Integrated Amp or Separates for Vandersteen 1'cs

Hi, I am looking to replace an old JVC 80watt per channel receiver to complement my Vandersteen 1c’s.                 My hearing has diminished in the higher frequencies and my listening room is 10ft x13ft x 8ft ceiling I should add. The music I like to listen to is jazz, vocals, instrumental, classical, and 50’s 60’s70’s pop-rock on albums and cd’s.  Not at high volumes, I am trying to preserve what hearing I have left.  I have auditioned Nad C368, Rotel A-14 and Rega Elex-R at a dealer who had them hooked up to Vandersteen 1’s. Listening to an album by Shelby Lynne Just a Little Lovin. The nad did not bring out the mid’s (drumstick tap) like the other two amps and vocals were not as full. The Rotel sounded pretty close to the Rega but it was at ¾ of its volume where the Rega was only 1/3rd or so and it is made in China. My question is can I do better than the Rega for the money? Marantz pm8006? Anything else? separates? I was interested in listening to the Rogue Sphinx v3 and Shiit Raganor 2 (how do they compare to each other and the Rega) but no one around here has them. Also interested in Shiit Freya+ with what amp with Balanced connections to pair with? Are balanced connections really better for short runs of 1ft or 2?

Thank you.


I would look at the Belles Aria Integrated amplifier. My dealer is a Vandersteen dealer and has shown it with most of the Vandersteen's up to the Treo CT's. Sounds great with the 1C's. List is $2,295.  Good Luck!
The dealers don't have any of those amps but I am going to audition a Total RA 1572 Tomorrow.   I wonder why no one else is commenting on my post? 

Given your situation I would lean toward a integrated amplifier. I have not heard the one you have listened to but have heard that the Belles Aria is a good match with the 1Cs. Given your room size and listening levels you do not need more than 50wpc. 

Good luck in your search and keep us posted.
The Rega is a solid choice. I have the bigger brother - Rega Elicit-R and I've thoroughly enjoyed it for the last three years. I've had many different integrated amps and separates, including both tube and solid state. I'm perfectly happy with the Rega.