Best integrated up to $6000


Mostly listen to jazz tríos, quartets, acoustic music ( piano and guitar) and vocals. Thank you for your advice!
erasto
VAC Avatar
A used VAC Sigma 160i or the previously suggested VAC Avatar.

Though it depends on your speakers and room size too. If your speakers/room are up to it, an Allnic T1500 could work out very nicely too.
He's right. I really shouldn't have made that recommendation without more info on you room and system. It's a great amp, but it may not be the right amp for you.
Yes definitely depends on your speaker choice, room etc but the LFD NCSE is worthy of consideration in this price range. It's a sweet piece and one I have not considered changing since I received it.
Didn't know any VAC was available anywhere near 6k, sweet

I'd audition the class A Luxman and the solid state Luxman for full featured amps, the Audio Research or CJ if you like tubes. I know all those well and any would make a strong man weep if matched to your speakers.

People rave about the Diavalet, but I haven't heard those
Jeff Rowland Concentra 2. If you want to go tubes the McIntosh MA2275. You could build a near SOTA system around these amps!
Hi Erasto,
As already pointed out it depends on what your speakers are. If you have relatively efficient speakers(and easy load characteristics) I'd strongly consider the Coincident 845 Turbo amplifier. For more information there's a current review on 6 Moons.com. A 845 SET amplifier is terrific for your musical taste. The sound is exceptionally natural and realistic. The direction is music reproduction more so than hifi emphasis.
Good Luck,
No offense to anyone on this thread or any amp I mention, YMMV and speaker selection matters immensely. I've owned some great integrateds, they were all terrific in their own right but....the VAC Avatar was really nice...a really fine el34 integrated with a decent phono stage. The 160 was also nice and ditto the phono stage. The suggestion of the McIntosh 2275, again, no offense intended, but that amp is troubling. It looks cool but it is NOT a great amp....just merely good. I'd take an Avatar 10 times out of 10. I like the Audio Research VSI75 better than all lf the aforementioned, even the VAC 160i. If you can live without the phono stage, I find the VSI75 to have significantly more snap and quite a bit more texture without any grain. Probably just the difference between kt88's and kt120's. The best integrated Ive ever owned, and I regret selling it, was the Nagra 300b integrated.
If you don't want to deal with the hassles of Tubes you could also consider the Pass INT30A or 150. Reno offers a 10 day in home trial. If you don't like it simply send it back all you pay is shipping to and fro. The CODA CSiB would also be worth considering.

Chuck
Erasto,
You have initiated around "20" threads seeking "what's the best" in various product sectors. You have never followed up on any of these threads publicly. Just curious, what do you do with the suggestions many have taken the time to offer you?
The avatar can be had for around $2500 give or take used I've been waiting for one to pop up myself.
Ghasley/Erasto-Unless someone is in financial distress a properly working ARC VSi 75 or VAC 160i cannot be found for <6k. I mentioned the MAC-MA2275 because this is the best tube int. I have heard at $4500 (retail when new). Mastersound(Italy) and Audio Space(China)make some highly acclaimed units that fit into the specified $$$ point, but I have not heard them. The ARC VSi 55 fits(price point) but IMO the MAC MA2275 is the more musical(tube like) of the two. I would sacrifice some detail/resolution of the ARC for the build quality and resale value of the MAC.
Dayglow, you are correct about the Audio Research VSI75 and VAC 160 being above the price point mentioned when new however I have seen both listed for sale here on Audiogon near $6,000 from time to time. The ARC VSI60 is probably the amp to consider as the VSI55 has been out of production for a while and was nowhere near the performance of the 60. Of course the VSI75 is extraordinary and frankly gets real close to the reference series performance. Now to the Mac....the retail was $6,500 when new if I recall but used is much lower....it would be a reasonable value at $2,500 used but it is sloppy and muddy in its presentation, no offense intended. The Mastersound amp are really cool and very tubey if you enjoy the euphonic presentation they so wonderfully reproduce.....love the Italians.

If you must buy the Mac 2275, do not expect the amp to perform like the 275 amp which is terrific. I have owned two 2275's because I totally loved the look, the sound just didnt live up to the look.
In re ARC...I once owned a new ARC vsi55 & it was disappointing as it wasn't refined or resolving. Can't imagine the vsi60 is much different. Gutsy yes but not quite 20/20 vision. Always wanted to try a VAC avatar. The best sounding integrated I owned was the Cary SLI-80 F-1 which was really nice in triode but occasionally had tube or reliability issues. Once demoed a MAC 6900 locally & couldn't get it back to the store fast enough. good luck
"02-04-15: Pehare
In re ARC...I once owned a new ARC vsi55 & it was disappointing as it wasn't refined or resolving."

