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  1. #1

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    Default looking for a replacement amp

    I can get a BAT VK-60 tube amp for $1900 which would be my first venture into tubes is that amp more than adequate for running Paradigm Studio 100's?
    Second was thinking about an Anthem MCA-30 for $2300 any thoughts are Greatly Appreciated..
    Oh and what about a Simaudio Celeste 4070 for $400 was thinking of a back up amp for another system or something?
    With all the upgrading going on around here I'm jealous, I need more toys to play with.
    Last edited by Kenneth Swauger; 08-30-2013 at 06:13 PM. Reason: added text

  2. #2

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    What are you trying to gain from a new amp? Are you looking to go 2 channel with it or integrate it well with the HT? I don't know what your Paradigms sound like so can't comment on a good pairing.
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Douglas IC's, AQ cv-8 SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

  3. #3

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    Thanks DSkip
    I'm just looking to expand my mind and try other amps as I know my Emo is not the be all end all, so looking for a better sounding amp.
    Ice read very good things about the BK and the Anthem but I just found a deal on a McCormack DNA 250 for $1900 read Excellent things about that one..

  4. #4

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    Jump on that McCormack.....you won't regret it.

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    Thanks Tonyb the more I think about it the more I want it..
    It's a demo that's why it's cheaper, it seems the topology is more on par with more expensive amps from what I was reading..
    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Jump on that McCormack.....you won't regret it.

  6. #6

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    Dude, Steve makes a killer amp. Another great sounding one is the Moscode 401hr, a tube hybrid but on this one the tubes are changeable, unlike my Butler amp.

    There's a reason why you don't see too many McCormack amps on the used market, people hold on to them. DNA500's rarely come up and when they do a good hunk of change is asked. Steve also does upgrades to his amps too in case you ever feel the need.

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    http://www.stereophile.com/interviews/522/index.html

    Interesting read... Conrad/Johnson thought so highly of them that they bought the company.
    HT Setup... Pioneer Elite SC-37, Polk Audio SDA-SRS 1.2TL's , Oppo BDP 93
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  8. #8

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    The only reason I found the McCormack was it's in the store I ordered my Zerostat 3 gun from and I've been there a few times gotten to know the owner Harley.
    So I called around getting prices on some familiar amps I knew, like Bryston and Anthem then I found the BK and Simaudio anyway I called Harley asking if my stuff came in, not yet so I asked if he carried Anthem No but would look into it for me and I asked what he had their in terms of 3 channel as I wanted a 3 channel to run my fronts with the same amp.
    He told me he did not have a 3 channel amp so I asked what he had and I said 2 channel as well as HT was not my main priority but just wanted the 3 channel because L/C/R are basically the same.
    So he told me he had the McCormack their using it for demo and would let it go for $1900 because he had more gear coming in very soon some Arcam or Acurus and I remembered hearing the McCormack in the store before in the back room and it sounded GREAT but I looked at the $Tag and it was more than I was willing to spend + it was the DNA 500 and it was even more $ so I never thought I would be owning one so soon..
    I have never seen a used one on the market before either.
    Thanks for the Great read John I'm starting to see the BIGGER picture now..

  9. #9

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    Here she is...don't mind the crappy TT on the sub trying to pawn it off on someone..
    Introducing the McCormack DNA250 oh I got it for $1800 no tax Name:  image.jpg
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  10. #10

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    Well, how does it sound ?

  11. #11

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    Easy Tonyb just finished installing the only place I could lolName:  image.jpg
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    All I can say is WOW, I feel ashamed, I put on my smiles Davis album and now I know what you guys are talking about, this amp just opened up the music so much more than my Emo did..
    I'm not knocking the Emo I just did not know what I was missing before till now..
    Many micro details the bottom end is deep, he soundstage is bigger than before..
    Those drum brushes with all the wire whisk like things used to sound like more of a hiss, type noise than the whisk but now it's all whisk and done proper, same with trumpet very clean sounding I Love It..
    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Well, how does it sound ?

  12. #12

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    Cool dude, told ya man. Nothing to be ashamed of either. The emo is what it is. Just that when you start to explore better, your musical world takes on new meaning.

    Seems like it's a good match with your P's too. Nice speaks btw. I'm telling you, what the dna 250 has, the 500 explodes on those same qualities. Save your penny's young man, your about to enter the rabbit hole. Congrats again.

    Btw, for what you paid....you'd have been hard pressed to do better. Welcome to the other side of the fence.
    Last edited by tonyb; 08-31-2013 at 05:35 PM.

  13. #13

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    Thanks Tonyb I'm very happy with my purchase..
    The Paradigms seem to agree with it, whew..
    I think I will check out the LD-2 pre and a outboard Dac before changing amps though..
    The rabbit is getting hungry again already, lol

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    Congrats on your new addition Jhayman.looks great. Enjoy it & nice review
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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jhayman View Post
    All I can say is WOW, I feel ashamed, I put on my smiles Davis album and now I know what you guys are talking about, this amp just opened up the music so much more than my Emo did..
    I Love It..
    Obi-Wan has taught you well... but you are not a Jedi yet..


    I am happy that you have found out just what we meant when we say that things get better as you progress though the range of options within this hobby. Congratulations on taking that giant leap of faith, but be warned, the rabbit hole that is the pursuit of sonic nirvana is really a bottomless pit...

