Ground Hog Day.
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Panu21 - I've had both the Harbeth M30 and Spendor S 3/5se and found they clearly benefited sonically when I upgraded the amplification. However, in my limited experience with separates in the 2.5-3.0k price range (used on audiogon) vs. integrated amps, the difference was marginal. If anything my current Graaf integrated (about 3.5 k used) is significantly better than the separates (albeit solid state) I was using at the time.
Just my 2c, it may be a stretch to find a pre and power amp for $1500 (used) that betters a decent integrated. Other folks may have some valuable suggestions.
The 2010s' 75W rating is probably a really nice match w/your Harbeths (BTW, the Exposure is a beautiful piece), and I'd say you would have to make a significant power/current jump to tell a real difference. I use old NAD pre/amp w/my Spendors, and although they are circa 1992, the combination is beyond good...balanced, smooth, and quiet. You may want to try a used NAD 272/162 combo for more current, dynamics, and low-end control. You could snag these for less than $800 on the Gon, and they may surprise you. Or how about a Parasound A21 and NAD 160 or 162? Could be another involving (and versatile) set up.
I'm a big integrated fan. I'm running Harbeth C7's with one. For $1500 absolutely stick with an integrated. If you want to upgrade, although the 2010s is nice (I had the 3010s2), there are several choices used that will move things up a notch or two. None will be separates.
But if your happy, just stay happy and save the $1500.
"ARE YOU KIDDING, WHAT FREAKIN PLANET ARE YOU FROM??"
what do you mean?
I think integrated amps are very good and their limits are only bettered if you spend the big bucks on separates.
Who wants to buy the extra ICs and PCs and rack space necessary with separates?
btw the freakin planet I am from is Earth.
Whether or not you experience much improvement of a separates over an integrated may also depend on how the preamp stage of the integrated is implemented. Poor implementation of a preamp stage could mean separates or an integrated with a better preamp stage will be a nice step up.
I have no experience with your integrated so can't comment on it specifically.
I noticed that there is a pre out which would allow you to experiment with stereo and monoblock amps if you wanted to;I think 1500 in the used amp market can buy you a very nice amp to let you see if you prefer going with a seperate amp(s).
Bottom line is what your ears tell you and if you want to make a change.
"Who wants to buy the extra ICs and PCs and rack space necessary with separates"
Yea....what freakin planet are you from?
Your right that on a 1500.00 budget he won't do better, but telling someone if they don't spend 10,000.00 or more on separates its not worth it is totally crazy.....Two components instead of one and another IC does not require most people to buy more rack space. YOU NEED TO CHILL and think before typing something ridiculous...
Very unlikely you will better yourself with that move at that budget for separates. Why don't you ask Allan Shaw? I suspect he would tell you to stick with what you have. If you want to upgrade, my next move would be for an even better integrated when you have the money for it, something like a LFD MKIII used.
I can see that posting my opinion has angered you.
I see this forum as a chance to exchange opinions and that is what you will get here.
I can also understand people want separates and enjoy trading components and separates offer more chance to experiment and enjoy the hobby.
I will also concede that $10,000> is a bit extreme and maybe I was trying to make a point that I think is really best for most involved, but I see no reason for you to yell at me with the caps lock on.
Yelling does not help so please reconsider the use of cap locks.
I wouldn't do a thing before upgrading speakers. But if you just must try separates...
Personally, I would probably go for older Rowland preamp and Rowland model 1 amp, but that would be $2000. Plus good cables and power cords. Or perhaps older Pass or Threshold equipment. Or Monarchy 100 deluxe anps plus some good preamp. Or...I am out of ideas at the moment.
just to add another alternative to my initial question, have recently found out about possible layoff by yearend and now looking at selling off some equipment for financial reasons. i have Omega super 6 alnicos in storage that i had used in a separate system with a Virtue Audio sensation 901 /w tube buffer. any suggestions on an amp for theses that can equal my Harbeth/Exposure setup ? Some equipment may have to go and i am just not thinking straight here right now. Understand tubes are better with the Omegas.