I would agree with that. They tried to do too much for too little money. Its hard to build a good tube preamp for what that thing sold for, let alone an integrated.

"02-02-15: Eljack
Didn't know any VAC was available anywhere near 6k, sweet"

If you don't need an integrated, the PA series amps come up every so often, for far less than 6k. And they're powerful enough to drive a good range of speakers.
I agree with Ghasley on the Mac 2275. I foolishly tried to downsize from a Mac MC 275 with an Aesthetix Calypso preamp to the Mac 2275 integrated. Big mistake... the MC 275 amp is a classic, but the 2275 integrated is softer and slower. Scores high on looks, but low on substance.
Exemplar Audio Exception integrated. Simply amazing...
If you have a chance, take a listen to the PrimaLuna DiaLogue Premium or HP. I owned a MA 2275 it was good but I prefer the sound quality of the PL.
I haven't heard nearly enough amps to answer the question, however…I feel no need whatsoever to step up from my original Jeff Rowland Concentra. Tremendous piece of equipment.
Manley StingrayII
In my opinion the Korsun v8i with Emanation Audio power cord Pro 600 and an internal wire with Emanation audio gold the best I have ever heard from a cheap integrated amp! This amp built by Mark Levinson for $2850,but with these cables the sound are simply stunning! 2x250w AB mode more than enough for any speakers in the world.
I don't mean to be rude, but I see you've initiated 7 threads asking what the best integrated amp is. Did you ever buy anything or are you still in the process of gathering data?
Post removed 
Rogue Pharoah for half that amount just might be all the amp most people will ever need, especially for those who also need phono. It's very good! I would consider downsizing to it someday.
Dear Chayro!

Like as I said before this is my opinion for the best integrated amp under 6k! And yes this is the best integrated amp under 6k.

Answer your question before i had the Bedini 150 MkII, Bedini 25/25 1 Meg,1 with Bedini 800 preamp, 1 pair of Kora Cosmos with Eclipse preamp and now I have a pair of Odyssey Stratos extreme se glass ceiling amps.These are ss and tube amps not integrated,but they sounds so wonderful. yes I had a couple amps under my questions in my threads!

The Korsun v8 (Mark Levinson type not the late model)with Emanation audio power cable and internal wire the sound is simply better than those amps.It`s just better than anything that I heard before. The problem is the guy who want it to sell on internet he change he`s mind so I keep my amps before sell it:-(

I hope you got my answer..?
Best regards,
T
Teslamade - I was referring to the original poster initiating 7 threads asking for the best integrated and I was wondering how much information he was seeking to gather. I was certainly not disputing your opinion on integrated amps. Who wouldn't want a Korson?
Ohh,ok maybe I misunderstand it sorry for that!
Best regards,
T
I'll just mention Gryphon as an alternative to Rowland. Very difficult to find. And prepare to ship it to Denmark if something goes wrong. Wouldn't be a problem for me.
eXemplar eXception Integrated. 

50wpc
fliz, your eXemplar is all over this forum.You must be a little tired, you could give your keyboard a break.
Inna,

i wonder if if he gets a cut?

Don't know, maybe he could tell us, but it's up to him.
I'd sell these w/ my personal seal of approval, if that's what you're asking.

I'd sign a contract to become a dealer in a heartbeat.

John deserves all the business he can get.  His products are amazing and he's a pleasure to work with.

When I got my system, he drove it down from Washington himself!
Yes, the Exemplar gear is for real.

I have John's eXception DAC.

It's very good and the most musical and engaging DAC I've owned.

He's made me a believer in his tube output stage.


Under $6000, the Hegel H360, no doubt about it!

@almaaudio Dealers should disclose that they are dealers with a signature in every post, especially when recommending gear. Cheers,
Spencer
sbank,

Thank you. I didn't see an option to add a signature automatically... So maybe I'll do it by hand...



Disclaimer: dealer in San Diego, CA (http://almaaudio.com)


Extend your budget a bit and go for Pass Labs INT-60.
Prima Luna Dialogue HP a truly wonderful sounding and built amp. Power to drive most any speaker 

I,too, was not impressed w/ ARC integrated amps. Both Prima Luna and Rogue Audio are better value and better buys.  Happy Listening!
I have a PrimaLuna Dialogue Premium integrated. It's a fantastic amp.