Best budget integrated choices


I had a Sugden A21 some years ago but it died an unfortunate death.

I am looking for a budget (defined as as cheap as possible) integrated to power my LS3/5a V2 (a little easier to drive than the original) to not loud levels.

I worked myself into a tizzy of joy reading reviews of the Onkyo A-9010 Integrated Stereo Amplifier to only find out that the UK version is the one voiced (if I can say that) with a nice warm presentation.  I am a tube guy at heart but appreciate a warm SS amp.

What else should I be looking at.  I am a but apprehensive on used SS after mine died.

Thoughts?
portlandlay
What is your budget? 
"budget (defined as as cheap as possible)”  The cheaper I can get one the sooner I can get one :)  If I were to wait and splurge it would be about $1500.  If I buy now it would be that onkyo price around $300.
If you're looking to purchase something for $300 then just get what you want as it's not worth debating sound quality. 
portlandlay,

I'm sorry to hear that your Sugden A21 died an untimely death. I've been in the hobby for nearly 40 years and I've only had one component die on my watch. It was a USA made tube pre-amp that had just returned from the manufacturer for an upgrade. Other than that one experience that was attributed to a "manufacturing" defect, no issues with solid state or tubes while in use in my home.

That said, your "today" budget is pretty low. There are only about 3-4 integrated amps on A-goN right now that fit your budget. Of the ones available today, I would probably lean toward the Arcam A70. I've owned a couple of Arcam units and I enjoyed them. The A70 has a MM phono input which might be usable to you, or a valuable feature if you choose to re-sell it. It also has remote, which to me is an absolute must-have.

If you don't need phono and you only need one or two inputs, you could get a cheap Chinese class D amp, like the Lepai or others. Parts Express has the  Lepai LP-2020A+ on closeout for less than $25. It could get you by until you can save for a more robust amplifier. PE also has a few other choices in inexpensive class D/class T amplifiers that could get you by for a while. eBay also has hundreds of similar choices.

If you can wait, maybe look for a Rega Mira/Mira 3 or Arcam Alpha 10. They sometimes come up for around $300 and both are pretty good. The Arcam Alpha 10 is a really good integrated amp. If you can keep your eyes open for one to come along in your price range, you will be rewarded with very good sound for the money.


Onkyo is good as is Yamaha; also nad, rotel

used in good shape will be a LOT cheaper than new - maybe as low as $50 if you wait for college move out this summer and look diligently

your next question will be - what is the best sounding amp for the LS3/5a for $1500...
The Dayens Ampino is under $700 and imho beats any similarly priced/powered NAD. The same distributor also carries the Vista Spark--closer to your initial budget, but less power, and I haven't personally heard it.
This will fit your budget!
http://store.acousticsounds.com/d/88981/Rogue_Audio-Sphinx_V2_Hybrid_Integrated_Amplifier_with_Remot...
If you're ok with used, and at your budget you should be, this looks like a good deal and Marantz is typically voiced on the warm side:

https://www.audiogon.com/listings/solid-state-marantz-pm-8003-integrated-amp-price-reduced-2017-02-0...
Jolida makes a pretty decent integrated amp this ond at 10wpc 
Is s very good amp under 1,000 and a clean 10wpc, if you can afford they have
Others.  http://www.jolida.com/product/glass-fx-10
NAD D3020 is a pretty good choice.
Agree with the NAD 3020...or the 7020 which is the receiver ( plus tuner) version of the 3020......or an old Advent receiver, all these had sweet sounds....and are cheap (  $100 or so).
Don't know where your located but this pass weekend there was Jolida integrated amp for $450 on the Washington DC Craigslist .Can't recall the model number but believe it was a RC 1501 I think that's the correct number.
Obviously used will save you money, but even new there are some nice units under your $1500 splurge budget:

Rogue Sphinx V2
Creek EVO 50A
Rega Brio (new one just came out)
Arcam A19
Heed Elixir

Used I would look at some of the British integrateds that would likely pair very well with your speakers: Naim 5i-2, Croft Phono Integrated (my personal favorite), Exposure 2010s2d, Rega Elex-R.

Read up on the reviews and see which ones have the sound signature and power ratings that you're looking for.  You also might read some reviews of your speakers to see which amps reviewers liked with them.

