My Long List of Amplifiers and My Personal Review of Each!

So I have been in a long journey looking to find the best amplifiers for my martin logan montis. As you know, the match between an amplifier and speakers has to be a good "marriage" and needs to be blend exquisitely. Right now, I think I might have found the best sounding amplifier for martin logan. I have gone through approximately 34-36 amplifiers in the past 12 months. Some of these are:

Bryston ST, SST, SST2 series

With all that said, the amplifiers I mentioned above are the ones that in my opinion are worth mentioning. To make a long story short, there is NO 5 CHANNEL POWER AMP that sounds as good as a 3ch and 2ch amplifier combination. i have done both experiments and the truth is that YOU DO lose details and more channel separation,etc when you select a 5 channel power amplifier of any manufacturer.
My recollection of what each amp sounded like is as follows:

ATI SIGNATURE SERIES 6005 (great power and amazing soundstage. Very low noise floor, BUT this amplifiers NEEDS TO BE cranked up in order to fully enjoy it. If you like listening at low volume levels or somewhat moderate, you are wasting your time here. This amp won’t sound any different than many other brands out there at this volume. The bass is great, good highs although they are a bit bright for my taste)

NAD M25 (very smooth, powerful, but somewhat thin sounding as far as bass goes)
Bryston sst2(detailed, good soundstage, good power, but can be a little forward with certain speakers which could make them ear fatiguing at loud volumes)

Krell (fast sounding, nice bass attack, nice highs, but some detail does get lost with certain speakers)

rotel (good amp for the money, but too bright in my opinion)

cary audio (good sound overall, very musical, but it didn’t have enough oomph)

parasound halo (good detail, great bass, but it still holds back some background detail that i can hear in others)

lexicon (very laid back and smooth. huge power, but if you like more detail or crisper highs, this amp will disappoint you)

McIntosh mc205 (probably the worst multichannel amp given its price point. it was too thin sounding, had detail but lacked bass.

butler audio (good amplifier. very warm and smooth sweet sounding. i think for the money, this is a better amp than the parasound a51)

pass labs (very VERY musical with excellent bass control. You can listen to this for hours and hours without getting ear fatigue. however, it DOES NOT do well in home theater applications if all you have is a 2 channel set up for movies. The midrange gets somewhat "muddy" or very weak sounding that you find yourself trying to turn it up.

classe audio (best amplifier for multi channel applications. i simply COULDNT FIND a better multi channel amplifier PERIOD. IT has amazing smoothness, amazing power and good bass control although i would say krell has much better bass control)

Update: The reviews above were done in January 2015. Below is my newest update as of October 2016:

PS AUDIO BHK 300 MONOBLOCKS: Amazing amps. Tons of detail and really amazing midrange. the bass is amazing too, but the one thing i will say is that those of you with speakers efficiency of 87db and below you will not have all the "loudness" that you may want from time to time. These amps go into protection mode when using a speaker such as the Salon, but only at very loud levels. Maybe 97db and above. If you don’t listen to extreme crazy levels, these amps will please you in every way.

Plinius Odeon 7 channel amp: This is THE BEST multichannel amp i have ever owned. Far , but FAR SUPERIOR to any other multichannel amp i have owned. In my opinion it destroyed all of the multichannel amps i mentioned above and below. The Odeon is an amp that is in a different tier group and it is in a league of its own. Amazing bass, treble and it made my center channel sound more articulate than ever before. The voices where never scrambled with the action scenes. It just separated everything very nicely.

Theta Dreadnaught D: Good detailed amp. Looks very elegant, has a pleasant sound, but i found it a tad too bright for my taste. I thought it was also somewhat "thin" sounding lacking body to the music. could be that it is because it is class d?

Krell Duo 300: Good amp. Nice and detailed with enough power to handle most speakers out there. I found that it does have a very nice "3d" sound through my electrostatics. Nothing to fault here on this amp.
Mark Levinson 532H: Great 2 channel amp. Lots of detail, amazing midrange which is what Mark Levinson is known for. It sounds very holographic and will please those of you looking for more detail and a better midrange. As far as bass, it is there, but it is not going to give you the slam of a pass labs 350.5 or JC1s for example. It is great for those that appreciate classical music, instrumental, etc, but not those of you who love tons of deep bass.

