Atma-sphere M-60 MKII Amplifiers

Atma-sphere M-60 MKII Amplifiers 

DESCRIPTION

The M-60 Mk II, each monoblock is rated at 60 watts into 8 ohms, and 45 watts into 4 ohms. At 17"W by 12"D, each chassis is a bit smaller than a standard amp, but the combination will take more space than a single-chassis stereo amp. In addition, all those tubes and that class-A output stage make for a hot partner. Whereas a class A/B solid-state stereo amp may fit and run cool enough for the bottom shelf of your rack, the M-60 Mk II wants and needs to be placed on the top, where it can breathe. Once the amps are there, you can’t help but notice the looks.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-8 of 8  
[Apr 14, 2004]
Wellfed
AudioPhile

Strength:

Very realistic presentation, meets every demand presented with authority and finesse.

Weakness:

Heats up room during short season when heat or air conditioning are not required. Very small price to pay for glorious performance.

Extremely engaging. Match this amp with any compatible speaker and forget about upgrading forever. I purchased mine after reading reviews here and have been absolutely thrilled by their performance ever since. ZERO autoformers from www.zeroimpedance.com provides compatibility with a wider range of speakers. Pair with an Atma-Sphere preamp for even greater thrills. Stating my complete satisfaction seems like an understatement. Do not overlook these amps.

Similar Products Used:

None

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jul 17, 2001]
Thomas
Audiophile

They ARE the Music.
Perfect amps? The best of all possible worlds .The Atma-Spheres breathe in and out like the music breathes in and out, nearly impossible to do for Transistor Electronics like this way, one of the best amps ever designed is the Pass Aleph 0, single ended transistor design.
Super fast, ultra clear, extremely precise and the M-60 MK II.2 are in the same league.
They are the King of Speed.
All other tube amps ( Jadis, Wavac, Lamm, Convergent ) had some strenghts and I liked them but none of them is so complete from the dynamic range like the Atma-Sphere.
Speed, control, dynamics, timbre, timing, clearness, bass surrounded by air is unique.

The designer is a genius.

System's Components:

Turntable: Basis Debut Vacuum Mk.V
Arm: Graham 2.0 Deluxe
Cartridge: Takeda ' Miyabi '
CD Transport: Goldmund Mimesis
D/A Converter: DCS ' Delius '
D/D Converter: DCS ' Purcell '
Phono Preamp: Stan Klyne 7 PX 3.5
Line Preamp: Stan Klyne 7 LX 3.5
Power Amps : Pass Aleph 0
Atma-Sphere M-60 Mk II.2
Speakers : Köchel K 300
Tuner : Magnum Dynalab 'MD 108' +
Magnum Dynalab 'Signal Sleuth 205'
Headphone : Stax Signature System II
Interconnects: XLO Ltd. Edition
Phono Cable : XLO Signature
Speaker Cables: XLO Signature Shotgun
Digital Cables: XLO Signature AES/EBU
Power Cables: XLO Ultra
Record Cleaner: VPI HW 16.5
Power Conditioner: Burmester 948

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jan 01, 2002]
Ralph Justice
Audiophile

Strength:

A whole new deminsion of OTL clarity.

Weakness:

See review summary

It just seemed logical that removing a hunk of iron encapselating a bazillion turns of wire from the signal path couldn't help but clean up the sound. Life is filled with resistance, and the less you have to endure, the sweeter the quality.
Output Transformerless Amplifiers do this and the end result is just not to be believed.
I could go on and on about the sound but others have done it much better and you just have to hear it with your own ears and heart.
I would, instead, like to address the issues of OTL "Bugaboos" that appear from time to time in the press and on the street.
"They blow up and take your speakers with them'
Some older and not very sophistacated designs were know to do that, but we are in an age of modern design that makes that rhubarb as obsolete as old circuits.
"They run hot"
If someone were capable of designing a "sand" swithcing device with the same cubic centimeter surface area as one 6AS7G tube, the room would ignite. Have you ever been in the room with a large "sand amp" like Krell? Remember, everthing is relative.
"They require a lot of tending to"
Some people are desperately quite in their contentment with having a large black box for amplification that they can turn on or turn off.
Twaddle! If your passion for musical recreation is that subdued, your don't deserve to bask in the glow of those magnificent tube clusters.
Lying on the floor to gentle activate the bias control switches and watching the amp meter slowly reach it's numirical destination and then very carefully and ever so slowly making the most minute adjustment will give you one of the most viseral audio orgasms that you may ever experience.
Don't be freightned by at the unknow. If you need help, contact Ralph at Atma-Sphere, he built them so he should know, and he will gladly set you straight. Or go on line to the ASOG site and any problem subject will be addressed ad nausium.
Life is short. Design a system around these amps and every muscal moment will be more meaningful.

