Integrated amplifier search


I’m currently using a Parasound Halo Integrated.  The rest of my system consists of Clearwave Definition Be loudspeakers, VPI Traveler turntable, and Parasound T3 tuner.  Most of my critical listening is done from my iPhone into the DAC of the Parasound.

i very much enjoy the Integrated, but I’m curious if there is something in a smaller package that offers the same functionality and quality as the Parasound.  For a while, I looked carefully at the Peachtree Nova 150.  It’s intriguing, but I’m concerned I won’t maintain the level of sound quality I have now. 

Any thoughts on other Integrateds I should consider?
s7horton
Kinki Studios EX M1. I love mine. 
I’d recommend upgrading your source first. An iPhone isn’t a great source and the DAC of the Halo Integrated is definitely the weakest section of the unit. 
while I can appreciate where you are coming from, searching for another Integrated isn’t about upgrading.  I want to maintain the sonic quality I have now (which I quite like - regardless of system quality there will always be a weak link somewhere), but reduce the foot print of my Integrated.
there is a some integrateds that are smaller with the same functionality or even more features, but the question is can anything match the Halo in sound quality or performance? I have no idea on that. I have the Creek Evolution 100A integrated with the built in Ruby DAC. I think it sounds great, has good erganomics , functions, user friendly and is very small/sleek or has the footprint you are looking for. 
For small footprint and lots of features packed in with great sound you could consider the Naim Uniti Nova but the price is higher.  I don't think you'll find the Peachtree giving you as good SQ as the Parasound Halo.
The Naim is a great suggestion.  That seems like it might be right up my alley as far as specs and size goes.  Price is a little higher than I’m hoping for though.

ive not owned Naim gear before, but I know it’s well reviewed.  I supposed I’m somewhat open to pre amp and power amp combo to help with size, but I always feel like I get better value with an integrated.


Half-size Small footprint integrated amps that will contend with your current amp audio performance 

CYRUS ...various models ...

- Prior models ....CYRUS 8A
https://www.whathifi.com/cyrus/8a/review

- Current product line 82 DAC
https://www.cyrusaudio.com/category/integrated-amplifiers/
Schiit Bifrost multibit, Schiit Saga pre and Schiit Vidar amp. About $1,650 all together and it would have the small form factor you are after, provide multiple upgrade paths for the future and likely be a considerable upgrade from your present setup. Also get the powered version of the Apple camera adapter (usb3) and if you place lossless files on your phone, it will surprise you. Streaming Tidal hifi from your phone to this setup may surprise the heck out of you. Good luck.
Just a word of warning on going with Naim, you will open up a Pandora's box of  specialty cables and accessories that are not transferable to any other brand. Naim uses their own DIN cables FYI. 
Sound quality aside Naim doesn't play well with others so to speak. you need cables that convert from Naim DIN to RCA for example. So unless you going down that path hard I'd say stay away. This is from my own personnel experience. That's Said its sound quality- ease of use is top notch. 
Glennewdick, completely not true. The Naim Uniti takes regular rca cables in addition to din cables. 

Most of the Naim models until you get into the much higher products use RCA cables. 

In the case of the Naim Uniti Atom, it has digital inputs, rca inputs and takes ethernet in, add to that Aptx Blue Tooth, Goodle Chromecast, and Apple Airplay it is is very unlikly you will run out of connections.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Naim Dealer


Norma Audio has a new half-sized integrated that hasn't made it up on their website yet - the HS IPA-1.  It has options for built-in DAC or Phono as well.
+1 on the Naim Uniti Nova suggestion. I happen to own the Nova for my bedroom setup. It’s highly musical sounding unit. Great all-in-one box solution that does not compromise sound quality and musicality. It is a digital streamer/DAC/integrated amp all in a single box that does not take up much space. Has built-in Tidal streaming app. Very convenient. Great sounding streamer and DAC. Naim makes excellent digital streamer/DAC.

