Check out Rogue Audio Cronus.
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I would suggest considering the older Krell 400i vs. either the older 300 or the new S300i. But that is based on my preferences in performance. The older 300i was nothing special, with the S300i being a pretty decent improvement over it. But I still feel the S300i falls short of the old 400i, which is better in my opinion all the way around. It (400i) will be a bit smoother, better soundstanging and in my experience a bit more pleasant overall. I like Krell (owned several of their power amps), so I am not saying the old 300i sucks, just that the 400i is notiecably better than it or even the new S300i. The 400 can be bought used pretty cheap, something like $1500 I think.
That being said, I think there are better integrated amps out there than any of these, but you would need to provide more info. for a good recommendation (as requested above).
Dollar for dollar a strong contender would be the Dussun amps out of China. The T6 ($700.)would be a fair comparison @ 100/150 watts 8/4 ohm. The V6i ($1100.00)@ 150/300 8/4 & the V8i ($1500.)@ 250/500
8/4. I haven't seen anything compete with these at their price range. These are all smooth and accurate amps. The V series are known to be Very Dynamic with rock solid bottom, liquid mids and smooth neutral top end. The T series won some very respectable awards from The Absolute Sound. Just google, you will be surprised that these are considered to compete with seperates up to $10,000.
You can get these at the prices above new, Used should be a fair amount lower. Just a suggestion, everything you have named is fine gear. (Also Classe Cap 151) Tim
But I still feel the S300i falls short of the old 400i, which is better in my opinion all the way around. It (400i) will be a bit smoother, better soundstanging and in my experience a bit more pleasant overall.
I stronly disagree. Before I got my S300i, I had a 400xi. In fact, for a period of time, I had BOTH amps at the same time.
From my experience with both, S300i is noticably smoother, more liquid sounding, has much better resolution and low level details and soundstage is much deeper.
In direct comparision 400xi sounds almost forced, but also, at the same time, hits harder and seems to have a better control over the speaker.
Both amps sound their best after beeing powered on for at least 24h.
Let me thank everyone who have responded so far, and provide more info about the room and speakers. The speakers are Acoustic Zen Adagios. The room is a dog: 14X12 with about 8 ft ceilings with one wall of windows and glass sliding door. Opposite the window wall is counter that partially opens into a small kitchen. The wall the speakers are located is not continuous but juts out to accomodate air-conditioning vents. I sit across approx 6ft from both tweeters. This wall is continuous, and will be location when I find the energy to move the 80lbs speakers. There is a flat screen TV between the speakers that is covered over with a bed comforter during listening......I play alot of classic rock, especially YES, Allman Brothers, Grateful Dead. I play it loud, but am not a headbanger and believe accurate volume control is worth its weight in gold to help pressurize a room. I have concluded that the recess in the wall of the current speaker location is creating an augmentation to the sound that creates a mildly bloated sound and somewhat lively highs.It also lessens focus and depth of soundstage.... Also, Adagios seem to shelve back the lower mids, so the sound is not forward or in fromt of the speakers.
Related to "Unsound"'s question: I am looking to achieve a more musical presentation that is described generally by Mr. Timlub: a liquid midrange that is still detailed, taut, tuneful bass and smoother highs. My Creek 5350 Classic has many virtues, but it sounds mechanical, and has somewhat spity highs, and lacks some bass control. One final point I need to change the speaker cable which is Analysis PLus Oval 12---good cable, but not up to capabilites of the Adagios. I am favoring Acoustic Zen Hologram II. I am also changing the stock PC of the Rega Apollo with AZ's Tsumani Plus which should provide some improvement to the sound.
Sunnyjim, please take this with a grain of salt as I haven't heard your speakers. Though they do look worthy of an audition. My list is getting longer:-).
I know you were looking for advice on an integrated amp, but please forgive me if I veer in another direction. Have you considered separates. The sound quest you've described leads me to believe that you might really like the McCormack DNA-1 power amp. You could even use it with a passive pre, sort of a two box integrated.
To Unsound: Yes, I have considered separates, but reluctantly, because I downsized from them about 5 years ago so as to have less boxes and cables. My only thoughts have been an older Conrad Johnson pre-amp which would be modded by RHB Sound Design. Their mods don't come cheap. I previously owned a CJ PV-8 tube pre-amp which was modded by the owner of RHB about 15 years ago. Even if I could buy a PV-10, or PV-12 with phono stage, I would be looking at about $1500 to $1700, and I would still need an amp. I know little about McCormack products despite having seen several reviews over the years. I think the Creek SE5350 has a pre-out, though it might be just for subwoofer. I am sure the McCormack would make a difference in the sound, but the question is how good is the pre-amp section of the Creek integrated. Though, what you propose might be worth a try, if I can find a deal on a used Mack' DNA-1 amp. I could always sell the Creek and buy a pre-amp if I still was not satisfied with the sound. I realize there is tons of separates out there, but the question is which ones and how much, and will the price justify the improvement over a more expensive integrated. I have read and been told that Exposure 2010S is a very musical IA. Thanks for the suggestion
My first recommendation was for a Dussun, because of the sheer value, Unsound is absolutely right about the McCormick, but I clearly understand what you are saying about the integrated, I have fought with it myself. If your budget allows, I haven't heard any integrated better than the Coda... I'm sure they are out there, but I haven't heard it. This is a real gem. As you probably know the Coda guys came from Threshold/Pass. They really do have that same flavor and this integrated is a real winner that has tremendous current and is stable at 2 ohms. It is clearly on the FAST, DYNAMIC, RICH AND ACCURATE side of things, yet very smooth, but it DOES NOT sound Tubey at all. So if you are considering Tubes for that reason, this may not be the answer. Otherwise, I would give this a hard look. I hope this helps, Tim
I posted this thread somewhat differently the first time. My question now is focused on a British integrated amp LFD MKIII which will shortly be replaced by the MKIV. It is 60RMS with no remote or phono stage.Its design is minimalist with no indicators as to modes. Nevertheless, the few reviews I have seen have been excellent, claiming its 60RMS and high current can handle any speaker load and invest the sound with vigor and naturalness. LFD claims the new MKIV is better but does not say how. Therefore, I would like some advice about this unit and this company. Despite enthusiastic reviewers, the buyer don't seem to get much for $3195--and I am don't I-POD dock or theater bypass etc. I am looking to buy the MKIII used if possible