It's time to move up in my system. I'd appreciate some amp recommendations, as I haven't heard too many amps, and have little knowledge of some of the nuances involved in making a decision. Field testing amps is also difficult where I live.

My system is Magnepan 3.7 speakers; (2) Vandersteen 2wq subwoofers; Mojo Audio Mac Mini feeding a PS Audio Directstream DAC, straight to amp. No preamp. (Transparent ICs, Shunyata Triton, Anaconda PCs, DH Labs and Silnote SCs.) The current amp is a very fast and very powerful Class-D switching amp with tons of headroom.

The system is noiseless, clean, precise, detailed, neutral. The soundstage is huge, holographic, and immersive. Live recordings are the bomb. Sometimes it seems a bit sharp or harsh, but that's often the recording or the room. Overall, soft and sensuous, it ain't, but I can hear every note and breath.

I've heard some denigrate a different switching amp -- "I can hear the switching." This from a tube guy. I'd prefer not to get into any Class-X wars.

A local dealer is suggesting I look at Bryston, a classic match for Maggies, I'm sure, but he also suggests that the Bryston can be somewhat two-dimensional. His solution is a Levinson 532H, which he holds as more three-dimensional than Bryston.

Or, he has a demo Acoustic Research Ref150. Somehow, I doubt I'd like to go with tubes, due to the sonics, the expense, and the 'hassle' of dealing with tubes.

All of the prices mentioned are more than I'd like to spend, but I've gotta deal with that part of it.

So, I'd love to hear recommendations.

And... how does one audition amps when they live in an area of so few B&M audio stores?

Mr. D:

Sure, I could have, but I didn't. Get over it, or "move on", because it's no big deal in the overall scheme of things. Your complaint seems to continually stray from the point of the thread.

(I also don't know why my post from 7/10 was duplicated on 7/12. I think Agon burped.)
@Infection --

Actually, I was on the list to receive one of the first run of the PS Audio BHK. Sadly, I had to back off because of a temporary financial issue, but in retrospect, I'm glad that I did. Considering the troubles I've had with the current amp, it is probably best for me not to be one of the early adopters. The BHK was, of course, an unknown beast at the time.

I hear some people love it. I wish PS Audio all the success... they're a pretty remarkable company.

Based on various recommendations in this thread, I've been demoing a pair of Merrill VERITAS mono blocks for about a week. They sound quite good, and are definitely a contender for my new amp.

Later today, I'll be receiving a Sanders Audio Magtech (stereo) to try for a while.

Kryptobrand has returned home and has been tested out.

This should be an interesting weekend...
It has been a couple of weeks since this whole process started, so I thought I'd give an update. Thanks to everyone here for the suggestions, and special thanks to my new friend, Guido. Guido has been an enormous help both in terms of information, and an inherent willingness to vicariously spend my money. :)

- The Merrill Veritas monoblocks turned out to be the ones to beat, and they are still here.

- Sanders Magtech went down pretty quickly. I believe in amp break-in. Roger Sanders does not. He submits that his amp at one hour of warmup will sound as it ever will. After a couple of days, I decided that I didn't like it, and he graciously took the return.

- Bel Canto REF600M monos came in, and I had a chance to give them a thorough listen, thanks to Taylor at Goldprint Audio. Taylor was very responsive to all of my questions, and provided the amps shockingly quickly. They only had about 300 hours on them, so I'm not sure if they were really broken in, but in head-to-head with the VERITAS, they didn't make the cut. Mind you, the REF600 is no slouch at all, and I could have happily lived with them, but we moved on.

- Currently, I have the VERITAS going up against the Rowland Continuum S2. The CS2 has only about 300 hours on it, so I'm not sure how well broken in it is. And I must say, although the two amps sound rather different -- at least at this stage of the game -- it will be a tough decision. The VERITAS is fully broken in, the Rowland is not, and I have a limited amount of time to make the decision.