Similar Products Used:

VAC's, VTL's, home grown

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jan 28, 1998]
Jerry
an Audiophile

The Atma-sphere M60 mk. II amplifiers are incredible products! They are 60 watt tube, single-ended, class A monos, sold in kit form for about US$2300/pair and assembled for about $3800/pair. What makes them incredible? First, they are OTL, which translates into a significant improvement in transparency and speed (slew rate) over transformer coupled amplifiers. Second, they are scalable, so if you do not need 60 watts, you can simply remove output tubes to obtain the appropriate power output for your room and speakers. Third, they use common and inexpensive tubes: 6SN7 (less than $10 each) and 6AS7G power triodes ($15-20 each). Fourth, they are relatively inexpensive by OTL standards. And fifth, if you get the kits, they are easy and fun to build, with great factory support.
The above are all interesting facts about why this product might be worthy of consideration. But the facts provide just a door, which, when opened, allows one to enter into a very special musical experience. I have owned many amplifiers including Mark Levinson, Classe, Rowland, Audio Research, Audio Note, BEL, etc., etc., so I have some point of reference to make the following observations. You have no doubt heard about this or that component "taking away layers of grunge" or being "like looking through a clean window" or "lifting the last veil" between you and the music. None of the amplifiers I previously owned, even though some were excellent performers, cleaned that dirty window like the Atma-sphere M60!

These amplifiers have stunning transparency and speed: one of the most difficult sounds to reproduce cleanly is cymbals. Most amps make cymbals sound like some variation of white noise. Some even make cymbals sound like real metal, but screw up the decay after the cymbal is struck. Not the M60! Another good test is horns - trumpets, sax, etc. Many amplifiers get the metallic sound of these very harmonically rich instruments fairly accurately, but they also can easily make them sound too hard and coarse which makes listening to them for any length of time annoying. Again, not the M60.

The M60s get the midrange right, they have very acceptable bass which is much better than most tube amps and almost as good as the Classes and Krells in this area. Where they really shine above the competition is in the upper midrange and treble, though. In this range, they are absolutely superb. Clean, fast, natural, balanced throughout the musical spectrum and with astonishing low-level resolution. If you are tired of thinking about what your next amplifier experiment is going to be, please check out the Atma-sphere M60 mk. II. I believe you'll be very glad you did. See www.atma-sphere.com.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Aug 10, 1998]
David Adler
an Audio Enthusiast

I bought the Audiosource Amp 3 to use with my Dahlquist subwoofer. After a few days I tried it out with my full-range Dahlquist DQ l0s (modified.) and was
shocked at how much better the Amp 3 sounded compared to my old
Counterpoint SA l2! Bass is much improved, mid range has no problems,
and the treble is sweet and non- fatiguing. It has none of the transistor nasties
that used to plague transistor equipment several years ago. I used to blame
the Dahlquist speakers for congestion at high outputs. With the new Amp 3
the congestion is much improved. Needless to say, the Amp 3 now powers
my full range speakers and the Counterpoint is powering the subwoofer!
Among my test records I use the Michael Rabin lp of the Paganini lst violin
concerto. The highest violin tones are crystalline and the hall echo comes
through nicely. For $400 it's a steal!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Sep 12, 1998]
Karsten Lieberkind
an Audiophile

The Atma-Sphere M-60 mk.II is an absolutely outstanding amp. I have not been able to find any faults with it and it is almost beyond my comprehension how this could be the entry level amp of the company.