Good luck and enjoy the search,
Scott

Great responses everyone.  I have some homework to do.
on the low end I'd get a used NAD BEE  2-channel IA and on the high end I'd go with the Rogue Sphinx (1395.00 w/ remote)
$300 is a tough call but I recently saw some inexpensive tube integrateds on usaudiomart.  Other than that, Derek Sanderson's Fleawatt's come up from time to time and they sound great!
Does anyone have experience with the Cambridge Audio CXA60?  It reviewed will on whathifi and price is smack in the middle of my range.
Ruebent,

Thanks for the remainder about the little class D/T amps.  I played with the original tripath amps from PE when that rage started.  Anyway, I have two little monitors in the garage that I once had a car amp hooked to with a battery and charger but eventually the battery gave up.  One of these will be perfect to hook my phone up to and use there.  I workout in the garage so that will be nice to have back.
"budget (defined as as cheap as possible)”  The cheaper I can get one the sooner I can get one :)  If I were to wait and splurge it would be about $1500.  If I buy now it would be that onkyo price around $300.
If your coming from a Sugden, then $300 isn't really going to get you what your use to. 

I would wait and splurge on the real deal.

If you need music now, just pick up a used amp or borrow one.  Hell, even a used AVR for under a hundo will make some noise in the interim.  The way these things depreciate, you can pick up fairly new models really cheap on Craigslist.
Thanks Paraneer.  That is what I am doing actually.  I have an old Yamaha AVR.  It does not sound that bad really.
A Quad Vena? around $400 used. I have one (two, actually) and they sound very good for the modest outlay.
I second the Marantz PM 8003, I own the PM 8004 and it is terrific.
$500 or so should get you an Audio Refinement Complete.... This is really a nice sounding integrated.
I remember listening to and liking that Audio Refinement way back.  Thanks for the reminder.
Well looks like that Marantz 8003 sold but I am sure other good integrateds will come up for sale.
If you like the Sugden sound, a used Exposure or Naim may work for you.  I would stick with a British amp and sound.  I agree with paraneer  save up for the amp you want, otherwise you will not be happy :) Good luck! 
If you can find an Audio Refinement Complete for $500 or less, buy it and stop there. Likewise, if you can find an Arcam Alpha 10 for $300 or less, same thing. Next step up might be a Plinius 8100, 8150 or 8200. Great integrated amps and great used prices. I've owned all of these at one time and like them all. BTW, my current amp is a Rega Elicit-R. Really nice integrated, but about $1750 +/- $250 used today.

Use your Yamaha, save some money. Watch for a Audio Refinement, Arcam A19, NAD 356BEE, or Marantz 8004 or 5 series, or maybe Rouge audio Sphinx. Any could be had for $5-700 depending on model. I had a Audio Refinement in my system ~6 years age and can testify as to how good it is, however those units are now ~15 or more years in age. I would prefer to buy a used amplifier ~5 years old if I intend on keeping it a few years.

My thinking is that amplifiers of recent vintage ~5 years old can be had for ~50% of original cost, ~10 year old ones ~33% of cost. Of course this is not true for the Classic tube amps of the 60s. Many of these are now valued at many times their original retail price, once refurbished.  
I should have said, regarding the amps I mentioned, "and there  are other brand/models one can consider".  The Yamaha S801 is one.
Peachtree Nova 150 - the price just went up to $1,799.
I guess these are selling so well they increased the price.
I got mine for $1,499. The sound IMHO is excellent. It houses an excellent DAC / Preamp / Phono section and a healthy Damp all in one slick package. Mine is certainly a keeper. For me a pair of speakers and one of these Nova150s and you got something you can be very happy with.
There are a lot of Jolida integrated amps around for less than 1500 bucks, many are newer versions with remotes and plenty of power from 6550s, el34s, etc…and tubes can make you seem like you care…maybe...
It seems like everything I read about PrimaLuna is positive.  One of those even lower end may be a good choice.
Here you go,  make sure to ask about the remote... although you can find a universal

http://www.ebay.com/itm/AUDIO-REFINEMENT-COMPLETE-BY-YBA-INTEGRATED-AMP-/332123967055?hash=item4d542...
I think Jolida provides better value than Prima Luna at around half their price, but Prima Luna has a large advertising budget and Jolida has seemingly none, and my comments about those guys are free (hint hint JOLIDA!).
I have one of these that I am very happy with. Not warm. Neutral, yet sweet. It takes the edge off a pair of Cantons I’ve heard described as bright. I can listen all day.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Rotel-RX-1052-2-Channel-100-Watt-Receiver-/292034234485?hash=item43fe98c875:...

