The idea behind high end integrated amplifiers is to retain the majority of performance (sonic and aesthetic) offered by state of the art separates while simplifying the experience. A simple system with a set of loudspeakers, an exceptional integrated amplifier, and a turntable can be very attractive.
I have a darTZeel CTH-8550 Mk2 in my studio that sounds lovely and fits in with my clients' lifestyles rather than demanding they work around it. It's freeing.
Mola Mola has just announced the Kula fully integrated 1 box solution. Kula can be ordered as a conventional integrated amplifier incorporating preamp, amp in the chassis or can be fully outfitted to include, preamp, amp, phono stage, DAC (with Roon endpoint) to have single chassis solution. Pricing ranges from $13,800-$25,000.
Have you determined the wpc rating you want?
no matter what, I would want both remote volume and remote balance. I find a squeak of balance adjustment from my listening position can make a big difference regarding proper imaging, and the sound simply opens up.
I want on, adjust volume, great, refine balance? click, done!
You may have remote balance in your existing pre-amp, but you might change that, might go back to a Vintage Tube unit, like I and many have done, losing any remote control.
Inexplicably, many new pieces, they often don’t even photograph the remote, and don’t list the features.
I had to download owner’s manuals and scour them to ascertain what had what, AND, sometimes it is buried deep in a menu.
compilation albums have individual tracks from all over the place, a track or two often benefit from adjustment.
I just bought as terrific album, high quality, it needed a few clicks to the left, then was wonderful
initially both drums were bunched up on the right, and Ry Cooder was weak on the left. 3 clicks, Ry volume up, and one of the drummers, his son, moved left of center. Just like the photo of them playing!
I started a thread, not the ultimate as you are lookin for, but about remote vol & bal
My brother has a Gryphon Diablo he got it for around $15 k
I have not found anything at even low $20 k range that sounds that cohesive .
having the size to keep things properly isolated and premium parts quality when you are not under price constraints , like others mentioned less power cords and interconnects , and the synergy of the amp preamp in one chassis truly
make sense .when he is ready for another upgrade That would be my end game setup.
+1 for the Gryphon Diablo 300 to the owners of them https://ibb.co/Px6dd9W, it would have to be something very special that I’ve yet to see/hear to top them.
@mickeyb - Jeff Rowland daemon is interesting.by specs alone its a monster
@georgehifi - yes have always heard good things about gryphon diablo 300, it can be in the league in terms of power but not sure whether in refinement
@alucard19 @tms0425 i do not think boulder 866 and vinnie rossi are in the same league but definitely good in their segment
@pokey77 t+a is definitely interesting and worth considering
May I suggest Devialet Expert 1000 at $35,000? These monoblocks put out 1000 watts RMS/channel at 6 ohms & have built-in DAC, digital sound processor, SAM to match speakers & phono inputs with matching for 4000 cartridges. For details, go to Devialet's website at www.devialet.com/en-us.
I have experience at home with the Vitus SIA-025 and the Vitus SIA-030 as well as numerous separate pre/power combos. At shows I have heard the T&A and ch precision.
My view is that the Vitus SIA-030 is a phenomenal amp, better than anything I have ever heard. The SIA-025 also gives a lot for what is a very small box, but the 030 is on another level of amplifier. The pre-amp section of the 030 is exceptional. It is always difficult to describe what it is that makes it sound so much better. I’ll try: of all the high-end amps I have heard it is by far the most 'musical', the least 'hi-fi', and perhaps, to use an overused phrase, the most 'analogue'. All amps at this level will offer great control and dynamics but I find the Vitus offers that extra elusive, magical, 'thing'. The musical image is very holographic too. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
+1 on infection. I have the DarTZeel LHC-208, little brother (@ $18K) to the CTH-8550, and best I can describe is “organic”, meaning instruments (Woodwinds, strings, and human) sound like they are right in front of me. I understand that the LHC-208 is more for digital, and the CTH-8550 (which I have not personally auditioned- I’m afraid to) is more for analog. The LHC-208 is rated by DarTZeel at 180w for 8 ohm; where’s they rate the CTH-8550 at 220w for 8 ohm. I’m driving PMC Fact 12 floorstanders, 8 ohm speakers with 84dB sensitivity with no problem. If you’re auditioning ether of these, just put on the Jennifer Warnes CD, The Well, and prepare to be amazed!
If you could, listen to the Krell K-300i. I have heard this amp using three different sets of speakers. Was fortunate enough for a blind listening test. Krell still has the magic with the people that are there today that were also their back in the day. Not seeing the amps and listening through the same set of speakers (Wilson Audio Yvette) It will hold its own and then some with cost no object.
Other speakers : Dynaudio Contour 20 and B&W 805 N
for example d’augustino momentum ,luxman are characterized as sweet, musical, bit laid back , less solid state ,slightly tuby etc etc
everyone has their preferences but i am looking for an amp that is less sweet , less warm ,less colored, more detail and resolution oriented.
its ok if its a little dry or clinical or analytical to obtain a high degree of resolution , clarity , details air, separation, crystalline, clean and crisp highs/treble
i definitely don’t want to end up with a warm and sweet amp in the name of making it sound analogish or removing the harshness or fatigue.
