As you’re well familiar with Vivid Audio speaker technology, I’d like to know whether you have any general suggestions on amp matching. I currently use a Devialet Expert 220 Pro integrated amp, but I have an itch to experiment. Do you have any thoughts about pairing a classic class-AB amp with Vivid speakers? It’s not that I’m unhappy with the Devialet, it’s just that I might like to bring a touch of warmth to the mids. I note that the former US distributor for Vivid used Luxman amps, for instance, in demos. Also, I think you might have used a Hegel amp in some of your Vivid reviews.
My only music source will be a Lumin T2 streamer, which uses Leedh digital processing and negates the need for a preamp. Also, Lumin advises using a balanced connection, so that would be a requirement for any amp I choose.
My budget is up to $7500, and I don’t mind buying used.
All the best,
Michael (owner of an identical pair of Vivid B1 Decade speakers to the ones you reviewed)
I love Luxman’s products, but if you’re buying new, $7500 won’t be enough to get you into the M-700u power amp, which is priced at $8995 in the US. If you can find one used, that’s a different story. It’s rated to deliver 120Wpc into 8 ohms—I think you’ll need that kind of power to get the best from the B1 Decades. However, your budget is more than sufficient to get you a new Hegel H20 power amp, which I think is priced at $6000.
The Hegel H20 is rated at 200Wpc into 8 ohms, which is more than enough power for your Vivids. In my opinion, the Hegel is as good a place as any to start—many of our writers own or used to own Hegel products and none of them have ever had a complaint. In fact, writer Hans Wetzel has purchased three Hegel integrated amplifiers—the H300, the H360, and now the H590—and will probably turn to Hegel again if the company releases a new model.
If the H20 doesn’t float your boat, see if you can stretch your budget to buy a Luxman. If that’s not possible, and you can’t find one used, then write back and I can probably give you more ideas.
As for your speakers, I’m jealous—I loved the way the B1 Decades looked and sounded when I had them in my room, and I hated to send them back.