Integrated amp + DAC + room correction all-in-one for Nola Boxer 1 + REL R328 sub
I’m looking to upgrade my integrated amp + external DAC source to an all-in-one integrated amp + DAC + room correction box. Budget to $2500, may stretch to $2800 if super-compelling.
I currently use a Creek 5350se integrated amp, with external DAC input from a Yamaha RX-V773 AVR (TI/Burr-Brown PCM1681 DAC chip on whatever circuit Yamaha cooked up).
Loudspeakers are Nola Boxer 1 on Dynaudio Stand 4, and REL R328 sub connected by Neutrix cable to main L/R binding posts on amp. Loongg runs of ProWire speaker and Neutrix cables through crawlspace to loudspeakers / sub.
Music = classical + opera, electronic, new & old rock, alternative, trap, house
Room is 18’ x 12’ x 13’h average ceiling height (2808 cu feet), hardwood floors, random furniture objects. Speakers 6’ apart, REL sub in corner to right of right speaker, listening position 8’ from center of speaker axis.
Requirements (but will flex if compelling):
one box, no separates: amp + DAC and ideally + room correction
ethernet-in on DAC circuit <= can be talked out of this if sensible alternatives
’classic’ & useful front-plate design <= no NuPrime IDA-16
simple, solid, non-stupid remote <= again, no NuPrime. Rogue doesn’t get hi marks here either
known affinity with Nola Boxer 1 a huge plus
Here are units I’m researching in DESC order of coveting-ness:
Hegel H190 <= yes $4K USD srp, will stretch to $2800 to buy used
Parasound HINT6 Halo <= ESS Sabre32 Reference ES9018K2M DAC, new product, no reviews/track-record. No ethernet-in either. Will stretch to $2800 for used ... and probly have to wait a long time for that.
Creek Evolution 100A <= no ethernet-in. Eventual poor reliability experience with my existing Creek 5350se, which used a lo-quality ALPS input switch, which is failing
Micromega M-100 <= will stretch to $2800 for used. No ethernet-in afaict.
Rogue Cronus Magnum II <= reviews suggest cheap-feeling remote. No ethernet-in.
Yamaha A-S801 <= ’budget’ solution at $900 USD, ESS Sabre ES9010K2M DAC circuit. Needs Yamaha wireless connector for ethernet-in. May not have room correction?
All helpful feedback appreciated including units I haven’t considered. Relatedly, I’m wondering how much I’d give up if I went the ’budget’ route (Yamaha A-S801).
Thanks uberwaltz for the guidance. I did glance at the Lyngdorf TDAI-3400 - looks great and crazy-above my budget. Clearly I should look at the 2170.
... your reasons for an all-in-one?
Thank you david_ten for the insightful question. Reason for the all-in-one: I'd like to get this phase of my audiophile OCD over with in one shot, and not mosh about it any further in this lifetime. Really.
OP Your reasons for going all in one mirror mine as I was slowly replacing each and every unit at considerable cost in search of "nirvana" Since the 2170 I have not even looked at amps or dacs, all I added to this mix was a decent phono stage, Goldnote PH-10 which appears to match well with the 2170 and my Nottingham Analog tt.
That is correct, the 3400 fixes that but at quite a price hike although it also boasts more power and a built in music server. Not sure what you are using for present music streaming but I use a Bluesound Vault2 with direct internet in and than feed the spdif signal out to the 2170
I use a Bluesound Vault2 ethernet-in then spdif out to 2170
Thanks uberwaltz for the alternative. For .flac files on NAS I use ethernet-in on Yamaha RX-V773 AVR then out to Creek amp over Audioquest Sydney RCA cables. T/I Burr-Brown PCM1681 DAC circuit in the AVR ... not the most discerning but it does the job.
I’m seeing the 2170 is 170w into 4 ohms - presumably 85w into 8 ohms? Wondering how that will drive Nola Boxer 1’s - I’ve seen comments suggesting Boxer 1’s do best with a bit more horsepower. Though they seem to do just fine with my Creek 5350se at 90w into 8 ohms ... 2170 would probly be fine too.
