I was very pleased with the Edge i3, Unison Research Unico SE, LFD LE IV, Naim Nait, and Sim audio I5. Best of luck!
Listen to as many as you can if possible.
Listen to as many as you can if possible.
What is your budget Hysterio? I could think of few different compact sized integrateds to recommend at different price points. These would be my picks -
- Musical Fidelity M6i, $2999
- Unison Unico Secondo hybrid integrated, $3150
- Bladelius Thor Mk3, circa $5k
- Hegel H300,$5500
- Electrocompaniet ECI-5Mk2, $5999
- Simaudio Moon 600i, $8000
Of the above, the most musical sounding would be the Unison, Electrocompaniet & Simaudio, whilst the cleanest and most accurate sounding would be the Bladelius, Sim & Hegel. All of the above options are good value at their price points.
The Hybrid martykl is referreing to, must be the Inpol2, pure Class A. It really is excellent. It's been my main amp for 3 years, but small it is'nt. Unfortunately some of the very best amps are'nt small. You would have more choice if small was'nt crucial.
I have had a number of amps and would add the Lavardin IT, just a wonderful grain free, really transparent amp. You could be listening to a SET.
Nowone mentioned Accuphase or Luxman, both built like tanks and great SS sound. The Accuphase 350/ or new 360, or the Luxman 507, might be just what you need.
I am in fact trying to sell my Inpol2, but in the UK and looking to Luxman. The UK importer says the 507 is the sweet spot in the range of Class A/B amps, clearly better than the 505 and not far behind the much more expensive 509
Most of the amps I mentioned above (except the M6i) would kick the butt of the Luxman & Accu. Luxman are made in China now & the Accuphase e-350 has no power. SET's sound lovely, but I always think it's wise to have more power than you need as inevitably audiophiles upgrade to bigger and better speakers.
Luxman L-505u/Luxman L-507u/Luxman L-509u were all made in Japan with Japanese produced parts. The new Luxman L-505uX it says made in Japan but looking inside the new Luxman 505uX there are many China made parts.
CEC AMP 3800 CLASS A (70WPC) Very nice sounding amp.
Also small but high quality integrated.
Thanks for the clarification Ren, though bare in mind that a Manufacturer can manufacture just a few parts in one country (eg: Japan), ship those parts to China to be assembled and still legally claim the product is "Made in Japan", and from what i've read there is debate going either way regarding their higher ranging models. Bare in mind, Luxman is now a Chinese company. If you contact them - you're calling their office in China.
I would recommend to reconsider the Accuphase options explore what is available. While I have not personally experienced the Accuphase E-350, I'd buy it in a heart beat if I find a good used one. If power is more of a concern than the budget constraints, I would consider looking at the E-450 currently offered for less than $7k: http://app.audiogon.com/listings/solid-state-accuphase-e450-integrated-amplifier-2013-01-01-integrateds-60016-des-plaines-il
I own one driving Magico V3's, and find it to have absolutely no lack of power, comes with no extra boxes and cable clutter, and offers the sweetest sound that I have heard on any Magico's (which are not the easiest load to drive and rather power-hungry). I don't have any affiliation with the seller, but consider this amplifier to be amongst the best available. Don't be fooled by the nominal power ratings, unless you have a listening room the size of a concert hall. The Accuphase ratings are very conservative, and I have never ever brought it anywhere near its reserves.
It's hard to get anyone in Audiogon land to comment on Densen, which I am looking hard at right now myself. I recently heard a B-175 Plus and as a guy living with a pretty decent tube amp for the past 15 years was simply lost in the sound I was hearing. I came on here to see what you all think of the Densen amps and this category was my exact question and you all talk about every amp under the sun but the ones being asked about!
So, NYSTEREO, what did you ever find out?
I had 2 Densen amps that I bought for $200 bucks off a guy who was
moving to Germany . One had about 100 hours use, one was new in box.
Well made and good sounding . I gave both to new immigrants moving to Twin Cities . Strange to say one was from NE China and one from Taiwan ! Both loved Classical music . Gave one a pr of Totem Dreamcatcher’s
the other a pr of Omega XR .
That was about 18 months ago and all is going well with both .
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For what sources? If streaming and 55 watts are enough, the Sonos Connect: Amp is the simplest solution. One little clean and good looking box is all there is to it. Of course not for the ambitious audiophile.
Any small integrated with digital inputs can be turned into a slick streamer with the digital output of just a Chromecast Audio. I did that with a tiny Ava Maestro 50 in our bedroom. Its important additional advantage is that it has an auto on/off facility so you can hide it out of sight (it is a cool running digital amplifier). Its only downside is that with about 2x25 watt (if that) power output is too small for more ambitious speakers or larger rooms. It is just enough for the small 85dB Wharfedale Diamond 9.0 in the bedroom, but it would not properly drive my Harbeth P3ESR.