experience with Threshold SA/2e or S/500 amps?

does anybody have experience with the older threshold sa/2e monoblocks or S/500 stereo amp? either owning the amps or in comparisions to new amps like: classe, mcintosh, pass labs? i will be using them to drive a pair of Totem Mani 2's. The SA/2e's are rated at 100 watts class A which might be a little low on power for the mani's. I have never owned a pure class A amp and maybe these amps have the necessary erserve power for the mani's. the s/500 would have enough power but they are a class a/b amp. i'm looking for an amp that are warm sounding with enough power to control the mani's. any thoughts?
Any of thr older Thresholds ( specially the S series ) are great and powerful amps. The S A series being the cream of the crop..Compared to today they are still considered very good,but today for some reason the amps are Voiced a little different in my opinon.The Tube amps are Voiced to sound less warm with a more neutral/analitcal sound and Solid State amps have more musicality with more warmth and both s/s and tubes are very close in sound.That being said its very hard to compare.. If you can find a nice SA 1 or 2 Threshold,jump on it before someone else does...
Don't get too worried about the S 500, look for the S500II Stasis version. It's Class A to about 50 watts and then turns to Class A/B.

Nice amp, accurate, what you put in is what you put out.
I sent my Muse 160 II amp that had been doing sub duty for me for some time back to Muse. In it's place I had S300 II stasis, and put it in, not as big a difference as going from a B&K 442 to the Muse, but it was there, my subs integrate a bit better with the maggies which is no small chore.

Some people will laugh but, a sub amp makes as much difference as a driver change. Even a non audiophool buddy heard it one night.

He's an old friend and spending the night with his wife, so us phool were up late consuming adult beverages and as
we were feeling no pain, and I being in an X-perimental mood, swapped out the B&K for the Muse between sides of MSFL I-Robot, wholly smoke, he asked what happened. The B&K ain't no slouch or lacking for current drive, but it sure made a HUGE DIFFERENCE. The T-hold was even better.

I own a Threshold S/300 amp which I prefer over many more modern poweramps. The sound (to my ears that is) is a bit on the warm side, but not at the expense of detail. It is dynamic, powerfull, has a very nice stereo image and suits my taste to a tee. Also it has plenty of power, which is a good thing considering the (in) sensitivity of my loudspeakers. I recently had it revised and, apart from some small capacitors, it was in perfect shape. The only thing I really don't like are the small speaker terminals at the back, but that's about the only weakness I can think of.
I imagine the S/500 will sound about the same, but with more power. And don't let the words 'Class A' fool you: it is not the only way to audio nirvana. There's nothing wrong with a good designed and built Class B amp.... Like the Thresholds!
I use a slightly modified S/500 Series II. I would describe it as very dynamic, open and neutral, but, not necssarily warm. The S/series are class A/AB, the first 20% of their power running in class A into an 8 Ohm rating. The pure class A SA Thresholds are reputed to be warmer and more recesssed. I'm confident that any of the Threshold's with enough power for your room and listening levels can "control" your speakers. The SA and Series II amps are reputed to be more stable than the ealier versions. The factory e series provides for true balanced (upgraded versions have XLR in-puts, but aren't truly balanced) twin trannies, and are DC coupled. The e series are said to have tighter bass, but, the earlier single ended amps are said to have a sweeter top end.
I'm not familiar with your speakers, other than they are not particularly easy to drive with their 4 Ohm, 85dB rating. The S series will double down, but as they do so you may expect their level of class A opeation to halve. If you prioritise warmth; go with the class A SA/ amps. If you prioritise power; go with the higher powered class A/AB S/ series. The higher the power of the S/ series the more base class A you'll get. Perhaps the S/450e might be worth consideration. The older the amps, the more likely they may be need of a tune up with perhaps some new caps. Jon Soderberg of Vintage Amp Repair can be relied on to do this correctly.
I have used many amps to run my Infinity Renaissance 90's both class A and A/AB. Currently I have a Threshold S500 II as my primary amp for these speakers. Prior to aquiring this I was using a Threshold 400A 100w/ch class A.

Infinity's have a reputation for providing a challenging load and mine are no exception dipping to 2ohms with the watkins woofer. The S500 has added significant depth and control to the bass with only a minor compromise in the 'Air' and space of the sounds image. This though is likely due to the fact that I have not yet updated the capacitors. I believe the Stasis 2 is the same design as the S500 only biased to run in class A mode. Likely minor power supply differences. If you like the imagining and detail of the class A better, the Stasis 2 can be upgraded at the power capacitors, I know of one that now runs 240,000uF with 4x60,000uF capacitors from the original 4x29,000uF. This will beef up the bass tremendously and I am likely to do the same with my S500 as this two can be installed.

The current capability of the Stasis is unbelievable and should not have issue with your speakers when updated.

check the thread at DIY http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=94114&highlight=stasis+3
for a discussion about this.
Funny that this thread popped up again. I been recently thinking about it. Perhaps, the extended frequency range caused me to dismiss the warmth aspect of the S/500 Series II. In retrospect it does have a touch of warmth. Regarding the proper load, most Threshold's are recommended for loads above 4 Ohms. That said, they are tested into loads below that and probably shouldn't have much difficulty with lower impedances.
My former loudspeakers had an impedance of 1,9 Ohm at some 87 Hz. The Threshold didn't have any problem with it, even when playing loud. It also drives my current Apogees with ease, so I wouldn't worry about the load.
Thanks to all of you for your replies. i was in a bind and i wanted to get opinions on how these amps sounded. i was in the middle of purchasing a preamp and i didn't have any means to demo the threshold amps so i wanted to turn to all of you for input on how these amps sounded. when i went back to purchase the monoblocks, they already sold them. I ended up purchasing all classe seperates.
Thanks for the follow up, It's always nice to know where these things end up. Good luck with the Classe'.
I would not have gone Classe', even though you could send them to Jon Soderberg for improvements. I was going to suggest an S/500 with a trip to Jon's.
The SA/2e has a better temerature compensation than original SA/2 and a slighty quiter background. I would hesitate if they are faster or not. I do own a SA/2e which is exceedingly rare and I barely hear any difference.
It sounds closer to the SA6e, so I do assume.
rbstehno OP

I owned a Threshold S500 and they are a great amps.
They like to be biased hot into Class-A so the heatsinks are at about 60c after 2hrs this makes them sound sweet.
Nelson said to me once, palms of hands on the top of the heatsinks and you have to remove them after 6 odd seconds is around 60c (brick layers need not apply).
Here is a circuit diagram and adjustment measurements I have in case you need them.

Cheers George