Anyone try the stellar m700's with Salon2's

Interested if anyone tried the stellar m700’s with Salon 2 speakers?


I’ve never used any of the Stellar products. I am running BHK 300’s with Salon 2 speakers and it sounds great.

That seems to be a bit mismatch in the level of equipment. I’m not saying that the Stellar M700’s aren’t fantastic amps, especially for the price, but the Salon2’s are definitely capable to take advantage of better amplification. I would go with a BHK250 instead of the M700’s (yes, big price jump, I know, but also a big step upwards in sound quality).

I have used the m700 with my salon2.
The top end is waaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyy to exaggerated and even with the speaker adjustments, its too harsh. the bottom end was very controlled so i was able to dial down the bass output on the speakers.
I sold my pair of m700s since i did not think it was a good match. The amps were out of their league when paired with the salon2’s.

Just curious, what did you end up with to power your Salons?

Havent yet settled on an amp yet.
Tried the sanders ab amp but it was too relaxed on the bottom end. Would have loved to have the stellars on the bottom and sanders for the upper range. A biamp dream if the salons would lend themselves to it (they dont).
Now trying another class d amp, ncore 1200. Would have preferred the new purifi but not enough power out of that module yet.

Have fun. I don’t believe I’ve ever heard a better speaker before, so it’s fun to try out different amps with them. I ended up with the BHK 300’s, which were expensive but they sounded good. I’ve also heard them with some JBL amps before, which were also great. I’d be interested to pair them with a Mac just to hear how it sounds.

@muslhead, what preamp did you use when trying the Stellar M700s with your Salons? I’ve seen Stereophile reviews that have found markedly different results depending on the presence of amp-preamp mismatches, especially when auditioned using speakers as revealing as the Salon 2.

Anything is possible. High probabilities its the amp. When switching trying other amps and/or preamps for comparison, the top end remained painfully harsh to listen to when the m700’s supplied the power. Multiple combinations were tried. To make it even more compelling an argument, even when switching speakers and whenever the m700s were powering any speaker it was painful to listen to. Hopefully you see a trend. The one constant was … the amp … and my ears (wont mention the confirmation from others who were a part of the test)

Thank you. you do the same down this “fun” path of finding audio nirvana

@muslhead, Thanks for the additional info, but something still doesn’t make sense to me. Why did you buy the M700s in the first place if you don’t like the way they sound? Given that you weren’t happy with the M700s with any of the speakers or preamps you tried, it looks like you simply don’t like them. That’s fine, and there is no reason to try to talk you out of your personal opinions. However, it’s important to note that I have found the M700s to produce excellent sound - even on the top end - with several different preamps and with revealing Thiel speakers. And apparently, I’m not alone given the praise for the M700s from legions of forum members and professional reviewers.

But every audio component performs differently in different systems and with different listeners, which your experience clearly points out.

Good luck with your ongoing search for the perfect amp for your system!

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Ok, you are a paid troll, the only reason you keep posting to my responses.
I was simply responding to the person that asked a question i have personal experience with. Since you DO NOT and cannot provide any personal input, why dont you leave this thread and go bother someone else. Quit trolling me.
Ok, you like the m700. Great. Personally i dont care what you like or dislike. I didnt ask for your opinion on my responses or my equipment.
For me they sucked. So? I did not come here to bash them, rather just post some real life personal input because it was asked. You dont have anything of value to say regarding the post nor were you answering a question of mine rather espousing your “wisdom”. Ok, your are an internet genius.
Now go away

I will be selling my M700’s soon. I replaced them with MUSICAL FIDELITY M8-500s. I discovered a bass floor of my Magnepan 3.6’s that I didn’t know existed. With the M700’s I had two GR W/Frame OB subs that use Rythmik parts. The Open Baffle design will bottom out with LF movie sound. I disconnected them and I will use the parts to build a more conventional sealed Rythmik sub. But the M8 amps take the Maggies so low I hardly need a sub.