How does it sound? To say that it sounds of nothing, leaving virtually no imprint on the music is what first comes to my mind. No, let me put it this way: when I listen to this amp I keep being drawn into the music even if I have set out to evaluate one or the other detail or the system as such. I can't help it. This amp simply plays the music as it was meant to be with all the dynamics, speed and timbre that was originally there, so whether you are prepared for it or not you will be captured by the music.



I know this sounds like something you have heard before, but believe me, this amp is really something unique. All other amps I have heard, be it solid state or the best single-ended tube amps, sound like electronics or more or less veiled compared to this one. All those amps may be good or excellent one way or the other, but once you have heard the M-60 mk.II there is no going back.



If I should characterise the sound of the M-60s other than just referring to live music I'd say that it is the utter lack of electronic haze around the instruments, the speed, the dynamics and the wonderful tonal accuracy that distinguish this amp from all the rest. The M-60 is so revealing that I can almost assure you that you will hear new details on your well-known recordings no matter what amplifiers you have had before.



I use the the M-60s with the MP-3 preamp, also from Atma-Sphere. Needless to say this preamp fully matches the performance of the M-60s.



In addition to having outstanding products Atma-Sphere is a great company with an excellent and enthusiastic support.


OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Jun 08, 2000]
RON PLOEGER
Audiophile

Strength:

unlike most modest OTL amps,these amps have control,slam,
power,and a finesse about it's sound only OTL amps have.

Weakness:

These beasts eat up more than 1200 watts of AC power,produce
heat like no other amp, and want to be taken care of.
they are absolutely dependable, but need an understanding
owner. i'm not into soldering however, and leave that to
qualified's

Though the ATMASPHERE amp's are not very known and sold
in Europe, the MA-2 model which uses 50[!] tubes altogether,
is even more of a strange beast.
I have liked OTL's a lot, they have an opennes and clarity
only OTL's have ! In my audiophile career i have had the
oppertunity to listen to many fine amps,and even listened
to the most extravagant.
before the MA-2's, i have had a pair of JADIS JA-80's, which
i thought were very fine amps...[they actually are..]
Then entered the MA-2..
on first impression i could not believe this all could
happen.. and after about half a year and some finetuning,
i still am surprised every time i listen to them, no matter
what music, every time i feel like a kid who watches a
great firework for the first time in his life...
they are that good.
my rig consist of other great gear like a CAT pre-amp,
VERDIER turntable, VOCE-DIVINA speakers, and is very
revealing towards pressings and recordings.
The ma-2's are power amp's for sure, but show every subtlety
in the front-end, be it VTA or pre-amp tubes been used.
A VERY open window indeed, forget about tubey sound,
forget about limits, roll-offs, "can be only used with"
Forget about everything you have heard before....
Yes they carry a price tag, and yes every word i said
comes from my heart.
I have bought mine without even listening to them first..
WHY ? because i have heard so many enthusiast ATMASPHERE
owners raving about all models, and i ran into a usedpair
in Germany..,i followed my heart, just like that.
You should be able to listen to this amp more easily in the U.S. since it's the homemarket.
I'm so proud to own these amps, and there is even a very
enthusiast website with an owners group, so every question
asked will be answered.. you may even contact the factory
and get instant reply from the owner and maker of these
OTL amps. try this with other factory's.. Ralph Karsten is the man behind all this, and he needs no advertising atall.
He's been making these amps for 20 yrs now, and i'm sure
he will be still there the next 20 yrs !
These Amp's are here to stay, only an factory upgrade will
be done to MK-2 spec's in the future.

Similar Products Used:

Just the power-amp's from ATMASPHERE.
high-end rig sums up to about 50 k total.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Apr 03, 1999]
Glenn Edens
an Audiophile

The Atma-sphere MK60 II is a great monoblock pair. Fast, transparent and OTL for an incredible price. The units feature balanced or unbalanced inputs. A simple system for setting bias is provided. The MK60s drive B&W 801 Series IIs with no problem. The source is a Wadia 850 CD connected directly to the MK60s (no preamp). I highly recomend the MK60s, they are one of the best amplifiers I have experienced. They are 60 watts per channel and prefer driving 6 ohms or more. You owe it to yourself to hear these amplifiers.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-8 of 8  

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