 It is articulate sounding too
Krell 7200: Plenty of detail and enough power for most people. i found that my rear speakers contained more information after installed this amp. One thing that i hated is that you must use xlr cables with this amp or else you lose most of its sound performance when using RCA’s.

Krell 402e: Great amp. Very powerful and will handle any speaker you wish. Power is incredible and with great detail. That said, i didn’t get all the bass that most reviewers mentioned. I thought it was "ok" in regards to bass. It was there, but it didn’t slam me to my listening chair.

Bryston 4B3: Good amp with a complete sound. I think this amp is more laid back than the SST2 version. I think those of you who found the SST2 version of this amp a little too forward with your speakers will definitely benefit from this amp’s warmth. Bryston has gone towards the "warm" side in my opinion with their new SST3 series. As always, they are built like tanks. I wouldn’t call this amp tube-like, but rather closer to what the classe audio delta 2 series sound like which is on the warm side of things.

Parasound JC1s: Good powerful amps. Amazing low end punch (far superior bass than the 402e). This amp is the amp that i consider complete from top to bottom in regards to sound. Nothing is lacking other than perhaps a nicer chassis. Parasound needs to rework their external appearance when they introduce new amps. This amp would sell much more if it had a revised external appearance because the sound is a great bang for the money. It made my 800 Nautilus scream and slam. Again, amazing low end punch.

Simaudio W7: Good detailed amp. This amp reminds me a lot of the Mark Levinson 532h. Great detail and very articulate. I think this amp will go well with bookshelves that are ported in order to compensate for what it lacks when it comes to the bass. That doesn’t mean it has no bass, but when it is no Parasound JC1 either.
Pass labs 350.5: Wow, where do i begin? maybe my first time around with the xa30.8 wasn’t as special as it was with this monster 350.5. It is just SPECTACULAR sounding with my electrostatics. The bass was THE BEST BASS i have ever heard from ANY amp period. The only amp that comes close would be the jC1s. It made me check my settings to make sure the bass was not boosted and kept making my jaw drop each time i heard it. It totally destroyed the krell 402e in every regard. The krell sounded too "flat" when compared to this amp. This amp had amazing mirange with great detail up top. In my opinion, this amp is the best bang for the money. i loved this amp so much that i ended up buying the amp that follows below.

Pass labs 250.8: What can i say here. This is THE BEST STEREO AMP i have ever heard. This amp destroys all the amps i have listed above today to include the pass labs 350.5. It is a refined 350.5 amp. It has more 3d sound which is something the 350.5 lacked. It has a level of detail that i really have never experienced before and the bass was amazing as well. I really thought it was the most complete power amplifier i have ever heard HANDS DOWN. To me, this is a benchmark of an amplifier. This is the amp that others should be judged by. NOTHING is lacking and right now it is the #1 amplifier that i have ever owned.

My current amps are Mcintosh MC601s: i decided to give these 601s a try and they don’t disappoint. They have great detail, HUGE soundstage, MASSIVE power and great midrange/highs. The bass is great, but it is no pass labs 250.8 or 350.5. As far as looks, these are the best looking amps i have ever owned. No contest there. i gotta be honest with you all, i never bought mcintosh monos before because i wasn’t really "wowed" by the mc452, but it could have been also because at that time i was using a processor as a preamp which i no longer do. Today, i own the Mcintosh C1100 2 chassis tube preamp which sounds unbelievable. All the amps i just described above have been amps that i auditioned with the C1100 as a preamp. The MC601s sound great without a doubt, but i will say that if you are looking for THE BEST sound for the money, these would not be it. However, Mcintosh remains UNMATCHED when it comes to looks and also resale value. Every other amp above depreciates much faster than Mcintosh.

That said, my future purchase (when i can find a steal of a deal) will be the Pass labs 350.8. I am tempted to make a preliminary statement which is that i feel this amp could be THE BEST stereo amp under 30k dollars. Again, i will be able to say more and confirm once i own it. I hope this update can help you all in your buying decisions!

