Considering Moving to an Integrated, Opinions Appreciated


Hi All,

I have converted a spare bedroom to an office/listening room. It is only 12x12. Like most here I have swapped gear in and out for years. I really enjoy the sound of my current system, but space is at a premium and I am considering moving to an integrated from separates.  I have stacks of gear around and am more inclined to get something I can set and forget and maybe even sell a bunch of this crap :)  This is my current system:

LTA microZOTL pre
McIntosh MC2505 amp
MHDT Labs Orchid DAC
PS Audio GCPH Phono Stage
Marantz TT15 Turntable
B&W Nautilus 805 Speakers

The system sounds very nice.  I am not opposed to keeping the DAC and/or phono stage, but it would be nice to have everything in the integrated if possible.  I was looking in the $2500-$3000 range. I might be able to extend my budget some if I can move some of my current gear.  I am not opposed to used.  I have been looking at things like the Lyngdorf 2710, Musical Fidelity M6si, Classe 2200i, Naim, etc. I did read the Lyngdorf vs Anthem thread, which was helpful.

The Lyngdorf seems like it ticks most of the boxes, but I am a little concerned about the amp stage.  Multiple people have described it as "dry" and my preference leans more towards warm.  I am aware that it is class D.  I am not opposed to that, I ran a Peachtree Nova 220SE for about a year and liked it.  However, I recently did some A/B testing with my current setup and the current one is the clear winner.  I also bought an Emerald Physics 100.2se based on rave reviews and I thought it would be a great much with my pre, but it really did not sound good at all.  Maybe it just didn't match well with the pre or speakers.

Most of my listening is digital.  My TT is actually not hooked up at the moment because I don't have room on my current shelf and I am missing it. 

Advice is appreciated, thanks!
 
why0why
I sold a bunch of equipment in my similar size office and bought an NAD M10 which is in your price range. The M10 has built in integrated amp, streamer, DAC, equalizer, tone controls and runs BlueOS and is Roon ready. It sounds great, has a great app, and drives my KEF LS50s easily. Also has internet radio, connect to Tidal, Qobuz, Amazon HD, and tons of other services. Great big clear touch screen display and can be easily programmed to work with any remote.

i work from home full time and use it constantly throughout the day unless I’m on conference calls.

Very happy with the sound, features and quality of this unit!

The Classe Sigma 2200i is a step up from the N10 and less money used.  I just replaced my 4 month old Sigma 2200i in my main system with an Ayre AX-5.  It is listed on USAudiomart for $1995.00 and has a transferable warranty with over 4.5 years of warranty left.
You might give one of the newer Peachtree units a try, like the Nova 300. I use mine in my home office.  I haven't compared my Orchid to the DAC in the Peachtree with the same components,  but I think it would be close, with the edge going to the Orchid.  The system the Orchid is in is driven by an ARC Vsi55 integrated, with Harbeth P3ESR speakers. It rivals my main system in terms of sound quality. It's about a 12 X 12 room. I'd keep the Orchid if you can.

I've heard the Anthem integrated at my local dealer a few times and like it.
If you like your McIntosh, you could pick up a MA6600 200wpc McIntosh integrated from AC.  They have them listed on the site for more than you want to spend, but I got mine for 3200 two years ago from them and they were listed at 3600 at the .  Worth a try oif you like the Mac sound.
@whyOwhy I was going to suggest the Hegel 390 if you raised another 3 grand.
However, I realized you have the same issue as I do. You need to fit a big speaker into a small room. 
sfseay, thanks for the input.  I hadn't looked at the M10, I do like the looks.  I will look into the 2200i more as well.

greg, You think there is a big difference in the 220 and 300?  i assumed they were fairly similar.  The Orchid definitely sounds better than the 220, but i think it will be hard to top in general, especially for the price.