And the Nova has regular RCA stereo inputs, DIN and digital inputs. Even the Naim Statement NAC S1 linestage preamp and the Naim Statement NAP S1 monoblock amps have both regular XLR stereo inputs as well as DIN.

@s7horton
The Naim Uniti Nova will sound better and more musical than your Parasound Halo Integrated. Not in the same league. With the Naim Uniti Nova you will get much better sounding digital front end source components (much better streamer DAC) than the ones you have now. I highly recommend the Nova.
Naim and Parasound aren’t in the same league at all. The amplifier section of the Nova is class AB.
And do not get easily fooled by the Nova’s low power output of only 80 wpc @ 8 ohms. This is a quality amplification current. I’m not saying that your Parasound HINT is bad, no, Parasound Halo line makes very good amplifiers especially for the money but not on the same level of quality, musicality and refinements as Naim.
Caphill, thanks for the feedback, exactly what I was looking for.  I don’t have any Naim dealers near me so I either need to drive a ways, or wait for a used one to pop up.  I doubt they show up used often if they are new.

the Parasound does have a nice power amp, but with my 4 ohm speaker, I would think the Uniti would be rated closer to 140-150 wpc.
I have a Peachtree Nova 300.  If you want all the bells and whistles, a lot of power, a small and attractive unit that sounds good, it's worth checking out. 

I recently purchased a Heed Elixir, and am very happy with it.  No bells or whistles other than a MM phono pre.  It's relatively small and to my ears sounds better than the Peachtree.  Stereophile has a review that I think is spot on.

I haven't heard the Halo, so can't comment on whether I would prefer either of these to it, but I am familiar with the Parasound "house sound" and if it sounds like what I've heard from Parasound in the past, either of these integrateds might be an improvement to your ears.  Go audition them if you can.
a good friend of mine has the nad d7050, which i think you can get for around $500--i've had bad luck with nad in the past, but this unit was pretty impressive. and small.
I'd stay away from any NAD now. Reliability has gone down. Really a shame, I've owned several from the 80s and they were wonderful. The company is definitely not what it used to be, sadly.

Tom

@s7horton

The Naim Uniti Nova is capable of handling low impedance loads with no problem. In my bedroom setup I have the Nova, first I had it paired with the B&W 805 D3 standmount speakers and now with the Sonus Faber Olympica 1 standmount speakers, which are rated 4 ohm nominal impedance and with speaker sensitivity of 87 db. 
The Nova paired really well with both speakers and both pairings sounded very musical.
The dealer 2.5 hours from me has the nova on demo. I could go listen there. I don’t follow audiogon nearly like I used to, do they ever pop up used?
If you’re serious about the peachtree, I would consider buying it from crutchfield. They have a 60 day return policy and a flat $10 return shipping fee. Well worth the $10 dollars if you ask me not to drive 2 1/2 hours. It worth the gas alone.  Plus, you can audition it at home.  Draw back is that the amp will not be burned in. 
Speaking of Peachtree, they just came out with a new 500 watt integrated.  It has the new ESS 9028 PRO DAC built in.  I believe the Nova 300 and 150 have the older 9018s. 
@s7horton

If you’re lucky you can find a used Naim Uniti Nova in used markets. You should demo the Naim Uniti Nova with your speakers and cables. You can probably bring your speakers with you to the store to audition the Naim Nova with. 
High quality with small footprint.
Nagra. Bel Canto. 

Dare I mention the (gasp) Sony TA-A1ES? Paid $1200 for a demo. It has a sweet class A sound, solid engineering, weighs 37.5 pounds, and comes from a company with deep pockets. Look at the speaker terminals and note they are about as good as it gets. I bet that a lot of "audiophiles" would choose it if they were blindfolded.
I've heard the Sony TA-A1ES and it is good for its price point but it isn't on the same level as the Naim Uniti Nova in terms of sound quality and musicality. 
There’s really nothing out there that packs equal power and features in a smaller footprint, especially for the price of the Halo. Parasound keeps pulling rabbits out of the hat when it comes to value/$. Just look at their new $599 phono stage. Where else can one find a brand new, American- engineered phono stage with all that adjustability and for that price?