I don’t see why it wouldn’t be? unless of course you listen at ear bleeding levels.
Guys, what i have learned over the past week with these xs150 pass labs is that you don’t have to listen at mind blowing levels in order to get everything from them. As a matter of fact, i find these xs150 pass labs a tad bright when pushed hard. However, that could also be my cables or maybe the source so i can’t say for sure that it is just the amps. The more i listen, the more i realize i need to go away from blowing my eardrums off. No need to do that any longer if i want to keep enjoying this journey with amps. What some of you need to do is determine HOW LOUD do you listen to your music. I keep my music right at 88-92db and after that it gets a bit too loud for me and i stop enjoying the music at that point. The challenge is that some amps will not sound great when listening at low volumes because they fall flat on their faces. The simaudio is excellent at any volume level, but yes if you want to blow the doors off your house to impress your friends then no this is not the amp for you. I said it above, quality watts is what this amp is all about which is the same as a class A amp.
I'm curious if you have had any experience with the Lamm M1.2, or M2.2 reference hybrid amps. I certainly can't expect you to go out and purchase them simply for a review but if you have heard them I would be interested in your impressions.
Whitecamaross-I have a ML532h and a ML533h the first driving the front LR B&W 801D2  the latter driving the center rear all B&W-front end Krell  Foundation and PS Audio DSD/Aurender/VPI/etc,etc. Have had many Krell amps-the last FBW 300 blew up-sent it to factory twice-now melted down. Anyway your review of The ML amps is right on-sweet but no punch-so that Pass Labs 28.8 is what I'm thinking about to trade up to. Do you know that dealer in Reno? 
I have really enjoyed following this thread. I hope you will do the same type of reviews for preamps at some point. Thanks
Hi littletommy531, 
Mark levinson amps have tons of detail, but no slam. They are more for midrange and a lot of background detail. Bass is not their strength by any means. That said, if you are looking for massive slam as far as bass, you can't go wrong with the new Krell duo 300. I have not dealt with Reno, but i hear great things about them. As far as the 28.8, i am not sure what that is? 
Alright guys, 
Here is an update on the Krell duo 300:
The last time i owned this amp, i was using a classe cp800 preamp and i feel like i didn't really do the krell any justice. They had no synergy together, but now with my Mark Levinson no 52 reference preamp things are totally different. This Mark Levinson has tremendous smoothness and a beautiful low end punch. The krell duo 300 has now really showed me more of what it can do. It has nice bass (more than the mark levinson), great highs and can be pushed very far without really clipping it. I am sincerely enjoying this amp more than before and could go as far as saying that it is one great amp for the money. If your budget is around $5,000 for a quality stereo amp, this amp should be at the top of your list. 
Today, i am again a proud owner of a pass labs x350.5. I had bought this amp last year and of course, i did not have the best preamp for it (classe cp800) but i still really thought this amp was excellent. Well, today i have been playing with it again and now connected to the no52 Mark Levinson preamp. This is a special amplifier. I REALLY love the big midrange although some might say it is a bit too much. However, with electrostatic speakers you'd be rewarded huge. I also like its bass, slam and dynamics that it has. If i were to knit pick, i would say it is not a transparent amplifier. It has its own flavor and some of you may or may not like it. I personally love it, but everything sounds good through it. That said, system sinergy is important so it is very crucial that you match it with a true high end preamp to really make it shine. 
With all this said, i am contemplating the purchase of a pair of pass labs 200.5 monos and do a real world A/B comparison against the pass labs xs150 and see what happens. Some say that you can't hear a difference and that the only way to really tell them apart is if you have gigantic speakers with crazy power demands, but those of you who don't, there may not be much of a difference. 
I will say that walking into my living room and seeing these xs150s really makes you be like wow... It is a true piece of engineering that makes you feel proud, yes cocky as well, but only because it really is something that not even dealers carry in my instances because of the enormous investment. This weekend i will be doing a great shootout once again but will have the x350.5 in the mix. One thing i did not mention to you all before was that the class a and class ab amps from pass labs sound very different. They also need to be carefully planned and selected based on these 3 things:

1. type of speaker
2. type of music
3. the level at which you listen to music. 

