Have you seen the Luxman 505 on sale, new in the A'gon? It's like half off.
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Thanks for all of the responses so far. That Luxman looks pretty nice and the reviews seem to be good. As far as source for streaming I’ve just been using my laptop plugging it into the usb directly on the Yamaha. I’m a complete beginner to this so I’m sure there’s a better way for higher quality/ better resolutionlol. As far as vinyl to be honest I’m still not too sure how far I’d like to go with it.I’m just getting into it and still in the process of experimentation with it and deciding if to my ears vinyl sounds better then the high quality and lossless audio formats that Tidal offers. It’s just vinyl seems to be so expensive new also lol. Thanks in advance for all of he feedback!
I would suggest Aurender N100H as the digital source for streaming Tidal with the Luxman. But the Luxman does not have an internal DAC, so you would have to get an external DAC. If you want an integrated amp with internal DAC, then I would suggest the Hegel. Also, a good USB cable like the Curious really makes a difference.
As far as vinyl to be honest I’m still not too sure how far I’d like to go with it.I’m just getting into it and still in the process of experimentation with it and deciding if to my ears vinyl sounds better then the high quality and lossless audio formats that Tidal offers. It’s just vinyl seems to be so expensive new also lol.
Well you get what you pay for.
And- "high quality and lossless" with "Tidal" in the same sentence! Talk about LOL! LOL! Let me guess: you weren’t around for "perfect sound forever"? https://www.stereophile.com/asweseeit/656/index.html
The best records by the way are not necessarily the new ones. First, because almost all the great music out there is old. That just stands to reason. In any years time only a tiny fraction of music is any good. So almost all the really good music is old. Combine that with the extreme care they used to take to attain the highest sound quality. Throw in the wild card that any pressing new or old or however well recorded, to sound good on vinyl you have to find the copy that sounds good. Meaning in other words no two copies sound the same. Put it all together, a really good copy of a really good recording sounds so freaking good you cannot believe it. And most certainly you cannot come anywhere close anywhere this side of the original analog master tape, "lossless" "perfect sound forever" notwithstanding.
But it also means a lot of vinyl is dreck. I do hope you are paying attention? Digital is not about quality. The only two things digital has going, convenience and consistency. You want to find out real fast if vinyl is worth it? Go to Betterrecords.com and buy something. Then you will know. You can always send it back. If you can stand to do without it. Once you hear what is possible you will never be the same again.
Meantime you want to be listening to tube integrateds. While you are at it be sure to listen to speakers. You need to listen to a lot of stuff because that is the only way to figure out if its better to limit yourself to an amp that can drive what you have, or upgrade speakers and amp in one fell swoop, or whatever. Reviews and comments are only very crude filters. You need to get out there and listen and compare as much as possible. Next to listening to a White Hot Stamper its the best way to spend your time.
Get an integrated amp with a nice dac and network streaming capabilities. You can find some that are roon ready and then you can just plug Ethernet in the amp and your computer can send tidal right over WiFi, into your network, and into the amps DAC.
LUMIN M1 or something like that. I thank NAD makes one. And possibly McIntosh Ma5300
Having auditioned both Luxman and Hegel integrated amps recently, Imy opinion is that both would provide noticeably better sound. Your speakers are 4 ohm and the manufacturer recommends amps with 20-300 watts power. That’s an overly wide range and I would recommend erring on the side of having more power, especially given the 4 ohm impedance of your speakers. Hegel amps are real powerhouses, and the H190 at 250 watts at 4 ohms would be a good fit. While at $4,000 it is a bit over your budget, it has the advantage of having a nice DAC as part of the package and it has an Ethernet port. My dealer indicated that certain Hegel products should be designated Roon ready in a matter of months. Purchasers of units before that upgrade will be able to download a firmware update to make theirs Roon ready.
Audition one at home (and some of the others recommended) and listen on your speakers in your room. That’s been my rule for many years and it has served me well. Dealer showrooms are often treated with acoustical panels and can sound dead compared to a listening room in a typical house.
You may benefit from taking your time, as someone suggested, and research your options.
Do you want to display a rack of gear, or have a slick, minimal setup?
Would you consider buying used? If so, you can stretch your dollar considerably.
Are you a fiddler/tweaker, or a buy it and use it type? If you think you will want to upgrade this or that, you might not want an all in one solution.
There are are other considerations, of course...
There are knowlegeable folks in here when you narrow it down down a bit. I hope you enjoy the process!
Here is my advice (for what it's worth...)
Don't jump into a Rolls to commute to work when all you've ever driven is a Malibu. Go through the Buick/Cadillac/BMW lanes first. You'll understand and appreciate the Rolls much more then.
