SST Son Of Ampzilla II vs Parasound A21 or A23+

Has anyone heard these please?


A21 is a great amp IMO. Not heard the others but depending on your speakers the a23+ would probably be on the bottom of the list. 

Have you actually heard the 23+? 

I have no faith in the 21+ yet the 23+ seems like a nice upgrade on paper.

Buy this.  It’s as good or better than any of the others, but if you get the itch you can send it to SMcAudio and have them upgrade it into a truly SOTA amp for a very reasonable cost.

Best of luck.

No never heard the A23+. The A23 didn’t get rave reviews at all. Maybe it’s great? 

@brianlucey I owned a A23+ for two months, bought it second hand from a prior owner who owned it for six months. I was perplexed that it really did nothing for me. I did compare it to other amps, and contacted the owner of PS to inquire more. Sold it. I don’t know if it was a synergy problem or what, just did not work out.

At that time I also owned a Cary SA-200.2 soldi state amp, which was nice, a little too much Class AB power for what I needed - still wanted lower power true Class A. Decided to have my Pass Forte’ updated/upgraded - now running a true Class-A 50 watts. Sweet, plenty of grunt too with reasonably efficient speakers. I rotate it in/out with my upgraded QS Mono 120 tube mono block amps. It’s fun to compare/contrast these two very different types of amplifies. The Forte' does run full Class A, always on, hotter than my QS Mono 120 tube amps. 

As you may recall, you and I compared notes way back during the V12R days, just to give you an idea of different tastes we may have crossed paths on previously. .

i need balanced ins.

Why?  What’s your preamp?  If it’s not fully balanced from input to output it makes no difference.  Just curious.  

I was searching for a Son of Ampzilla II for a while but ended up getting a pair of Cherry Maraschino monos, the 60v power supply version, 800w into 2 ohms. Really works great with my Magnepan LRS+. Something to consider.

@tubeguy76 thank you, i appreciate that. Problem has been solved I’m happy to say

Brand new Magnus Audio MA-150. Voiced differently from the rest of their excellent line with more low mid/low end power, not as detailed/less sizzle at the high mids and high end.

MA-150 sounds very very close to my main amps, the Allnic Audio A-6000 monos running 2x EML 300 BXLS per side. Those are the best amps I’ve ever heard, vs any SS or Tube I have tried.  Near perfect in every category if you have a high efficiency speaker with low end support as I do.

This Magnus amp is a sleeper, a new product about a year ago made for the Chinese market, perfect for anyone looking for tube harmonics and frequency shape in the midrange, with low end punch and power in a SS amp.

100 hours in. 200 to go

Quite the bargain at just over 3k. I’ve been looking for this resolved and punchy tube sound from solid state for decades.

@brianlucey Great, glad it worked out for you.  So the Magnus is made in the USA for the Chinese market?  Interesting.


@tubeguy76 Oh yes for sure, Made in California like all Magnus Audio

The MA-150 is what I've always wanted from solid state at any price, just enough warmth but still clear, and punchy. Not as much minute resolution and space as my Allnic A-6000s, but close enough to use as a spare. Definitely a big bottom.

If people love their other Magnus Audio amps already this voicing will not be for them. The others are cleaner and more resolving, not as much low end balls, not even to 400 which is VERY well balanced. The 340 a little lean compared to the MA-400 ... a real giant killer.

Comparing MA-150 to the XA30.8 ... the latter is huge, hot, heavy, lacks low end punch and the midrange around 2k is very weird. Did not like it at all.

Compared MA-150 to the A21 ... the A21 is nice in a generic way ... yet is overly soft from the heavy harmonics, loses detail, a bit dark and lacking clean punch, not well resolved in the details or transients.  Workable but "grey" overall.

The Dartzeel Stereo amp at $25000? was not close to this $3300 amp, but it's been too long to recall what was the shortcomings.

@brianlucey Congratulations! Since Magnus Audio’s parent company is Canary Audio, they know their way around voicing both tubes & SS. That’s why I suggested it on your other thread.

Years ago, when I decided to replace my Class A 50w tube mono-blocks by CR Developments, I visited Joe in Hermosa Beach. I came home with a Magnus Class A MA-200. When I compared the amps, they were surprisingly close. The deal-maker was the low-end grunt from the Magnus. My preamp & DAC now provide the tube magic.

I’d love to compare your MA-150 to my MA-200. I’m down in OC. But I don’t know if my back would cooperate. Enjoy!

@steakster come up to Atwater Village anytime. The Evolution MM3 Exact and Bricasti M1 SE in a great room reveals all :)