Our friend mechans aka The Doctor passed away in the early part of 2020. He was an active, passionate, and knowledgeable contributor here and AA. Although he acquired a lot of wonderful sounding audio kit, and his wife shares our demand for excellent sound, she now seeks a more streamlined solution. That means integrated amplifier with MM / HOMC phono input, as well as on board streamer / DAC.
Looking around, I see NAD offers a line of integrateds that would suit. I have a NAD streamer / DAC with preamplifier and phono input in one of my tertiary systems, and while certainly not the best sounding component I have, it's quite competent. I really like its BluOS, and hard to fault overall at the $1750 price point.
Although she would consider taking a different route with that same model preamp, the preference at this time lies with an integrated that does it all. Along those lines, any other recommendations when it comes to an all in one solution beyond the NAD lineup?
@dekayyes, I'm Joe T. Great to see another 20+ year A'goner still around! How have things been with you? Hope you are great, my longtime friend.
She's considered what you suggested. Believe it or not, she adores the lovely sound of the huge tube integrated amplifier she uses, The Doctor had exquisite discernment. It developed an issue with the right channel, and that got us here, as she'd like to downsize to a much, much smaller form factor. I'm going to give it a look, and outside of an output transformer should be able to get it back on the road. Coincidentally, I believe The Doctor actually had a Gram Slee, which he raved about, so we could dig that out.
We talked about streaming, and she decided that's where she wanted to be, along with her vinyl and favorite radio stations which broadcast online. Her desire: "I just want everything in one box, all of it..."
@jondhow have you been, my friend? I'm still loving my Deja Vu 2A3 monos.
Yes, it was truly a loss to have him pass at 61. Likely merciful, as he had battled some incredible health issues in his time, and I fear what 2020 brought would have not allowed him to pass as peacefully as happened. Great man. We use the term genius as a common descriptor these days, but accurately here. He specialized in ailments of the blood, and shined with those others couldn't help, and saved more people during what was supposedly their final hours of situations no one else was able to deal with than anyone would believe. On a personal level, my father dealt with an increasingly difficult situation with his wrist over the course of many years, and though not his specialty, dad insisted on talking with The Doctor about it, and showing him the X-Rays. Literally within 5 seconds, he diagnosed the issue with the shoulder radiating down to the wrist, and despite many years of orthopedists and other failing to help, my dad then sought different treatment, and got better in about 3 months.
Doing well Joe and funny thing I’m now running a Deja Vu 2a3 pushpull stereo amp and loving it. And I never realized mechans was a doctor nor such an eminent one, what a loss but 2020/21 has taught us all about loss.
And it's great to see you posting here even if for a sad reason.
she now seeks a more streamlined solution. That means integrated amplifier with MM / HOMC phono input, as well as on board streamer / DAC.
when it comes to an all in one solution beyond the NAD
Cambridge Audio EVO 150?
Schiit Ragnarok can be had in a maxed out config which should include dac and phono-stage for around $1800. It does not include a streamer but you could get a Raspberry Pi or iFi Zen Streamer and hide behind the amp.
I have had the same question for myself and did a lot of research:
- JBL SA750 does tick all the boxes but it seems to be a rebranding / repackaging of ARCAM SA30. The latter has got horrible reviews, distortion and problems.
- Nad has got quite a few aces. M10 (no MC, kind of limited power), M33 (very expensive). The new C399 with the streaming add on card (ticks all but no MC) Personally I ordered this last one, waiting for delivery. I'll add a step up transformer and end up spending some 3K.
- Lyngdorf TDAI 3400 with add on analog card. Absolutely beautiful, the money no exception choice IMO, but it goes for some 6K, too expensive for me.
Personally I also wanted room correction, so I went for the C399. Will let you know.
Good to see you back @trelja even if it's as the bearer of bad news!
A great sounding, modestly priced option is the ATC integrated (from the speakers people); I listened to one and found it amazingly good for the price -- IIRC less than 2k -- which even included a user-adjustable phono to match the cartridge!
Many thanks for all the great suggestions + kind words! It's certainly good to catch up with some of the folks here.
The ATC suggestion compels, as does the Schiit. And I'd not heard of the Audiolab, which also sounds worthy. Based on knowing it would represent a warmer, more fleshed out counterpoint to the leaner, perhaps more insightful and incisive NAD, it seems like I should dig deeper on the Cambridge suggestions.
@dekay thank you for laying everything out. I'm very happy to hear things are going as well as they are for you, David! Are you still in the western NY region?
As for me, I'm still in the Philadelphia area, but split time in Vancouver, BC. It's surprising about participating on Audiogon in my 20s, and sit here today a grandfather. Life has taken me down a really great path, audio and otherwise, and though I've retired twice, like to keep myself busy, and am fortunate to work in a field that continually pursues. I've encountered some outstanding components with friends, at shows / demos / dealers, and a fair number come through my system, either bought, borrowed, or friends wanting to give them a listen in my place. I sell things off, and still have more than I need, but a lot of the current lineup are keepers. I've found happiness + contentment, which unfortunately eludes too many in such hobbies
@dekayyou definitely have a more vivid and accurate memory than me, David!
I worked as an R&D chemist through the 90s. It was a really rewarding job from the standpoint of accomplishment and personal satisfaction. Financially, not so much. I’m happy to see the environmentally friendly, high end, low ohm resistor material I developed remains the best in the world 25 years on, and is the conductor material in some of the best resistors used in high end audio components. Since moving on to IT, I’ve done a lot better for myself.
I agree with you completely about how much fun and informative the discourse once was. Glad you’re still here, and doing well…