Hello everyone!

I've just registered a moment ago to ask you good folks for your opinions. I need to buy a new integrated amp.

I listen all sorts of music, but predominantly 70's and 80's rock, metal, disco and synth-pop. I listen a lot of orchestral soundtracks too.

I have Sonus faber Toy Towers which I generally like very much, but in my room of 19 square meters they tend to produce a bit too much bass with my old amp (Magnum IA.170) and Kimber 8 PR speaker cables.

I've recently sold Magnum and I want to change speaker cables. I still have no idea about cables, but regarding the amplifier - right now, here where I live in central Europe, there are 4 used integrated amps in second-hand market, which are interesting to me.

They are all similarly priced, similarly old, all in allegedly fantastic condition. Since I never heard any of them, and since they all have excellent reviews, I thought that I might try to ask here for a help, which one to choose:
1) Krell KAV-300i - around 20 years old, $870
2) Densen DM-10 - around 18 years old, $970
3) Electrocompaniet ECI-4 - around 14 years old, $1100
4) Accuphase E-212 - around 14 years old, $1200

The 5th option would be to buy a new JOB INTegrated - or - JOB 225 power amplifier in combination with some head-amp which would primarily serve as preamp (like Marantz HD-DAC1 or Naim DAC-V1). Both JOBs have a price of $1700 and that is the highest price I am able to pay for amp.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts on this.
I recommend tube amps and DACs for truely alive sound.  I had a Cayin A100-T integrated amp which sounds totally rich and alive and should have enough power to drive the Sonus Fabre mini towers  well and should produce incredibly dynamic alive sound and be a good match with your Sonus Fabres.  

I have owned both (but not at the same time) and understand their sonic signature's well, and this should be a match made in heaven.

Out of the s/h cheap list you posted, I would go the Krell KVA-300i as it will drive speakers with harder loads than the others.

But if you can go a bit further than the $1700 for a new or S/H one then this would be even better I believe.

Cheers George

Thanks George, I will buy only from EU, otherwise I'll have to pay A LOT of import taxes. If I buy a new amp, that will be only JOB and nothing else. They are not from EU, but they will cover all extra costs such as taxes and shipping, and they are basically Goldmund, which speaks for itself.
I own Toy Towers & have heard them with Electrocompaniet ECI3 in a slightly bigger room.The sound was very very good.In your size room I would plug the rear woofer port with a sock.The Densen would be my #2 choice.
In that list, I would go for the ECI-4 as that amp sounds warm and musical. The Electro integrateds also look nice on the rack imho. Though the one caveat would be that amp is best matched with reasonably efficient speakers (89db @8ohms or higher). It would be less happy driving a low impedance load.
Thanks melbguy, Toy Towers are 89db so there shouldn't be a problem:
Thanks freediver, I will try plugging the woofer ports as soon as I buy new amp!

Tested the Sonus Faber Toy Tower is 87db and has

Impedance reaches a minimum of 4.96 ohms at 141 Hz and a phase angle of –56.28 degrees at 69 Hz.

Which means it still needs an amp that is a good current deliverer to get the best out of the bass. 

Cheers George

Consider used hegels like the h80 or 100 if you find them in that range. To me a good match for sonus as they have power and richness which would match well with your speakers. 
george - are your test results reliable? Because if yes, that would mean that Sonus faber is presenting false specifications. Or maybe just the pair you tested are different from the rest? Thanks.

skoczylas - I have quite limited choice here where I live, so I need to stick to what available to me, like the amps I mention in the first post. Hegels are not available to me, and anyway - there are way too many Hegels being sold by their owners on the second-hand markets in the West - not a good sign.
OP,don't worry about power in your size room!Until a recent upgrade to all tube EL34 integrated I have been blissfully running my TT's with a 20wpc.hybrid 12AX7/MOSFET amp which sounded about as good as you can get with SS amps.All the amps on your list have plenty of power,just different presentations of it's use.
Freediver, I was thinking the same thing. The ECI-4 would be delivering 120 watts @8 ohms, and that amp has claimed peak current of 80amps which is a lot. There will be plenty of current to control the drivers, and unless you listen at insane listening volumes, the Electro should not run out of puff.

