Best Integrated

Just wondering about the vote for best integrated and prices and characteristics of the following:

1. Mark Levinson 383
2. Jeff Rowland Concentra
3. Conrad Johnson
4. Classe Audio
5. Gryphon Tabu
6. Krell KAV 300i

Feedback much appreciated
For sonic quality and overall price, the Bryston B-60, if 60 wpc @ 8 ohms and 100 wpc @ 4 ohms is enough juice for your needs.
I vote for the Jeff Rowland Concentra. To my ears, it is musical and sounds very good. The Meridian 508.20 is the source and my Concentra is connected to ProAc 2.5 speakers.
Also put the YBA Integra DT on your audition list. Can also come with built in phono.
Not sure what your power requirements or musical priorities are, but you might want to add the Jadis Orchestra Reference to the list, if you are considering an integrated purchase.
Symphonic Line Kraftwerk.
Best of all.

Gryphon Callsito 2200 costs 7000$ and is three times better than Madrigals toy.
Then we have Accuphase E-407,and for final nail in the coffin I say Goldmund SRI2
Go out and listen.....please share your experience with us :-)...Good Luck
I recently swapped out a Pass P/5/Ono combination for the JRDG Concentra. I have no regrets.
Davetan, I do find it funny that of the seven posts so far, only one has made reference to your list of six candidates. Question really is what's your price range, what are your power requirements, what are your musical and sonic priorities and preferences? Each of your listed integrateds has its own strengths and weaknesses, as do the ones mentioned in the posts above. What are you looking for? Then maybe the above posters can elaborate on why they like their favorites and give you some more guidance.
Thanks for the feedback so far.

RCPrince I think I can go to around $5-6k. Am currently using an older Krell pre power combi which smokes too often for my liking and am considering I suppose downgrading.

Have Acoustic Energy AE 1's (hence my post in the loudspeakers forum), a combination of Cardas Quadlink 5 C (single ended)and Straightwire Virtuoso (balanced)interconnects, Naim NACA5 speaker cables, Aural Symphonics Digital Statement coaxial cable linking Micromega transport to Mark Levinson 36 DAC.

Am trying to minimise the outlay and avoid hassles with smoking so looking for an integrated. Like mostly jazz small groups plus some big band and R&B, Pop, etc. so looking for an all rounder. Find the current set up a tad bright and so I guess that is also a criterion.

Would appreciate more specific comments.


Hi Davetan, a good friend of mine is a Gryphon dealer. I took home the Tabu for a week and was very impressed with it's performance. It is rich sounding with very good dynamics. No lean mean sound with the Tabu. Not your typical SS sound. Much better than the Goldmund integrated which my friend also sells. I believe the Tabu retails close to $6000. Might be hard do better with separates at this price. BTW, the Tabu loves the FIM PC.
Dave, youre right, your system is a tad bright, meaning it lacks harmonic complexity in the upper octaves and spatial liquidity - something you definetly want with the music you listen to. System building is a careful balancing, but you dont want to swing too much either way with any given component or its hard to fix, ie using the Cardas to mellow out the lack of harmonic purity in the Krells/Naim. Here's some ideas. The Accuphase is a good idea and it has resale legs, if you can find one. I haven't heard the Gryphon Callisto, and I'm sure its nice, but since Skull at $tereophile banged the amp, its a harder resale on the whole line in the US. Irrelevant on sound, but realities are realities. Here are two systems:
Sony XA7ES CD player: your micomega is a weak link. Sell it. Sony is great transport ($1000). Built like a tank.
Keep the Levinson DAC
Accuphase Integrated
NBS King Serpent II intercon ($425)or Purist Proteus Rev B ($400) or Cardas Nuetral for less $ ($250)
Get rid of the Naim: cheap, good pacing, but spatially challenged (and that is what youre getting with the Accuphase), so...Purist Colossus Rev B 8ft, biwire not much more ($750) or, if you want to stay Cardas & biwire (cant remember if AE's biwire) then Cardas Nuetral biwire 8ft ($700).
Keep the AE's, they're nice, but, as youve found out, dont tolerate thinness upstream.

B)Consider an EAR integrated w/ EL 34 output tubes (substitute Electro Harmonix) & go NOS on the inputs instead of Accuphase ($2500)

Get a Bybee Sig conditioner ($600) & experiment with dig cables (Marigo, Illuminati etc.)although Aural may be good here. Custom Power Cord Co. #11's everywhere ($150 ea.)

I know it sounds like a gut job, but not really in the long term. Incidentally, the Krells are a down step from either of these systems, and by a wide margin. Good Luck.

Sounds promising te Tabu.... what is FIM PC ?

Wow you seem to really know your stuff. My worry is that the AE 1's are pretty current hungry. Will the accuphase or EAR's be able to satisfy it?

The general consensus on this board seems to be against the Krells. A bit confused 'cos Stereophile seems to rate them highly for midrange and top end transparency although my experience with my system has been like you say a tad bright. Wasn't sure about the newer models.

Sounds promising te Tabu.... what is FIM PC ?
PC stands for power cord.
Dave you should not overlook the Musical Fidelity M3 NuVista
integrated for $4500 new, $4000 demo at Audio Advisor. This
was reviewed in Feb 2001 Stereophile, 250 watt should handle any system. The reviewers at Stereophile who bought the MF NuVista amp/preamp liked the newer designed and cheaper M3 integrated better. Check with Audio Advisor, demand is very strong for this unit!
Dave, I have not tried all the amps you have listed, I can only reply that I own the ML 383 and I am very happy with it. If you want a review of it, is supposed to have their review of it on-line March 1st.

Mark Levinson 383
Meridian 508.24
Nakamichi CR-7A
Fanefare FT-1A
TDL Studio Monitor "M"
(JPS; MIT; Cardas)