To Hans Wetzel,
Great review on Rogue Audio’s Sphinx integrated amplifier. I just bought a pair of KEF LS50s and this amp sounds like a great match for them. I wanted to solicit your opinion. Also intriguing is Rogue's all-tube integrated, the Cronus. I have the feeling a tube amp/preamp would compliment the punchiness of the KEFs. Alternatively, the gentleman from whom I purchased the KEFs, Steve Monte at Quest for Sound, outside of Philadelphia, recommended one of his amps, such as the Sound Quest SQ-88, a tube integrated rated at 55Wpc. Do you have any suggestions? I like all types of music but need to listen fairly loud due to some hearing loss. Thanks in advance for your suggestions and Happy New Year!
The Sphinx would be a great partner for the LS50s. We measured the LS50 and found the sensitivity to be 84.25dB (2.83V/m), which is a little on the low side. The upside is that the little guys are pretty easy to drive, with a minimum impedance of around 4 ohms at 200Hz. The Cronus could also work, as it produces 100Wpc. The SQ-88’s 55Wpc might not be enough for your needs, however. If pushed hard, as you mention they probably will be, the LS50s might distort as the SQ-88 runs out of power. I would probably rule that one out.
I haven’t heard the Cronus, personally, but I’m sure it’s a quality product -- Rogue does good work. If tubes are your cup of tea, then I say go for it. Personally, I would spring for the Sphinx. At $1395 with the optional remote control, I think it offers terrific performance for the money, and it sounded great with my larger KEF R900s. . . . Hans Wetzel