Battle of three amps

Well, I've got my front end sorted (mainly vinyl), and I've decided that my Io Sig phono stage is going to get volume controls (hopefully at the end of this month) and a line input, so that's gonna be my preamp.

I already have my speakers - VMPS 626Rs - so now all I have to do is get the right power amp. My two present amps (Dyna ST-70 and Pass Aleph 3) though excellent don't have enough power for the 626Rs or enough bass tautness for my taste.

So I'm down to 3 power amps, and I'd like people's input who have heard them. I'm looking for amps that can control the 626Rs with ease, have tube-like midrange, and bass tautness. And be compatible with the Io's output impedance (300 ohms). Yes I want it all. A good deal of it will have been accomplished by my front end.

The three amps are:

1. Blue Circle BC-28
2. ASL Hurricanes (latest version with green PIO caps)
3. Mcintosh MC402

I'm not wedded to either tubes or SS...

Thanks in advance for your help - Patrick
I have the BC28 and it is excellent! Deep, tight, fast bass. Plenty of headroom, too. I don't know anything about you're particular set up but I think you will be very happy with a BC28. I would try audition one, if possible.
Patrick, your priorities are slightly different from mine (I like transparency and extension above all else) but we've got the same speakers--VMPS 626R. FWIW I'm very satistified right now with my Pass X150.5. The midrange is very natural, and the treble is really something--extended and pure. I don't think you could call the midrange 'tubelike', however.

I will be very interested to hear back from you once you settle on an amp.
Hurricanes. I heard a set and loved 'em! Spent about 4 hours listening to vinyl through them. Since I, like you, and my buddy who has the ASL's are all wedded to vinyl, I have to give them the nod over the others.

That said, I've had no experience with the Blue Circle. But, I spent some time listening to the Mac in a vinyl system and was not impressed.

Thanks for the response, guys. Interesting on the Pass Calanctus - I'd considered the X series, but was turned off by talk of a certain leanness... I think the 626Rs' transparency while admirable can translate to a certain leanness in the right setting. How's the bass on the 150.5?

Jphii, what shortcomings did you hear with the Mac? And what was the system you heard it in?

The BC-28 probably wins on price here... but it's a pretty close call. Anyone else out there?

Also Calanctus - do you have the FST on your 626Rs? Cap upgrade? I have neither - just curious. Using with the custom Sound Anchor stands with "bearded" fronts.


For some reason, even thought I like Mac kit, the 402 just didn't do it. The ASL's sounded much better in very similar systems. Both were used in LP12 based systems, not one of my favorite tables. I prefer soild!

The Macs drove Focus 20/20's. Now, I like this speaker, and have Legacy's in my HT rig. The ASL's drove N803s, a speaker I don't like, which doesn't sound like a good match, but works very well in my buddies system. I have a feeling that these two very odd combinations factor in my personal choice.

But, I will tell you this. While I swore I'd never buy another amp that is not an Audio Note, I would buy the Hurricane's. For the money, you can't go wrong.


This may sound a bit crazy, but consider the deHavilland gm70 or 845G. While these aren't powerful amps by rating, Roger Gordon on Positive feedback online reviewed the 845G (and bought a pair) based on their performance with his VMPS RM 30s. Just something to think about.