Hi Kiza, I haven't heard these amps, but I suspect the Accuphase would be the warmer of the 3, along with the Lux, however the Simaudio is also a warm sounding amp. I love Accuphase & would be tempted by the E-460, but the Simaudio is just plainly better. It is a zero negative feedback dual mono design (the other two are not), is more powerful, has higher damping (easily doubles down to 350watts@4ohms), is quieter, faster, has a superior volume control & is just a superior circuit design imho. Hope that assists!
Read another thread about Simaudio refusing to take care of their out of production models.
Inna, maybe post a link to the thread you were referring to? as that could be a help to other members as well. Kiza you could also look at the Unison Unico 100 which is a valve hybrid integrated operating in dynamic Class A. Unison amps sound warm & very musical. Circuit design and build quality are also excellent.
It doesn't have anything with the parts. Face plate is pure
cosmetic. Simaudio still have parts for a models made in 1989.
I am curious, why do you only consider these three brands? There are others. And we don't know anything about your sound and music preferences, and the rest of your system. Are you thinking about getting a new or used piece or it depends?
compared the Luxman to the Accuphase, and the latter was just so much better it was no contest.
Luxman is a good brand, but Accuphase is in a different league.
Never heard the moon though.
Honestly, I am still looking for an Integrated Amplifier
for my Carbon 7 speakers. I've tried with the Simaudio i3.3.
Sound was sterile. NAD M3 - Good bass but no highs.
In New York no chance to audition Bryston or Accuphase. By
the way price for Accuphase E-460 (13.5K)is comical.
I'm listening mostly smooth jazz and highs are my priority.
I know that it's not just amplifier important, also the
cables. Some people recommend Modwright KWI-200. I am trying
to stay away from tubes.
And of course you want a great midrange. And some bass, your speakers can go quite low for monitors.
I have never heard your speakers so I will just list other brands you might want to consider.
Rowland, Pass, Gryphon ( no dealers in the US ) and Redgum.
I have Redgum integrated and like it a lot. I also like better Purist Audio cables.
Kiza, do you have to buy an integrated? If you're open to a pre/power combination, based on your stated budget and preferences, i'd recommend the McCormack DNA-250 power amp & LD-2 preamp. RRP for the DNA-250 is $3995 & $2495 for the LD-2. The current line of McCormack amps are designed and built by Conrad Johnson & in my view are some of the best value high end amps anywhere. They have prodigious power, warm sound & airy extended highs, and according to one of my friends they are musical sounding also. Here is a link to their site fyi - http://www.mccormackaudio.com/index1.html
LFD integrated MkIV. It is excellent. No frills but terrific sound.
If I recall, Sound by Singer, an audio dealer based in New York carries LFD.
Right, I forgot LFD. There are a few models.
Kiza, did you ever make a choice? I have the Fritz Carbon 7 too so I was just curious if you found a good match for your system and your thought on the sound. thanks.
Moon 700i is still in production and is Simaudio's top integrated, yes?
Disclaimer, I am very found of Accuphase :).
Melbguy1, I am a bit surprised to read your comments about Simuaudio vs. Accuphase. My experience is that it is very hard to really moped the floors with an Accuphase, especially when comparing "mass marketed" products at comparable prices. I did not hear the Moon 700i integrated so I am not saying in any way that you might not be right.
To defend Accuphase, I should say that 1) the Accuphase AAVA volume control is one of the best available (I find it hard to believe that there are that much better implementations out there), and 2) the E-460 integrated is also a dual mono design in that it has completely separated circuits for the left and right panels. My experience is that two toroidal transformed don't always work better than a good one. For example, I have seen a Musical Fidelity A5 (not a particular special design) moping the floors with a NAD M3 (supposedly a much more advance design) when driving the Dynaudio S1.4 Contour speakers. Also, power ratings can be very deceiving. For example, my Accuphase E-550 (30 watts in 8 ohm in class A mode) had much better control over the woofers of B&W 802D than A Bryston 4BSST power amp (not to mentioned the A5 I used to own), and this in a large room (but at moderate listen levels).
Kiza, I would also consider the Accuphase E-560. It is better than the E-460 and it will have no problem to drive your Carbon 7 speakers. Regarding Accuphase prices, I have too agree with you - they are laughable. Yesterday I noticed yet another increase in their prices. Here in Europe, the prices increased with 30% in the last year and they were rather high to begin with. You might want to look also at the previous generation, i.e. E-350, E-450 and E-550. The differences compared to the newer models are not significant and you can get them for 60% of the price.
Finally, the best advice anyone can give you is to do what ever it take and listen these integrated in your room (or at least driving your speakers). All three integrated you considered are top notch and in the end it is just a matter of preference and/or system matching. Be patient.
Good luck and keep us posted!
Hi Paul, on reflection I think I was a bit generous in my comments about the Sim. In reality the two amps are probably closer than that. I can't say i'm a huge fan of Accuphase, though I love the look of their gear. I agree with your comment about figures not indicating real power. I own a Boulder 1060 which is rated at 300 watts continuous power into any load, yet in a shootout at with a Dealer, the Boulder was thrown up against a pair of Krell Evolution 900 monos & sounded much more dynamic and powerful (especially in the low bass).
Coming back to integrateds, the only ss integrated I would consider buying at the moment is a Vitus SIA-025, but that's not on my radar. Right now, if I was giving advice to the OP, for less money i'd advise him to look for a 2nd hand McCormack DNA-500 amp & new LD-2 pre & live happily ever after.
Melbguy1, thanks for the reply. It seems I too have exaggerated when talking about the Accuphase prices (not deliberately of course). At least in Benelux,
Accuphase prices increase every year with 10-12%. For example, in december 2009 my E-550 integrated was a bit less then 8.5k, whereas now its evolution, i.e. E-560, costs a bit less than 11k . That is almost a 30% increased but over a period of 2 years and a bit.
I have heard the accuphase integrated and pre power. The integrated is nothing special. In fact i think it sounds not that good. I dont understand what the fuss is all about.
The pre power sounds quite diff though
Even though this thread is almost 3 years old, thought I would throw in my opinion on these three brands --their flagship models...
I have heard the Luxman 590ax in my system. Heard the Accuphase E-560 in my system and heard a couple Moon integrated amps at a dealer.
I purchased the Accuphase...
The Luxman was good. It was musical, engaging and fun to listen to. Had a soulful quality but the last details were masked. I just kept wanting to turn up the volume. Maybe with a diferent DAC, instead of my tube based DAC, Im sure one could coax more detail. So the Luxman is still a great choice in the right system. It just wasn't right for mine --to much of a good thing.
The moon gear just sounded synthetic. No 'real' or natural tonal qualities at all. This was with Vandersteen speakers, so there should of been no issues there... I just couldn't get pas how 'wrong' everything sounded. Like a mechanical facsimile of the music I was so familiar with.
The Accuphase E-560 had it all and I cant find any complaints after a year or so of solid regular usage. System synergy, I suppose, but this integrated is best I have heard. Listened to a list of tubed Int. as well --Ayon, Manley and Mac. The Accuphase easily won.
Jriggy-You nailed it regarding Sim/Moon. I heard a Moon i5.3 driving a Focal 826v and the description "synthetic" is the exactly what I heard. Another demo with the Moon P-7/W-7 proved much better with a Vienna Acoustic(The Music) but an AVI S2000 integrated gave it a good battle only lacking the P-7 W-7 refined sound. I find it ironic that Sim/Moon make very fine sounding CDP/DAC. If I was leaning towards Accuphase consider an A-30 power amp. With most integrated amps the preamp section is what holds them back.