Micromega is amazing sounding...Has everything you want
Thank you audiotroy for the patient recommending of the Micromega - the M100 is on my short list. I do wonder about long-term performance, reliability and company staying-power. Have seen nothing suggesting any shortfalls, I just don’t see much intel or track-record out on the interwebz.
edit: on closer look, I am concerned about the weird rear case design - that overhang looks like a real obstruction for easy access to one’s connections to the amp.
OP I too was initially concerned on what I termed low power rating of the 2170, after all I was moving from a BAT VK-600SE which was 300w x2 at 8 ohm! I need not have worried at all although the only speakers I have driven have all been fairly benign loads, electrostatics maybe a little more challenging. 95db room level volume is VERY easily achieved...lol
I'd like to get this phase of my audiophile OCD over with in one shot, and not mosh about it any further in this lifetime.
Thanks for your direct response. Since you would like to be one-and-done, my advice is to save up for the right-for-you and 'long lasting' solution.
Given your current budget, you will be leaving too much off the table (my opinion).
My target for what you are trying to accomplish, would be 3X your budget (given the current offerings). Further, since a LAN input is a requirement...the upside of waiting is (in the future) more options to choose from.
If you need to make a decision now (at or just above your budget) I'd forego Room Correction and Ethernet In for an integrated with DAC option/module.
@audiotroy i too am very interested in the Micromega and have few, if any reservations, including longevity (as mentioned above), but also the fact that there is class a/b amplification (heat?) in such a small package. i understand there's a fan inside? how does this work? is it always on? does it turn on only when needed? i imagine the amp must get very warm... does the fan affect sound quality?
a couple of other questions (that i can't seem to find answers to online):
-do all input analog signals (RCA/Phono) get converted to digital and then reconverted back to analog? if yes, i'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on pros/cons of this.
-what's the amp's capability of max current? for example, the HALO is 45 amps/ch!!
-how is the phono stage? would it be appropriate for a 2-3k turntable?
-i've seen on other forums that the m100 carries a 10-year warranty but have been unable to verify this on the manufacturer website -- can you confirm/deny?
-lastly, you mention the m100 just "got a rave review." can you post a link or send a PM? thanks!!
it goes without saying but i'll say it anyway: it's invaluable to have someone on these forums with access and insight to a very sophisticated product. one that will undoubtedly pave the way for more compact and sleep all-in-one packages! thanks in advance for taking the time to read my questions and, if you are so inclined, for responding for the benefit of all interested.
...my advice is to save up for the right-for-you and 'long lasting' solution... ... 3X your budget (given the current offerings). Further, since a LAN input is a requirement...the upside of waiting is (in the future) more options to choose from.
david_ten, thank you for more insightful feedback. Indeed, you've talked me into waiting and saving up for the right all-in-one in this lifetime.
And for the next lifetime? Hoping not to be so attached to objects ; )
I i recently bought a Lyngdorf 3400 to replace a Mark Levinson amp and preamp and high end DAC. Couldn’t be happier. The Room Correction is awesome, plenty of power for PSB Imagine T3s. Pretty amazing product.
The Micromega is our favorite integrated amp for the price and this is among a staple of the Naim products, the Anthem STR, the NAD M32, and a few others. The Naim Nova is one step up but we are comparing a $4.5k integrated vs a $7,500.00 one as we only have the the entry level M100 on display.
The M 100 sounds lush in the midrange, and soundstages superbly, the amp is very involving, and the bass is deep and punchy.
The Micromega just sounds musical in a way that few integrated amplifiers for the price can do. The Class A/B amplifier is a marvel of compact design, the fans are compact industrial grade fans that are used for long duty cycles cooling computers,they are very quiet and quite effective at lowering the unit’s temparate, couple that with an aluminium chassis which acts as a giant heat sink this video shows you the brilliant packinag job that the Micromega engineers did to accomplish this form factor: https://youtu.be/rbYNri1Wetk
Here is a review of the bigger brother the M150 which you can see the reviewer adored ,the M150 adds 50 watts of juice a beefier power supply and includes the room correction kit.
I know some people here are loving the Lyndorf products, however, we are not so enamoured with Class D amplification, except for a few standouts, naimly the Nuprime gear, and I am sure the Lyngdorf sounds clean and effortless but does it offer the same musicality?
