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Old 09-19-2009, 01:04 PM
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Question Integrated amp for SF Mementos

I have (and love) a pair of Sonus Faber Guarneri Mementos - that I am using in a second system. Because of shelf space, etc, I want to find/buy the best integrated amp to use with the speakers.

Obviously cost must be a consideration, but Mac MA-7000, Gamut DI-150, or others of their caliber (at used prices) are not out of the question.

Does anyone have experience with good integrated amps with these (or other SF speakers) that they can share.

Thanks.
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Old 09-20-2009, 02:29 AM
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The question is too generic.

What do you like? (Tubes, SS, Digital)
Room size?
Price?


There are too many good things out there. Each one and his taste
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Old 09-20-2009, 08:22 AM
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[QUOTE=Sonus;38394]The question is too generic.

What do you like? (Tubes, SS, Digital)
Room size?
Price?


Thanks for the advice.

The sound I like is the sound of music. . . . The closer to the real thing the better. . . .

What I look for in my two channel systems is realism, three dimensional soundstaging - wide and deep with appropriate height, good imaging, refined resolution. I listen to classical, jazz, folk, prefer smaller groups over full symphonic music. I have around 14,000 LPs, a couple of very good turntables and also listen to CD & SACD. What I really appreciate is the feeling that when a singer starts to sing, I can look up and see her (him) standing in the front of my room, and opening her mouth and starting to sing. I like instruments to sound like themselves. I think that the human voice and the Oboe are the hardest things to get "right" so I use these to evaluate equipment.

I am of the older generation so I don't really require infinitely extended highs or jaw dropping bass. I like tubes but don't especially treasure the hassle that owing tube gear entails (although it has been many years since I owned MAC tube gear (last was a pair of MC-75 amps with a C-22 in the 70's). Last tube amp I owned was a VAC amp which, by mistake I left turned on when I left home and it ate up all the drivers in a very fine speaker when a tube went bad. I have owned mostly SS equipment but don't rule out RELIABLE tubes.

My main system is Avalon Eidolons driven by Spectral electronics, but I am not particularly interested in duplicating that sound with my Mementos. In some ways, I think the Mementos sound "better" than the Eidolons and I am interested in maximizing their virtues.

Room size is about 50' X 20' but with a well defined listening area of about 24' X 20', listening in the shorter dimension.

Price: Probably under $6,000 - which gives me fairly wide latitude with Audiogon or other sources for used/like new equipment.

I really seek advice on an integrated amp that will make the Sonus Faber Mementos sound at their best.

Thanks for any help.
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Old 09-20-2009, 11:48 AM
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I used to own a pair of SF GM's and SF Cremona Auditors before them. Having heard most of the speakers in their line with many different amps, I keep coming back to Krell as the best overall match for most of SF speakers IMHO. The newer Krell amps tend to wake up the SF dynamically speaking and brings a nice tonal balance, rhythmic drive, crisp and well articulated bass out of them. As far as integrated amps go, the Krell FBI would be my first choice but it is more than what you are looking to spend. The McIntosh MA6900, MA7000 would also be a nice pairing but not quite as dynamically expressive or resolving overall.
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Old 09-20-2009, 11:56 AM
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Do a little research on the Pass X150.5. 6moons has a review. If you decide to go for it, make sure it's the .5 version.

I own the Pass XA100.5 and XA30.5 amps (not integrated) and have used them on my Mementos. Nice synergy. If I was limited in space and wanted an integrated, the 150.5 would be high on my list. Good luck.
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Old 09-20-2009, 11:58 AM
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Alberto's review, while using separates, may help:

YouTube - Video Review of Audio Equipment I - McIntosh C220/MC252
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Old 09-20-2009, 02:59 PM
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I am very happy with Mcintosh and my SF speakers. Instead of buying a MA7000, what about a MCD500 as your source/pre amp/DAC ($4000 on audiogon) and a MC252 ($2800 on audiogon) or MC352 ($3000 on audiogon) ?
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Old 09-21-2009, 03:45 PM
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i ran my Cremona auditors with an MA2275 and liked the results – very musical – perfect for small scale Jazz and classical, vocal etc. If you want drive and dynamics, a good Solid state amp will make them really pop. I’ve heard them with Naim and Ayre gear with good results. Others have suggested Krell. I haven’t heard the two together but since Krell and SF were business partners for a while I suspect there is some synergy there.
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Old 09-24-2009, 03:25 PM
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Default I would stay away from MAC with the Mementos

I had a pretty modest setup with my GM's. I used to have AES Six Pac tube amps with an AES AE3II Pre - Total cost NEW was $3800. I sold them to "upgrade" to a McIntosh MA2275 Integrated at $7k. After 2-3 months with this setup I can say it was a DOWNGRADE.

The AES setup had a HUGE soundstage, dynamics, and when listening to vocals it sounded like the artist was in the room with me. I thought it would get better with the MAC but all it did was make the speakers play louder and fuller.

The 2275 in comparison to the (even smaller) AES setup sounds dull, flat, lifeless and the magic has left. I am pretty upset about it actually and the worst thing is I HAVE TO KEEP THE MAC as no way I could sell for such a loss. My wife would KILL me!

I so miss that AES setup it kills me. I would stay away from McIntosh with the SF Mementos unless you only want to listen to ROCK music. For jazz, vocal, or anything else they will sound dead, muffled, with way too much midbass and there will be little soundstage, no real imaging and vocals will go from "real" to "muffled".

Seriously, for jazz, vocals, and ANYTHING but rock I would go with a Cary SLI80 F1 - $4k new and beats the pants off of my $7500 McIntosh 2275 for sound quality and "magic". Even better would be the six pacs and preamp (they are small) for a little less.

I have heard KRELL with these as well but my ears bled.
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Old 09-24-2009, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevehuff View Post
I had a pretty modest setup with my GM's. I used to have AES Six Pac tube amps with an AES AE3II Pre - Total cost NEW was $3800. I sold them to "upgrade" to a McIntosh MA2275 Integrated at $7k. After 2-3 months with this setup I can say it was a DOWNGRADE.

The AES setup had a HUGE soundstage, dynamics, and when listening to vocals it sounded like the artist was in the room with me. I thought it would get better with the MAC but all it did was make the speakers play louder and fuller.

The 2275 in comparison to the (even smaller) AES setup sounds dull, flat, lifeless and the magic has left. I am pretty upset about it actually and the worst thing is I HAVE TO KEEP THE MAC as no way I could sell for such a loss. My wife would KILL me!

I so miss that AES setup it kills me. I would stay away from McIntosh with the SF Mementos unless you only want to listen to ROCK music. For jazz, vocal, or anything else they will sound dead, muffled, with way too much midbass and there will be little soundstage, no real imaging and vocals will go from "real" to "muffled".

Seriously, for jazz, vocals, and ANYTHING but rock I would go with a Cary SLI80 F1 - $4k new and beats the pants off of my $7500 McIntosh 2275 for sound quality and "magic". Even better would be the six pacs and preamp (they are small) for a little less.

I have heard KRELL with these as well but my ears bled.
That's quite a change of heart from your previous post.

"I went from Cary gear to MAC and am amazed at the improvement"
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