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.....

Have a great vaca., definitely keep in touch when you get back, have questions on the 8805.
To All,

I auditioned 5 amps just yesterday and fell in love with the Pass Labs.  I wanted to audition the Int-250 but the dealer only had the 60, but even this 60watt amp was  everything I was looking for.  Speakers were the Harbeth Anniversary 40.2 which are excellent by the way.

The amps in question were the following:

Pass Labs Int-60. 
Gryphon Diablo 300
T+A Pa 3100 HV
Hegel H590


Luxman M900u  (He had the L509x out on loan).

My opinion on the above and I blame my ears for

Hegel - Did not even here enough to really judge, since I did not like the sound.
Just found it lacked in many areas, specially for the price.

T+A - A very good amp, neutral boarder warm but it was not a match for the variety of music I listen to.  I listen to a lot of music with a lot of highs and it might be a bit bright with some recordings.  I personally think it’s too overly priced compared to other amps that are comparable in sound.

Luxman M900u - Very neutral..  I found this amp does not color the sound in any way, its very accurate. I found it to be a bit bright with some recordings, not warm enough for me, but good amp for certain recordings.

Gryphon Diablo 300 - This amp is my second favorite of the 5. It’s neutral warm an excellent amp but still not warm like the Pass Labs and I can see myself getting a bit of sound fatigue after a while of 

Pass Labs - Warm but clear and precise, best base of the five, punchy, tight base, with 3 dimensional sound.  I could listen to this amp for hours without fatigue. I actually dedicated most of the audition time to this amp and the more I listened the more I wanted to listen.  I can refer to this amp as the Chameleon of amps, it adapted itself sonically to every recording.  I was not expecting this and was pleasently surprised.


Hope you had a nice vaca..  

wow, that's pretty amazing.  This really proves that the best amp comes down to personal preference on sound!  Because, while I have heard the Pass and it's an excellent and very refined sounding warm amp, it would not be my preference because it's not dynamic enough.

I wanted to ask your opinion of the Hegel.  When you heard it, did you find it sounding sterile / bright / harsh?   Or what was the verdict of it's signature?

I really like a lot of balance in my music or listening and I found that balance in the Pass Labs.  My selection of music is eclectic but some have a lot of brass making the recordings a bit bright. The Pass was able to tame that and provide a well overall balanced sound.  As you mentioned it all comes down to personal preference on sound.  These amps were all good but I was looking for a sound that best suited my preference of music. I feel it has enough dynamics without affecting the overall sound, keep in mind we will never find a perfect amp but this comes pretty close for me personally.  If you are looking for a more dynamic sound than what the Pass provides and still something on the warm side,  I would recommend the Gryphon Diablo 300.

Reference the Hegel,  as I mentioned did not hear it much because it did not captivate my interest.  I found it sterile and poor soundstage, but again it’s just my opinion.