Stereo5, I do love the McIntosh sound.  I have tried probably 10 amps with the ZOTL, and the old McIntosh sounds the best.  The 2505 was their first solid state amp.  It needed a recap when I bought it, but it really sounds amazing now that I have refurbed it.  I have looked at some of the newer McIntosh integrateds and they are appealing.  I do love the look and meters!  
@yyzsantabarbara I have enough to pay for the Hegel if I sold all of my spare stuff, but I'm sure it will take some time.  The 390 looks great, I like the feature set.
I got pulled away to put my kid to sleep before I could finish my thought.

There is a interesting review of 3 of the top semi-affordable integrateds.
https://www.hegel.com/images/reviews/H390hificriticuk.pdf

AMPLIFIER GROUP TEST - Hegel H390 vs Krell K-300i vs Mark Levinson No5805

However, I would think any of these units would only work if you have the appropriate sized speaker for your room. In my room (same as yours) my KEF LS50's only work with room treatments, using the Peachtree NOVA 150. See photos. The Peachtree is very good for the price so I do not critique it too much 

https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/7605

Another unit that would work with my KEF LS50 would be the SimAudio 390 Network player, but I would need an amp with that, but used cheap amps are easy to get.


I haven't heard the 220. My only other experience with Peachtree was a Grand X1 integrated which I no longer have. 
There is no reason not to try the Hegel 190.
You should consider Raven integrated tube amps.  Superior sound and Dave Thomson has some of the most special tubes on the world in his arsenal.  Call Dave and at least talk to him
@coffee-jerk Over the last 24 hours I have been doing a lot more research into the Hegel amps.  I really like what I am seeing.  Definitely on the short list.
@willgolf I think I am going to go SS this go round.  My speakers are not too efficient. I have a friend that is in the process of starting a transformer business and I may build a beefy tube amp in the future.  The Ravens do like nice though.
Pass labs   Makes several nice ones, coda s very good 
upscale Gryphon ,Accuphase,to name a few.
I would listen to the Lack of response regarding the Lyngdorf.  It was a hit a few seasons ago but I know several of the people that spoke highly of them have sold them off.  I found the 2170 to be dull and contrived and was never drawn to music with it.  
@bjesien I seemed to recall several people singing their praises in the past, but I wasn't looking at the time.  Now, I agree, I'm not hearing anyone on the bandwagon now! 

It is more difficult because I don't have local dealers for most of the good integrated amps.  I do have a dealer that will let me test Naim gear in home.
A couple of options: if you want a tube integrated, check out the Rogue Cronus Magnum with kt120 tubes. I would look at the Hegel H300-H360 if you want a more neutral sounding amp with a dac built in. I’ve owned both the Rogue and Hegel. The Rogue would cost less than $3000 new or $1500 used and the Hegel H360 (my preference) would be in the $3000+ range used
First post... I have been going through the same process... I just purchased a Sigma 2001i and really like it. A lot of it was the feature set. I like to noodle with settings and the Sigma hits all the buttons with a very comprehensive PEQ. Also simple tone controls. No WiFi, but wired connection possible for Airplay etc. Lots of customization options as well. I happen to be selling my Peachtree 300, which I thought was overall great, but just a little too extreme in the “simplistic” nature of things. It is literally, plug and play. No fuss, no muss. No funky settings, basically volume adjustments, that’s it. Plus it’s one of the best looking little amps on the market IMO.
@rbstehno I have looked at the Rogue in the past, but I am staying SS this go round.  I don't need a ton of power and I have read somewhere that the H190 sounded better than the H360(wattage excluded.) Maybe because it is a newer line?
@geof3 I like Peachtree's products and enjoyed the 220(which i still own), but it definitely does not sound as good as my separates.

The Classe 2200i is appealing for the reasons you listed.  I am still considering it.

