Advice on Solid State Amp (Dartzeel and Audiopax Preamps)

Vicks7

Well-Known Member
Jul 1, 2013
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Sao Paulo, Brazil
Hi all, I am running Evolution Acoustic MMTwo speakers with the new Audiopax L50 hybrid preamp and M100 monoblock tube amplifiers. I also have a Dartzeel preamp (18NS Model 1) which I have been using as phono and preamp.

Given the scarcity in tubes due to the recent conflict and also just to have a different flavor, I would like to get a solid state amp (it could be second-hand) and I am looking for recommendations. Unfortunately I do not have the budget at the moment for a Dartzeel 108 which would probably make sense given the synergy with the Dart pre and my speakers; I would not want to spend much more than $5,000-US$8,000. My equipment is set up on the side wall and I run a long interconnect between the pre-amp and the power amps that reside between and behind the speakers. It would be good if the amp had balanced ins as well as single ended as I currently have balanced cables (Ocellia) so would prefer to avoid having to buy new single ended interconnects.

Thanks all in advance,

James
 
Wow you have the Audiopax new hybrid pre
What do you think?
To your question of amps
You did not post efficiency so I am thinking some Pass amps ,Bryson amps or Ayres
I am in US so don’t know availability there
 
Here's one that looks like it could fit the requirements.
Atma-Sphere class-D.
They are mono-blocks, have both balanced and unbalanced inputs and list for under $6k.
They are only 100 Watts into 8 Ohms. But if you listen at moderate volumes that could work with your speakers.
I replaced my fully modded M60 OTL tube amps with them.
They are very musical sounding amps.
 
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Wow you have the Audiopax new hybrid pre
What do you think?
To your question of amps
You did not post efficiency so I am thinking some Pass amps ,Bryson amps or Ayres
I am in US so don’t know availability there
Thanks JAB. The new Audiopax L50 hybrid pre is superb. It now includes a tube stage (in a cathode follower mode with automatic bias adjustment using ECC82/12AU7 tubes). Its a marked improvement on the original L50, particularly in terms of what I can only describe as the layering of the music that is presented. Audiopax recently presented it at a show in the UK and I think received a number of orders - very pleased for them as the product deserves more attention but the Brazilian hi-end market is very limited.

In relation to your question, my Evolution Acoustic MMTwos are 93dB/7 Ohm impedance.
 
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Hi all, I am running Evolution Acoustic MMTwo speakers with the new Audiopax L50 hybrid preamp and M100 monoblock tube amplifiers. I also have a Dartzeel preamp (18NS Model 1) which I have been using as phono and preamp.

Given the scarcity in tubes due to the recent conflict and also just to have a different flavor, I would like to get a solid state amp (it could be second-hand) and I am looking for recommendations. Unfortunately I do not have the budget at the moment for a Dartzeel 108 which would probably make sense given the synergy with the Dart pre and my speakers; I would not want to spend much more than $5,000-US$8,000. My equipment is set up on the side wall and I run a long interconnect between the pre-amp and the power amps that reside between and behind the speakers. It would be good if the amp had balanced ins as well as single ended as I currently have balanced cables (Ocellia) so would prefer to avoid having to buy new single ended interconnects.

Thanks all in advance,

James
Hi James,
I see you already have a DarTZeel 18NS pre-amp. I know it's considerably more than your budget, but if you can, try to find a pre-owned 108. They occasionally come up in the mid-$20s. Even a Mark I is fine - you can send this into DarTZeel later to be upgraded to a Mark II or III (in the future!). The synergy with your 18NS using the Zeel 50 ohm connections is unbeatable. And then you are done with upgrading.
 
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Within your budget you’re going to be hard pressed to beat the Norma PA-150. Brand new it comes in at your top budget. It’s a very high current design with an extremely low noise floor and erring on dark presentation. I have not compared it directly to the dartzeel but I have compared the integrated IPA-140 to several separates systems multiples its price point and it put them all to shame.
 
Within your budget you’re going to be hard pressed to beat the Norma PA-150. Brand new it comes in at your top budget. It’s a very high current design with an extremely low noise floor and erring on dark presentation. I have not compared it directly to the dartzeel but I have compared the integrated IPA-140 to several separates systems multiples its price point and it put them all to shame.
I will second Skip's slightly biased view. I have had the pleasure of hearing the Norma line at Skips listening studio and they are quite exquisite sounding. And I have the Norma IPA-140 (sorry Skip found a great used one in NY) in one of my systems and it is one of the best integrated amplifiers I have heard. You should audition Norma. Listening to the IA-140 now.
 
Hi all, I am running Evolution Acoustic MMTwo speakers with the new Audiopax L50 hybrid preamp and M100 monoblock tube amplifiers. I also have a Dartzeel preamp (18NS Model 1) which I have been using as phono and preamp.

Given the scarcity in tubes due to the recent conflict and also just to have a different flavor, I would like to get a solid state amp (it could be second-hand) and I am looking for recommendations. Unfortunately I do not have the budget at the moment for a Dartzeel 108 which would probably make sense given the synergy with the Dart pre and my speakers; I would not want to spend much more than $5,000-US$8,000. My equipment is set up on the side wall and I run a long interconnect between the pre-amp and the power amps that reside between and behind the speakers. It would be good if the amp had balanced ins as well as single ended as I currently have balanced cables (Ocellia) so would prefer to avoid having to buy new single ended interconnects.

Thanks all in advance,

James
I have the amp you want and you've got have the preamp I need...
 
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While neither are particularly popular on this forum, Bryston and Balanced Audio Technology both make very nice solid state amps, with used units often available.
 
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If you find a $5-8k amp that brings the best out of your $50k speakers...Tell nobody, buy them out, relabel them and sell em for $25k ahem $40k retail.
 
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I know Benchmark makes the only real amp in the world and the rest of us are fools or just have too much money.
 
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Thanks all. I am in the process of updating my DarTZeel 18NS pre-amp to Model 2. After this I will turn back to the amp. I think if I could find a good pre-owned 108 that may make sense if I have the funds.
 

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