Mailman, I looked at several integrateds when I downsized last year and went with the NAD 317. The sound was up there with the best of them. I also like the NAD heritage and their philosophy of simplicity...they focus on the music. For the money the NAD is outstanding. I have also heard the Denon PMR2000 (not sure of the model number) is a great integrated and it has phono section. I have seen them for sale on Audiogon used. Check out Audioreview.com and see what everyone is saying about the different integrateds and then listen for yourself. Good luck, hope this helps.
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If you are to choose Linn Majik, you would get very "laid-back" but detailed sound. Majik is very musical too, if matched with right components. It is upgradable, so you can use it solely as an amp, with separate pre-amp. Or it can be used also, as a pre-amp(i've heard good results matchimg Majik pre-Pass aleph 3 amp).I have Majik over three years. Only upgrade i had is in replacing the "jumpers" with "silver AQ" and AC cord with API 313. The "soundstage" have detailed reviews on: Majik, Audio Refinement, Audio Analog Puccini...also all three were "stereophile" class B. You might also consider Sonic Frontiers integrated 2 used around 1k? Good Luck!
Hello, The Densen DM-10 is difficult to beat by any of the wonderful suggestions previously listed. Especially since it lists for over $2k, and becuase it is a relatively unknown brand in the US, is listed here on Audiogon for $1,300. I was going to buy this unit a few weeks back, but purchased a Classe' CAP100 instead. The Densen out-classes all the competiton around $1k Check out the reviews, and good luck
I would like to second the votes for the Audio Refinement and Linn Majik(Eldragon ALWAYS knows what he's talking about). I would also throw a few more in. On the solid state side, the Musical Fidelity A3(you could also look for one of the int. amps from a previous generation - much warmer and very tubelike). And another that Eldragon has put into my mind is the LFD Mistral. On the tube side would be the Jolida 302B. It is a very nice piece. If you switch to European tubes and a nice power cord, it is a giant killer. My vote would be the Jolida + upgrades, but then I LOVE the sound of tubes.
I needed a int. unit for a two channel home theater set-up that did not take up a lot of room. Listened to Classe (CAP-100), Sim 5080 and Rotel unit and was not happy with any of these. A Audiogon dealer suggested I hunt for a used Forseti unit. The unit retails for roughly $1,700 but I got mine for $725 for a 15 month old piece. Great sounding (firm base and sweet midrange) unit that is rated at 110 [email protected] 8 ohm and 160 W @ 4 ohm. Stewart at Sant. of Sound was right and the unit drives the heck out of my 6 ohm speakers. Note: it needs some space as it is class A/AB and can get hot. Check one out if you get the chance. It is not perfect but it is musical and looks like an expensive unit with bright stainless steel and gold trim.
i thought my linn kairn preamp was really nice - unbelievably detailed & accurate, great soundstage width & height, but little depth. so, i went for a tubed preamp. still, i think their integrated is good sound for money - all the linn stuff has a similar clarity to their sound. *but*, i'd also check out electrocompaniet - much more depth than the linn stuff; still accurate & detailed. the only reason i stopped using my old electrocompaniet ec-1a preamp a few years ago, was that i wanted remote-control. i *still* use a pair of their amps, bi-amping my monitors... their recent integrated amps offer remote-control, & can be found used for ~$1k... doug ps - also mite wanna check out the pathos classic one - a hybrid integrated: ss amp/tube pre; retails for $2k, seen used for ~$1-$1.3k, remote-control, drop-dead georgeous. never heard on myself, but it'd be on my short-list if i were in the market, due to its reviews & looks! also, alchemist electronics are really sweet-sounding solid-state, & cool-looking...
British are very hard to beat in this market, top units for your price are Musical Fidelity A3 and Mission Cyrus 7..... if you want Linn go for Kollector/LK85 combo for more money but big step up from Majik. Audio Refinement is good unit, would not even consider AA Pucini. LFD Mistral is good but a class below the MF and Cyrus.