My current thoughts are Hegel H190 and Classe 2200i as options that I unfortunately can't listen to around here.  I can listen to Naim and Anthem locally.  I am going to try to listen to them both if i can get some time this week.
I had a small listening room 20 years ago (12x13) and IMO it’s a mistake to think you can go light in power just because it’s a small room. If you go with the H190, you won’t get any bass at lower volumes whereas the H360 has more power and you will get more bass at lower volume levels. Back then I got the McIntosh MA6500 and it didn’t have any bass at the lower volumes. I then brought in it’s bigger brother the MA6900 and it was much better at lower volumes. I then went with some larger monoblocks which were even better and these amps then worked well in a newer house we with a large dedicated audio room
@why0why... I demo’ed the Moon of similar price and the Hegel as well, the Sigma won out for overall “bang for the buck” in terms of the “bells and whistles” and overall sound (warm) for me. In terms of sound quality, the Moon was very nice overall, but basically just a warmer Peachtree. The Hegel on the other hand seemed a bit more “in your face” than I prefer, but still doable. It was fun running noise calibrations in my room and dialing the Sigma in. Not many amps have these types of features these days. Like simple “tone” controls? OMG, I think the world exploded! Anyway, the PEQ option is nice over some of the other room correction options as it allows you to do it yourself and do as you please with the settings. You aren’t stuck with a pre determined curve. 
Easy to drive and 85db efficient anything will do around 100w into 8ohms

 https://www.stereophile.com/images/archivesart/805fig1.jpg

Cheers George
I recently heard the Ayre EX-8 in a small tool with Boenicke W5. Great combo and this small speakers really filled the room!

The Ayre is a bit outside your budget but if you well something it may work. Or looks för 2nd hand. 

I have also heard many good things about Hegel and was close to buying a cheaper model.
Check out Modwright integrated amps.  They offer a chance to get both a DAC and phono pre inside.  If you are patient, and say you don't mind buying used, you could get one in your price range.  The sound would be right up your alley.  Read the stellar reviews.  Dan Wright really stands behind his products--even used ones.  I've had 3 of his CD players.  They shoot well above their price point.

Bob
I would seriously consider the Hegel. I didnt like the Peachtree stuff at all, but this is based on units that I heard years ago. I think with your speakers you should go with the higher powered Hegel units. If you could handle 2 components, I would go with an integrated and a separate DAC. 
@jsautter The 190 would definitely be powerful enough, but I don't want to shortchange myself on power and regret it later.  The McIntosh I am using is technically only rated at 50 watts(even though I think it is more like 75) and it does very well.  I don't plan on changing the speakers any time soon, but who knows in the future.

The MHDT Orchid  DAC sounds fantastic.  I am definitely not opposed to keeping it.  I will try it side by side with whatever I get and I will keep it if it is significantly better.  I am willing to give up maybe a tiny bit of SQ to have it integrated, but not a ton.
@dorkwad I have heard good things about the Modwright, but am not familiar with them otherwise.  There is an integrated on USAudiomart for $2750.
@whyOwhy,

The Modwright KMI 200 integrated amp has 200 watts per channel so it should have plenty of power and reserve.  The particular unit you mentioned that is for sale on US Audio Mart doesn't not have either a DAC or phono pre as is.  It does show where either of those could be put in still for a price, if you were interested in doing so.  If you are interested, give Dan Wright a call at 360-247-6688.
Try a Rogue Pharaoh integrated. 185 Watts/channel, MM/MC phono stage, tube preamp section, class D output.
Another vote for the Hegel H390, best solid state in this price range.
I really appreciate the continued feedback. Hegel definitely seems to have quite a few fans. I checked and the closest dealer is about 2 hours away. There might be a road trip in my near future.

If the choice was between an H190 and a used H360, which would be the better choice?  I'm aware of the power difference, but how much improvement is there in the new series?
The Lyngdorf 2170 is simply fantastic and should be paired with cabling that is natural in tone and full bodied sounding by nature. I love the unit and over time learned how to get the very most out of it. It is in an entirely different league than the various Peachtree units. I have owned both and the 2170 is miles ahead. The only combo of separates that like better in my home, and I have tried many, is the Clayton Audio S40 Class A amp combined with The Truth preamp and MHDT Orchid dac. I modified and upgraded each of these units to get them to the place that they have now replaced the 2170. The 2170 is that good!

