hegel h 390
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I have heard the Aerial 6Ts extensively and they need good power/current to sound as they should/can. It probably doesn't matter as much if they're used for background low volume music listening but if you have (very) limited budget, you may want to consider a higher powered Class D amplifier to at least drive them with more authority at lower volumes. While I have no experience with the options you've listed, I suspect they will make them sound thin at low listening volumes. Those speakers sound very good if/when properly driven.
So the Sonos Amp is a class D with 125w into 8 ohms. I do not see a spec for 4 ohms which my speakers are.
The Sprout100 is 50w into 8 ohms, 100w into 4 ohms.
@kalali, now that you have suggested that the 6Ts will sound thin with these amps it is almost guaranteed that my brain will hear them that way. ;-)
So far I have listened to these speakers with 1) a 140wpc Bryston 9B SST2 that I am selling for someone. I ran the Sonos Connect directly into the Bryston and as you might imagine, they sound as good as you would expect given the source material (Amazon Music via Sonos).
2) An older but high end Onkyo 75wpc home theater unit on 'bypass' with the Sonos Connect. To be completely honest it sounds just as good as the Bryston with the same source material. Maybe its the source material or maybe it is my untrained ears.
Between the Sprout and the Sonos I'm leaning towards the Sonos just for the minimalism, ease of use and additional watts.
But if I can find something better used in the $1000 price range I'd probably do it.
I inherited them. Have Aerial Acoustics 7Bs in my primary system with a Madrigal Proceed (Levinson) amp at 250wpc. The 6Ts may be a little more precise than the 7Bs but do not sound as big as the 7Bs which is why the 6Ts are not in my primary system. That and the fact that there is no way my wife is letting those huge monolithic 7Bs in her living room.
That’s why this is such a bizarre situation. Really nice and completely free speakers that will get limited use and not much of a budget, or much reason, to spend big bucks on an amp. Not that it’s a bad problem to have but I really don’t know what to do.
And heck, even with that Onkyo they sound really good. Wife does not want Onkyo in the living room though. It is huge and ugly.
It’s a little above your price I think it was $1500?? Look here for a Micromega M100 small sleek looking integrated might get the wife’s OK.
Edit: sorry it is $1900
As the owner of Aerial speakers I would suggest an amp with more than 50w per channel. They like power and even at low volume an amp with headroom and capable of dealing with 3 ohm loads is important. Given your budget goal, you might consider the Rega integrated amps. The Elex-R generates over 100w per channel at 4 ohms and lists for $1,695. See if you can demo with your speakers.
@sammeyers1, I'll keep that one in mind too. Wish there was something like that without the cost of the phono pre and other things which I would not use.
I've got plenty of time and in truth, if this Bryston I've got does not sell for a reasonable price then the estate I'm selling it for doesn't care what happens to it. It is _not_ ideal from my wife's standpoint but right now it is under a side table and generally out of sight. Being 5 channel it certainly is overkill and a waste of channels but it does sound good.
If that happens I might want a pre-amp or something with a better DAC to run the Sonos Connect into.
This unusual circumstance is sending me down a lot of rabbit holes. ;-)
It is my understanding that with a Sonos Connect if you bypass its DAC then Sonos itself has no impact on the source material which in my case is Amazon Music.
Also, I've got Sonos speakers throughout the house for casual listening so it would not be cost effective to change to a BluSound system at this time.
That's a problem because the whole reason the 6Ts are in the living room was that they replaced a pair of Sonos speakers and I'm pretty much wedded to the Sonos system. And, to be honest, pretty happy with it for its intended purpose.
I wonder if the new Sonos Amp has issues with jitter? For $650 and the fact that Sonos seems to be targeting the higher end listeners now I would sure hope so. Have not heard any mention of jitter in reviews of the Sonos Amp.
I should also admit that I've read about jitter but can't say I've ever identified it with my ears.
Looking at your wants, the fact you’re comfortable with the sonos system and the simplicity of it I would get the sonos amp. It looks like you set up streaming services through the app you don’t need to connect anything to it but the speaker and ethernet instead of wifi if desired. You can also connect a TV and CD player if wanted.
@djones51, that’s the way I’m leaning.
The speakers are there. I want to keep them. I want a small, nearly invisible, elegant, simple integrated that integrates with Sonos and that does the speakers justice for under a $1000.
Yes, I’m aware the whole situation is ridiculous.
Right now I have the whole shebang hooked up. Sonos Connect into Classe Sigma SSP pre-amp via optical into Bryston 9B amp. It sounds great but there is that big pile of equipment on a black plastic $99 Monoprice stand in my wife’s formal living room. It just won’t do. She’s not giving me a hard time because she knows its temporary....and it is.
So I might try the Sonos Amp as soon as I can sell the Transparent Super speaker cables (cheap by the way...if anyone is interested....) .
It looks like Sonos has a no-questions-asked return policy with free return shipping. If it sounds bad I’ll send it back.
@coffe-jerk, I’ll look into that Bel Canto.
Edit: Just looked at that Bel Canto and read some reviews. That is definitely a contender.
Maybe a mini breakthrough. I have the whole system (most of which I'm trying to sell for a family member) hooked up in the living room in a corner. Sonos into Classe' via optical into Bryston.
I put on Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong via Sonos. A great recording it turns out, and it sounds really really good. I brought my wife in to listen. She likes Louis but could care less about hi-fi.
But she really liked this. Even at low volume it sounds great. Shes still in there listening.
I explain that it takes that big ugly pile of equipment to sound that good. She clearly does not like it in the living room. So I start telling her about some of these smaller compact units and when I tell her how much they cost she actually seems interested. This could open up some opportunity with something like the Bel Canto or the Gato if I could find one used. Don't get me wrong, she does not fuss about money but it sure doesn't hurt that she would appreciate a decent amp that is fairly discrete and out of sight.
I’ve been listening to these speakers with the good amp and pre-amp all day today. They just sound so good that I’ve come to the conclusion that I am going to have to get something proper to drive them with. I may have to wait a while, save my money and buy used but I will expand my budget a bit. At this point I can’t bring myself to compromise significantly. Probably a foolish waist of money but I just can’t see driving these things with something that does not fulfill their potential.
Having said that, the amp and pre-amp I’m using are not generating a lot of interest on eBay at less than half their new price. Will probably list them here next week.
At this point I would also expand my query to a normal sized integrated. It will go in a corner and be largely out of sight. As long as it isn’t huge and just butt ugly it should be fine.
So open to recommendations in that regard as well. That may give me more options. Would probably want at least 100w into 8ohms.
So what about common brand units like the NAD 388? The specs say 150 watts into 8 ohms AND 4 ohms. Why is that? Is that a problem?
Should I avoid class D?
What about units like the Arcam SA30 or even the SA20? And what the heck is a class G amp?
Adjusted budget is around $2000....which is the most I've ever paid for any audio component. Most of my system components were inherited.