Integrated & Tuner or Amp & Tuner-preamp?

From a design standpoint, in general, which combo is better sonically? Going to surprise dad for Father's Day with an upgrade for his 1978 McIntosh 4100 receiver to pair with his newly-purchased B & W 703's, as he'd appreciate a remote and the 4100 produces a thin, punchy bass and narrow soundstage. I'd like to spend $2,000 or less on the combo (entertainment center has room for only two pieces), including phono. Specifically, I have targeted either NAD 372 integrated + C 422 tuner or Anthem PVA 2 amp + TLP 1 tuner/preamp (both need phono preamp). Each seems reasonably detailed yet restrained enough (at my price) to complement the slightly cool/forward 703's. He listens to classical and jazz. Thoughts on the aforementioned equipment or alternative suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
To answer your question directly ... I would go with an integrated and a separate tuner, as there are just more choices in excellent integrateds, than excellent preamp/tuner combinations. With that said, I would reconsider the NAD 372, which just received a bad review (2 of 5 stars) from What Hi Fi (British magazine). What Hi Fi are usually big NAD fans and they normally give just about every component at least 4 stars, so 2 stars is a warning.

My first suggestions are built around Musical Fidelity components.

Option #1. Consider the Musical Fidelity A3.2 integrated . Elegant sounding, nice looking, well built, pairs well with B&W and you can pick it up for about $1300 from Upscale Audio. If you do contact Upscale, you can also inquire about the MF A308 integrated, which is a stunning sounding integrated and may still be in your "entire budget" price range. Read on, there is a method to what I am suggesting.

Most tuners today (unless you start talking your entire budget) would not compare favorably to the tuner that resides in your dad's McIntosh receiver (McIntosh was considered the top tuner back then). Musical Fidelity makes a nice tuner to match the A3.2 integrated (and I have thought about purchasing it myself), but you could also use your dad's McIntosh as an input to the new integrated amp (simple connection ... connect the McIntosh's TAPE OUT to the integrated's TUNER INPUT).

The benefit of this approach is that you could:

1. spend your full budget on an integrated
2. spend the difference (between the MF A3.2 and $2000) on a nice pair of headphones and headphone amp (Sennheiser HD580 and a Creek OBH-11 would cost about $400 at Audio Advisor). This is a nice, over the top extra that you dad would really enjoy.

Option #2. If you are open to keeping the McIntosh in service, here is another consideration. Musical Fidelity has introduced a well reviewed series of half sized components ... the X-series. Your budget could probably handle the X-150 integrated amplifier (100 wpc and built-in phono) and the X-Ray CD player. Both components would sit side by side on a shelf.

Option #3. Have you considered tubes? Assuming the same basics as above, Upscale Audio is also the sole US distributor for Prima Luna products. The Prima Luna Prologue Two integrated ($1345) has a phono board option ($160). For more information,
click here .

I also wrote a review of the Prologue Two ... click here . In 35 years of being immersed in this hobby, I have not enjoyed a piece of equipment more than the Prima Luna ... I am wildly pleased about it.

Disclaimer section ... I used the MF A3 integrated in my main system for about a year before changing over to a MF CD PRE 24 (cd player/preamp) and a MF A300CR power amp. If I could have found a matching A3 cd player (gold finish) to go with the integrated, I would have gone that route. I also use a vintage Marantz 2216B receiver as a tuner in this system.

I have just recently purchased the Prima Luna Prologue Two for use in my 2 channel HT system. Stunning value. I have had great dealings with Upscale Audio ... Kevin is a great guy.

Regards, Rich
Thanks, Rich: I will soon go to a dealer near me to hear the Musical Fidelity pieces!