Pass lab class A amps tend to sound very liquid, clean, detailed, but they do lack the slam that their class ab versions have. The class AB amps have massive punch, slam, dynamics, deep bass, don't run as hot, but they are not as accurate sounding as the class A versions. If you are a person who likes to listen to Jazz at night in a cozy environment where there is minimal noise, you are probably a candidate for their Class A amps. however, if you have friends over, like to showcase the horsepower hidden under the hood of these monster chassis, feel the bass in your chest, and you like to put the pedal to the metal in terms of loudness, then you need to consider Class AB. 
The XS series has the best of both worlds which is why they are so much more $. 
Update on the xs150: i was listening to these amps over the weekend and i must say that they don’t hit their stride until about the 3rd hour of playtime. That is when they really open up and begin to sound more liquid. That said, my room begins to get warm at that point and it can get somewhat uncomfortable so the a/c needs to be running more. You can’t get too close to these chassis either because it is very hot near them.
An additional note is the fact that they let you hear EVERYTHING. I am talking things such as having one plugged into an outlet and the other one plugged into a power conditioner will let you hear that each amp sounds different. I had issues with the midrange not being dead center and when i plugged in both amps directly into the wall, the problem was solved. These amps have amazing detail transparency and cutting corners here is not an option. They deserve the very best you can give them in terms of cabling, sources, and preampfification. Think of it as buying a ferrari; You will need expensive tires, brakes, oil changes, etc. It is the nature of the beast and this amp is no exception.
What i find annoying is all the things you need to pay attention to with an amp like this. Everything affects the sound, but with the x350.5 things are totally different. That amp sounds the same with a good power cord, or stock power cord, plugged in anywhere, etc. It sounds good no matter what and the midrange remains dead center as well so there is a lot less of a headache with it.
For now, i am 50/50 as far as what i will be doing with the xs150s. i don't know if i will keep them or will part ways with them. They are a true reference component that deserves special attention and plenty of space. They sound phenomenal and even at low volume levels they really give you everything the music has. They teach you that you don't need to blow your eardrums off by cranking up you music which is cool if you ask me. I don't believe they are meant to be cranked up to ear bleeding levels either because in my opinion they sound best a low to moderate levels. That is their sweet spot. 
Comparing the x350.5 vs xs150:

x350.5: Lovely midrange. Big power and dynamics with slam. Great detail, Sounds extremely organized and composed even at loud levels. The highs are good, but they are not xs150 smooth. The bass is good, but not xs150 bass

xs150.5: Good midrange, but less pronounced than on the x350.5 ( i would say this is a negative in my personal opinion). Awesome detailed highs that are smooth (after a few hours of playtime). The most powerful bass i have ever experienced. Think of it as bass on steroids with tightness, quickness, zero boominess, and really fast sounding. 

All that said, i can say that the law of diminishing returns here is huge. We are comparing a 10k vs a 65k amplifier. Yes the 65k is superior, but it is not necessarily 6.5 times better. Also, after many hours of listening to music, you begin to have listening fatigue and so the difference between both amps is less and less and less. Your ears almost can't differentiate between both amps. However, that is just nature and there is nothing we can do about that. 
Let's see what i will be doing in the next few days with the xs150. I really need to keep hearing them with fresh ears before i decide to part ways with them. I know it will be my last pair for a very long time. 

At $10k or 65k there should not exist any listener fatigue?

Happy Listening!

whitecamaross,  I think you have pointed out a couple of important things we need to be aware of: diminishing returns and the "new" factor.

Here's what you said about the Xs 150s the day you got them:

"yesterday i sat down at 3pm and listened to music until 3am this morning.. i couldn't get off the couch. It was just impossible to leave my room because of how amazing these amps sound."

Now a few days later, you've started to notice some downside.  I am not being critical at all.  It's just that those of us less able to move as much equipment as you can need to know when to quit and enjoy what we've got.

You need to keep doing what you're doing, though.  Your reports are very informative and enjoyable.