The Micromega offers one incredible feature set:
: 1: Native High resolution PCM up to 768k plus Quad Rate DSD 2: Analog inputs 3: Phono stage 4: Headphone playback 5: Class A/B amplifier 6: Slim form factor 7: Plenty of digital and analog inputs 8: Ethernet jack 9: Appple Airplay 10: Blue tooth 11: Room Correction 12: Software upgradable 13: Roon playback via airplay 14: Internet radio and control app, 15: Subwoofer output
When you add all of these factors the Micromega product is pretty unique.
Thanks to all who piped up with suggestions/guidance. After more research, reflection and attachment I've pulled the trigger on a Micromega M-100 (w/o room correction - that was an additional ~$900 USD).
If anyone's interested I'll report back once the M-100 is settled in and hummin' (figuratively).
Absolutely interested too. I'm considering downsizing from separates. McIntosh C47 preamp plus Harman Kardon Citation II tube amp. I've been an audiophile for maybe 30 years, just considering simplification - if the sound is right! Thanks.
For those interested
here's a preliminary report for my Micromega M-100.
These are initial impressions right after setup, with < 90
minutes of listening time. Thanks again to all for the insight
Micromega M-100 (replaced factory power cable w/
slightly-better 14awg NEMA 'green-dot' hospital-grade pc. Cullen Cable Crossover Series pc ordered)
Nola Boxers v1 speakers on Dynaudio Stand 4's, via Straightwire Pro-12 spkr cables to M-100
REL R-328 subwoofer, via Neutrik cable to M-100 L/R binding posts
Denon DCD-815 cdp (redbook only) <= maybe upgrade, maybe not (rip all to flac, use UPnP over ethernet)
Audioquest Sydney rca interconnect (Denon cdp to M-100)
Google Chromecast Audio via cheap 3.5mm-to-toslink cable to M-100 optical in <= todo: upgrade toslink cable, power supply
Foobar2000 foo_upnp server/render for .flac to over ethernet
Belden MM07-BNTEC6 CAT6f patch cable from LAN hub to M-100 ethernet in <= token snake-oil interconnect
Pink Floyd - The Wall, Columbia UDCD 2-537
Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young - Déjà Vu, Atlantic SD19118-2
Beethoven - Violin Sonatas Op.12 No.s 1-3,
.flac (16/44.1 redbook to .flac via foobar2000 rip)
The Field - Looping State of Mind Remixe, Kompakt KOM 263
various - Spotify @ 320kbps
1. Excellent, elegant appearance and build quality: case,
rear panel, front panel display. Rear of case design not the
friendliest / pragmatic-est (overhang constrains available
space for handling interconnects)
2. Remote exudes material quality but ergonomics and
usability are challenged: awkward one-hand operation due to
size, shape, weight & button layout. Maybe I just need to
3. Micromega M-One app for Android extremely unstable -
crashes frequently during operation. That's too bad: can't
reliably control the amp from beyond range of physical remote
(see #2). Haven't sent feedback to Micromega yet.
In short: pretty f'ing good. No, really f'ing good.
Would not have believed it were I not hearing it myself.
Audiotroy was right. From entirely different galaxy than
Creek 5350SE. Not a fan of hyperbole - but what I'm hearing
puts me at risk of that. Or gushing overwrought, affected
descriptions of the gross and subtle effects of the amp. So I'll
stop with the narrative.
Interim verdict: so far, unmitigated victory for my
requirements. All-in-one that does it all, most importantly
kicking ass on sonic quality.
@usery thank you! I hadn’t seen that one yet but I’ve been slowly making my way through all posted info... which seemingly is increasing. Incidentally, I posted a response on another thread that may be more appropriate here. I’ll copy and repost below.
From an older thread... I meant to reply here. Apologies for double posting:
It’s worth mentioning that a Micromega rep (in Portland, OR) confirmed that the phono stage remains completely analog. There is no digital conversion.