These tests are measured by Sound & Vision and HT Labs, and you’ll nearly always find that in depth tests differ sometimes quite a lot to the average mean specs manufactures print, you just need to look at Stereophiles in depth bench test and compare to the manufacturers quoted spec.

Here is a bit more to look at from the Toy Tower test as done by Sound & Vision HT Labs.

"The Toy Tower’s listening-window response (a five-point average of axial and +/–15-degree horizontal and vertical responses) measures +0.99/–3.79 decibels from 200 hertz to 10 kilohertz. The –3-dB point is at 84 Hz, and the –6-dB point is at 61 Hz. Impedance reaches a minimum of 4.96 ohms at 141 Hz and a phase angle of –56.28 degrees at 69 Hz. L/R Sensitivity: 87 dB from 500 Hz to 2 kHz"

Cheers George

After seeing your thoughts here, and after talking to one elderly constructor of audio equipment, I'm much closer to reaching my decision. Most likely that will be new amplifier, either JOB 225 or JOB INT. If I don't buy JOB, then I will go with Electrocompaniet.
It seems that Krell KAV-300i was not an extremely succesful design, bearing a little in common with prior classic Krells.
While both Densen and Accuphase ARE great amplifiers, they are both too old. Their age now is such that problems can be expected in near future, and repairing them would be too expensive and too difficult, especially here where I live.
While the 14-years old Electrocompaniet is by far the best choice among these 4 used amps, a new JOB would be even better choice.
If you agree or disagree, you're welcome to comment if you feel like it. Especially if you're familiar with JOB AND Electrocompaniet .
Thank you all for reading and contributing to this little thread.

If you agree or disagree, you’re welcome to comment if you feel like it.

Knowing the efficiency (87db)  load and phase angle (–56.28 degrees at 69 Hz.) of your speakers now in the bass that I posted, I think the Job maybe a bit light on/struggle in the bass and may run too hot with this load, this is from info gathered and read on the Job 225 poweramp not the integrated, which may be in even worse.

The Electrocompaniet I’m not familiar with, but just by looking at the inside it could get away with it, powersupply looks beefy enough, I would have preferred to see 8 output devices instead of 4 (two for each channel) and bigger external heat sinks as well, though there does seem be a small fan there cooling it.

If you do get this, then take the lid off and with a small brush an vacuum cleaner gently brush and suck away all the dust, and you can bet after 14years it will be full dust with a forced fan cooling system.

I still say "if you can fund it" by far, go with a second hand John Curl designed Parasound Halo Intergrated if you can find one. 

Cheers George  

Have you looked at Audio Analogue.I would think they would be readily available in your part of the world & I'm sure they would have something in your budget range(Crescendo?).
george, there has been written around the web countles times in last two years that JOB 225 can drive any speakers, so I'm not worried a bit about that, but thatnks for your elaboate post.
freediver, actually right now Audio Analogue is very affordable here, so much, that I tend to think it's not in the same class as JOB/Goldmund, Electrocompaniet, Accuphase... I thought about it very recently, but didn't actually hear any of Audio Analogue stuff.

Hope your still welcoming comments, here’s one more.

Just to let you know, in Australia on SNA, the Job 225’s external heat-sink was measured at 98c when driving easier speakers than yours, 90db 6-8ohms.

 Nelson Pass states that the heat-sinks that output devices are attached to need to kept around 60c to keep the output devices from accelerated degrading.

To aid it from self destructing they had to put on an external fan this Job 225 that reached 98c, you won’t be able to do that, as the heat-sink is inside on the integrated.

Cheers George


Yes George, thanks, I knew that, because I followed that australian thread closely, great reading. I'm almost sure that I'll take JOB, but still not sure which one, 225 or INT.