Remember one thing, when you go into a dealer and buy a car you just test drove, you'll be happy and thrilled to take it home with you. You really won't find what turns you off about the car until you've been driving it for a while. Maybe it rattles when you're on the highway at 75mph? Maybe the car isn't the quietest car at high speeds or the car wastes too much gas etc. It's all part of the game in terms of amplification. Yes I feel they sound amazing at all times but the listener fatigue I'm referring to is the fatigue that is coming from your ears being tired and not the kind that comes from overwhelming brightness or loudness. 
That said, the xs is a wonderful amp but as I mentioned it is very picky with cables. This can be a con for some people. 
Everything produces listener fatigue. Especially at higher volumes. Which is a mystery since distortion from amplifiers does not rise with volume, theoretically. So, the distortion is from something else, something unknown. Let’s call it a mystery shrouded in a mystery.

Listener fatigue doesn't have to come from distortion, it could simply be that the listener is tired of hearing the sounds of the music, whether or not they are distorted.


Listener fatigue doesn't have to come from distortion, it could simply be that the listener is tired of hearing the sounds of the music, whether or not they are distorted.

OK, let me say it a different way. The distortion I'm talking about is always there whether you realize it or not, whether you can hear it or not. If you can't hear it or are unaware of it it's most likely because it's always been there and you just got used to it.
You are correct with what you said about being tired of hearing the sounds of music whether distorted or not. I was only saying that they both end up getting you "fatigued" after hours of listening. Think of it as you wearing headphones all day long listening to music. Wouldn't your ears be tired ? 

You mentioned:

Pass lab class A amps tend to sound very liquid, clean, detailed, but they do lack the slam that their class ab versions have.

Is this all based upon the XA30.8? My guess is that you would probably want at least the XA100.8, if not the more powerful XA’s to make a better comparison with the X250.8 and X350.5.  I'm thinking the XA***.8 versions will fare better than the XA***.5 versions, if you are looking to compare the slam.


I own the 350.5 and the xs150 labs. Big different in power and bass slam than their class a counterparts. 
Is that based upon only listening to the XA30.8?   If so, then you may want to try a more powerful XA***.8 (not .5) to see if it's still the case.  I think the gap will be greatly narrowed.

I noticed you had the Classe CA5200 and CT5300. I have the CA5200 using for music 80%/movies 20%. I've been thinking of upgrading to the CA5300 but not sure if the improvement in sound quality would be worth it. Would like to know your thoughts on which sounded better and if it is worth it to upgrade from CA5200 to CA5300.  Thanks.
Keep your 5200. The 5300 is blah. Cold
sounding and very boring. I think the 5200 is one of the best multi channel amps. 
Alright guys, just wanted to report that my electric went up 45 dollars last month. I owned the xs150 for 2 weeks but I am not sure if they are the main reason why it shot up 45 dollars. If they are the reason then they can potentially cost about 100 dollars a month to use them about 3-5 hours per day. Just sharing this information with you all. Again, not sure if it's all their fault or if I had other things sucking power. 

Man. Thats a lot to pay for electricity for power amps. There’s always class-d... ;)
I bought whitecamaross Simaudio 860a , and everything he wrote is just how this amp sounds . It has great bass slam , the music floats in the air as never before ,it runs cool to the touch with the volume up to 92 decibels . This is with only 3 hours of power to the amp after shipping , once powered up for awhile the sound could improve even more .
r1oster,  Glad to hear.  I almost pulled the trigger and bought that amp myself, but ran in to some other financial responsibilties(I wanted to see how it compared to my ayre vx-5).   What speakers are you using?
hi r1oster,
i am glad you are seeing and hearing with your own eyes and ears what i have been saying all along. That is one amazing amp and it truely is a giant killer. Remember what i said to you, dont turn it off ever. It is meant to be left on and dont worry about the power consumption while idling. It draws very little juice unlike my xs150 monoblocks!!