Find one used and broken in already.  Keep it fully on as it sounds it’s best after being on for at least 12 hours.  This is very important.  It only pulls some 20 watts and stays cool so no worries. The room correction employed is state of the art and really helps your system sound its best in your room. The volume control is fantastic and neutral sounding.  The overall sound of the unit is slightly tipped to the warm side, but is really very close to neutral.  I like mid bass weight and body and find the unit really benefits from wire voiced with fully fleshed out mids and great mid bass weight.  I like the Duelund stranded copper wire in black cotton with this unit.   The combo just works .   Like all things audio it takes some time and effort to get the most of our your system. 

Feel free to contact me with any other 2170 questions. 
@grannyring I think your past posts about the Lyngdorf are what got me interested in the first place.

There are so many great options in this price range.  I have made a spreadsheet with options to try to narrow it down some.  It is tough, especially considering that my listening options are limited.
Many great choices indeed.  Modwright is another good choice for sure.  Electrocompaniet makes very nice gear that has wonderful tone and body.  Some of the best SS gear around.  They also make nice integrated amps. 
Darko loves Hegel. So do I.

https://darko.audio/2019/10/a-short-film-about-the-hegel-h390-kef-reference-1/

https://darko.audio/2018/10/letters-to-the-editor-hegels-soundengine-explained/

https://darko.audio/2018/10/a-short-film-about-the-hegel-h590/   

The new 390 and 590 have a improved DAC over the older models. Hegel themselves state it is the best DAC they have, even better than the standalone DAC. Not sure about the older models but the new 390 and 590 will be ROON READY. You would stream via Ethernet using the Hegels so also consider an EtherREGEN switch to reduce Ethernet noise ($640).

The dacs in the Hegels are pretty decent but not close to their standalone dacs or other quality dacs. I had the Hegel 100 then upgraded to the H300, never used its dac. (I have a new Mcintosh C47 preamp with a very good dac and I don't use that either, I have the PS Audio DS sr dac that blows all of the Hegel days away and its Roon ready which the Hegel's are not and might not be). Then I auditioned the H360 at RMAF years ago in the Hegel room and I compared their standalone dac to the H360, big difference. If you don't have a dac or its not a top quality dac, then you probably will like the Hegel H360 on up. I was thinking of buying the smaller H190 for its features for a living room setup. The H300/360/390 would be better suited for a dedicated audio room

The Orchid DAC sounds really good.  I have rolled the tubes a few times and the one I am currently using is fantastic.  I usually bargain shop and/or prefer to buy used, but the reviews were so good on the Orchid and at only $1100 new, I think it is a great bargain.

@why0why ,

Thank you for posting as I was thinking of purchasing an Anthem product and had never heard of the Lyngdorf 2710 before and after reading grannyring’s response I looked at some reviews and was very surprised at the cost/performance value is quiet outstanding - meaning for the price, especially used is a great value as I have seen for a little less than $3000 used.

@grannyring,

After reading your posts on the the Dueland 16GA with cardas interconnects, I initially tried the Dueland 16GA interconnects with Dueland connectors that were very good in my system but didn’t quite hit that ’sweet spot’ for me and per Jeff’s advise of Parts Connexion ended up using Dueland 20GA with KLEI™Absolute Harmony Plugs interconnects shielded and unshielded for about $350 and $275 respectively which was one of the best cost/performance ’upgrades’ I had made to my rig to date. And liked them so much I ’traded in’ my Clear Day double shotguns speaker cable for Duelund 12GA speaker cables without wire connectors, per Duelund specs. And I thank you for that.

Grannyring, I also have to mention that I don’t know how you do it but time and time again when I read of you mentioning a piece of hi fi gear (that I have never heard of) it/they too seem to always have a very good cost/performance value.

For example, your mention of the Clayton Audio S40 Class A amp, combined with The Truth preamp and MHDT Orchid dac, after looking up each of their specs, price and performance reviews were outstanding to say the least.

I sincerely hope that no one is offended if I ask you what speakers and piece of gear are you using to play your cd’s and/or flac files through the MHDT Orchid dac? As my intention is not to hijack the OP.

My speakers are Dali Epicon 6 with major crossover upgrades. My digital front end is the Innuos Zen mk3, my USB cable, SOTM switch and SOTM top of the line Cat7 Ethernet cables.
 
