Strategic Mid-Fi upgrade


Hello all-

I would categorize my audio so far as ’scrappy’ mid-fi. (I'm using the term mid-fi tongue in cheek as compared to the $20k gear I'll never have.) My first real piece was NAD 312 integrated with PSB Centurys which I felt was nice, but a little low powered. I found an Adcom GFA-535II at a garage sale and was emailing with Nelson Pas himself as to a simple upgrade I could do. He had me swap out the inout fuses with 5w ceramic and WOW! that’s what I’m talking about. Huge ROI, bang for buck. I sold that an was only using the 312 while I built another HT setup [Klipsh reference, Rythmik servo sub I built, etc].

After finding a decent Hitachi HT500 turntable, I started doing a lot more straight up music and when I ran across a HH Scott 420a, I ditched the NAD. Unfortunately, I think the Scott is gong to need caps soon, and I’m looking for a new option for pre and amp. After the Adcom experience., I was thinking 545II and the 565 pre, known for it’s phono stage. This is probably ~600ish and I’m wondering if I can do better than this.

Every bone in my body is telling me I should do a tube pre, but while rebuilding something will be in my skill set, it’s not yet. I was looking at things like the Scott 222 Stereomasters and similar, but even those might be budget busters. I have to scrimp and save for every penny of my audio budget, so i want this next upgrade to COUNT, and I’m done messing around.

Stuff I’ve seen that might be in this range, with good phono stages: Adcom 565, Scott Stereomaster 222’s, Superphon, Nikko amps, Dynaco PaS3.

It doesn’t HAVE to be tube or SS, I’m interested in sound. I play guitar, am familiar with tubes, and listen to 70’s to current rock/prog. Speakers right now are Advent Heritage that I have added damping, rebuilt Xovers, put in stabilizers, and am thinking about either swapping or rebuilding into DIY MiniStatements.

I realize this is all over the place. Any and all help is much appreciated.
lightspeed66
Aaaaand, I figured it out on my own. I found an Adcom 545II, and a Forte Model 2 from a member here. This will at least get me in the ballpark, and leave me in a place where I can figure out where to go from there if need be.
I'd still like basic tone controls to tweak individual recordings, which the Forte 2 doesn't have. If that gets me kicked out of the club, then so be it. Adding one click of bass or pulling a hair off the top end for this or that can make all the difference sometimes.

Any suggestions? I'd also prefer simple and decent styling (I KNOW!) because I have WAF. Someone mentioned a Rotel 1070, Mcintosh something maybe?
With your $600 budget why not consider an integrated?  

Because I'm moving past integrated and I have an amp.
You should consider picking up a graphic or parametric used equaliser for cheap.  The Forte probably has a tape  loop you could insert it into.