What amp / int. amp would you still like to try?


Being in job transition (out of work) gives you too much idle time so I just read the thread of Amp Evolution. It was very interesting, but after reading it I wonder, what lies ahead for everyone? I've been in the hobby for about 30 years and its always been fun sampling different things.

In responding, it would be helpful to quickly re-list your amp evolution and then what you are interested in trying and your motivation for it. This way others might be able to comment and offer advise based on their experiences in order to steer you in the right direction. My own amp evolution is pretty long so I'll follow this up at a later time. Hope this can generate a nice thread. Thanks for your input,
Lou
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Since I am a soundlab owner I to wish for Ralph's MA1 or MA2 model;for pre amp I would like to hear the ARC Ref 3 or 5 and again Ralph's pre amp as well.
I would like to try a Jadis DA30 or 60 integrated. Not that I expect it to sound as good as my OTLs, but I just always loved the way they look, and those that own them seem to love them. Have to agree on the VAC Phi Beta, only heard it once with the Magicos at a show, what a beautiful looking and sounding piece of gear. Do they even make an integrated anymore? You would think something like the Avatar with and without phono option should have stayed in the lineup for a long, long time.
VAC still makes one integrated called the Alpha, housed in a sort of Avatar-like case but containing the latest and greatest from their current lineup. Not sure of the price, but fully loaded I expect it approaches $20K.

I too wonder why they don't continue to build a more affordable integrated.
I'll take the retro approach for my answer to this interesting question. I would love to hear (actually own) a pair of Mark Levinson-2 monoblocks driving a pair of Quad ESL-57's. For obvious reasons, I would think!
Having owned so many magazine subscriptions in the early 80's to late 90's and beyond from: Stereo Review, Audio, Stereophile, TAS, HiFi Heretic, Listener, etc., I've probably read more than I've auditioned and owned (and the auditioned/owned list isn't short either). From that, I love the older gear of the 80's and 90's in addition to earlier classic gear too.

Tube gear is without a doubt my favorite. I find whenever I've owned SS gear, it always left me wanting tube gear. At one time, I bought a pr of small brick sized Tim Rawson mono gainclones and they were fabulous. Was using it with a very nice budget preamp (Superphon Revelation Basic Dual Mono) and wished I had a tube preamp to go along with it.

I also tend to want to gravitate to rare gear as well. In addition to wanting to try many of the great products that I've read about over the years: Motif amps & preamps, Spectral DMA50 or 90 and DMC10, PS Audio 200C & 5.5 pre, Meitner, Counterpoint SA-12 & SA5.1 pre, Moscode 300, cj PV-5 or Premier II pre, Perreaux, Belles 400, Klyne preamps - which to me all look great, I'd also like to try a Tandberg 3012 int, Nait II, and a Revox B285 rec'r.

However, being so impressed with the gainclone I'd also definitely like to try the higher powered gainclone amp/tube preamp combo. Basically, just let me hit the lottery really big and I'd just have a huge museum of stacks of classic audio gear from the 60's on :)

And after that, I'd worry about what speakers that I was going to pair this stuff with...