My quest: an integrated with great imaging. Help

My listening room is also my family room, so the WAF dictates that I do a neat installation with the fewest components possible. Currently I'm using a Sim Audio I-5 integrated which seems to be excellent. However, I often wonder if another brand/model will do the 3-D thing even better...imaging is first on my personal list of attributes. Can you suggest an integrated that I should listen to? My requirements include a remote control (volume control would be adequate); it could be tube or solid state. My speakers are Tyler Linbrook Monitors with 90 - 92 dB efficiency and I sit about 10' from each. I usually play classical, pop vocal, show music, nothing harder than Dire Straits at "moderately loud" levels. Thank you.
pendragn: the imaging quality you seek from your system is likely to be affected much more by the constraints of your listening environment and the placement of your speakers than it is by the electronics you use. nonetheless, you may find a more pleasing sound by using a tubed integrated with your quite efficient speakers. among this variety i recommend you listen to the pathos twin towers. this unit is also superbly styled adding, IMO, to a higher probable positioning on the WAF scale. -cfb
I'm with Cornfedboy on this one. The Twin Towers is a very nice piece of equipment. And, I'm a firm believer in the magic of tubes. However, you already have a really good integrated with the Moon. You don't mention what ic's or speaker cables you are using. That might (or might not--depending on what you are already using) be a more cost effective way to upgrade. You also don't mention what you are using for a source, and unless it's already top notch, that will definitely make a difference. So, unless everything else is already sota, I would keep the Linbrooks and the Moon and look at the rest of the system.
i would check out the new YBA Passion Integre ($4500). 100 wpc w/ remote. i really like YBA stuff...great quality and great sound. i was very impressed with a YBA 1 amplifier that i demoed. VERY good imaging and pretty deep soundstage. the YBA is the most tubey SS stuff i've heard.

i haven't heard the new YBA integrated yet (it's just out) but i bet it's gonna be nice.

When someone mentions WAF, I automatically think that your speaker positioning isn't optimal. I have a couple of friends with great components that have systems that sound mediocre. The soundstage especially suffers from the speaker placement in their systems. I agree that the Pathos is an awesome amp, but the Moon is highly regarded too. I would first check my speaker position, then your source. BTW, what are you using for CD player or turntable? The source can make a huge difference in soundstage. I have had a couple of reference DVD players that were ok tonally, but suffered in imaging/soundstage. My Arcam Alpha 9 or Theta Miles are MUCH better. Outboard DAC with DVD player was also a huge improvement.


Thanks, guys. I appreciate the input y'all have provided so far. To answer cfb's questions: sources are Cary CD-303 player and McIntosh MR-77 FM tuner; cables are Silver Audio Bullets (1/2M) CD --> amp, and Audioquest AQ-8s (8 ft.) bi-wired to the Linbrook Monitors.
I agree with cfb and Reubent, good imaging is more a function of the listening room and speaker placement than anything else-- assuming decent equipment and wire(s). Your Sim Audio I-5 is a well regarded component. Good Luck. Craig.
Gentlemen, your comments are helpful, and insightful concerning speaker placement. My listening room is free of any gross anomalies, luckily, but you hit the nail on the head concerning the former: the rear-ported Linbrooks must stay close to the wall behind them...not optimum. But even with this limitation I'm getting excellent L -> R imaging and so-so front to back imaging. Been wndering if another amp can make a diff on the front to back thing.
Why not a tube integrated amp? Your speakers are realtively efficient(92dB) and it doesn't sound like you need teeth shattering power, so a high quality SET, or more aptly parallel SET for more power, push-pull, or ultralinear design might do nicely. IMO, tube equipment generally tends to have greater soundstage, imaging, and depth.

1. Bel Canto SETi 40 (stunning looks)

2. Rogue Audio Tempest (Magnum version) runs in triode and ultralinear

3. Audiomat Arpege (not sure if it has remote)

4. VTL integrated (ugly sucker, though)