budget amplification - what to get?

Hello everyone. "Audiophillia" is a new affliction for me, but a very serious one. I am however operating on a very restricted budget (PhD student). I have just got a pair of KEF Q1 speakers, I have a good set of cables (MTerminator5), I use a Panasonic DVD player (I know, it will have to go soon...) and I need to take care of the amplification. I need to stay low on cost - I have considered the NAD 320BEE integrated, the JoLida JD1701 hybrid, maybe the Rotel RA02 integrated. I would be grateful if someone could offer me some advice in the matter, as to which of these or others is better. I am listening to all kinds of music, from Pachelbel to Rammstein, from Vivaldi to Massive Attack, via Dave Brubeck and Diana Krall. Please give me some input, ideas, tips from your own systems. Thank you. Happy Holidays to everyone.
Hi Roc doc. The int. amps you mentioned above would all be fine choices to consider. If you're considering Jolida do
consider the 301 and the 102b also. If used doesn't bother you, listed for sale here are the Rotel RA-985 and Arcam Delta 290 int. amps. Lots of choices! I have the Q1 in my small downstair system and it sounds very nice w/Yamaha CDP and TD, and for amplification a Sherwood RV-4050R Receiver.
You might laugh, but, if you're on a tight budget I would say check out Sherwood's Receivers. (Circuit City has two of their models. Buy the more expensive model and give it a try. If you are not satisfied, return.) If you need a recommendation where to buy the NAD try Greg @ www.kiefsav.com a call. I think those loudspeakers will sound good with just about anything. Good listening and Happy Holidays. Bill
Sorry to hear about your illness, Roc_doc, but you're in good company here! To help us help you what actual dollar amount can you spend? As comes out in discussions from time to time, one man's "low cost" is another man's fortune.
Thanks for your response Fpeel. As far as spending amount, I want to stay in the 500 range (and even below, man I'm cheap!), or if I go above it, I would have to feel confident I won't need to upgrade too soon. I can get the NAD C320 for about 400 including tax, the JoLida JD 1701 is listed for 500. What I am mainly interested in though is bank for the buck rather than the actual amount.
Feel free to make this forum more interesting by posting items from your own audio system evolution.
Thank you.
Rega Brio, Luxman 491, Luxman LV 105, Anthem 1 integrated.
Sometimes you can find the Anthem INT 2 that low, also look for the audio refinement. How about Parasound separates from a couple years ago? I forget the model of the pre amp, but the HCA 500 amp is a little 50 watt solid state that leaves you plenty of room for upgrade.
Do some research into the Acurus DIA line.The Audiophile world often eschews active pre-amps in favor of passive line controllers (pre-amps) to avoidcolloring the sound.The problem with this has been that the output voltage of line level sources (CD's,Tuners,etc everything other than Turntables which require a step up anyway)is that the 3-4 volts hasn't been high enough in gain to feed into an amp.When Acurus designed the DIA intergrated amps first the 100 watt DIA 100 and latter the remote operated DIA 150 they made the line stage passive and cranked up the input sensitivity of the input stage of the amp.The DIA 100 went for $1K whn new and can be found for $400-$500 used the DIA 150 for $800.They were manufactured by a company that also made military hardware sou the contruction is robust and topnotch.Check it out at audioreview.com.I owned both in my career an though have gone tubular i think they are top notch.
amen to the Rega Brio.. really great integ. amp to get started with. Used it in my second system and now as a backup amp if anything goes wrong.. upgraded to Mira in second sys. You can find used Rega Miras for 550--650 dollars like I did.
Thank you very much, for all the answers. Does anybody have any idea where an Acurus DIA could be found? Also, if anybody has anything for sale, let me know please.
One other idea: does the Marantz PM 7000 fit in this list anywhere?
Hi Roc doc. If the idea of a passive pre-amp interests you,
consider the Creek 4330/R. I personally haven't heard this model but others have spoken quite highly of this int. amp.
A few years back I had the Acurus A-100/RL-11 combination. I would investigate the build quality of the Acurus DIA int. amps. Really do consider the Jolida 301. The size of a shoe box but has a wonderful quality of sound. If the convenience of a remote control and headphone jack are important to you, the NAD 320 BEE for the $$$ would be a best buy, IMO. If these conveniences are not of importance
to you, carefully consider the Jolida 301.
If you can find a factory refurbished NAD C350 for $319 plus shipping (or maybe a slightly used one for the same amount), this would probably be a good match for your speakers. I owned one of these for a little while and actually preferred it over a few more expensive SS amps that I have owned or tried. Only reason I sold it was to go back to tube equipment that cost multiples of its price.
I will be boxing up my Parasound system soon for sale. All original boxes, everything works fine (preamp has never had any reliability issues other than a pushbutton required replacement once. Parasound fixed it overnight.). I want to get something that takes up less space as we've moved into a smaller home. I have a psp 1500/pdd1500 (inc remote, manuals), and a hca 1206. Original factory packaging for all three units. I am thinking 1400 or a reasonable offer would get somebody a killer, and very powerful, dolby digital six channel system.....original retail on all this gargage in the mid 90's was something like 4400 plus tax....

Such a deal.
A really late completion: Thanks everyone for your input and valuable advice. I went a slightly different way though: I bought a Marantz PM 7000, mainly because the deal I got was great. While not the best possible system, what I have now is really satisfying, and most importantly, under $1000! For a start-up system, I am VERY happy. I hear music on my discs that I didn't know was there! There is plenty of power, enough to detail things without strain, and a more than reasonable sound stage.
See you.
Roc Doc. Did you buy your Marantz new/used? If you got a good $ on a new Marantz from an authorized dealer please send me an e-mail where you bought from. Thanks, Bill