solid state...krell 400xi..200 watts,beautiful and sounds great.
plinius 9200...200 watts...the same as above, but with a bit more bottom end...
edge g3..great overall
mark levinson 383 excellent
pathos twin tower tube....a
jeff rowland concerto..the best...
i have owned all of these and you can not go wrong with any of them....i listen to jazz at moderate levels and some rock at louder levels and they all perform..great...i think the best buy overall is the plinius for the money...but money doen't always have the answer
Doesn't TRL make one: TRL ST-225?
As a TRL owner, it would seem to be a natural choice.
I have the KR Audio Kronzilla SXi with 50 watts output. Sounds great across the spectrum, but can really take control of the bass. I use it now with relatively sensitive speakers, but have used it with speakers down to 87db, no problem. However, At over 100lbs, it is no fun to lug around.
Pass Labs INT150
What are your current speakers? What type of sound are you looking for? Are there any features that are important to you, or can you live with a more 'purist' piece?
I made the switch, from a ARC REF 3 preamp and highly modified BAT VK-75SE to a VAC Avatar Super (80 wpc). I won't lie and say the VAC sounds better, but it is simpilar (my wife can even play music now) and the sonics are 'in the ballpark'. I like the VAC much better than the Jeff Rowland Concentra II that I owned.
Other integrateds that I would love to hear are the new Pass Labs INT 150, Karan Acoustics KA-180, McIntosh MA2275, Ayon Audio Triton, GamuT DI 150, Accuphase E-550, Goldmund Telos 390, AMR AM-77, Krell KBI, VAC Phi Beta, to name a few.....
I use the Musical Fidelity NuVista M3. They have several large integrated. If I were looking at the top of your budget I would definitely look at the ASR Emitter, it has gotten good reviews and looks very well built.
The new Luxman stuff is awesome!
I've owned a Luxman L5 integrated (the old Luxman stuff :)for 30 years. Used it as my main rig when I was younger, bedroom system when older, and now I use it to drive my surround sound speakers while my MF separates drive the mains. Never, ever, felt like it was a compromise. Always loved it's sound, it's versatility, ease of setup and use.
I'd say be sure to get one that has gain adjusted and non-adjusted line outs... because you never know how handy this is until it solves a setup issue you didn't know you had :)
Musical Fidelity makes quite a few serious integrated amplifiers. That's where I'd recommend you start for a big power integrated.
or Symphonic Line or maybe the new Naim intergrated.
If you're switching to get compact size (and more visual appeal) without sacrificing too much performance, you might consider:
Tubes Pathos Classic One/Digit
SS Bel Canto
Each is eye candy in its own way (especially the Pathos), each is small, and each sounds very good with the right speakers. I've used both with SF Cremonas with excellent results.
The Jeff Rowland Design Group's Continuum 500 is an incredible integrated amplifier with one of the best pre-amp stages possible. There's been lots of discussion here on A'gon, so I won't repeat that, but, instead, suggest that you search for reviews and comments on this forum.
Ok, why make you work? Here's a Review of the JRDG C-500:Continuum 500 Review
what about Einstein?
Just sold my Karan KA i-180 (due to downsizing for financial reasons) and can't recommend it highly enough. Assuming you like tons of power and a musical, tube-like presentation with a huge soundstage and incredible detail. Mine was a current model. It likely bests most of the "usual suspects" that are listed here, and easily beat some very expensive ($12k range), well regarded separates in my system. I was very sorry to see it go...
Another great one is the VAC Avatar Super. Have heard great things about the Lavardin IT. Might want to check out the Ensemble Fuoco: made in Switzerland with very high-dollar parts, tube linestage/SS amp, tons of power reserves (used bluebook around $4800). There are some very under-the-radar units out there, especially some of the better european brands that are not well known or unknown here. Graaf GM50b is another if you like tubes, nearly impossible to beat that unit for a tube integrated.
I have used a few of those listed above, the Lavardin IT, Karan K180 and my 4 year main amp, the Viva Solista. The latter is by a long way the best amp I have used, better than any separates. Of course it is only 22watts, but it drives my 89db speakers perfectly, mind you, they have a high impedence
Stanwal suggest the ASR Emitter,its the Exclusive B version you have to check out.
However the B would be at the top end of your budget "used".
It is solid state that doe's not sound like solid state.
The B version has many audio attributes.
DartZeel and ASR seem to be the only manufactures so far that have found solutions that are unique and evolutionary utilizing battery power for their preamp and phono stage.
Like any quality type and brand of amplification , as MOST of you know, mate it well with your speakers and you will be rewarded.
David12 recently I had the pleasure to hear a system based around the Viva Solista, very musical! with impressive looks...
Mac 2275 excellent sound, convenient to use with a wide range of inputs and outputs,remote control, no exotic tubes and an excellent phono preamp (especially with Sovetek 12AX7LPS's in the phono section). This is the heart of my base system while I fool around with other stuff experimenting with different components I always return to this system to just listen to music.
Lots of good ones out there in your price range. Here are some uniformly rated components for build quality and performance of sound: Exposure 2010, LFD Zero III,McIntosh 6300, Plinius 9200, Bryston SS100, NAIM5i and their new NS.
Perhaps Elvis has left the building.
I agree with dawgcatching. I've owned both the Graaf GM50B tube integrated and the Ensemble Fuoco hybrid, and have had pretty spectacular results with both. The key for me was to find components that had lots of system synergy, and that takes lots of trial and error (read: expensive).
My best combination to date was the Graaf GM50B integrated Driving ProAc D25, with REL Strata III sub and Meridian G08 CD player. Juicy, punchy.... ahhhhhhhh.