If your main library is Tidal (I love Tidal....) then go the separate routes. Get a DAC with MQA unfolding/rendering and at least some DSD over PCM ability. I just auditioned the NAD C658 and loved its streaming, integration and sound (mostly, but it only goes to 192).
It has inputs for digital and analog (Phono!!) and also some tone plus two sub outs. I would pass this off to whatever amp is recommended for your speakers (I am using a rebuilt Pioneer SA-9100 to KEF LS50. My SVS Ultra Towers were too big for our new listening room)
Project also makes the incredible(y) inexpensive Pre Box S2 Digital (another favorite of mine) for about 1/3 the price of the NAD but also way less flexibility.
Anyhow, either of these or maybe a MyTek Brooklyn out to a nice 50-100 watt type A or A/B amp (I don't think tubes or type D would be great at this price. Maybe a used Peachtree Nova or even back to a classic Pioneer/Marantz/Sansui receiver). If new might consider a Schitt or Emotiva separate (one amp per speaker). You could actually get the NAD preamp and two Schitt Vidars for about 3K. Not bad!! You could even start with one Vidar ($700) run in stereo and add another later to go mono block!!
Wow...so may choices these days!!
Thanks for all of the advice so far! That Luxman does look nice especially at that deal and purchasing a separate dac isn’t a deal breaker for me. Might be a good thing given the fact that to me that would be probably be the one component that might be outdated in 5-7 years. My only concern with it as sameeyers1 suggested is the power on it and how about hooking up a sub? I spoke with the dealer and he mentioned they also sell Parasoundhint6 but that the Luxman in his opionion is better quality and delivers better performance due to the capacitator being bigger then on the hint6. The Hegel does look like a beast to say the least also. How about the Belles Soloist? No one seemed to mention anything about that.
I’m a fellow newbie to high end audio, at least by today’s standards. I totally relate to your dilemma!
I spent countless hours researching and checking out Amps before I settled on what I have. In the end I went with separates instead of an integrated set up.
I bought the Parasound Halo A21 Amp and the P5 PreAmp and I couldn’t be happier. This set up fit my budget which was 3-4K and sounds really nice with a variety of music genres. I listen to a lot of live Grateful Dead music, classic rock, funk, heavy metal.. my musical tastes are all over the map and the Parasound does well. Across the board.
In the end the most important thing is how it sounds to you, technical specs, reviews, opinions etc are great but you’ve gotta like the sound. What you love may sound like holy hell to the next person. Happy Hunting!!
tbs, I would respectfully disagree with several of the recommendations involving 50 watt/ch amps. Your speakers need more power as I explained in my previous post, even if you use a sub (which will reduce the power reqd. by the bass drivers in your MLs). Also, while there is merit to moving your way up the quality spectrum in increments, I would suggest that you use your budget to define what you buy. Why go through three tiers of equipment, if you can afford something you perceive to be better right now? You will never get back all the dough you spend on the intermediate gear. I have had the same power amp speakers for more time than most would keep their equipment and have never been disappointed about having spent what I could afford back then. Besides comparable products to what I purchased would today cost two to three times what I spent.
Also, there is no right answer to the question of separate components vs. an integrated amp with DAC. One argument is that with separates you can chose the best of each component. The argument for an integrated unit is that you'll likely spend less, and the better manufacturers do an excellent job of matching their pre-amp sections to their amps, etc. And there are technical arguments for both separate pieces (e.g. separate, better power supplies) and integrateds (e.g. shorter signal path). But the bottom line is to simply take stuff home and listen to it in your room on your speakers. Enjoy the shopping experience.
P.S. Buy cables that are consistent in quality with the rest of your equipment.
Hi everyone ..thanks for all of the feedback so far..it’s a lot to think about to say the least. I’m leaning towards the Luxman and getting a separate dac with it. Do you think the 100 wats/150 in 4 ohms would be a good fit? Or would you suggest opting for something with more power like a new hint 6 or a used Hegel if I can get a good deal on one?
Hard for me to believe a 'beginner' dropped $2K on a pair of speakers, but...
make sure to buy a amp that has true balanced inputs and eventually a preamp that is also. PS Audio Stellar GC dac/pre (built in dac) MSRP is $1699 and their matching M700 monos amps (MSRP $2999/pair) can be bought @ ~ $2K. Current products. Look up the many reviews
@tbs I would buy the Peachtree Nova 150, 300, or 500 integrated depending on your speakers power needs. Use it for a while and then upgrade once you have had time to get a better understanding of what you want.
I have the Nova 150 and it is rather good. Does not have any snobby audiophile appeal but I listen every day for 8+ hours and it is fatigue free and rather good. I paid $1100 (used on A’gon). I would not be surprised to see some used deals on these 150 and 300 because Peachtree has a buy back deal now to upgrade to the Nova 500.
