Within your budget you might want to try a used Cary SLI-80 or if you prefer new Cayin might be a good option. Elusive disc is very good to work with and they sell Cayin.
Vincent is playing through very recently acquired pair of ProAc DT8's before that Monitor Audio Gold's. The amp has a tube preamp section, a total of 3 tubes, and a solid-state output. The amp is slightly on the warm side as you said you like. Tube preamp section. It has a solid and tight low end, images very well and is transparent enough to let you hear the subtleties of whatever music you're playing. For me, it was a good choice and feel I got a lot of amp for the cost. Solid engineering with an excellent build. Doesn't get the big reviews in the large magazines like others but a very good integrated that will hold it's own against anything out there today.
I have similar music tastes, and two amps that I have owned & loved were the Hegel H160 and the PS Audio Stellar Gain/S300 combo.
Not tubes of course, but both are on the warm side of neutral, very dynamic, great bass, and plenty of juice for your speakers.
The only reason I moved on from the Hegel, was the built-in DAC was just mediocre. If that's not an issue for you, then I would try Hegel. The H160 has been recently discontinued, so prices are a steal right now. Find a verified dealer & you'll still get their 3 year warranty.
I would seriously look at the Hegel H160 then. By no means is its’ DAC a slouch, I just prefer the PS Audio. For Apple Music, the Hegel will get the job done, and sound great. If you're able to connect an ethernet cable to the Hegel, you can stream Apple Music via Airplay as well.
And of course, vinyl playback through the Hegel is excellent. Be aware though, that there are only two analog inputs (1 balanced, 1 unbalanced).
I have on the Cary and it does a nice job but not the Cayin but it is a Stereophile recommended component and fits your budget. Both units are tubed so you would have to deal with the heat and maintenance associated with them.
.....i mixed sound for a Punk / Rockabilly band. ( pretty much dominated by two stacked 4x10 Ampeg cabinets. )...lets just say the stacked LaScala PA struggled to keep up . so i may have an inkling of what it sounds like...
And i listen to REM and what i might call polite punk Talking heads..But not with your speakers...and I like Bob, and Toots, and some obscure stuff that comes over Bluesound Radio out of Kingston....so I dunno, you can judge spitballing as you say....
amps that I have heard that do well with that sort of thing in my various system or systems I get exposure to..
Odyssey Stereo amp ( really a steal ) running Vandersteen 2ce sig
Van Alstine 30 watt tube ( Dyna ST70 on steriods ) running Cornwall
MC240 running Apogee Stage now Vandersteen 1ci, love Burnin and Heads 77 on this BTW
I can heartily second the vote for a Hegel h160 or a h300.
Both have the Hegel house sound and plenty of current and grip to spare.
I used the h300 on a set of focal 807v as well. Superb imaging and mid bass was extremely full.
Just one point on the h160, it actually has 3 analog inputs not 2. The ht input can be configured as a normal extra analog input from the remote.
I found the inbuilt DAC on the Hegel were more than adequate and considering these 3800 and 5500 new units can now be had for 1700 to 2200 is a killer deal.
I wish there was a “like” button here. Some really good suggestions. @uberwaltz I’m definitely to look more at the Hegel. You’re the second to recommend and you have had them with my speakers so that put them higher on the list.
so much more to research haha. Awesome. My OCD is in overdrive.
to those who suggested Hegel, how would you suggest the Hegel house sound?
You are welcome gochurchgo.
btw the Focal Chorus 807v are excellent speakers that punch WELL above their pricepoint imho.
I was still using mine with 12k of electronics behind it and still did not feel they were embarrassed but I came across a pair of Wilson Witt at a very good price which are what I am using now.
The Focals should last you for many years with some good clean power to drive them
I have a pair of Nuforce Ref 9 V3 SE mono amps that now have the awesome TDSS Level 3 upgrades in it. Paid $1400 for the pair originally used and the Level 3 is out of your budget. But Bob Smith at TDSS does offer a Level 1 upgrade for $1000 for the pair that improves the sound of the already very fine Ref 9’s to a new level. Read the testimonials about the TDSS mods. 100% of the owners have raved about the improved sound. The Ref 9’s already have great drive in the bass with a touch of the sound of tubes in the mids. The highs have great detail without ever becoming harsh. The TDSS mods make them even greater. I’ve heard my Level 3 upgrades in 5 different systems with speakers such as VMPS RM40’s, Sonus Faber Futuras, a Bill Dion suped up pair of Tekton Double Impacts, and 2 different speakers that Bob Smith at TDSS made that are very dynamic and detailed. In all these different speakers and systems, the Ref 9’s with TDSS upgrades were spectacular in all ways towards recreating the sound of live music, BUT...with no listener fatigue. The bass in all were incredible--deep, with great definition and power. To stop listening is the one MAJOR problem. It’s hard to do--you know, one more cut, just one more. The Ref 9’s are 175 watts /ch. prior to the mods and they increase in power depending on which upgrade you get.
So, I’m looking for an amplifier (separates or integrated) that has the current needed to round out the sound.@gochurchgo I'm suspecting that is not the case. The amp you have right now is able to act as a voltage source on your speakers. The way you describe it sounds like its more of a room problem. Have you tried moving the speakers a bit? For example, if you move them closer to the wall behind them, you will get more bass reinforcement. It may also be that if you shorten your speaker cables that you will get more impact. You might also try auditioning different cables as well, as they can have an effect.
I would certainly exhaust easy and inexpensive things like this first before buying another amp! If you're on a budget, the last thing you need is to find that you've not solved the problem with the next amp...
Also just a FWIW: electronics really don't care what sort of music you play. The idea that there is a certain amp or speaker out there that is best for a certain kind of music is a persistent myth.
The way you describe it sounds like its more of a room problem. Have you tried moving the speakers a bit?OMG yes. Every way I can even if it was an idiotic arrangement for a living room. I did everything but glue speakers to the ceiling. The biggest difference was starting the speakers 30" from the front wall and moving backwards in 2" increments. The thing is that I have a wall 3' on the left side of the left speaker but the right wall is 22' away (dining room). I know this drastically affects things but there's no way to fix that.
Also, I had read that if you stand directly between the 2 speakers you'll hear what they are putting out and then you need to make changes to their position to get that same sound in the sitting position. The hole in my midbass is evident when standing between the speakers.
They are easy to drive but the impedance curve drops to just above 4 ohms in that frequency range. The Stereophile review was done using a 100wpc tube amplifier so I have been looking at more power to fill in the holes.