Speaking of the xs150s, i have been playing with the idea of sending these puppies in exchange for other amps that i am eager to try, but the more i keep listening, the more reluctant i am to doing so. I just cringe at the thought of parting ways with these and then regretting down the road that i did it to myself. So that said, i plan on keeping them for the time being because i am very afraid of really taking a huge step back in musicality and finesse by going with another amp of less pedigree.
On another note, i recently purchased a pair of Sonus Amati Futura. I will say that these speakers are seriously power hungry! wow, they made the needle in my xs150s move and switch to class A/B!. I have done this with the martin logan renaissance as well, but i can get out more volume with the renaissance while still remaining in class a because they have powered woofers so they are easier to drive.
That said, i also went to listen to the monitor audio PL 500ii and i was really impressed with them. I must say that ribbon tweeter is amazing with vocals which makes it sound very electrostatic like.i realize that no matter in which direction i try to go in order to find a speaker that bests my renassaince, it simply isnt going to happen unless i spend upwards of 50,000 dollars which i won’t do. No matter how hard i try to best these electrostatics, it is IMPOSSIBLE to beat them. Think about it, HUGE PANELS, DUAL 12 INCH WOOFERS WITH BUILT IN ROOM CORRECTION AND AMPLIFICATION, and a huge soundstage spread that makes all over speakers sound thin. These renaissance DEMOLISHED my salon 2s, killed my dynaudio c4s, and murdered the sonus faber amati futuras i own. The pass labs and amati futura combo was not great. There is no synergy there because i think the amati futuras are more for class a/b amps with massive juice such as the x600.8s.
I spoke to pass labs today and they basically said that indeed the class a amps with electrostatic panels willl be a hard combination to beat. It just works wonderfully.
If you always wanted to hear pass lab class a amps sound their best, you owe it to yourself to use electrostatic speakers. TRUST ME ON THIS, you WILL NOT go back to conventional speakers. I have tried 4 different times to find a replacement for my renaissance (just because) and i have failed miserably. Electrostatics and pass labs class a amps are like wine and cheese. They just work so perfect together.
I enjoy reading about your Audio adventures- whitecamaross

You are quite informative on these various brands of Power Amps.
Do not forget to mention your associated gear, especially, cabling!

Happy Listening!

whitecamaross, If for some reason you decide to try any tube amps, I highly recommend the Linear Tube Audio ZOTL40. These can easily be made into 80 watt mono blocks and when paired LTA's MZ2-S preamp they are a sound to behold. In my system with my 87db Janszen zA2.1's, I have all of the power I need and with their speed and agility I feel they compete with the best SS amps out there. Dick Olsher's article in TAS just came out this morning, it's worth a read. I would love to hear your thoughts on how they stack up to these fine SS amps you have reviewed. Thank you thread you started.

