I ran Silverline Minuets with an old HK receiver and an even older Rega Brio. They sounded great with both. I bet a newer Brio with the Preludes would be excellent. The NAD C326BEE is another very good budget integrated. For under $500 (used for the Rega, new for the NAD), those are the ones I'd be looking at.
Perhaps the Creek 5350 SE that I own work for him. It is solid state. The other options include hydrid. I prefer the SS approach. Too many options in that price range without experimentations. It is unlikely you will find "the one" without dating a few.
For SS bang for the buck, I've been partial to some of the NAD offerings for the past several years (I second the 326BEE, above, at around $400 used). Another alternative that I like is the Music Hall Mambo ($500-650 used), a warmish SS integrated with a built-in DAC. Or, for a little more clarity and authority, try the Musical Fidelity A3.2cr ($700-850 used). The Onkyo A-9555 gets a lot of buzz at around $400 NEW (maybe $300 used), but I haven't listened to one yet.
For tubes, the Jolida 302b ($650-750 used) is hard to beat, and it carries 45 WPC.
According to Stereophile's measurements, the Preludes measured 87 db efficient with a minimum impedance of a little over 4 ohms, so I would assume that either of the amps I mentioned above should drive them adequately.
What is his budget? I assume he would buy used and could wait for something to come up for sale.
Hard core bang for the buck... Audio Refinement Complete. This is surprisingly good and cheap. 50 watts to 8 & 90 watts to 4. In the same league in sound quality, but a bit more power is Musical fidelity A3cr or 3.2. A clear step up, still without being crazy would be a Coda.
I'd send him to the local discount electronics shop, off the shelf mass produced integrated amps can sound pretty darn good (to the point of making you wonder why you spent more on your gear). Perhaps he could even bring in his speakers and listen to them connected to the shops demo amps.
I moved up a notch in speakers and gave my old units to a relative, he drove them with his run of the mill Yamaha integrated and I thought they sounded great.
If he gets things to the level of "I'm looking for this or that type of presentation" then it will be time to be more persnickety about which integrated amp he wants.
Great feed back thus far folks, much appreciated.
I would say his budget is between $500 & $1000
Keep the suggestions coming.
Afranta I to have a pair of the Silverline Minuets for the bedroom powered by a Azur 640 Intergrated Cambridge...
Seabreeze why not contact Silverline and ask them for a suggestion with the price range he has , they should have a sense of what matches well.
I have Preludes (love 'em...although the price went up to $1499 recently, and I strongly suggest a used REL or other high quality sub to make them really sing) and the dude who inspired me to get them uses a Vincent SV236...I think the Shengya A-216 is cheaper and likely a GREAT amp (Grant Audio has these). I'd suggest a Kavent SP320 (similar to Vincent and Shengya, and built like a tank...I have one of their preamps) but they're not available currrently, or perhaps ever again.
Used,original made in England Audiolab 8000 should do just fine. A, LX or S. 60watt/ch 8ohm, almost doubles with 4 ohm. In reality it is more powerful, good drive and bass. Very reliable. Not easy to find but shows up here or on ebay from time to time for $300 or so.
You might look into an Exposure 2010s or s2. New at the top end of your budget. The Creek 5350 is also a good choice, as would be something from Rega.
Thank you, just watched it. I have had 8000LX for 12 years; great value. Good power cord wouldn't hurt.
Very tube like sounding. What power cord did you find that matched up well.
The Bryston B60 comes up from time to time within the sub $1k range. Rock solid build, reliability, and factory warranty. Very hard to beat sonically IMO (I've had one for 3 years with no desire to change). It's an integrated that's unassuming and will last pretty much forever, or at least as long as Bryston is in business.
I wouldn't really call it tube like. I use Custom Power Cord Co. Top Gun power cord; before that I used their entry level Hi-Value which was also much better than stock but this latest upgrade made quite a difference.
I also use Purist Audio Maximus interconnects and Colossus speaker cables. The amp. sits on three Boston Audio standard tuneblocks that made audible difference as well.
Inna, sounds like you are a tweaker for sure, but arn't we all... So tell me about your system what speakers , what source. Whats your flavor or should I say genre of music...
Why do you say its not really tube like sounding, the link i refrenced sure sounded warm and tube like with that sax blowing...
Wolf, tell me about your system, what does it comprise of. AMP, SOURCE WIRES ETC
You are so right, the preludes are some little bad boys for sure. With two 3 1/2' drivers per side, when I first heard them, I asked where's the sub woofer. To my surprise there wasn't any. They were being powered with a Pass X250.5 which is also part of my present system.
I do have Martin Logan Decent I sub in my Surround system, but honestly the way I have my system tweaked I see no need to add a sub, and beleive me, I like my bass. When somone is over and hears my system for the first time, the first thing they ask is what sub are you using, when they discover there is no sub, there jaw drops. They say that cant be, they only have 3 1/2 drivers...
The real credit goes to Allan who designed them, he's the owner of Siverline, and a really great guy. A true audiophile. He loves his music.