I wouldn’t consider Marantz, Arcam, or Parasound moving up. However, If I found $1500 to $2000 under a rock I’d be down at my dealer’s store comparing a Rogue to Belles Aria so fast it would make your head spin. Then one town over for the Prima Luna. I've never heard a Jolida.
Non fancy, audio only, used integrateds are a great option. The older models have excellent sound and built to last. Try Classe CAP-101, CAP-151, etc; Bryston B-60, Krell KAV-300i, various NAD, Hegel, LFD. Tubes, you could try Primaluna (sorry, don't know tube stuff very well).

If you need a DAC, try Peachtree Nova series, NAD, Rotel?

Good luck 
Hey Stephen been abou 12 years now since we last spoke.
 I still have your rosewood Rogers LS3/5a's and AB-1 subs.
 I sold my Sugden A21aL and A21P a few months ago. 
Made for each other "a match made in heaven"
I have taken a slight move in another direction and now use a pair of Tannoy Golds driven with ASL 845 mono's
I have put the Rogers up for sale but no firm offer yet.
cheers,
Ron
I agree with the Peachtree recommendations. Here is a review on the new 150
http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/716-peachtree-audio-nova150-review/

They also have a 30 guarantee. Dont like it within 30 days send it back. But I have never tried this. I do have one of there iDacs from days of yore and liked it. And when I called about and issue they answered the phone and offered a solution. I may have to try their new Sona Amp some day.  There older integrateds can be found on ebay for around $600

Depending on budget, I had both Creek 4330SE and Creek 5350SE and liked both. I'm using an Exposure 2010S2D now and I love it
I'm very happy with my Job Integrated, made by Goldmund in Switzerland.  125WPC, clean, articulate, great sound.  Includes a very good DAC, but analog input converted to digital, so there's that.  About $1700 and it took six weeks to get mine, but worth the wait.
Rogue Sphinx is a great option.  A used v1 should set you back $750 or thereabouts and worth every dollar. the phone pre isn't great but is sufficient . Buy  the new v2 and the phono is better.  If you need a good clean low cost Arcam I have an AVR250 available for $275. Clean amp with plenty of power and will get you though.
Add Creek to your list
Just saw a NAD 320 bee come up for sale today for $250. That would be a great choice.
Hey I have a jolida hybrid 1501 RC for sale for anyone interested 100Watts 4 months ago had $600 in upgrades a must see I beautiful working condition looks brand new trust me call if interested 2674412692 Vic
I have had a Rogue Cronus Mag.II (100 W per side integrated tube amp with a decent phono stage) for the past several months, running my Maggie 1.7s. Have auditioned it against the Primaluna Dialogue HP and other much more pricy tube and ss amps. Dollar for dollar I wouldn't trade it for anything else I've listened to. It can be found used for around $1,800.00 - $2,000.00. Maybe a bit more than considering, but well worth the investment and made in the USA.
Also - I have never compared the Jolida 1501 RC mentioned by fortheloveofgod, but I've heard some good things.
Just my 2 cents - Good Luck Jim
I've owned an NAD356BEE for 3 yrs without problems. -Bullet proof, nice remote, lots of SE inputs, powers my old Vandy 2CE's without strain in my L/R system and cheap. -Doubt you want MC phono inputs, but available as an add on. Earned a product of the year award from one of the rags. What's more to want? Spend the extra $ on decent wire.
Audionuttz, so good to hear from you!  It’s been a long while.  For me more about 2 kids ago :)

Those rosewood speakers sold me on the sound and each time I get an opportunity to listed to mine it puts a smile on my face.   I am sure your new setup is fantastic.  I still have a Sudden CD player that I was sure would die before my Sugden integrated.

I am returning to this audio none sense and look forward to getting my gear this year.
I bought an old Rotel 985 BX integrated on ebay for $300 delivered, its from the early 2000's, to my surprise it sounds very good for the money, way better than my late model Denon A/V receiver. Seems like there are plenty of 10 year old Rotel integrateds out there for bargain prices on ebay/Agon.
Jump on the red wine audio signature 30.2 LFP-V listed for $500 right now on Audiogon, great price for an outstanding amp designed and built in the US by Vinnie Rossi. Those 30W drove my 88db Gallos no problem, has a tube for some tube rolling fun too!