Reply To: Best amp/preamp to go with SL?

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#224
MikeB
Participant

Your question reminds me of my experience when switching from a Levinson 336 to CAT-JL1’s almost 20-years ago. Before this, my mind was stuck in the measuring/comparing wattage mire. That is: how could the CAT JL-1’s at 100W/Ch drive my then M1 Soundlabs (no PX panels, Torrid II or Hot Rod electronic upgrades) better than the Levinson 336 at 350W/Ch? Thus, I delayed dragging the pre-owned CAT’s — 190lb (each monoblock) — home from my audio dealer’s for an audition. But I convinced myself to not only try the CAT’s but Parasound JC1 Halos. Upon hooking up the CAT’s, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The entire frequency spectrum was better and I could find nothing worse, only better (harmonics, immediacy, imaging, sound stage, et al! However, drive was the big difference. Bass was better, but what about treble, it too was better….there were no downsides, only pluses!!

The CAT’s controlled/drove the Soundlab’s like nothing else I had heard to that point in 2006! The difference was so great that I jumped up from my listening chair and let out of few expletives while pacing to and fro. I had finally heard for myself what all the tube-talk fuss with Soundlabs was about! Of course the CAT’s (as I imagine the VTL’s are), are anything but run of the mill tube amps!!

At any rate, the MA-2’s should drive Soundlab’s — let alone PX Panels with Torrid II (Consummate) Backplates — with aplomb. My MA-1’s perform very nicely with my M1PX’s with current SOTA backplates.

When I first obtained the MA-1’s, I frequently watched the meters when I thought I may be pushing things, but the meters never exceeded their limits, nor did I hear any signs of clipping. So, with my rig/room, the MA-1’s are more than satisfactory.

As a side note, I heard the MA-1’s and MA-2’s back-to-back in a large room and the 2’s were a tad/bit better. However, “better” simply means that the MA-2’s drove the U1PX’s with a little more gravitas, for lack of a better word to describe the difference. My point in saying this is, I can’t imagine the MA-2’s will run out of gas.

However, it would be beneficial if you would report your actual findings after you install the MA-2’s. If you haven’t heard the MA-2’s and Soundlabs, my experiences suggest that you are in for a real treat!!