Integrated Amp Question for a Newbie to the Forum

Hello Audiogon Community!

First time posting to this forum. I’m somewhat of a novice when it comes to hifi audio gear. I’m looking to replace a busted McIntosh MX110 preamp and an outgoing MC225 amp and have been looking to consolidate and upgrade to an integrated amp. My current setup is:

• Jolida JD9 II phono preamp

• Pro-ject 2Xperience Classic Turntable 

• Monitor Audio Silver RX6 Floor speakers 

• CD player to buy soon

• Streaming player to buy soon

For the integrated amplifier, I’ve heard a lot of good things about -

Luxman L-509X and L-590AXII

Hegel H390 and H590

Mark Levinson 5805

McIntosh 7200

We play everything from rock to jazz to R&B, hip hop and everything in between. I’m looking to keep the integrated amp in the sub 10k range and will eventually add the streaming player (I hear good things about the Lumin T2 and the Lynn Selekt) and the CD player. 

Do you all have any recos on what you think would sound good with the setup I have? We like a dynamic and warm sound. Appreciate any advice!



Showing 18 responses by fourminutesong

Ah good to know. Do you think the models I've mentioned are overkill or worth pursuing given the system I have?
I've actually sent he MX110 back to Audio Classics where I bought it from many years back. As for the Jolida, it's a nice preamp for the TT. If the integrated amp's phono preamp is superior I'll just just that directly but may wind up keeping it and using a line level input with the Jolida still in play. That may work?

I don't listen to a lot of mono recordings so if I'm understanding your note I think I'll be ok? Your knowledge runs deep! Thank you
Thanks for the intel on Bluesound and Innuous! Will look into it!
What do you all hear on the lumin T2? A friend of mine has it and says it’s pretty outstanding as a streamer.
I was afraid of that. What kind of JBL's/
Thanks! I've heard of the BAT gear but not the Exposure. Will check them both out! Keep em coming!
There's a dealer in Los Gatos (Basil Audio) that has the Luxman. He actually says they're all spoken for but can order one to be here in a few weeks. 
Yeah, I was looking at the H390 last night as well. I like the price point and it seems like it may be a decent match for my system? The money I save I could put toward a great streamer like the Lumin T2.
Awesome advice, thanks geof3. Sorry for the newbie question, but what does the Class A amp get you vs an AB, etc? Haven't looked much into Pass but will now. What made you trade the Hegel in for the pass? 
How would you describe the sound of the Pass vs the Hegel? I'm coming from old McIntosh gear and play guitar out of old tube amps so I "believe" I'm inclined to warmth and tight bass but I'm just learning all this nomenclature as well. 
What about B&W speakers under 3k? Do those match well with the same amps? Open to upgrading the speakers and the amp at the same time. 
These look pretty nice.

Would they pair better with the Hegel or the Luxman? Or something else?
Ah great advice. I do like the MA’s. Sounds like the new Silvers or Gold would be a worthwhile upgrade. 

As far as neutral goes, do you find that’s a desirable sound profile? I’m just getting into the differences between neutral, warm and bright. Coming from MAC tube amps, I imagine I’d lean more toward a warm sound but don’t know that I’ve really ever heard neutral. How would you describe the difference? And is there a speaker that tilts more warm with these kinds of amps?

So many things to consider. :-)
Thanks, yyzsantabarbara. Good to know you're a fan of the 585 too. Seems like Class A amps put out a bit more power and may sound a bit warmer. Overgeneralization? 

On another note, I'm curious what you all think are the quality music streamers out there. A buddy of mine has the Lumin T2 that he swears by where I see a ton of reviews for the Naim Uniti Atom as well. Others say the Lynn Selekt is great. 

I've just started exploring the premium service with Tidal which sounds great and I"ve heard good things about Roon but haven't tried it yet myself. But having something that can also stream the 300GB of personal music I have ripped is great too.

What do you all recommend with that in mind? Appreciate any advice as always. Cheers
Hi Everyone, I wanted to say thanks for all the great advice here. After a lot of research, reviews and talking to several gear shops, I wound up going with the Hegel H390 after all as well as the Bluesound Node 2i. Just installed everything last night and am really enjoying it. I feel like music has opened up in surprising new ways. As a newbie to this kind of HiFi, I am now starting to understand some of the lingo through listening with noticing a different kind of sound stage and music coming from sort’ve a black space (not sure if I’m saying that right). 

One thing I found surprising and delightful about the amp is how clean and focused the music signal is (as best I can describe it). I had gotten used to so much dissonance and hiss behind my music that it was shocking to here no hiss in the signal at all even while increasing the volume. And yes noticing so many characteristics and nuances that I hadn’t before. I have to say listening to the Master recording of The Beatles Rubber Soul album on Tidal was amazing. Then to some Massive Attack. Then to Johnny Hartman and everything in between. 

It’s only day 2 but I find the amp has plenty of presence, punch and warmth. I’m curious to see how it opens up while it breaks in. I’ve heard that can be an exciting process. 

So, just wanted to say thanks again. As a buddy of mine said, the journey of finding the right equipment for you is half the fun. It will take you to new and exciting places and open your mind to a myriad of possibilities.