Best multi channel amp and processor good for 2 channel listening.

Hi All,

I am new to this forum and have a few questions in reference to HT processors.  I am starting from scratch and switching from a Krell S-1000 and S-1500.  I sold the processor a few months back and I going to list here the amp.

I am currently considering the new Bryston 9B3 and the SP4 and decision was based on upgrade ability and warranty. The speakers for HT will be Sonus Faber Grand Piano Home and for 2 channel Verity Otello’s.  My second choice was Classe but I was informed that they have all sales on hold, this is concerning.  I have not listened to either, my choice is based on reviews and the Bryston dealer.  My decision was also based they are both good for two channel, I am not set on this but it will help the budget and space.  I am looking for a warm and good over all sound; some might say 3 dimensional sound, clarity is also a factor.  Actually, all I’ve read in reference to Classe fits the bill.  I would like a couple of other choices to include in my short list and opinions are welcome. The budget for the processor and amp is approx. 22k.  

Thanks to all.....
@maguiar102 - sorry, I have not examined every post in detail.  I did go back and re-read your 5/5 post.  It does become confusing because I don't know if you are intending the integrated to be part of a completely different system or if you want to wrap the integrated into your HT system using a "hybrid" approach (i.e. taking left/right output from processor and essentially using the integrated as a left/right channel amplifier).  That being said, I do have the following comments:

Pass Labs Int250 - this is a FET based warm sounding amp, but with good resolution.  It has a very pleasant and very controlled type of sound - the dynamics and slam are not as much as other amps.  If you want a very pleasant listening experience with good resolution, this is potentially a good choice, but I would look elsewhere if you want a more exciting sound.  I would put Pass Labs like a very neutral tube sound with excellent resolution and a definite FET based warmth signature.

Mark Levinson 585 - very smooth and liquidy, like I said.  I would not say this is a "tube like" amp at all.  It follows more of a high bias Class A bipolar amp sound.  Smooth and liquidy.  Again, it may be very hard to describe to someone unless they sit down with me and listen and then it's like "oh, that's what you mean by smooth and liquidy", lol.

Gryphon Diablo - The Gryphon room at RMAF was very nice.  Based on what I remember, the Gryphon is not as clean/neutral sounding as your Krell S-1500, but it is still neutral (maybe just a very tiny bit of the Class A smoothness, but not bad at all).  A very good contender.  Definitely not liquidy sounding.

Hegel H590- I heard the H590 at RMAF.  To be honest, it sounded very sterile and "solid state" with that harsh sterile edge (at least to my ears).  I can't say that this is what Hegel normally sounds like, but that H590 could very well be a fresh-out-of-the-box amp and at that burn-in stage where it sounds harsh/bad.  I don't have any experience with Hegel so I could not comment further.

Soulution 330 Int - I heard the Soulution amps at RMAF and this was one of those amps that I thought was very excellent.  Of course, it is so out of my price range that I would not consider it, but it had the very clean and neutral sound.  Think of a Krell S-1500 with a much more refined sound and no bright edge.  The 330 Int looks to be $20,100 retail.  Not sure if this is in your ballgame or not.
@Maguair, what are you looking for in terms of sound signature for your 2ch?

I just got the Luxman 509X, so not broken in, but initial thoughts are that it is more on the neutral side, not that warm.  It sounds fantastic, crisp yet sweet highs, mids are full, and tight bass.  With my MLs it is fairly transparent, so source is really important.  I am looking forward to seeing what happens when it settles a bit more.  It only has a few hours on it now.

I have heard the Diablo 300 and it is a great integrated and it slightly more on the warmer side.  Though for the price you are getting close to some great separates.  You could get the Luxman m900u + preamp for close to Diablo 300's price.  The m900u is the closest I have heard to combine the lushness of tube + power of ss.  This is with the usual caveat that it's a personal preference and it's all about synergy with speakers.

Thanks for your input..   Sorry if I sound naive, but what do you mean by liquidy?
My original intention when I started this thread was to intergrade HT with Music but I am not sure this is the best approach for reasons I mentioned. What I like in music I do not like for HT.

I did get to audition the Gryphon with the Verity’s and it was impressive to me.

Also, heard the Luxman 509x with Harbeth Super HL5 Plus and it had everything except the vocals were a bit off to me, sounded a bit grainy. Not sure what happened there.

Some also suggested the T+A PA 2500 R, which I will audition around the end of the month with the others.

As mentioned to auxinput just above is my concern with the vocals on the L509x.
I am wondering if the speakers played a role or the amp. I have such a keen ear that at times works against 

I am going to audition the Luxman, Gryphon, T+A, Hegel and Pass Labs with the Harbeth 40.2 by the end of the month hopefully. I am unable to audition the Mark Levinson at this time but planning to late June or July.

I will post my findings then...
Hmm, that’s probably the complete opposite of how I would describe the vocals.  They are smooth yet detailed.  If anything I think the amp is fairly true to source, in that the source and quality or recording makes a difference.  If the recording has a “digital” sounding recording, then that’s what you will hear with the amp.  Definitely good idea to demo it again with your own source music, if you didn’t get a chance to do it before.

That’s a great list of integrateds to demo!  If you are doing A/B testing are you bringing your source player, not just CDs?