I wanted to add something else to this…
It seems that when people talk about a high powered amplifier, they say the same type of thing I said above. BUT… I also want to stress that this combination is also very good at conveying agility, delicacy, soul, emotion. In other words, the Stellar GCD and M700 amps are quite capable. They are not just about massive amounts of power and being able to power “power hungry” loudspeakers.
My brothers came over yesterday and we ran through a bunch of different music, and with these NHT’s, the system was doing a phenomenal job at everything we threw at it. Whether it was something on vinyl or something on Tidal, the system performed. We listened to chamber music, classic jazz, opera, harp, vocal. The system just seemed to everything without a hitch. The detail was there, the delicacy was there, proper weight and “meat” in acoustic instruments and vocals was all there. The airy acoustics of the venue in which a lot of these recordings were made came through very clear.
The sound stage is quite wide and sometimes even surrounds you entirely depending on the recording. Plenty of times where it sounds like there are surround sound speakers to the sides and rear of the room. One song had a faint voice that sounded like it was played through an old AM radio. That wasn’t the shocking part. The shocking part was that this AM radio sound was coming from about 15 feet away… Directly behind me… Far into the next room… Through the closed door! Two of my brothers were standing behind me listening, and the both of them heard it as well.
There’s also plenty of sound off to the sides of the room well beyond the walls as well as behind the speakers and front wall. Of course, a lot of this has to do with the more modern studio recordings and throwing in phsycoacoustics into the mix, but even on natural, live recordings, you still get these effects, just not quite as drastic, but still extended out well past the speaker and room boundaries.
Now I know everyone says stepping up from a pair of M700’s to a single BHK 250 gains you an even wider sound stage. If that is the case, I can’t even begin to imagine what one of those amps would do in my system. I would have a sound stage blowing out to the street and back yard! Plus I don’t quite understand that as monoblock amps are supposed to have much better channel separation and stereo imaging/staging due to being two totally separate units being used to provide a stereo signal. Either way, I’m not worried about it as I am more than satisfied with the “stellar” results I’m getting currently.
On top of that, there were a couple of albums one of my brothers showed me on Tidal that had loads of low, agile, tight bass so we could see what the amps and speakers were really capable of when pushed hard. And no, it wasn’t rap or bass music, it’s just that these bands prefer to utilize a lot of clean quality bass in their recordings.
After about a solid hour and a half of this type of torture test on the system, the old trusted NHT 2.9’s proved they are more than willing to load the room quite easily with top notch quality bass that hits you right in the chest as well as literally shake the heck out of the wood floors. I have never heard these speakers perform like this in the last 10 years of ownership. I can only imagine what the big brother, the 3.3’s would do. Maybe one day if I find a mint pair.
At any rate, we were running the system full tilt with the volume on the GCD up around 40 - 42. With these speakers rated at 88 dB, that’s pretty stinkin’ loud! No shrill, no fatigue, zero compression, just more powerful and dynamic without any signs of strain or stress.
The neat part, my APC power conditioner displays power consumption. As I only have one outlet to work with, I have no choice at the moment but to have the entire system including both amps to be connected to this APC unit. However, because these amps are so efficient, they still provide loads of dynamics and slam, and the output reading on the APC showed a max of 6% of the unit’s capacity being used, and the entire system drawing roughly 1 amp peak! Not to mention that the amps remained as cool to the touch as the GCD the entire time!