I would vote for Hegel H360 as well. However, one thing to note is that there is nothing warm about the Hegel. It's all about high resolution, detail and clarity. It does have very good punch.
I think it would be the same for both the Lyngdorf and Moonaudio units, as they are also about super high resolution and clarity. But I still think Hegel would be superior here.
The only item I know of that meets your requirements is the Pass Labs INT 250, but that is way above your budget ($8500 used), and it does not include a DAC. But it checks all your sound quality items.
Under $5000, the only other thing I can think of is the Parasound Halo or new INT6 integrated amps, but I recommend you load it with a Furutech or Hi-Fi Tuning Supreme fuse. At a retail of $3k, it's well under your budget, but it's probably not to the quality you want. The preamp and DAC is not that great either.
Actually, if you go with Focal speakers, I would totally avoid Lyngdorf and Moon Audio as they will likely sound way too thin. The Hegel may sound thin as well. With Focal, I would recommend the Pass Labs or Parasound type of amp.
As far as integrated amp check out Devialet. You can get their lower end models for at least $10k and up. They have built-in streamer & DAC.
But the Hegel 360 is phenomenal as well. I would highly consider that.
For speakers if you want a tad warm sounding I will look into Harbeth, Sonus Faber, Wharfedale, some Vienna Acoustics models.
Thank you everyone. It’s never going to be an 100% agreement on what people recommend. But seems like I was going in the right direction with Hegel.
Hegel 360 is likely to be $3000-$3500 range for used vs $7000-$7500. I am pretty sure I don’t want to spend $7000 on Pass, mostly because I don’t think I have a nuanced enough hearing (vs a very nuanced pallete 😀). But may try that anyway.
About one year ago I bought a Moon 600i, and I have Focal L&R Utopia Be loudspeakers. I have not heard the Sopras so don't know how they would compare, but the 600i with my Focals had (what I consider) a rather warm sound.
I spent most of the past year fine tuning the system for my taste. Things I did include plugging the speaker ports, speaker and I/C cable changes, swapping different power cables around, Furutech GTX-D (R) outlets and most recently a SR Blue fuse for the 600i.
I am very happy with the sound of my system now and although the 600i doesn't have any digital capabilities, if you can live without that I think you could find it in your price range and worth consideration.
REGA OSIRIS ....highly recommended
better still....try a dealer audition and be prepared to be wowed
@DEP14 - if you look at my last post on Rick’s forum you would see that I have listed three options I am still evaluating and will make a decision post finalizing all of the auditions
- used speakers
- off the shelf designs by Salk or selah (two designs shortlisted from Salk and one from Selah)
- going custom with Selah
challenge with 2 and 3 is not being able to audition. In the past 2 weeks I have auditioned so many well regarded speakers that I didn’t love (Paradigm 3F, Dynaudio Contour 60, KEF Ref 5, B&W 802 D3, PMC Twenty5.26, Focal Sopra 2) that it is very clear taste in music is highly personal.
In my upgrade stroll down the Yellow Brick Road to Audio OZ and stay within my budget for a new unit, the REGA OSIRIS integrated amp bested all contenders and pretenders for me.
in second place, was the very fine LFD NCSE MkII integrated amp.
The Krell Vanguard Digital is superb and glitch free! Expansive soundstage, crystal clear and dynamic as heck!! Just enough warmth without masking leading edge transients. Bass is killer and low level detail is NSA. The DAC takes my BlueSound playback to a whole other level...very organic sounding for pure digital playback.
Once you get to NYC you should stop by for a visit.
We have one of the largest collections of gear in the New York metro area. We have four-five integrated amplifiers in each price range our office is located 15 mins outside of NYC and we are easy to reach via Path train and Bus.
We have the:
1: Nad M32 which includes the Blue Sound OS streaming modlue.
2: The Micromega M100 which is one of the most amazing intergrated amplifiers on the market, Class A/B amplification, a state of the art high resolution dac, a headphone jack, a phono stage and room correction,
3: The Anthem STR doesn’t have streaming but does have a very clean amplifier and Anthem Room Correction.
