Amp for desktop setup, low volume listening

(posted also on

Hi all,
I’m looking to build a system for low volume listening in a desktop setting.
I will mostly be listening in the evenings when the wife and baby are asleep...I know, I know.. Headphones, right ?That’s not currently an option for me..

The amp/dac will be bought probably used, and speakers new unless I can find what I’m looking for.
I auditioned a Creek 4330SE next to an Arcam A65+ next to a Roksan Caspian. (they were connected to KEF LS50)
I liked the Caspian the most, it was the most engaging for me, BUT I see how the highs can be tiring on some types of music. That said, I didn’t have an issue with either of the other 2... They all sounded high quality to me, and I’m not going to be doing any critical listening. (Although out of the remaining 2 I liked the Creek a bit better)

The only issue is that I didn’t listen to them in low volume during the audition, so not sure how they would perform in that setting. I hear the Yamaha A-S500/700 have a loudness control that can cater this specific issue, although I’m having trouble finding them on the used market.I know the 501/701 are available, but I feel like I’d be better off getting an external DAC, as those can change more often then the actual amp. (I’m looking at the DacMagic 100 and Modi 2 Uber)

The speakers I’m looking at and yet to audition (speaker size is the biggest constraint) are Totem Kin Mini, Totem Dreamcatcher and Epos K5. (I will want to listen to them after I buy the amp/dac)

My current shortlist of amps is:
1) Simaudio Moon I-1 - 2008, 50w/ch, MSRP $1500
2) Creek 5350SE - 2001, 90w/ch, MRSP $1500
3) Yamaha A-S700 - 2009, 90w/ch, MSRP $1000 (?)

I haven’t heard the Simaudio but I was impressed that it is "only" 50w/ch and weighs more than the Creek..
So, anybody here have experience with these amps under these circumstances?

Appreciate your feedback.
iFi Audio "Stereo 50" Tube Integrated Amp w/DSD-DXD DAC,BluTooth & MM/MC Phono driving Silverline Audio Minuet Supreme,Sonus Faber Toy Monitors or Omega Super 3 Desktop speakers + & add great headphones at a later date.Question if you don’t mind,why are headphones not an option?
This might be less than what you wanted to spend but I came across this over at another site: The Elac UB5 and Discovery Ecosystem – CES 2016
The speakers have been well received so far but I can't attest to the amp.

All the best,
Different direction, why not active speakers like Vanatoo or Dynaudio?  Less real estate paired with a digital source.
Thanks for your replies...

@freediver I could only find the iFi as a system and that was out my range, around 2K. Headphones aren't an option since I still need to be aware of things going on in the house.. Cat and Dog sometimes make a mess and need to accommodate baby issues :)

@nonoise I will take a look at that, thanks

@celtic66 I looked in the direction of active speakers at first, such as Audioengine's and Kef x300a. (didn't know Vanatoo). The only real estate on my desk is going to be the speakers, I have a small rack next to my desk for the amp/dac. In addition, spending 800-1000$ on a system, I feel like separates is more future-proof... I can always upgrade any component and resell it on the used market. I feel like the active monitors would be harder to change if relevant.. sells the Stereo 50 amp only for $1500.00....Try a pair of Open Back,Over Ear headphones.At low volumes you can hear the dogs knocking over the trash can in the kitchen or a crying baby no problem.
For some reason my class D amp keeps composure at very low volume providing a lot of lows and highs and immaculate imaging.  I remember reading other posts confirming this.
I use a class D T-Amp -- cheap and great performer.