    Great looking amp... now just sit back and enjoy the music.
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    Enjoy the new toys, so much fun!
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  17. #17

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    Thanks guys I know I still have a lot to learn but this roller coaster ride is getting better every time I ride it..

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    I'd like to ride the pro-McCormack wave here and say that when I bought a used DNA-1 to replace my old Adcom GFA-545, I also received a new pair of speakers (that looked just like the old ones), free of charge. Had to go to various audiophile dictionaries to figure out how to describe what I was hearing. Learned some new terms, including "musical", "holographic" and "involving".

    Then I got a Silver upgrade and a Plitron transformer and some other stuff and never mind. I would guess that this is as good as LSi9s can sound. And they can sound pretty good.
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  19. #19

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    Very nice set up you have there.Be careful w/ that glass table top ,won't handle an infinate amount of gear.Great looking speakers. Mazel Tov......

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    Nice gear! Now, do some work to arrange it a little better! I bet it would sound even better, especially HT.

  21. #21

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    Btw, that left speaker looks pushed back into the corner, pull that sucker forward. Whats on the bottom shelf of that TV stand ? I'm betting you can get everything you need in the TV stand and eliminate that taller side stand. Appears to be you have two turntables in there too, why is that ?

  22. #22

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    Thanks guys for the kind words..
    It's just a temporary setup for now till I can figure out where to put everything I use my TT the most so I need that accessible.
    The glass top will support over 200lbs I believe but only the Center will remain on there anyway once I rearrange everything.
    In the photo the left speaker looks like its recessed but its not its out past the stand by a few inches.
    I actually have 6 TT's just did not have room to put that scrappy Sherwood I got as a freebie with another purchase I made.
    I can probably fit everything in the console but it takes a while to move all that gear around and setup again all the wiring and networking connections plus its heavy as hell to move once it loaded up..lol
    I just got a lib on a McCormack LD-2 pre amp tonight the guy is going to call me in the morning to meet up..Hee Haw
    It does not have the optional phono stage in it, he says use an aftermarket one they are better?
    Looking forward to hearing this thing tomorrow..

  23. #23

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    Ya I really don't know the lingo although someone posted a link to one on here a while ago with all the terminology meanings..
    But I can't find it, how do you like your DNA-1 what pre are you using unless the Adcom is the pre, I did not check before typing this.lol

    Quote Originally Posted by bthogan View Post
    I'd like to ride the pro-McCormack wave here and say that when I bought a used DNA-1 to replace my old Adcom GFA-545, I also received a new pair of speakers (that looked just like the old ones), free of charge. Had to go to various audiophile dictionaries to figure out how to describe what I was hearing. Learned some new terms, including "musical", "holographic" and "involving".

    Then I got a Silver upgrade and a Plitron transformer and some other stuff and never mind. I would guess that this is as good as LSi9s can sound. And they can sound pretty good.

  24. #24

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    Congrats Jamie, glad you are enjoying the new amp.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jhayman View Post
    It does not have the optional phono stage in it, he says use an aftermarket one they are better?
    Looking forward to hearing this thing tomorrow..
    Congrats on your amp upgrade! You are on fire with the upgrades!

    An in or out phono stage being better will depend on design and build quality. As a general rule, an external stand alone stage can be better due to not sharing any space or power supply, but donít expect a $100 external to beat a respected manufacturers internal.

    Then there is convenience and options. Inside usually requires removing cover to change loading and/or gain settings for different cartridges, where an external stage can have external adjustments. Internal may be limited in gain and cartridge loading settings, such as being only MM with 44dB of gain and 47K loading and you have a low output MC requiring 55dB of gain and 100 ohm loading.
    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

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  26. #26

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    Good points Rich, also, I know your on the McCormack bandwagon but don't poo-poo any of the other fine preamps out there. That Joule in the FM will knock your skinny arse into tomorrow.

  27. #27

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    Thanks F1nut


    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    Congrats Jamie, glad you are enjoying the new amp.

  28. #28

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    I don't know but when I want to buy something audio related I seem to find good deals on things that I never thought I would own.
    I phono pre I run now is a Project phono box S it's a $200 unit at least when I bought it it was..
    I don't know if that's what you would call a $100 unit or not its my first one so I was not sure..
    If its not up to par what do you recommend?
    I would probably go for the outboard type anyway as you said if its in the ore to change settings would involve opening a changing settings which I would not want to do..once it's in place
    Quote Originally Posted by SCompRacer View Post
    Congrats on your amp upgrade! You are on fire with the upgrades!

    An in or out phono stage being better will depend on design and build quality. As a general rule, an external stand alone stage can be better due to not sharing any space or power supply, but don’t expect a $100 external to beat a respected manufacturers internal.

    Then there is convenience and options. Inside usually requires removing cover to change loading and/or gain settings for different cartridges, where an external stage can have external adjustments. Internal may be limited in gain and cartridge loading settings, such as being only MM with 44dB of gain and 47K loading and you have a low output MC requiring 55dB of gain and 100 ohm loading.

  29. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jhayman View Post
    I don't know but when I want to buy something audio related I seem to find good deals on things that I never thought I would own.
    Well then, this is your chance to build your audio foundation, and take that gear to the next level.


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    Well I'm off to pick up my LD-2 Pre Amp.
    Bluefox I still don't think I could afford Shuynata Cables at 50% off, lol
    I will do what I have been doing waiting for the right deal to pop up and buy used..

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