Darn good. Check out the soundstage.com review of the 383...
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The high-end integrateds are excellent products, and by eliminating a set of interconnect cables -- with all of the accompanying potential for RFI problems and other undesirable sonic issues -- they are often the equal of many pre/power combinations. However, life is never that perfect. Some integrateds -- such as the Rowland Concentra which I once owned (and loved) and the 383 (see the STEREOPHILE review) -- do not like to see low impedance speaker loads, such as anything that conisistently strays too far below 4 ohms. The Krell 500i which is basically a 250p preamp and a 250 amp on the same chassis may not have that problem, since the 250a will handle a 2 ohm load. Coda also makes an integrated which they claim has sufficient current to interface effectively with low impedance speakers. Thus, for the most part, the answer to your question depends considerably upon how loud you like your music; and what speakers you will be driving with an integrated.
Although many high end integrateds are quite good, there are problems having amp power supply inside same unit as preamp, emf distortions etc. Musical Fidelity M3 integrated
has seperate case for power supply to overcome this, so it is actually similar to pre/power amp seperates. There is a savings with one less IC and one less power cord with integrateds.
I doubt if Krell, Rowland, Plinius, Mark Levison are going to say their intgrateds are as good as their seperates.....but probably cost half as much for slightly less perfect sound. To summarize integrateds are best value,
but hard to argue they have equal sound to same companies seperates.
I have owned the ML 383 for about 6 months and I am completly happy! I replaced a Meridian 502 pre and 557 amp. I will second some of what was said in the first few posts: Check out the recent review of the ML 383 at www.sstage.com and also look at Stereophiles review. Here is a quote from an ML employee, "Sonically, it's as close as we could make it to the performance of a No.334 driven by a No.380 preamplifier," he said. "And if you fail to use the best interconnect, a No.383 will be better." (List prices 334=$5900 and 380=$6500)
I don't argue that you could surpass it's performance with some separates, but at what cost? Not to mention, there is always something better.
There are advantages to both integrates and separates. All I can say is that I am very happy with my integrated amp.
It has been mentioned that some integrated amps may not be as weighty in bass, with my speakers this is not a problem. Read what the reviews have to say, they cover this well and make your assessment.
I bought mine used and I haven't talked with the guy I bought them from in awhile, but he reluctantly sold them to fullfill his desire to own a fully active Linn system. That stated, he told me he was very happy with the ML 383 but wanted to try the Linn system. The last e-mail I had from him left me feeling quite good as I know he had well over $20,000 in replacing the ML383 and speakers he sold me and stated he was having second thoughts.
Go to this link to link to reviews: http://www.madrigal.com/MLreview.htm
I notice they have another review I have yet to read.
Sorry I cannot comment on others as I have no experience.
Integrateds are very good these days. When I was in the market for a new tube power amp, I was struck by the sound of the Jadis integrated I came across. While I was initially leary of purchasing an integrated, I could find NO better amp(int or power) at this price point($3K to $5K). Needless to say I bought it. Soon afterward I read the manufacturer's comments on the ML integrated. Their position was that unless the a perfect match was attained by the interconnect, the new integrated would be superior in sound to their equivalents separates. All that, at about half the price.
Another point I would like to bring up, when thinking of going to an integrated from separates, we have to deal with the "mental aspect". It seems some, I include myself, have to fight the mentality that we would be down grading if going to an integrated. After all, how will it look if I have an "integrated"? *grin*
If you are open to considering other solidstate integrateds, you might add the Goldmund SRI2 (appears used on the 'gon) and either of the Bow Tech integrateds to your list. Because the Virgos can sound thin in the midbass with the wrong equipment, you should not skimp on power. Both of these integrated amps would yield a warmer sound, which can ameliorate the Virgo's tendency to sound a bit clinical or dry. My recommendation would be the SRI2 for its speed and musicality.