So many choices!! Krell Vanguard is my fave, but maybe Parasound too...can get deals and try them out from online vendors too.
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Parasound Halo Hint 6 Integrated at 3K is probably your best bet. 160 a channel into 8 and 240 into 4. I believe the circuit was designed by John Curl.. Other than that, there is a used Gryphon on here for 6.5K. There are a lot of great choices if you go used, depends on what you are looking for besides 150wpc.
REGA OSIRIS integrated (pre-owned)
highly recommended ...
Im going to be using the RAAL SR1a headphones that need a minimum of 100w into 8 ohms to shine. they were tuned on the Benchmark AHB2 so that would seem like an obvious choice but considering other options as well (and a bit more power/headroom so I mentioned 150WPC - but I could also run Benchmark AHB2 monoblocks)
Having heard the Parasound A21, I don't really like the sound by Parasound much. Other amps that Im considering are:
There is a used Levinson 585 out there now at usam for 6k.
Killer DAC built in, I’m currently using the 585 myself (not mine for sale), would be fun to compare yours to it.
It’s awesome, 12k MSRP. Doesn’t have a phono section (that’s the 585.5).
It’s universally praised in reviews, and my 2 weeks with one I’ve been very, very pleased.
Pretty flexible also, all sorts of ways to configure it.
Edit - just saw you are using headphones (I'm not a headphones listener). It does not have a headphone jack.
Okay lets get some input data.
We know you have headphones, what is the source you are using?
You mentioned just a power amp so what would the rest of the components be?
If you like Ribbons you lean towards cleaner clearer sound correct?
Which dac with volume are use using and what speakers would you also be interested in?
Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
The Krell K-300i is without question an integrated amp in a class of its own. I can attest to that as I heard it in a demo and it prompted me to purchase the 2 channel Duo 300 Krell as they share the same architecture. It is SUBLIME. Now, it’s a grand over your budget but you CAN get deals. In hi Hi-Fi Heaven is great to work with and accepts trade ins.
Plinius Huatonga is a fantastic amp. Sound is more open than many in its price range. Almost tube like in its spaciousness with great bass. Neither dark nor sterile, so it works well with many other components. Retail is $6K but you could likely find one for less. Its big brother the Hiato is awesome. They go used for around $6K but offer 300 wpc in a very clean delivery. Check out the reviews.
I own both the Hegel H160 and after owning and loving the HD30 DAC, I opted to buy the H590. Superb amplifier, excellent DAC, and a streaming feature which works with Airplay as well as many streaming services. Many audiophiles poo poo Airplay, but the Hegel units work exceptionally well with Airplay, locking up in a few seconds and staying locked. Hegel also works with Aurdirvana, which is about as good as legacy 44.1/16 will sound. After decades of separates, Krell, McIntosh, Classe, etc, trade in all those expensive cables for one simple elegant box that does everything but phono inputs. Hegel is better known in other parts of the world, but is working hard to change that. It is a spectacular value.
I just sold the Rega osiris integrated amplifier, just sold the Luxman L-509X integrated amplifier, just got the Krell k 300I integrated amplifier, the Krell is a lot better than both with only 300 hrs of break in, still getting better, to me Luxman sxxxx!, hi fi sounding to say the least, treble is exaggerated, and is un realistically to resessed in the sound stage!
Thank you for your post, we knew the K300i is special just didn't know that is better than the Luxman.
The K300i is so musical and we love the new sound of Krell being so much more organic and flowing then their earlier products
It is really nice to know that other people are hearing what we are hearing. Did you get yours with the digital board?
Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Krell dealers
@audiolabyrinth Interesting comments on the Luxman 509x. I auditioned this integrated recently with a Luxman DAC + TAD ME1 speakers and I would not categorize the sound I heard as you described. I switched over to the Luxman separates and it was significantly better than the 509x but the 509x was rather good.
Your Krell 300i is getting some love at the Munich show. I might need to have a listen to this new Krell XD designs before I lay down the dollars for the Luxman m900u amp I plan on buying.
Parasound Halo JC 5 Stereo Power Amplifier around $6000
Kinki Studio EX-B7 monoblocks around $3400
NAD C 275BEE power amp around $1300
audiotroy, I did not get the Krell with the digital board, I have a digital board in the ps audio direct stream memory dac and matching transport with up graded snow mass soft ware, the Krell and everything else has dedicated lines with furutech gtx-Rhodium d outlets, and $8,000.00 a cord Tara Lab's cobalt reference power cord's , all mated with Tara Lab's muse speaker cable's and balanced interconnect's, with magico q3 speaker's, also jbl L1 book shelf speaker's, I switch back and forth between the speaker's .
yyzsantabarbara, the Luxman L-509X integrated amplifier did not ever sound different from new out the box to 600 hrs, the Krell continues to get better from new to 300hrs and continues burn in , the Krell kills the Luxman with uncanny clarity, mid range, sound stage size and depth, bass, and does not distort at loud volumes as the Luxman gave out at large volumes with distortion, the k 300I best suit is clarity without losing musicality, and the sound is not warm, rather in between warm and cold, the other mention here is I don't get listener fatigue with the Krell like I do with Luxman, the Rega osiris was a nice sound but didn't have the treble detail or the clarity as the Krell, however, the Rega sounded better than the Luxman, reget selling the Rega, didn't need two integrateds, cheers.