I build my ICs with the KLEI Absolute Harmony RCAs and have done so for about 1.5 years now. Chris at PC got the idea from me I am sure :). The 16ga sounds best with these KLEI connectors. Better than the 20 gauge in most systems. Actually a double IC sounds best with 4 runs of the Duelund 16ga per individual IC. I sell lots of these doubles now. Wonderful sounding, but a lot of work to build!
I went through many system changes in past couple of years (including 4 speakers) and one thing that remained constant is Lyngdorf TDAI 2170. It's an unbelievable value. When I replaced my ~15k separates (tube amp and preamp), with Lyngdorf I thought it sounded almost 99% as good. With carefully chosen component, you can of course beat the Lyngdorf under 10k separates but under 5k would be VERY hard. Personal preference is always a factor though.
Yes! Oops. I meant to say Chris (not Jeff) Webber at PC. Sorry Chris!
Jeff is from ’Jeff’s Place’ from my initial google searches. You could imagine my surprise when I realized Chris Webber was the Chris from Jeff’s Place!

I actually got the idea of using the KLEI™Absolute Harmony Plugs from YOUR post here on Agon on Duelund wire (go figure) with others chiming in and using both the 16GA and 20GA IC’s in their rigs as Chris at the time, initially used Switchcraft 3502AAU connectors but I noticed PC sold KLEI™ plugs also.

I did reach out to you back then but you graciously suggested I look elsewhere cause at the time you were not making shielded IC’s and I needed shielded for my turntable IC's to my phono preamp in. From the phono preamp out I used unshielded Duelund IC's with KLEI™Absolute Harmony Plugs.

Duelund double IC’s!? Dang! That’s more money on upgrades!

I didnt read through the thread so apologies if someone already suggested PS Audio stellar pre and amp.  I know its seperates but they wouldnt take up any more room than a Hegel or Classe Sigma.  They will take your mac in on trade and you can return the gear if you dont like it during the trial period. If you decide on the Classe www.listenup.com  has those things for like $1600.  I suppose others have them on sale as well.

They are hard to find; but if you can, listen to any integrated by Primare

https://mofidistribution.com/

I have the older I32; but the I25 may be closer to what you want.

Also, I am surprised no one has mentioned the Belles Aria by Power Modules.

http://www.powermodules.com/products/aria-integrated.html

Regarding PS Audio, there's a thread on that forum hyping a new, expected-next-month integrated amp that includes a a streamer for about $3k, 200wpc, ES9016 dac based.

But there are lots of threads on that forum about expected new products that end up being delayed or never released, so until it is released it's speculation I guess, even though the CEO is commenting but again, that's happened before (see speakers, server, new dac - hopefully they eventually are released, sounds interesting).
@jbuhl I am a PS Audio fan, my phono stage is by them and I love it.  I wasn't familiar with that site, definitely a nice deal on the Classe.  Same price as used.

@kren0006 That is something that I would be interested in.  I am working on getting stuff in order to list, so I'm not in a hurry(other than getting the bug once I figure out what I want for sure.)

@2channel8 Not familiar with either of those, I'll check them out.
I have a Modwright Kwi 200 running Maggie. 7 in a 12 x 13 room.  Upgraded from rogue Sphnix II. It was a  Game changer.  Couldn't be happier 
Buy the Parasound Hint 6 and don't look back. You will be amazed every time you turn it on. Mine drives my Tyler Acoustics Highland 2's in an impressive fashion.
You should not overlook Rogue. I bought a Pharaoh and have never looked back! Using it with Studio Electric monitors and it sounds great. Plus you get customer service that is unsurpassed!!!
@grannyring,

After doing more research, I'm really liking the Clayton Audio S40 Class A amp, The Truth preamp and MHDT Orchid dac in combination. In fact I see on the net, sold used Clayton Audio M70 Class A monoblock amps sold in pairs are priced lower than the single Clayton Audio S40 Class A stereo amp sold used by itself!  

My question is, what interconnects did you use between The Truth preamp and the Clayton Audio S40 amp? Thanks again.