Integrated amp selection

I have a 2.1 system with Martin Logan Motion 35XTi speakers and Dynamo 800x sub. My sources are streaming [Bluesound NODE] and playing CDs, and don’t need phono stage or headphones jack. I am looking for an integrated amp upgrade from the current one which is NAD c316bee. My preference is sound quality and analog simplicity such as AVA Set 120 control amp, Rega Brio, MF M2si [or higher models,] Naim Nait 5si….these days it is difficult to demo audio equipment in person and I would appreciate any advice about the listed [or any additional] integrated amp choices. I manly listen to jazz and classical music and ML speakers are fairly easy to drive [92db/4ohms] so I don’t need particularly powerful amp. Thanks


how big is your space?

If your existing SS is working, now is the easiest time to try/compare tubes. Your efficient speakers make it easier to try low power, not just lower cost, but less heat, size, weight, and more placement options.

how much power? Based on prior tube amps, I tend to think around 30 wpc, however I am very pleasantly surprised by the combo of my smallest tube amp ever, Luxman SQ150N: 10 wpc/6 ohms, and least efficient speakers ever, wharfedale diamond 225’s, 87 db. Plenty volume for my office, which is why I asked how large a space you have. My friend drives 'not too efficient' speakers with 8 wpc monos, no subs, also 10 x 12 sized space.

you also have the advantage that you are sending the hard work off to the self-powered sub, so a low powered amp can make a lot of mids and highs easily.

new or used?

I would find something that truly appealed to me, used, returns accepted, ask questions, try, keep or return it.

Thanks for you’re replies and input, my space is 14x17’ and ceiling is 9.’ Will look into tube amps which was not on my radar.

The Martin Logan 35xt (the previous version) was also listed as 92db sensitivity.  However, actual tests revealed that it was just under 87db.  A 4ohm speaker with a sensitivity of 87db needs about 3x the power to produce the same volume as a speaker that is truly 92db.  


This may be outside your price range but Audio Research recently released the i50. An integrated tube amp of Audiophile quality with 50 watts per channel… it’s sound quality is extraordinary, natural and detailed. In the high end audio world this drops the performance typical of this component from $10K to $5K, very amazing.

Another integrated to consider would be a used. Parasound  Hint Halo, it basically has everything you need and is great sounding.

Yes, my budget is about $1,500 but with some flexibility if I find something that is worth the price but still want to stay within reason and the proportion of the value of my speakers system.