Personal amp evolution

Seeing the over night success of the speaker evolution thread, it may be interesting to see what type of amp(s) we have all run. Same deal as the other thread-we will sort of create a puzzle of our systems you'll have to visit multiple threads to put everything together!!! ;)
For me I started:
Adcom GFA-565 monoblocks
Rotel RB-990bx
Jeff Rowland Design Group Model 5
Balanced Audio Technology(BAT) VK-60

either a CAT JL2, BAT VK-75se or Tenor 75Wp on the horizon.
Here’s my amp/int amp/rec’r journey from 1984 to 2017:

1. Yamaha M50, crown straight line 1 preamp
2. Sansui AU717
3. NAD 2155, Luxman preamp & Acoustat TNP pre
4. B&K ST140, Acoustat TNP pre, Music reference RM5 mkII pre & dyna PAS 2
5. Dynaco ST70, Dyna PAS 3
6. McIntosh MC225, Music Reference pre
7. B&K EX442 Sonata - sounded almost exactly like the Paoli’s), Music Ref pre
8. Paoli M60 monoblocks, Music Ref pre
9. cj MV50, Music Ref pre
10. Music Reference RM9, Music Ref pre
11. AMC CVT-3030
12. Mac 1900 Rec’r
13. Mitsubishe DA-R7 rec’r
14. Creek 5050 int.
15. Acurus A80, Hegeman Hapi2 pre
16. Early Korneff 6bq5 SE int.
17. John Ecklund PP6bg6 triode - moded Conn organ amp
18. Custom KT66 SE int (from ebay)
19. Onix OA-21s
20. ads A-2
21. JVC AX-55, 80 watt Special class A int.
22. Musical Fidelity B1
23. Kailin 6bq5 int
24. Rawsonte Brick gainclones, Superphon Rev. Basic Dual Mono preamp
25. Audio Space Mini-Galaxy II
26. John Ecklund PP6bg6 triode - moded
27. Yamaha AX-550 int amp
28. Tandberg 3030 receiver
29. Fleawatt TPA3122 D2 Soft Maple amp
30. Fleawatt cigar box amp TPA3122
31. Fleawatt TDA7297 Zebrawood
32. Optonica SM-1515B int.
33. Onix OA-20/2
34. Ditton Elan DI-260
35. Denon DRA-700 receiver
36. Antique Sound Lab MG-si15DT
37. Tandberg TIA-3012

And the most memorable/best sounding: Mac MC225, Music Ref RM9, Korneff, 6bg6, the Onix’s, the B&K’s, Paolis, the Fleawatt’s, ASL, and the Tandberg 3012

And the worst sounding/bigest disappointment: cj (just didn’t mate up with the MR preamp & wish I had a PV5), Musical Fidelity B1, Kailin (fans just too darn loud), MAC1900 (great tuner but early SS harsh sounding amp)

Ok. I'll play.

Mark Levinson ML-9
Krell KSA-150
Ayre V-1, V-1x, V-1xe
Ayre MX-R, MX-R Twenty
D'Agostino S-250

With a hundred auditioned in between.
These were the "keepers".
I see this thread hasn't quite died out, so I'll add another update.  I enjoyed the rebuilt GAS for a good four years but in addition to simply wanting more volume, I wanted better speakers too, so I once again picked up another Ayre, the VX-5 Twenty.  This is my 4th different model Ayre over the last 16 years, so there's definitely something I like about these.

Since my last post here, 8 years ago on 12-16-09, I traded up from the very good sounding Clayton M200 monos to their big brothers, the M300s. The list below picks things up from there.

Clayton M300: 300/600 wpc into 8/4 ohms, fully in Class A. There are so many things these amplifiers do well that I really need to cover them in a review. The main thing with Clayton amps is that they sound outstandingly real so you think less about electronics and more about the beauty and power of the music. Clayton amps provide much more power into Class A than the competition, and particularly at their price points. The M300s are about $17K.

Acoustic Imagery Atsah: 400 wpc. I replaced the Clayton M300s with these in a quest to have it all. The variety of NC1200 amps (i.e., Acoustic Imagery, Merrill, Mola-Mola, etc.) all offer a quiet, powerful, rich sound in a small, cool-running, package. They offered everything I wanted, except ultimately the sound. IMO, their sonic deficiency has to do with what I perceive as an absence of ambient information. I  do not know how that could actually be, but the sound reminds me of musicians individually playing in a studio rather than performers on a stage together. This is an inadequate explanation so, for those interested in understanding more completely what I ultimately could not live with, I recommend reading the review of the Mola-Mola Kaluga amps in Mono and Stereo linked below;

McCormack DNA-2 LAE with SMc Audio Platinum Upgrades: Steve did pretty much everything he could to upgrade this powerful (300/600 wpc into 8/4 ohms) stereo amplifier and it sounds very good indeed. It is clear, powerful and quiet, with a very nice tone. When I decided I couldn’t live with the Ncore sound, I took an opportunity on the somewhat rare LAE version of this amplifier and did not regret the result. I have owned several McCormack amps including a standard DNA-2 and the DNA-500. Of the four amplifiers listed in this update post, this is one of the two I still own.

Lamm M1.2 Reference: The biggest 110 wpc (into 8 or 4 ohms) I have ever heard. I previously owned the M1.1 and except for a somewhat dark sound, I completely enjoyed my time with them. These 1.2 Reference monos fixed the dark sound and kept all the other things I liked about the Lamm hybrid amps. The sound was full and tonally rich but with my speakers I ultimately found they did not offer quite the “slam” I was looking for and had a point where 110 wpc into 4 ohms was just not enough.  

Clayton M300: 300/600 wpc into 8/4 ohms, fully in Class A. Hey wait, did I not mention these at the top of this post? Sure did. After going through the three very good amps that replaced my previous M300s, I first tried to buy the original pair back and found that my buyer would not part with them. We still stay in touch to occasionally discuss things that work well with our Claytons. I finally purchased another pair used and sent them to Wilson Shen who fully upgraded them, as he did with my previous factory-purchased pair, and the result is spectacular. The somewhat large size and hot-running temperatures are small trade-offs for the outstanding sound I have achieved using these Class A amplifiers.  Wilson did not hold my temporary absence from Clayton ownership against me and in addition to being a wonderful manufacturer to work with, he is also a good friend.

A truly heartening story.  Especially for someone who had Clayton M-100's for a 10 years and moved up to the M300s 18 months ago.  While I wasn't totally loyal (I have a Berning 270), I never sold the M100's until I went to the M300s.
At this point can't imagine owning other amplifiers.  On the other hand, I'm glad someone took the journey.  Kind of like having a car pass me way above the speed limit.  I'm always happy to have a runner <g>.  And you are right about Wilson.  He actually made a house call when I had a problem.  Welcome home.