First off, thank you for all the great reviews. I am currently looking for an amplifier for my Magico Mini II speakers. I'm considering a number of brands based on reviews, including the Simaudio W-8, Gamut D200i, Boulder 1060, Vitus SS-050, and a Gryphon amp.
I've read both your reviews on the Simaudio W-8 and the Boulder 1060, and would appreciate your thought on whether one of these would mate with the Mini IIs better than the other, unless you think there is something else out there that would do an even better job. I am looking for accuracy and musicality.
Thanks for any thoughts you might have. By the way, I'm looking forward to your Q3 review.
First off, there are no losers in your group that I can see. The only brand I have no experience with is Gamut, but I can advise you generally on the others.
All of the amplifiers that you have chosen will drive the Mini IIs with no issues. They are all competent and refined, and all built by solid companies. All are high-current designs with massive power supplies. Still, there are some sonic generalizations I've noted about each brand.
In terms of house sounds, take these comments for what they're worth: my experiences in my system over a period of several years. The Simaudio would likely be the warmest of the bunch, with the ability to produce a huge soundstage. The Boulder is dead neutral, certainly not warm like the Sim, and very transparent across the entire audio band. The Vitus is also dead neutral and extremely well controlled, and has far more drive than the power rating suggests. It is also very refined. The Gryphon will have a wonderful warmth and an analog feel, but also be quite transparent -- it has a wonderful combination of attributes that makes it a joy to live with day to day.
Ultimately all of these amplifiers are winners. If you have the ability to audition each of them, I'm quite sure you'll come away loving one of them the most.
I am due to get the Magico Q3s within about two weeks. . . . Jeff Fritz