Another post in this thread mentioned something about the number of inputs. Seems like a lot of folks are overlooking the XLR inputs. These are analog — so even without balanced cables, a XLR-male-to-RCA-female adapter gives a second analog input. In a home audition, there was no discernible difference in sound from the RCA analog input (same RCA cables coming from an Oppo 203). And if you have the 205 you have the option to go fully balanced (sadly, I do not). That plus a phono stage makes three analog inputs. Optical input for a BluRay player, USB input for a computer, and an Ethernet cable for any over the air play and network devices seems like a whole heck of a lot of options to me.
I believe the Micromega app has internet radio stations from all over the world and the same Micromega rep also confirmed Tidal is coming to the app within the next few weeks.
I spent a good amount of time with a demo unit and would be happy to answer any more questions!
Usery that is one reason we would have loved you getting the unit from us you would have gotten the guidance on how to setup the piece and we would have loved to earn your business.
You are using the Micromega the wrong way, Ditch the Chromcast.
Get a copy of Jriver and you can stream your library or streaming music directly to the M100, It works like a charm and the sound quality is great.
You can do full upconversion or DSD directly through Jriver and send the data stream via the etherne connection directly to the Micromega.
Also use a set of four Isoacoustics Pods for $20 each under all four sides, aside from sounding better it enables you to gain access to the cabling much easier.
Also please retire the belden the Wireworld Starlight is a huge improvement.
Also after a 100 hours the sound quality will be far better. and the Cullen cables are okay you can do way better.
We are so delighted that you are loving the M100 we have been championing the Micromega M100 and in our shop it is extremely hard to beat the combination of musicality, bass drive and impact and feature set for the price.
Before I settled on the M-100 I too was looking 'downmarket', at the Yamaha A-S801 - though by design that unit is mostly committed to 2-channel stereo rather than the 'AV' of the Marantz nr1609. If AV is the feature set you're looking for, then the M-100 or A-S801 may not be the right fit.
benb - then your requirements were like mine when I first started shopping. I already had the sub piece solved (REL R-328 connected by Neutrik to L/R mains output). From advice on this thread I deferred room correction until later (and for my money Micromega’s optional MARS is overpriced). I took a chance on the M-100 and for me it's a winner, sonic performance being the most-important attribute. Network streaming, phono and all the rest are there too. Regrettably the Android control app is abysmally unstable - an actual embarrassment, if I were on that Micromega team.
I've always been interested in the MicroMega line, and many of their amps have been on sale the last year.
A reputable audio shop in San Francisco has been showcasing Micromega the last few years.
Glad the OP reached out to a new brand. Yamaha and the more commercial sellers make good products, but their are better products out there at that price point, eg. Micromega.
@audiotroy thanks for all the info and suggestions, and Thank You for supporting the thread and giving suggestions to the OP. Wish they would have bought the Micromega from y'all so that the members could support the vendors, since the vendors support Agon. happy listening everybody
@usery - I'm jumping on the M100 bandwagon. One minor aspect I'm having no luck with is - will the feet fit on a 15" deep shelf? Simple question but very important for me to know :) Thanks for any help.
I just bought a micromega m100 with mars. I haven't set it up yet only did all the updates it seemed easier doing those in my office next to the computer. I needed something with room correction, my listening room is now my living room since moving to a patio home. Looks like it might a bit of a pain to hook everything up the overhang in the back is not user friendly using some sort of isopods or something to raise it as audiotroy suggested looks advisable.The depth including the overhang on mine is 13 3/4 inches. Not sure if that would matter on a 15 inch shelf.
benb: I haven't measured the front-to-back distance between the M-100's spiked feet - but with total case depth including rear overhang at ~ 13.78" (350mm), it will fit fine on a 15"d shelf. My M-100 sits on a bamboo 'butcher block' cutting board w/ dimensions 17"w x 13"d x 1.5"h.
... the overhang in the back is not user friendly
djones51: overhang is indeed unfriendly for monkeying with interconnects - but after initial hook-ups how often does one monkey with them?
I skipped the Isopods and used the aforementioned cutting board for 'isolation and damping'. You can find them at Ikea or on Amazon starting at around $20. Until I see measurements from credible experiments, and objective end-user feedback (even if it's about their 'subjective' experience), I'm wary of accessory and interconnect mumbo-jumbo.