Hi Lancelock, 
thanks and i will definitely look into this a bit further. So far, it appears that the pass labs xs150 amps will be the standard that i will use to judge other amps. i think this amp has me at a good place in terms of the overall musicality. Of course, the heat is unbearable, but it is what it is. 
I think the cool thing about owning these amps is that i can really do real life A/B comparisons against others. I have yet to try a pair of pass labs xa200.5 or 200.8s. I would like to see how much better the xs amps truly are when compared to the xa200... That said, those don't come up often on the used market. 
rshad0000 , I'm glad you passed on it , going to be a keeper for me .
 Speakers are M&K S 150 THX , they are getting old but have NEVER sounded this good . Put a McIntosh MX-151 processor in the system last fall and that was a big upgrade in SQ . We can't really compare these to the Anthem as they are much less expensive . As whitecamaross said in his post about this amp it has bass slam that you can feel . He has done a lot of work to swap all these amps out and then post his findings on this thread for us to read , really a great short- cut for us .
Thanks R1oster. Much appreciated that you heard what I said and can now see that my assessment is real and without being biased. 
That said guys, I have just purchased a pair of classe cam600s and classe ct5300 5 channel amp. I decided to just use the cam600s with the sonus faber futuras and the Mark levison preamp and holy shIt!  The Amati futuras sound like never before. Wow. I have to be honest with my self here and admit that the classe cam600s sound better than the pass Labs xs150s do with these speakers. This goes to show me that system matching is really something to not take lightly. The cam600s just really opened up these speakers. This shows me that sonus faber needs pure class ab horsepower rather than class a. However, this doesn't mean that they sound bad with the pass Labs but they lack the massive soundstage that they are capable of with alot
of watts behind them. 
Next week, I plan to bring back my renaissance and use the classe cam600s to see what happens. Stay tuned, this hobby gets more interesting by the day. 
Alright guys, in order to make more space in my living room, i decided to list my x350.5 pass labs. Amp is in excellent shape, very little use and i had to drive 6 hours roundtrip to pick it up! It is one of the few x350.5 amps that are are in this kind of shape. Amazing sweetness in the highs, powerful low end punch and a great midrange that always continues to wow me.
Whitecamaross, Patiently waiting till you get a chance to listen classe cam 600 with Rennaisance speakers!!! Will be interesting parallel to be drawn again with matching speakers to amps one more time. Thanks.
I am very surprised by your find, whitecamaros, that classe cam600s sound better than, such excellent and well thought off, pass Labs xs150s with the sonus faber futuras !!!!! The verdict has been delivered one more time ---- "This goes to show me that system matching is really something to not take lightly. "  Great work again!!!!
Thank you. SYstem matching is indeed huge. 
Right now i brought home a pair of monitor audio platinum 300ii (mk2) and boy oh boy. They sound amazing and very dynamic. This speaker is such a steal in many ways. I love the smoothness and massive bass with attack and punch. It's for sure a really big improvement over the first generation of platinum speakers. It has a ton more detail and smoothness. For now, i am waiting for my pass labs preamp which will be here Thursday. This will be my first attempt at matching my pass amps with a pass preamp and see if the sinergy exists between both. Im also receiving a new pair of Martin Logan renaissance speakers and I'm tempted to sell them sealed along with the brand new sealed huge center channel. I'm getting an itch to try something else in terms of speakers. 
I honestly don't know of a better speaker under 35k. It really is the best speaker under 35k. I see a few listed and I can't believe people aren't jumping on those. 
Whitecamaross, thank you for a great forum thread, I cant resist and ask  how do you rate the Sonus Faber Amati Futura? How do they compare with others you have/had, specifically Monitor Audio platinum 300mk2?
Hi and fhank you for your words. As far as how I rate them, they're different speakers. The Amati are detailed, image well, but require massive amounts of power.  They are the speaker that you sit down and enjoy while drinking wine. Jazz, classical, etc are the type the of music that come to mind. If you like to enjoy quality sound at low to moderate volume then it's a great speaker. 
Tbe monitor audio is a more dynamic powerful
speaker. They pound your chest with bass and attack. They do dynamic swings really well. Almost like my renaissance which I Believe is the best speaker under 35,000 dollars. So because I love dynamic powerful music, the platinums are for me. However, the futura are far more beautiful pieces. They make the monitor audio look cheap in comparison. 
It's all about a compromise this hobby. Can't really have it all in one speaker or amplifier. What we need to do first as audiophiles is to identify what is our preference with music in general and then find the speakers that meet our needs. No speaker will do every type of music perfectly. 

i am using wireworld eclipse 7. I have used nordost and cardas as well and i felt wireworld clables are my cup of tea. 
there is a fellow audiophile friend of mine who came to my home and heard my renaissance and fell in complete love with them. He liked them so much that he ended up buying a pair, but when they were delivered to his house the wife began to complain about their size, etc and so he decided to sell them before he opened them and not begin an argument with her.  They are listed on ebay and i can vouch for them. Again, read my reviews above, i find this is THE BEST speaker under 35k dollars BY FAR. It smoked my sonus amati futuras, revel salon 2s, Dynaudio C4 Platinums, etc. This is THE BEST sounding speaker i have heard and before i bought them i went around listening to a ton of speakers such as magicos, rockports, wilson audios, etc and NOTHING outperformed these Renaissance electrostatics. 
If you are interested, please feel free to reach out to me. As mentioned above, they are currently listed on ebay. He also has the MASSIVE and newly released center channel Martin Logan illusion. Both speakers are in black gloss. 

Very nice! whitecamaross

I liked the Wireworld Electra7 power cord (PC).
I have not spent any time w/ the interconnects (IC).

