I love my Dynaudios but put a pair of Von Schweikert VR-1s in a smaller room just for 2 channel listening. I put a Creek 5350SE with them and love the sound. Used it is under a grand. I don't think it has a "sound" at all, the music just comes through. Another option I had recommended to me was Quad, but never got the chance to listen to it.
Suggest you raise your budget to at least $1500 if you want those puppies to sing. As a start, consider picking up a good deal on a DK Design MkII maybe?
I'd be interested in the comments of others, but IMHO, me thinketh the 1.3se's needeth better amplification than $1000 will buy.
I also enjoyed the Creek 5350SE with dynaudio, I used it with my Dynaudio 52SE and it was a great pair. Some think the Creek is a little thin but I suspect that impression came from creek that had not fully broken in as mine really came to life with about 200hrs in it. Very detailed, wonderfull tight base and great warmth. I used it for a couple on months when I upgraded to dynaudio Special 25's and the Creek had no trouble with them. The 25's do sound better with VTL and Belles seperates however, but I do not think that these were in your price range. I have recently upgraded to belles seperates but they are breaking in so I will reserve comment. I have also heard the VTL IT85 integrated with Dynaudio and it might be a good match used.
I owned the 1.3s for 5 years and I agree with the above comment that you may be hard pressed to properly match them on a 1 to 1.5K budget. I don't think they're as efficent as the new lineup from Dynaduio and I feel they need a lot of current to really sound like they should. If possible I hope you can demo the intergrated before buying. Good luck
Pardon my newbie questions here but what are Belles ? And what is the sound like on the VTL IT85 ? The DK MKII ? Also, What about the Classe CAP-151 ? ( I saw one listed here on Audiogon today )
The Creek is in the budget (used) though I wonder about the power. I'll want to audition one if this seems a likely candidate.
I do know watts aren't always just watts, but how does one determine the true power of an amp ? ...relative to driving speakers ?
I have been using my old Cambridge Audio A500 (65w/8ohms) with the D500se CD player (having replaced the little Tannoy R-1's w/the Dynaudio's) and it seems to lack the presence and authority I'm looking for.... even though music now does sound so-o-o much better. Though in my humble opinion the speakers are revealing more than just previously unheard sound. Hence, the desire for an upgrade in power.
Also, I will want a remote and I'll be getting headphones (with the baby on the way). That might narrow it down a bit.
Funny how this new family thing affects our choices.
The Belles in made by David Belles, there is a link here in audiogon. He makes very fine pre-amps and power amps one at a time. His 21A pre-amp is a hybrid tubed pre-amp. You can read the reviews in the man. links. I had a demo in my home and they are very nice, detail to come after breakin of my new pair, but at $6000 for the set they do not reach your price point. The VTL tube integrated I have heard, actually spent about 8hours listening to it at HiFi sound in Mpls. through Dynaudio 52SE and Verity Tamino X2. It had power to spare, very lush midrange and the base was deep and tight, I think that it is a wonderful little amp. It was very musical and a joy to listen to. They sell for about $3000 new but there are used ones to be found below 1500. I do not think that the Dynaudio speakers are as power hungry as many think. They are rated at 4ohm but rarely reach that and have a pretty benign impedence curve. Current is important and I think that Dyns benefit from quality source and amplification, not just raw power. As for the Creek and power, read the Stereophile review of it, it has more than enough power for the dyns.
Thanks, DavT. I'm going to research the nearest VTL dealer as well as Creek. I keep hearing about the 'hybrid tube integrated'amps.... the new thing, I guesss. Are the designers trying for the qualities of tube with the appeal of solid state? I auditioned the Jolida Hybrid the other day. Warm and smooth but it didn't quite grab me. Well, to my my ears anyway. I think part of it was the fact that I was listening at the dealer's, in a special listening room and through less than stellar speakers. This all contributes to the sound. The only true test must be in your own home with your own equipment, right?
I'll check out the Stereophile review of the Creek also. Thanks for the detailed response. This really helps.
More responses welcome. I'm new at this.
used plinius 8200, or classe cap-151.
I am using 1.3SEs with a SimAudio I-5 with great success for the past year.
It does not appear that my I-5 is underpowering the 1.3SEs. This may be for two reasons - I'm listening in a medium-sized (not small) room and the I-5 is relatively high-current.
If you want to stay closer to the 1000 price point, consider the I-3.
Second on the Plinius. I use a Plinius 8100 with my Klipsch for 2 channel and I love the sound. It is very smooth, warm and detailed like my Eico hf-81 tube integrated. Around $800-1000 used.
I am driving my 1.3SE with Primare A30.1 and love the sound they make.
Thanks, all. I need to continue auditioning in order to ascertain my preferences from the growing field of choices.
I greatly appreciate the feedback.
I bought a (used) BelCanto eVo2i integrated along with an Arcam FMJ-cd23 and I am in audio bliss. Now I know what they mean when they talk about 'transparency' and 'uncolored' and all those seemingly abstract terms. What a wonderful experience listening to the actual music and not the strain / limitations of lesser components. Clear. Clean. WOW ! Perhaps a little tweaking with cables..... really, that's it. No, really. Was I just now crossing my fingers ? Well, not intentionally, anyway.
Thanks to all of you for your valuable advice and feedback.
I have obtained a goal I've had for more than 10 years ! Now I can listen to those classical cd's without wincing. What a difference ! Ah-h-h-h-h ...... the music !
Go ARCAM A-85 for your budget. My conclusion after trying out just so many integrateds out there.
They sold hundreds of the ARCAM A-85, yet they remain somewhat scarce. And to my surprise, THERE ARE TWO OF THEM FOR SALE NOW ON A'GON ! ( It took me months to find mine). I have gone tubesville since, but let me tell you, the A-85 is an amazing integrated for the money, and probably the best Arcam has done so far, beating the A-90 and the much pricier A32 in my humble opinion. The A-90 is not a bettered version, it has a different sonic signature, dry and less involving, like the A32. The A85 is detailled yet warm at the same time. Check the Reviewers Choice Award form Soundstage. OK so it's a bit dated, but the sound described is still the same.
If you can find one, go contrary to all usual buying logic. Buy it first ! then listen to it ! If you don't like it, you will sell it in a jiffy. Along the way however, you will have a lot of fun ''tuning in '' your sound with the smart microprocessor tone controls. Very powerfull too, and subjectively more transparent than a Moon I-5 for less money (no big feat I admit). You may even put off getting that new interconnect by getting some extra zip with a couple of notches to the left or right of the tone control...For under a grand, I cannot think of a better buy in a solid state machine.
I heve combined it with the Arcam FMJ A 32, for me it is the perfect match.