Requesting opinions about 4 specific amplifiers

Greetings Audiogon community,

I am requesting your input about four specific amplifiers in a particular price range and how they may, or may not, pair well with my Dynaudio Confidence 20 stand mount speakers.

My room is 20' x 16' and does have wall absorption treatment. I do not listen at high levels, typically in the 75 to mid 85 db territory. 

I currently own a Luxman L-509X integrated amplifier, which is probably the best integrated amp I have owned to date. However I am wondering if there is a better amp match for my Dynaudio Confidence 20 speakers, and so am considering moving to separates. My budget for the amp alone is in the preowned $4K to $5K range.

Here are amps I am asking for your input about ;

-Simaudio Moon 860A V1 (Dynaudio dealers seem to endorse Simaudio)

-Pass Labs X150.8

-PS Audio BHK Signature 250 stereo (PS Audio has dropped the price on new amps in their closeout sale)

-Parasound JC 5

I realize there are many, many, amp manufacturers, and that of course if I reach a bit higher I could consider Ayre, or Aesthetix, or Coda, all of which interest me, but seem to stay outside of my budget. 

I wish I could side-by-side compare or demo all of these amps, but unfortunately it is not possible. I am looking to your experience to help in any way possible.

Thank you!



Why not just get a Buckeye Purifi. Objectivity better than any you’ve listed.

@squared80 Objectively better? Really? So you’re the end-all, be-all authority and have compared the Buckeye directly to the amps listed by the OP? Just because you like an amp doesn’t make it “objectively better” if for no other reason that we all have different tastes so there’s no one objective standard. Get over yourself.

I was in a similar boat a few years ago and cycled through many amps when I was looking to upgrade in power from my Pass Labs XA25.     Pass XA30.8 which sounds identical to the 150.8 was too overtly smooth and euphoric.  The Parasound JC5 had exceptional low end grunt but its midrange didn’t soar like the XA25.  
I wound up with a McIntosh MC 312 which does it all, solid low end, gobs of power and dynamics and a supremely clean midrange that sounds even better than the glorious Pass XA 25.  Treble has exceptional detail and air without a trace of graininess.  The new Macs are the real deal.  

@soix doesn't know the difference between objective measurements and subjective opinions. Sit down, son. You're embarrassing yourself.

Thank you all so much for your generous insight and ideas!

@fastfreight-Thank you for this suggestion, I have not learned about this brand of audio gear yet. Always fun to learn about something new!

@larryh111-If I could afford darTZeel I would sure consider it. I've never seen one of their integrates close to my budget range though...but it sure is very cool looking!

@avanti1960-Great to learn the new McIntosh gear sounds good. I kind of feel like you have to go in all the way with McIntosh if you go with any of it. Unfortunately the look and feel is not my preference, but thank you.

@audioman58-Aesthetix is definitely a brand I have my eyes on, but again their gear typically exceeds my budget. But very impressive. 

It's especially helpful to learn of fairly consistent feedback about PS Audio, Parasound, Simaudio, and Pass Labs. I think I'll eliminate Parasound and PS Audio from the search (although I do own a Parasound JC3+ phono preamp). I think maybe a combo of AR preamp and Pass Labs amp is at the forefront of my search at this stage.

Hope everyone has a great Memorial Day weekend!

@soix doesn’t know the difference between objective measurements and subjective opinions. Sit down, son. You’re embarrassing yourself.

@squared80 First, I’m not your son so you can just stuff that back where it came from. Second, you said your amp was “objectivity [sic] better” and didn’t qualify that you meant just based measurements — there’s an important difference there.  Last,  if you think your amp is better and should be chosen over the others as you recommended because it might throw off a good measurement here or there you’re better off over at ASR where you can worship at the altar of Amir. Talk about embarrassing yourself, there it is in spades.