Vintage Marantz and Sansui...Marantz 2250 for sale on this site ( new today ) ..Could work real well...
16 responses Add your response
Familiar with all three, I prefer the NAD and owned 2 pairs of the 370 integrated at one time. The NAD is more full bodied and has delicate highs. In my experience the Adcom has tighter but thinner bass while the rotel can become fatiguing with the wrong speakers, again based on my experience. The adcom was amp/and pre (I think 545 II or something like that) Rotel was amp only can't recall the model but had the heat sinks on the front...
The NAD is a safe bet.
Agree with Bokfudo. NAD makes exceptional stuff. I have a 3020-based amp that has been problem free for 20 years.
Here are some systems that sound fantastic on a budget. I have built these for my children, auditioned them or I own them.
iPod with a Blue Sky Audio EXO--$300. Dynamic and slays anything at this price. Available through Guitar Center.
iPod with Audioengine 2s--$200
Cambridge 340 A ($200)
NAD C372 Amp ($800)
1) Paradigm Atoms Speakers ($200)
2) DALI Lector 1s ($400)
3) Skiing Ninja Mods of AV123 ($900)
Sony Playstation 1 $40
Oppo 980 $169
NAD 525 $300
Rega P1 tt ($400)
Bellari 129 phono stage ($250)
Right now Audio Advisor has the Cambridge 640A v2 on sale/closeout for $399.99, and you can get the factory-refreshed Onkyo A-9555 from Accessories4less with a 1-year warranty, also for $399.99. Deals on the Onkyo are drying up fast and accessories4less is running low on stock.
These two are definitely on the short list for sub-$1K integrateds. The Onkyo is competitive at its list price of $799, but sells most places for $699. At $400 or $500 it's just killer, incredibly clean, dynamic, and powerful sounding. It requires about 100 hrs of break-in.
The Cambridge is line stage only, but has preamp outputs. The Onkyo has a good built-in phono stage, but no pre-outs. I like them both but have a personal preference for the Onkyo.
I have been an audio enthusiast for 40 years and have owned a lot of vintage and used gear, and sold new and used retail in the '70s. But the Onkyo has shifted my paradigm: I'd now rather have the Onkyo A-9555 (which I do) than any used $400-500 amp that I can think of. I like it better than anything near the price, new or used, from Parasound or Adcom.
Steven, a few months ago a friend of mine bought a used Marantz PM 7001 KI at a local shop for EUR 300 and is over the moon driving a pair of ALR bookshelf speakers with it that must be close to 20y old. The offer looked quite exceptional for a KI version that can be situated in the NAD C372 / Rotel RA-06 league. The Marantz sounds slightly "warmish". Hooked up on my own LUA floorstanding speakers it showed a very good three-dimensionality (that collapsed with my friend's bookshelf speakers as could be expected). Just an idea to complement the other names you mentioned.