I've had the Pass x150.5 and the 350.5 on the Preludes, but its the 250.5 that really brings them to life. I also use a Pass 2 chassis pre and a modified Resolution Audio Dac with a old Sony 707 as transport which really helps bribg the bottom end out, tried many transports but thats the winner with this system,. I run all balanced Tara lab interconnects and speaker wire. Home made power cords made from Tara lab speaker wire for all componets and a old woodenbox bybee power conditioner, that in my opinion transforms a great system in to a outstanding system, its that good.
Would just like to take this opportunity to thank all for there suggestions, they have been already passed on to by brotherinlaw to absorb.
If there is any late straggerlers who read this thread, please chime in with your suggestions as well.
Audiolab has a nice clean pretty neutral SS sound; it is not sterile and cold nor is it particulary warm. It is sensitive to power cords and other tweaks; also it doesn't like voltage fluctuations, the power supply is not sophisticated enough, so I use Furman 1215 voltage regulator/conditioner that makes things better though doesn't cure everything at all. Excellent sounstage depth and acceptable width with the right cables.
The rest of my system: Notingham Spacedeck/Spacearm with soon to be replaced Dynavector 10X5 cartridge, AcousTech PH-1 phono stage ( with Top Gun power cord ), CEC TL5100Z belt drive CD player, Nakamichi 682ZX cassette deck and Michael Green Design Revolution 80i free resonance speakers. The speakers are warm and somewhat loose and require firm amp control. Under the speakers are Polycrystal spikes and under them are Boston Audio tuneblocks for speakers. Hardwood floor, no carpet.
I listen to a wide variety of music but no classical, country, rap etc.
I would say that this system is better for acoustic music in a medium size room, but not bad for electronic either.
Overall, quite good but I will replace the Audiolab with something like Rowland or Gryphon in the future.
Thanks Inna, yes the never ending uprade.Good luck !!!
I think version 2 of the Preludes (most Prelude owners including myself have this version) have closer to 3.75" woofers...my ego seems to need that extra inch (total). Alan yun is cool...I talked to him on the phone when I bought my Preludes as one woofer wasn't working (easy fix so no big deal..wasn't hooked up to the crossover)...he is great, and suggested NOT biwiring them as he thought they sounded more "coherent" (his words) as single wired (I tried both ways and found out he was correct!).
My brotherinlaw and I also have version II. Yes if you use the bottom binding posts , thats all you need. I use wire from speaker wire as a jumper to the top posts..
My bang for the buck nominations are the Redgum RGi120 for solid state and the Decware Torii mk3 for tube. Neither generate a lot of discussion, but both are phenomenal performing well about their respective price points.
That may be but try to find this Aussie Redgum thing used.
I bought an RGi120 AND an RGi35 used within the last 2 months. Takes a little luck, but its not impossible.
Be careful with the one that lists on craigslist in Dallas, TX. Its a scammer!
Audiolab is bullet proof. We moved twice and none of the tube gear survived, it had to be retubed, while the 8000-C Audiolab is in use at this moment. Although it's a pre, it looks identical to the intergrated amp with MM and MC phono sections.
I have 3 integrateds in mind after some 20 years + in this crazy hobby. we are talking bang for the $, so please keep this in mind.
My no.1 in the solid state camp:
This one has it all. Full featured with a really nice phono-stage, usable tone-controls (they really work in a positive way), great headphone circuit, lots of power on tap (sounds much more powerfull than it's rating), killer sound, build and looks. This Yamaha has nothing to do with the Yams of past, except the great vintage looks. I owned many contenders in the ''value'' category, including Naim Nait 5i italic, Simaudio Moon I-5, Elctrocompaniet EC-3, Musical Fidelity A5 and more. All had their merits, but the Yammy is just so well rounded musically, and is comparable to units costing much more. I have this integrated driving a pair of 10K speakers with no regrets - no joking. Just for your info, the 2000 is the one to get NOT the 1000 which does NOT sound as refined.
My no.1 in the tubes/valves camp.
Cayin A 88T. Much written about this no-brainer. I have owned a total of 3 Cayin amps - this brand redefines the word ''value'' in my book. Beautifully built, beautifull to look at, and GREAT sound. And, unlike many pretenders, very reliable. This is not the sound of your old Conrad Johson integrated, and the sound does not submerge in syrup (some call this sound ''romantic'' sounding, for lack of precision). The Cayin is smooth enough, but at the same time quite clear-sounding and precise. Incredible value.
Good alternate choice:
Anthem 225i - If you are a bit strapped for cash, this is an unbelievable bargain. 225 watts to boot, phono stage, tone controls, legendary Anthem/Sonic Frontiers build quality, like the Yammy but less refined. More forward presentation, but still, a great amplifier.
There you go, everything HIGHLY subjective of course!
I agree, the Yamaha a-s2000 is an amazing bargain !
Just checking in.
Thanks for all the additional suggestions.
Sounds like the Yami s2000 is one to look into.