don't do tubes, sounds to me you want to push the button and let it roll, well, with the speakers you have the rotel should be great , but a great amp for the music you listen to is a musical fideltiy 3.5 ....you can get one for around a 1000 and you can spend the other to upgrade speakers or buy music or cables, this is a solid performer or the 3cr series mono dual amp is rock solid at 700 to 800 , good listening....also a speaker that goes well with them is vandersteen 1c rock lives
I was going to recommend MF, will second. Tubes are not what comes to mind for the type of music you like.
suggest a Pass Labs X150....solid state design, bullet proof built, lots of detail and dynamics....would fit the music you like very well....this is a discontinued model but they appear on this forum for around $1500 and never last long when listed.
A third vote for MF but I would try either the A308 or the A5 with your budget. The additional power over the A3.5 will benefit your 4ohm speakers.
Agree w/ the MF recommendations, although it would be a shame not to consider the Naim NAIT 5i or the Creek 5350se - both easily found used at around half your budget. Use the difference toward your speaker upgrade later.
Blue Circle CS. One for sale on agon, another just sold.
Pre-amp section always on standby, so just hit the power switch & you're up & running. Very good sound from a small box.
Don't let the low price fool you.
if you like rock and roll....i'm going to assume you like it played loud every once in a while...like myself,i like a room filled with music...had bought the creek 5350se off agon and found i had to turn it up way to much to get the desired effect of a room filled with music..after two days of this i put it back in the box and rehooked my yamaha receiver back up...which i don't care for...have since replaced ...
i would go for the MF as well...
Plinius 8200 MKII would be a great choice - it handles any music extremely well.
I had the 1062, and upgraded to Rogue Cronus. I am pleased.
I'll take flak for this even though I am no longer associated with LSA Group;
The LSA Integrated is REALLY GOOD for the money...especially used!
Thanks for all these responses. I will look into the Musical Fidelity amps since they come so highly recommended. Can anyone tell me what the difference is between the A308 and the A5? Also, are there any good hybrid integrateds out there? I know Blue Circle makes a couple. Maybe that would give me the warmth of tubes I'm looking for with solid state power...
Unison Unico are very nice hybrid amps. I use it for mostly Jazz, but occasional rock. I got tired of the ear fatigue with my Rotel seperates, and so decided on a Tube hybrid. You can usually find an 80W version here for under a grand. Do a search on them.
jolida 1501 used,,,,500 to 600 dollars...also a good contact is underwoodhif.com, he usually has them on demo or you can find plenty on sale on gon, i owned one with vandersteen speakers and it rocked.....100watts tube pre amp, hybrid, remote and looks goods , weighs like a tank and sounds great...no brainer.....hybrid...i also like the unison....either one is good, but the jolida is more beefy where the unison is a little more detailed, jolida rocks in hybrid for rock...
Sinisterporpoise68, the A5 is a later MF model than the A308. It delivers 250 w/ch into 8 ohms compared to 150 w/ch by the A308 along with higher peak to peak current. On the plus side for the A308, it provides both mm and mc phono input as opposed to just mm on the A5. They are both excellent amps and would have no problems driving most any speakers so won't be a problem when you decide to upgrade speakers.
Thanks Hens. It looks like the A5 is the better option then. Looks better too. Could you tell me, does the A5 have any way of changing speaker balance? My current speakers are slightly unbalanced (either that, or my hearing is). Also, does it have a standby mode so that you're not turning it completely off all the time?
Unfortunately, the answer to both questions is "no". There is no balance control, although this not so unusual - this is a very rare feature on integrateds these days. I don't find the power on/off much of an issue - the amp doesn't get hot and doesn't take long to get up to running temp when switched on from cold and sounds excellent from cold anyway.