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New power amp under $2000 to replace a Naim 250 driving Linn Saras!

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  • New power amp under $2000 to replace a Naim 250 driving Linn Saras!

    That title might seem very specific, but a friend of mine had her 30+ year old Naim 250 fail, and the price to repair it has her wanting to replace it. She is running equally old Linn Sara speakers, that get way down under 3 ohms in impedance at certainly lower frequencies. She is currently running a mid 1980s Sumo Nine+ in its place, but that is not really getting the job done for her.

    Looking only for new amps, and specifically to drive the Saras, and keeping the price under $2000. anyone have any reasonable suggestions? She is still very much a Linn/Naim sound fan, so looking for something that wont alter the general sound of her system too much. Other than possibly a Heed Obelisk PS stereo amp I'm kind of drawing a blank.
    Steve Lefkowicz
    Senior Associate Editor at Positive Feedback
    Analog 1: Linn LP12 (MOSE/Hercules II), Ittok, Dynavector 10X5 MK.II Low, iPhono2/iPowerX; Analog 2: Pro-Ject RPM-1 Carbon, Talisman S, iFi iPhono.
    Digital: Samsung 300E5C notebook, JRiver Media Center 28, Tidal HiFi, Qobuz Studio), iFi NEO iDSD, iFi iUSB3, iPurifier2, Audioquest Jitterbug.
    Electronics: DIY passive line-stage, Antique Sound Labs MG-SI15DT-S, Burson Timekeeper Virtuoso
    Speakers: Tekton Perfect SET 15, Tekton Lore, Magneplaner .7
    Interconnects: Morrow Audio MA1, Vermouth Audio Black Pearl, Audioquest Evergreen
    Speaker cables: WyWyres Diamond, Morrow Audio SP4, Vermouth Audio Red Velvet, Audioquest Type 5
    Digital cables: Aural Symphonics USB, iFi Gemini twin-head USB.
    Accessories: Sound Organization turntable shelf, Mondo racks, Pangea Audio Vulcan rack, Pi Audio Group Über BUSS, Monster HTS2000 power conditioner, Kinetronics anti-static brush, Pro-Ject VC-S record cleaner, Spin Clean record cleaner.
    Headphones: Schiit Valhalla amp, Burson Conductor Virtuoso Amp, Meze Audio 99 Classic and 99 Neo, Beyerdynamic DT770Pro 600 ohm, DT770 Studio 80 ohm, 1More Triple Driver Over Ear, 1More Triple Driver IEM

  • #2
    What preamp is she running? If she is using a Naim preamp, I was never happy using some other amp with them. Also, if she is using a Naim preamp, I assume she has a good DIn-to-RCA cable to drive the amp...

    Driving the old Linn Sara's is the trick. Don't know how they would sound with today's amps. Personally, I'd try to find a good used (newer, recapped) 250 and call it a day.

    If she wants something new, I would also recommend the Heed Obelisk PS stereo amplifier, MSRP $2000. I can send her one to try if she would like. Best to do a home demo for any prospective amp...
    Speakers/Amps: Genesis G2.2 Jr with Powered Servo-Sub Bass, Genesis GR1440 Mono Amps, 5,000 watts total power
    Preamp: SMc Audio VRE-1C Preamp (fully balanced inputs and output)
    Analog 1: VPI Signature 21 Belt-Drive Turntable w/ 10” 3D Printed Fatboy Gimbal Arm and Ortofon MC Windfeld Ti Phono Cartridge driving Lehmann Silver Cube Phono Preamp
    Analog 2: VPI HW-40 Direct-Drive Turntable w/ 12” 3D Printed Fatboy Gimbal Arm and Ortofon MC Anna Diamond Phono Cartridge driving Genesis Gold Phono Preamp
    Analog 3: Studer A810 R2R tape w/ Bridge Console. Using built-in tape preamp
    Digital: Lumin Network Player with Lumin NAS
    Cables: Genesis Advanced Technologies/Absolute Fidelity Interface Interconnects, Speaker, Phono and Power
    A/C Power: Extensive System Upgrades, Sub-panel w/hard-wired power cables, and IsoTek Super Titan Passive Power Conditioning for Amplifiers
    Accessories: Custom Acrylic Equipment Stands, Klaudio Ultrasonic RCM


    • #3
      I am very pleased with the W4S ST500MkII in my second system, and it's currently on sale for well under $2000. Although I haven't tried it specifically into low-impedance loads, everything I have read suggests that shouldn't be any problem at all.
      Tascam BR-20
      Technics 1506 with tape path upgrades, FM head and custom repro amp
      Modwright Oppo 205 full tube mod w/LPS
      Euphony Summus server, EtherRegen, HDPLEX LPS
      MSB Discrete DAC (dual PS, ISLPro, balanced out)
      Pass Labs INT60
      Daedalus Audio Apollo 11’s
      REL S3 (Kimber Kable connection)
      Daedalus/Wywires, Audioquest, Acoustic Zen, Sablon Audio cables
      Core Power Equi=Power 1800 Mk3
      Adona rack; Stillpoints and IsoPods, Tube Traps, GIK


      • #4
        have a look at our offerings, all custom handcrafted and built to order with more customization available on request.
        Erhard Audio
        Custom handcrafted tube audio gear
        Dynaco PAS upgrade kits
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