Re your question. I know what you mean re Luxman and a warm sound. I directly compared a cheaper Vitus with a 2-box Luxman here: https://pinkfishmedia.net/forum/threads/a-review-of-some-amps-on-home-demo-naim-v-luxman-v-devialet-...
The SIA-30 is not warm sounding. In that respect it is neutral. I would not call it clinical either. It has tremendous air and separation and a very controlled and extended bass. The SIA-025 by Vitus is a warmer amp with a softer top-end, the SIA-030 meanwhile throws out a precise treble with a very clean sound. The leading edges are not over-represented, like in the sound of Naim amplification, but they are presented more naturally which helps make the amp more musical sounding to my ears. Dynamics on the 30 are strong with a fabulous speed of dynamic expression from the blackest quiet to the loudest notes. Again this is in another class from others I’ve heard.
Interestingly the amp has 2 class settings and also a 'rock' setting and a 'classic' setting. Whilst I tend to keep mine in 'classic' the rock setting does give a slightly more upfront presentation which suits that genre, a bit more PRaT with very fast transients. 'Classic' has more air and grace. It’s a subtle difference though. The class A setting is preferred for me most of the time, but I do listen in class AB at times as I find compressed modern pop sounds better in AB. It takes a good 20 mins for Class A to work its magic though, as I leave mine in AB mode and it’s not an instant switchover.
Good luck in your search.
thank you @duckworp for the sonic description of vitus sia 30. definitely confidence inspiring to consider sia 30
@bvdiman @audioman58 @georgehifi @palbrecht1 @kren006. gryphon seems a crowd favorite as well.heard it has darker backgrounds, great bass and is a dynamic and muscular amp.
can someone comment on high frequency rendition for gryphon diablo 300
iam going to tier classify my list again
1. audionet HUMBOLDT (55k)
2. soulution 530 (49k)
top of the price list and both have received exceptional praise and have great build quality and performance, outstanding specs and power as well and is accepted universally.but definitely could be an overreach and price is hard to justify for an integrated
1. dartzeel CTH-8550 (30k)
2. ch precision I1 (38k)
both dartzeel and ch precision are outstanding swiss makers with stellar build quality.they look more lifestyle products and might lack muscularity compared to others.but definitely have great clarity and articulation
gryphon diablo 300
t+a pa 3100 hv
these both are the best value & over achievers in high end integrated amps, gryphon is crowd favorite
can someone help describe t+a pa 3100 hv sonics in terms of rendition of highs/treble , lows/bass ,clarity , detail ,separation of instruments, warmth
segment of its own :
last but not the least vitus SIA 30.all round positive comments .price around 40k USD.outstanding specs.looks like both muscular and articulate amp in performance. 30w of class A should keep the room warm.great flexibility for switch to class AB as well of 200w 8ohms/400 w 4 ohms. from denmark , recently launched.not sure about the reliability of it but rest all looks good.
Hi @goodsource, I think the hallmark feature of darTZeel is transient and decay performance. darT gets transients right in an organic, natural way that lets my brain suspend disbelief.
Michael Fremer of Stereophile uses darTZeel with his Wilson loudspeakers and you may enjoy his thoughts on the pairing, along with comparisons to CH, Ypsilon, and Boulder: https://www.stereophile.com/content/dartzeel-nhb-468-monoblock-power-amplifier
@gestalt i know fremor uses dartzeel monoblocks and i know they have stellar performance.
the question is whether the integrated would be to that level or not at their starting price point.
tonally they might be very similar and also might be similar in voicing and clarity.
question is their wattage on integrated is on the lower side and iam not sure if the integrated will have good bass performance for the wilsons.
also it would be great to know if someone did a comparison between dartzeel integrated and ch precision i1
Vitus SIA 030 owner here...
Coming from 30 years of Naim ownership, vinyl sources.
Auditioned the Gryphon Diablo 300 at dealer with Wilsons-good but did not grab me...could have been the Wilsons. The common "its a bit dark" held true .
Brought a new Levinson integrated home- disappointed
Had an entry level Dartzeel at home- beautiful but not enough bite. Did the demo of the Boulder 866-nice but not enough power. Listened to the Aavik 300 before- sideways move from Naim.
Did the demo of the Vitus at dealer with YG speakers and a decent Clearaudio deck- wow.
I was not going to leave Naim unless something really opened my ears...the Vitus did. Coming from Naim 552/500 to a single box was a little scary but I trusted my ears and jumped.
Very happy that I did. Amp is about 4 months old now and continues to amaze with the depth and emotion that it conveys. Very different to Naim, but engaging and powerful in ways that the 552/500 just can't do...
Audition a SIA 030 before you make your decision. SIA 025 would not have convinced me I don't think...the 030 is a beast.
Cost no object: VAC Statement 450i iQ
Perhaps $40k bargain?:
Pilium Audio Leonidas Integrated
Bob, a dealer at Rhapsody Audio https://rhapsody.audio , believes that Pilium products punch way above their price point, competitive with the very best. Although dealers can be bias, I read his many WBF posts and he comes across as very knowledgeable, sincere, and has the pulse of the highest high end audio equipment judging by the equipment he carries and the manufacturers he represents.