Jeff Rowland Design Group makes a wonderful integrated amplifier called the Concentra. It's like a jewel in sonics and asthetics.
18 responses Add your response
You may want to look at the NAD 317, has a little more power than the C340 which is recieving high praise. I had seperates tubes/ss and decided to simplify my life. I was very concerned about the potential loss and impact it would have on my perception of and actual impact on the sound. I was really surprised at how great the unit sounded. The 317 sounds as good as anything two and three times its price -- I think the unit retail for around $750, but you can get them for $600 new -- check out the reviews at www.audioreview.com...for the money I'm not sure you can do better. Good luck with your search.
For amps I've listened to, these sound the best to me. Solid state, Jeff Rowland. For tube, Jadis Orchestra Reference(not Orchestra!) or the DA-30. Both Jadis amps are basically the same in the power amp section(4 KT90's + 2 12AX7's), the preamp section on the Orchestra Reference is passive, on the DA-30 it is active. I prefer passive. The DA-30 costs about $2000 more. The Orchestra Reference is newer, has their new KILLER cosmetics featuring stainless steel, 24K gold plated brass, and wood. The Orchestra Reference also has bass and treble controls(they want to see if there is a desire out there for these), don't worry about the sound being affected, the preamp is PASSIVE. Why is the Orchestra Reference so much better than an Orchestra? MASSIVE transformers(compared to only "huge" in the Orchestra), better internals, cosmetics, power, bass, sound, + the cosmetics. They really should have come up with a different name to avoid the confusion with an amp that is "only" rated Class A by Stereophile. In short the Orchestra Reference beats the smaller Jadis like a rented mule.
The Classe' CAP100 (Not in production, replaced by the 150/151 has been a very nice integrated. I've run it for almost 3 years with little complaint. Sounds great! (Rega Planet/Oracle Delphi III/Magnaplanar 2.7) Very flexible, plenty of Oomff, a cover on stereophile once. I periodically think I need more, but when I listen, its all there. The only rub....If I were to upgrade, the pre-amp section is probably the weaker half of the unit.
Try YBA Integre - very accomplished piece at a fair price (true entry into serious high end). Also, I'd second Sdcampbell's recommendation of the Bryston BP60 - a fine component, from a company that stands behind its products better than just about anybody. On the low/mid end, the Arcam 7 is nice (I owned one) - the power amp section in particular is strong at the price. The preamp section I found weak though - the upgrade to Bryston BP20 blew me away.
I finaly heard the Audio refinement complete! And my conclusion is that Linn Majik is much more detailed and "neutral" sounding, if you will, than the "Complete" or Analogue "Puccini"! Analogue "Puccini" pushes the sound much forward, into the listener, compesating for lack detail! Audio refinement much more "colored" than Majik, so you may "mistaken" it for tube! But again this is just a matter of taste! Still, Linn majik offers much more detail than the competition up to 2k,and some will find it bit "dry" of a sound in the upper end