I highly recommend the Lyngdorf TDAI 2170 integrated amp. I know some tube lovers that got this amp and have not looked back, including me. Best integrated that I have heard. It has state of the art Room Correction, Dac, sounds great at all volumes, no interconnects needed. Silky smooth highs/midrange and kickin bass. Its a must listen in my opinion.
I had a Creek 4330 for years. Actually I still have it and stored it before using it to build an office system. My system now has an Ayre integrated.
My current Ayre is definitely a step up from the Creek, but they have 20 years of difference between when they were manufactured and are at different price points.
Ayre will be coming out with the unit to replace the AX-7e soon, and I imagine many will hit the used market soon.
Thus, if you want new I think creek is a great way to go, if used is OK, you might consider picking up an AX-7e.
Ps Creek has excellent customer service. My volume Pot developed a problem after about 15 years. After trying various sources and being unsuccessful, I called Creek and they said they'd look through their old stuff, and call back in a few days. They did, I did, and they sent me the part for free except for shipping.
The Lyngdorf 2170 is absolutely wonderful. It is far more than an integrated amp however. No need for a dac either. The room correction is state of the art and a game changer. I replaced $18,000 worth of top rated separates and wire with it. Sounds better! Sleeper in this country, but the real deal.
This is a very special piece utilizing innovative technology not seen in any other piece of gear. Before you buy try one out and you will smile.
Neal at Sound Science is your man.
I just purchased the Classe Sigma 2200i integrated not long ago. Steroophile gave it an “A” rating and I’m ver happy with it. I’m looking forward to using the room equalization features, but can’t speak to the quality of the onboarrd DAC.
The amplifier section is identical to the highly regarded Classe CA-D200.
Classe claims it isn’t standard Class D, and they designed their own amplifier. They have a white paper out that explains the technical details. Also, look at the Stereophile review to get some insight. I bought a used demo so I got a good price. I’m coming from a Mcintoshe preamp and amplifier and I like the sound of the Classe better, especially since I listen to digital exclusively.
I remember listening to McIntosh 30+ years ago and was blown away. It was a Crown and McIntosh combo driving a combination of JBL horns and 15" woofers in custom designed cabinets (my friend was an Electrical Engineer who later owned a recording studio -- he got me into the audiophile world). I’ll look at some of the Classe reviews again. If it beats McIntosh, well ...
However, I have a couple of analog inputs so I need to consider that as well.
Again, thanks Audiogon community for the input. Much appreciated.