Advice on a nice integrated is needed


Hi all. I intend to build up a secondary system around a very high class integrated amp.

On my very short list are: JRDG Continuum 500, Gryphon Diabolo, McIntosh MA 7000 and ASR Emitter Version Blue SE

Has anybody directly compared these devices ? Any input is appreciated.

Cheers
frankpiet
Strickly my opinion nay advice FWIW:

I'd toss the VAC Phi Beta into the category of high class integrateds as well. Its the best looking one at least IMHO.

The JRDG seems to have a sterling reputation as well.

The Emitter seems to be the most ground breaking and intriguing design to me personally...never heard one though.

Amazingly, the JRDG would appear to be by far the bargain among these three.
Have you considered the Ayre AX-7e Integrated amp? I am using the the Ayre AX-7e Integrated amp to drive my Sonus Faber Domus Speakers. I have the Ayre CX-7e CD player and the Magnum Dynalab MD-102T Tube FM Tuner. The AX-7e has plenty of power to drive my SF Domus Speakers. The overall sound quality is excellent and the tube like quality of the Ax-7e make these speakers really stand out. I was very surprised at how good the system sounds and so were my friends. I suggest you listen to the Ayre AX-7e Integrated amp in your system. cheers...
What are you looking for in the music? What is the rest of the system? VAC, Luxman? Maybe.
Also look at Coda,looks like they have nice int.
"LUXMAN"
I prefer integrateds for my use. You can get a fantastic integrated in the price range you are considering. If it were me, I'd include the Accuphase E-450 or E-550, Luxman integrateds, JRDG Continuum 500, and ASR Emitter. Denjo at Audiocircle went through a year long odyssey trying out integrateds and ended up with the E-450.
Ggeifman: I´ve owned the AX-7e and found it to be a very nice integrated in its price range and slightly above. But I´m looking for the "best" solution out of an integrated.

Foster 9: I already "enjoyed" the big E-550 and despite its nice build quality and flexibility I stumbled a bit over the quite old fashion looks and the quite boring and sterile sound.

Currently I strongly think about the JRDG 500 but I´m a bit afraid of hifish sound due to its ICE power amp which is said to sound a bit special. I love the looks and the build quality of the Rowland, unfortunately nobody in my area carries this device for listening. Any special comments on the 500 ?
Frankpiet, contact member Guidocorona for comments on the JRDG 500. Since the Accuphase E-550 sounded boring and sterile to you, I'd think something was wrong in that setup. (maybe the amp/speaker match or source) I'd also add the relatively new to the market Esoteric A100 to my audition list as well. Let us know about your decision.
Your note above says you are looking for the "best" solution out of an integrated. Have you looked at Pass Labs’ first integrated amplifier INT-150? I have not heard the unit but it looks very interesting. see
http://passlabs.com/pdf/product%20lit/int-150-lit_lres.pdf
Over on davidmichaelaudio.com they have the "Pass Labs INT-150" and other brand named integrated amps and they say the Luxman L590a mk2 is the best that they have ever heard!.....
I'd consider the VAC Phi Beta as mentioned by Mapman if thinking tubes, or possibly the Ayon Triton. If staying with SS, I'd recommend a Karan KA I-180.

John
I would recommend Plinius 9100/9200. They sound very musical and make you feel like in the music hall. Have not heard the Luxman, but reviews say it is one of the best.
Heard MA7000 once with Spendor speakers, very disappointed.
I've reviewed both the Plinius and a Luxman. No contest. Luxman. Unless you like an ultrabright, detailed, etched, solid state sound. And you'd better have lots of current avialable in your room. It is starved for current. If that sounds like you, then go for the Plinius.
My input is confined to you have impeccable taste,dont change,cheers,Bob
"ultrabright, detailed, etched, solid state sound"

Wow, this is my first time hearing such words describing Plinius. The most frequently used words for 9100/9200 are always "tube like".
I've reviewed both the Plinius and a Luxman. No contest. Luxman. Unless you like an ultrabright, detailed, etched, solid state sound. And you'd better have lots of current avialable in your room. It is starved for current. If that sounds like you, then go for the Plinius.
Jimaxp (Threads | Answers)

Ditto Heyanming, I never read a similar description of the Plinius 9200 like that ever.

Jimaxp, I've owned the Plinius 9200 and your description is nothing like I ever heard. The Plinius was smooth with nice highs, and not typical of many solid state designs. It just goes to prove the point that from system to system, the cables, speakers, room, ancillary gear and quality of power can drastically alter the performance of any high end gear.
"It just goes to prove the point that from system to system, the cables, speakers, room, ancillary gear and quality of power can drastically alter the performance of any high end gear"

...also people's ears.
I´ve started auditioning Luxman L-590 AII vs Accuphase E-550. While the Luxman was on the rather warm and "mellow" side with nice transparency and detail the Accuphase was as stated in this thread by someone very linear and "lifeless" (boring) sounding although beeing pure Class A. Looking both at their respective asking prices and design which is rather hifi than high-end both devices were rather disappointing to me.
Next on my audition list are Gryphon Atilla and Lindemann.
I have owned the Karan KA-I 180 (most current model) and it was superb. Definitely I would put that on your list over the McIntosh. I also would second (third) the VAC unit.
The Karan KA I-180 would get my vote for a premier solid state integrate. For tube's, I'd bat serious glances at VAC, Viva, and Jadis.
Couldn´t get hold of the Atilla as it is not ready for delivery yet. But had a chance to compare the Gamut Di-150 to the Lindemann. To me it was a no brainer. The Gamut was the much more engaging and dynamik device with lots of detail and great transparency. The Lindeman wasn´t bad but not on par with the Gamut but to my ears better than the Accuphase and the Luxman.

I have heard wonderful things about the Vitus SS-010 - has anybody ever heard this device beeing stated as one of the very very best integrated amps ?
love my BAT 300xSE, second time i've owned it in fact.
I´ve gone for the Vitus - simply awesome device
I've owned the JRDG Concentra(1), Concerto (which I still have), and in between the mac 6900 - I have not heard the 7000 or the Continuum 500. The Concentra is still one of my favorite all time amps, although I never was able to compare it directly to the Concerto, and several years and homes have passed in between. As for the McIntosh, it was a great amp, although they are so big that I felt like I might have just gone with separates. The new JRDG amps are more compact, if that matters. As for sound, I think the Rowland amps have a bit more clarity and quietness, though as always I'd want to hear them side by side for an extended comparison. I would not classify either as 'warm'. And then system synergy is probably even more of a factor. Mac has a better resale value it seems. Rowland has a better warranty. I prefer the Rowland (I also have mine paired with the PC-1, which the Continuum 500 comes with). It looks great, sounds fantastic, and build quality is outstanding - I don't worry about maintenance.