There are smaller and better sounding integrateds at this price point, but none match the Halo’s versatility.

My recommendation is the Exposure 3010S2, with the DAC and Phono modules, though you’d have to give up bass management and tone controls. Anyhow, the Halo isn’t that big compared to most of the popular integrateds in the current market. It’s downright compact compared to many. I would adjust your rack/shelf space rather than adjust the footprint of the amp. Or you can become a serious audiophile and get a tube amp.

I’m willing to go up in price.  My wife has tolerated my audio habit long enough and I don’t listen critically nearly as much as I use to, so going down in size is no problem for me.  The Sony has intrigued me for a while.  I don’t remember if it has a DAC or not.

The Naim is still the attention grabber for me.  Super high quality engineering, good resale, and great reviews.  I’m hoping to find a dealer that is willing to work with me since there isn’t one close.
I’m willing to go up in price.  My wife has tolerated my audio habit long enough and I don’t listen critically nearly as much as I use to, so going down in size is no problem for me.  The Sony has intrigued me for a while.  I don’t remember if it has a DAC or not.
The Sony sounds about identical to the Halo. I've owned both and compared them back to back. The big difference is that the Sony pretty much petered out once my 88db sensitivity speakers approached 90db. 

The strength of the Sony is its performance at low volume levels. That and it's a better value proposition when only SQ is considered. 

I would think the Naim Supernait2 would be a better choice than the Unti Nova - where SQ is concerned. A lot of the Nova's price comes from the steaming/network/DAC hardware. 

If your system is mostly for background music, might as well save your money and get Sonos. 

If you really want to hear what 2-channel music at its best, get a tube amp. Owning one should be on every audiophile's bucket list. 
Recommend considering the Rotel A14 Integrated Amp. Current technology with a good DAC, Phono, bluetooth, etc. Excellent sounding with 80 watts into 8 ohms. Adequate power for moderate size room (15 x24'). I purchased one about 6 weeks ago. Very happy.
Coming at this from a wife's perspective, she probably just doesn't want something that looks ugly or like a typical audio component staring back at her.  I get it.  In this vein, I'd look at the Devialet 120 or Micromega M100, both of which are available here now.  While they are still 15" - 17" wide, they are only about 1.5" to 2" high, respectively, and they are both unobtrusive, attractive, and do not look like traditional audio components.  And, most importantly, I think both may actually provide sonic improvements over your Halo Integrated.  Best of luck. 
I’ve had tubes before. Anthem pre amp, pathos classic one, and antique sound labs integrated. I’m sure I’m missing a couple. They didn’t do much for me and I’m convinced good solid state gear can go toe to toe with tubes.

I appreciate all all the suggestions. I’m feeling like the Naim is just more than I want to spend and opening myself up to separates as far as a DAC is concerned may give me lots more options.

I’d say at this point I’m more interested in class A (Luxman, again?) or class A/B in lieu of class d.
I keep hearing about NAD reliability issues. I've had several NAD pieces with absolutely ZERO problems.
I’ve had tubes before. Anthem pre amp, pathos classic one, and antique sound labs integrated. I’m sure I’m missing a couple. They didn’t do much for me and I’m convinced good solid state gear can go toe to toe with tubes.

Best of luck then. I've yet to hear any SS (even megabuck SS) that can truly match a halfway decent tube amp. If you're looking for SS that can match/exceed tubes, pieces like the Halo aren't even within a stone's throw. Stuff from the likes of Pass can get somewhere in the ballpark.


What about the new NAD D 3045 product? 
I landed on a Micromega M100 with MARS room correction.  A little bigger in size than I had hoped, but checks every other box.  Plus I can hang it on the wall vertically if I want.  It arrives Monday, I’m excited to fire it up.
Sent you a pm today. 

Rogue Sphinx.   No ones mentioned here,,,,really a great piece,