I don't think these have been mentioned yet:
> Audionet SAM V2
> Ayre AX-7e
> Cayin A-300B
> LSA Standard
> Simaudio Moon i-7
> Plinius 9200
> NAD T 785
> MBL 7008
> Meridian G51
> Magnum Dynalab MD309
> Classe CAP-2100
> Blue Circle BmPH
> Chord CPM 2600
> Balanced Audio Technology (BAT) VK 300-x
> PS Audio Gcc-500
> YBA Passion 300
I switched from VTL TL7.5pre + Spectron Musician IIISE to APL UA-S1, I have never been happier, its the most musical amp Ive heard, I listened to a lot of gear before going for this one including many separates.
I second the Simaudio I-7, a robust 150 wpc. And this is Sim gear, so the output is much more than your average 150 wpc. I also second the BAT 300x SE, b/c that is what I currently use, and am totally impressed with the exquisite fluidity back with 150 wpc with BAT-PAK of sound. I admit I am partial to Simuadio and BAT gear. I use the 300 SE with a Simaudio Equinox SE CDP and Dali Helicon 400 floorstanders. The I-7 runs $3300 to 4200 used, a/b $7000 new; the 300 SE ab $6500-7500 new, or $3000-3500 used. I think the I-7 and the 300 SE attest to the advancement of modern audio gear, getting away from the long standing belief that separates is the only way to go. Also, the I-7 is a dual-mono,but the BAT 300 SE is not, and still gets amazing results for its price. Also, audio guru Nelson Pass of Pass Labs is now delving into integrateds with his INT-150. Its a good time to go to integrateds, even NAD is getting some accolade for its recent M series integrated.Best of luck
If you don't need a remote, don't mind the heat of 8 KT 88s, and also want a gorgeous piece of design that puts out 60 WPC Pure Class A glorious, textured music, auto-bias, then buy the Jadis DA 88S currently on sale on A'gon. (No, I'm not selling it - although I used to own one and only wish I still did).
May I know if you have listened to both LFD Zero MkIII and Exposure 2010S? If you have, I would appreciate if you can let me know whether the Exposure would sound close to the LFD at fraction of the cost. I have listened to the LFD and found it to be an exceptional unit.
Thanks in advance.
I have listened to both.
LFD is the best "British Sound" amp there is. Will match well with speakers like Harbeth and Stirling that approximate the BBC Monitor sound. The build quality is second to none. Gene Rubin in Oxnard CA carries this line, for many years, and sells about 50 units a year.
Exposure has more tube like warmth (one writer compared it with Dynaco which is spot on) and will work well with speakers like Spendor and Neat. There is a person in Venice CA who has great history with this product, James at Sound Asylum. He is very fond of the Exposure/Neat combo.
I recently heard a Mastersound 845 Integrated in NJ which was lush,focused and highly musical. Retail price is $5795 and I am sure that you can get a reasonable discount. The 845 Reference Integrated lists at $12,500 and you could probably squeak in at about $10000 and I have heard nothing but raves about that integrated (although I have not heard it personally). In the other side of the less expensive spectrum the Primare solid state integrated is highly musical and can be had for less than $3000.
Depending on the room size and your loudspeakers I would opt for the tube Leben CS-600 at 32 watts/channel-MSRP $4,995. . If you have a reasonably efficient loudspeaker that is easy to drive, such as any Zu, any of the excellent Devore speakers, Harbeth, Green Mountain Audio Callisto, JM Reynaud Cantabile, many ProAcs, etc. Not to forget the fact that it has the best headphone output I have ever heard--bar none.
If you are looking for the best value of a great and full sounding integrated solid state the Wyred for Sound W4S STI-1000 integrated at MSRP $2,499. It has an amazingly tube-like digital amplifier based on the Bang & Olufsen ICE modules delivering 500 watts/channel @ 8 ohms and 1,000 watts/channel @ 4 ohms. There is a loop through to accomodate external crossovers and processors. Balance control and absolute phase are on tap. Needless to say, with this kind of power on tap clipping becomes a moot point.
Wyred for Sound, while not the most recognizable brand, is quite famous for building many things for PS Audio, as well as other high end brands. Connectivity is generous, with 4 pairs of high quality custom gold-plated copper alloy inputs which accept spades, bare wire, or banana connectors along with 1 set of gold-plated outputs and 1 set of Neutrik Balanced XLR inputs. Considerable burn-in time (~300 hours) is required to get the best performance.
All in all, this unit is capable of making most loudspeakers sound their best, not only in macrodynamics (which would be expected in such a powerful amp), but amazingly so in microdynamics.
The only problem with either integrated amplifier is that they don't include a phono stage. You would have to purchase that separately.
Of course, Leben makes an incredible preamplifier with a superb phono stage called the RS28CX at MSRP $5,695. If you want to match this with powerful and somehwat tube-like solid state amplifiers, the McCormack DNA-500 @ $6,995 @ 500 watts/channel into 8 ohms and 950 watts/channel into 4 ohms. The Modwright KWA-150 @ $5,995 with 150 watts/channel into 8 ohms and 250 watts/channel into 4 ohms. Also the Wyred for Sound stero amplifiers: W4S-1000 at 570 watts/channel into 8 ohms and 1,140 watts/channel into 4 ohms at MSRP $1,999. Or the Wyred for Sound W4S-500 stereo at 250 watts/channel into 8 ohms and 550 watts/channel into 4 ohms at $1,499.
Another great integrated tube amplifier with an excellent phono stage is the Audiomat Opera Reference at ~$9,000. Even though at 30 watts / channel of Class A power, the amp seems to be able to drive most anything with gusto and silkiness. This is a piece you owe it to yourself to audition.
Second the Leben. Also recommend Luxman. The 505 and 550 are great amps.