I use a Silver Starlight 5.2 HDMI cable in my video system. It is only bettered by the Platinum model.

Happy Listening!
I agree. i have tried other high end brands and i honestly can't hear a difference. To me, spending a lot of money on cables is really a big mistake. First off, when you try to sell them after you are done with them, you will take a bath trying to sell them. You will be lucky if you can recuperate 25% of the value. That said, there are plenty of people who spend 5,000 dollars on a power cord!  which i think is ridiculous. 
Next up, Classe Audio CAM-600 mono blocks:
These are some serious monsters. They posses almost limitless power reserves and run very cool regardless of how hard you push them. I can't hear the cooling fans at all even after cranking them up for long periods of time. These monos have a level of smoothness that would match those speakers that are too bright sounding or forward sounding such as Paradigm, klipsch, etc. 
Today i am going to be using a pass labs xp20 preamplifier to see what this will do to these monos and my pass xs150 monos. 
The classe audio cam600 is THE BEST amp to come out of classe audio. Having owned the cam300s before, this is far superior in many ways. Again, if you are looking to smooth out your current set up and need to tame those high frequencies a bit, this amp will do the trick while still being detailed. 
Certainly, a $5K power cord (PC) has its place. There must be total system synergy for it to pay-off (no pun).  Every system does not require such high-cost cabling, however, some systems do. The choice is yours.

Happy Listening!
What an amazing catalogue of amp reviews. Phenomenal enlightenment. Timely as I recently read a review of Mark Levinson 526 preamp. You might consider it as a preamp option. I'd like to try Mola Mola Kaluga Class D, small highly efficient and powerful. Crventura of YouTube's endgame amp. Now I turn my attention to Pass Labs and SimAudio thanks to you. Your frank and quick analysis is a great first cut review mate. Really appreciate your transparency and story telling. 

Thanks John.  Reading comments like yours makes this thread all worth it to me. I spend time here and share MY EXPERIENCE with amplifiers and certain speakers from time to time. I love to see how the law of diminishing returns kicks in after a certain price point. I've seen that the best bang for the buck for amplifiers is in the 4k-9k range. That's where most of the best amps I've owned lie. I will say once you go over the 10k price point you start to see the diminishing effect. I love my xs pass labs amps, but see they worth 4 times as much as my Classé cam600s? No they're not. The sound isn't 4 times better or 400% better. 
I have someone wanting to trade me some Jeff Rowland 925s for my pass labs xs150 but I'm not 100% sure. Remember, I want to keep going with this hobby so I have to carefully select my amps and think about the marketability of it so I don't get stuck with them. Brands like Magnus audio really make me curious but that's an amp that will be hard to sell once I'm done with it. 
In order to stay On top, you just only stick to brands that have a following. Yes, this means that there will be a lot of brands that will never make it in my room but im ok with that. 
Totally enjoyed this thread! BIG THX to @whitecamaross 

Now looking for another Simaudio W8 so that I can use them as mono blocks, there is something to the more clean power the better. The investment is worth it, also quality will always have resale.

not 100% sure about the W8 and the 860...same design? I figure they must be damn close.

cheers all
I'm glad you find my thread interesting. To those of you who have reach out me because of this thread, I hope you are all enjoying my multiple recommendations. I really enjoy this journey and although at times I get frustrated because I'm never content due to the constant switching of units, I'm assuming this would apply to most hobbies. 
That said, some of you have reached out to me about your interest in my xs150s pass Labs. I am not per say interested in parting ways with them BUT if the right offer is made then sure I am open to letting them go. As some of you know, these retail for 65k and no dealer that I know stocks these amps for a demo so you have to pretty much by them outright. Dealer cost on these amps is $39,000 dollars plus whatever the selling dealer wants to make on top. I do however understand that this is a lot of money for some people so I could be open to taking in some amplifiers plus cash on top in order to facilitate this deal. I would be interested mainly in other pass labs amps, mark Levinson 536s monos, dan agostino momentums, and amps of this caliber. However, I am NOT interested in an even trade or just simply swapping gear. I would need cash on top. Please note, this is ONLY AN IDEA at this time so I am not 100% sure I want to do this just yet.