4 Naim the Star and Nova, superb Naim sound quality, warm, punchy, streams Apt X, Chromecast, Apple Airplay, part of a whole house series of streaming products so you can add sound to your Kitchen or guest room by adding a Muso streraming speaker.
The Micromega is right up your alley with its tonal profile being warm with a stunning midrange, and very punchy bass. It is also priced very reasonably at $4,500.00 the optional room correction to really help you get superb sound in a NYC apartment.
We have matching loudspeakers if you need them from Quad, Dali, Paradigm, Kef, Legacy, ATC, Elac, to name a few.
Here is a link to our new not yet up new website:
Welcome to the big apple, we have been in this area for a long time let us know if you need anything even non audio related.
Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
I’m looking for a very similar thing to the OP, so this thread has been useful. I’m edging towards the H360 currently.
I was also considering the BAT VK-3000SE, Belles Aria, and Yamaha A-S2100. Anyone have more info on those?
Carmenc - would you say the Belles Aria is as good as the BAT? Looking for something that will be kind to not-so-great recordings (early blues, etc).
"...strong preference for integrated amps with a built in DAC. Even better if the unit has a streamer as well. Otherwise I am planning to use Google chrome cast (is that a bad idea).
Based on my recent experience buying ’pre-owned’, the spec you’re trying to match, and the units on your shortlist, Micromega M-100 or M-150. Hell, if you’re targeting new srp $10K, you could buy the M-100 new & fully equipped (+ MARS room correction) within your used budget, and I’m bettin’ it would match if not beat anything else ’pre-owned’ at its srp new. You could probly even get some motivated dealer to sell you a new M-150 at your budget limit (sans room correction).
And no, Chromecast for Audio is not a bad idea as an additional source, contrary to what some special-interest parties may claim. With the right all-in-one integrated you won’t be using the Chromecast DAC anyway. Also, there are some modest (< $40) h/w additions you can do that allegedly ’jack’ its performance. I’ve done the additions but haven’t measured before/after.
@marrduk24 I am keeping my eye on the following shootout by one of the dealers represented here on A'Gon. His Kinki integrated ($2.4K new) is getting a lot of positive feedback. I have also been looking at the Coda Integrated (($5K new) for a while. Neither have the built in DAC but that is not a big deal when a decent DAC can be had for low cost.
I am also excited to read up on the BAT VK-3000SE that is mentioned on this thread. I was shaking my head thinking why I had not consider BAT before. I owned a BAt VK-42SE preamp for a long time and loved it. Based on my experieince with the BAT sound, the BAT VK-3000SE ($6K new) looks like it may be a worthwhile contender for the Magico A3 speaker I am going to audition at the end of the month. It also has no DAC but the price is low for the integrated.
All 3 Integrateds I listed here are of the high current variety.
@audiotroy Nice looking site and I like the way you have listed the products you carry. Very useful since I know you guys are always auditioning and comparing gear. The site loads a little slow.
Your sonic preferences seem to be a good match for tubes, but your desire for an integrated DAC Streamer basically rules out tubes. There are a few SS amps that approach the sound of tubes. If you are amenable to a separate box for a DAC Streamer, I would recommend Luxman. They have several integrated amplifiers that sound wonderful and have excellent build quality. Accuphase is another brand that comes to mind- and they offer plug in DAC boards for their integrated amplifiers. McIntosh has several integrated amps with DAC boards- but understand that MAC is not for everyone, and some think the brand is overpriced.
If you are looking for an all in one solution I would say the Hegel is the way to go. That said I have always preferred having separate components. Each one has its own specific Job and over the years I have learned the hard way if a component has several jobs to do simultaneously it tends to lead to more problems down the road.
If you find yourself reevaluating towards that end then I would agree with those who have recommended the Vintage Acoustic Research and BAT Units. I would also throw in Rogue Audio and Prima Luna. All are solid Builds and in the long run I believe would offer an overall enriched experience towards achieving your goals.
As for speakers I have listed a couple of local NYC craftsmen who I believe you would end up providing more bang for your buck. As they are not as sexy looking as the Rockports or Focals - if its the quality of music you seek they will Exceed Expectations.
DeVore Fidelity - Gibbon X
Bache Audio 002AB