I have not heard the Yamaha but have owned a Parasound 23 amp and I prefer the Peachtree. There are a lot of other better electronics you can get for more money, $5K-$10K. However, the low end in audio is rather amazing these days. So I think it is a good time to be cheap and take your time to listen to other gear and learn about what you want.
I am about to spend $10K on new speakers and I will be using the Nova 150 with them for a few months to understand what electronics I would need for them (my room is a big factor so I need some experimentation) . The Peachtree will eventually move to another room. I have no qualms about using this unit with very good speakers.
I respectfully disagree with a former post, that you need balanced inputs/outputs, no need for that to hear good music, most amps in your consideration are not fully balanced, also an amp that has been designed well will sound fine unbalanced or not, one also have to remember that a fully balanced amp is much more expensive to produce, for home use I would prefer dual mono amps before balanced, but they can also cost a bit more.
I agree about the Vincent, they get great reviews here in Europe.
I would like to gain more detail/ clarity and more dynamics if possible without being harsh/ fatiguing. I’d like to stay in the 3 k range. I listen to 60% jazz and acoustic and a little bit of everything else. Mostly stream tidal
As far as source for streaming I’ve just been using my laptop plugging it into the usb directly on the Yamaha. I’m a complete beginner to this so I’m sure there’s a better way for higher quality/ better resolution
Keep your Yamaha A-S801 and apply your budget to your source / streaming. You will get what you are looking for.
A "better" integrated driven by your current setup is equivalent to putting the cart before the horse. You will also be surprised at how competent and good your Yamaha is.
Once you have a good front end, you can move downstream for upgrades as your financials dictate.
Look into the LUMIN T2 or other similar products.
Look at the Peachtree Nova 300 or 500 one of the sweetest integrated amps out there with a great built in DAC, USB and optical ins and a potent 300wpc.
I bought one last year and it has changed how I listen to music.
It would be a great match for your Martin/Logans
I went through valve amps, SS amps etc. and did a ton of A-B comparisons with my Wife and Daughter. They have bat ears and will notice even subtle changes in a system. Plus they knew/understood zero about the hardware. No hardware bias. And after testing much more expensive and highly recommended hardware, I was shocked that the clear winner was the Lyngdorf 2170. Had a tough time sending back the LTA hardware. It was so cool looking! Alas... So I put my money where our opinions were and purchased a 2170. It does remarkable things with both digital and analog signal paths. The best digital sound I’ve ever heard with some fairly expensive hardware upstream. But I wasn’t expecting the Analog to be so good. I feed it from a Feikert Turntable/Origin Live arm/Hanna SL cart/Whest two.2 phono pre. Now if you like the "tube sound" it may not be for you. But if you want the amp to disappear in your signal path, it will do that. It will also disappear in you room. It is a small amp if you’re not to the big house stage in your life yet.
The 2170 is closer to the $4K range in price but if you consider it includes an excellent D/A converter internally, and very effective room correction system, it may be more attractive. You can get them for less from some dealers. PM me if interested and I can give you a good source.
Big difference between the A-S801 and the A-S1100, A-S2100 and A-S3000. Fantastic phono stages and all three are about the same. For me the best deal is the A-S2100. Cant see ever selling it. Check out the reviews post, mags, digital trends and new record day. All I want to do is just keep up grading speakers and components.
I'll recommend a Pass XA-30.5. I had this in our system before upgrading to XA-200.5's. The were dramatically better than our X-250.5 amplifier, everyone who heard the comparison - audiophile, music lover or just an uninformed guest - liked the 30.5 better.
Our system was Sasha I's, Meridian 800 transport, 861v6 D/A, top tier MIT Oracle cables, Sound Application power conditioner.
This amplifier will put out 30 watts class A and goes just beyond 200 watts into 8 ohms. Drove our Sasha I's effortlessly.
It's an hugh over achiever and performs well above it's price point. If you buy one right, you can try it and sell it for no loss.
But that was just a disclaimer - if your system is up to it, you won't sell it.
I just want to thank everyone for all of the advice so far . I had an opportunity to audition a few amps over the weekend. Here are my thoughts on what I’ve heard..hoping this can help get me pointed in a better direction. Hegel H160- more mellow then my Yamaha and sounded much smoother and much faster. Sounded darker as well. On certain tracks oddly enough I felt like the Yamaha had better resolution ..even though I now realize that the Yamaha is grainer sounding I still feel that overall it’s resolution was better which is very odd to me considering the cost difference between the two. Maybe has to do with the dac on the 160 being older? I also heard a McIntosh which I thought sounded better then the Hegel and Yamaha. It was warmer, richer , and there was more detail even at lower volumes . But at 6500 it’s for sure out of my price range. I still feel like I need to hear more but this gave me a better idea of the differences between amps and a better idea of what I like. Thanks for all of the suggestions so far ..didn’t realize this would be so difficult lol.