@muslhead, It’s tough to stay positive when you call me a “paid troll,” which I am not. I have contributed to this thread because I have experience with the amp mentioned by the OP and its use with revealing speakers (though not with the Salon2 specifically). In trying to understand how the M700s could sound as harsh as you report, I looked at a few Stereophile reviews that used Salon2 speakers as a reference to see if those speakers had a reputation for a particular sound signature with particular types of amps.

Several reviews by Larry Greenhill from last year were especially interesting. Greenhill was using the Salons and found that the Constellation Inspiration 1.0 amp became “harsh, edgy and zippy” when paired with the Bryston BP-17 3 preamp, but then became “far smoother and more transparent” when switched to the Bryston BP-26 pre. When Greenhill reviewed the Mark Levinson No. 534 amp, the preamp-amp interaction was different. With the BP-26 pre, the ML534 “sounded flat and unexciting,” but came to life with the BP-17 3, with “its sound blossoming with transparency, clear highs, and bold dynamic contrasts.” The conclusion was that the Salons were very good at detecting interactions between system components, and I was hoping you would provide more information in response to my earlier post to help understand what might be making the M700s sound so harsh in your system. I was not simply trying to annoy you, but I now understand how you react to questions and will factor that into my assessment of the info you provided earlier.

Thanks, too, for calling me “an internet genius.” I’ll have to let my wife know - I’m sure she’ll be impressed.

Happy listening.

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I should add that the M700’s were the first amps that I found that easily handled my power hungry Magnepan 3.6’s. The problem I had was that I moved my custom built Odyssey A/B Stratos amp to the side Magnepan 2.7 speakers. The Stratos amp was not able to handle the larger 3.6’s but it sounded so sweet on the 2.7’s. Another forum member had switched to the MF M8-500 amp and gave rave reviews on what it did to his 3.6 speakers. He was right. It is amazing.

@ wgapel
Since this has gotten way off track to answering your question, i have found an amp that does not have the painful harshness the m700’s had when paired with the salon2’s. The hypex ncore nc1200 class d amp, to my ears has a perfect balance and tight control that allows you to get the full $22000 worth out of your salon2’s
The hypex nc1200s have an almost exact power output as the ice modules (m700s) but has >30% increase in available max current (something the salon’s desire) in case you’re listening at higher levels and need the increased headroom. Definitely worth considering. After listening, if you think you still need more power the hypex has a 2k module that produces >2k watts of power and 60% more peak current for about the same price (or less) as what you find the ice based amplifiers. this essentially will guarantee you wont be adding amplifier caused distortion due to over-driving.
Finally, both options, either via PSaudio or the numerous hypex nccore amp providers give you the fantastic ability to listen in home, at no capital risk to you. You dont like them, you send them back. A cant lose situation. The other advantage is you dont have get others opinions (including mine) who likely dont have the same listening habits, room setups and peripheral components to make a decision.
Best of luck finding a good match. I can say, at least for the moment, I have (until a higher power purifi module amp becomes available).

@ goblue When i answered your question before i was in the process of experimenting with other options but had not had the chance to complete the study. But,. as of now, i can say an ncore hypex nc1200 based class d amp is one i settled on as it is an excellent pairing with the salon2s. Its way better to my ears than the m700s and (at least 5 other a/b amps and 2 class d amps) i stuck in the system. Some of these were >$10k so they were not low end offerings.
I will avoid mentioning brands so as not to anger the mods and get my post removed and me banished but suffice it to say, i have settled on an amp.

You can mention brands if you would like. Or not. This is entirely up to you.

It is not necessary to say this is off topic. Relax and enjoy the subject. Like you, I found the M700’s not able to match the upper end of my AB Stratos amps but the M700’s had plenty of power to handle my 3.6’s. I came very close to buying a ncore hypex version as NAD M33. But I found a really good deal on the Musical Fidelity M8 500 used so I got that for now. It is an amzing amp and I’m not sorry for my choice.