My suggestion would be to just enjoy your new speakers for a good-while and take your time, and let your ears decide if/when upgrades are needed. They did take some time to break in, and the placement was non-trivial. On another note - keep up the discussion with Phil. He has helped me GREATLY on the strange and wonderful pathway of the high end.  
Hi Everyone,

Thanks again for all the advice.  Boneman I was planning on breaking the speakers in for about 500 hours using a borrowed bryston amp.  I was then going to test them out with the ARC 75 SE I have and see what, if anything, I feel is missing or could be better.   

So as an update, I went up to Fort Collins and was able to hear the ARC 250's and the D'Agostinos (dealer didn't have the VTL 450's yet - said they would be in next week and he'd bring them down once my speakers were broken in).  The D'Agostinos (amp and preamp) were being played on Vandersteen speakers with a boulder phono stage.  It was a very nice sound.  He had the ARC 250's hooked up to some Martin Logan speakers and was using the ARC ref 6 preamp and ARC ref 3 phono stage.  I'm not personally a huge fan of Martin Logan, so I didn't love the sound, but it did create a nice sound stage nevertheless, so I am excited to hear them on the Rockports iwth the VTL's.  I didn't get to Wheat Ridge to hear the Ayer amps, but hope to that this week. 

Speakers should be hear  this week I'm hoping according to Andy Payor. 

Thanks everyone.  Larry