"I can get an old Krell kav-300i for half that price, but it's old, has no crossovers, and I hate that the volume isn't a knob."
It was a very important piece of gear from a historical perspective, but for sound quality, not so much.
"What integrated would YOU grab (new or used is fine) for $1.5-2k?"
I would grab the one that has enough power to drive my speakers, and has sound quality to suit my personal taste. Which one are you going to get?
Just trying to get ideas on what integrateds I should look at and consider. Many good brands that I'm not familiar with must offer good value and I'll never get to try them all, so I'm asking the community here to see if some brands and models consistently get mention. I see esoteric brands here that I know nothing about. Redgum, Plinius, simaudio Moon? Naim Creek Rega Nuforce Wyred, Hegel etc. I'm interested in bang for the buck value and sound quality, not to impress pretentious people with an "overpriced import tax premium hard to find rarity that only the ultra rich secret sector can obtain". Looking for bullet proof solid value glorious solid state sound that doesn't cost more than a car or wedding ring.
Peachtree has some nice stuff as does Bel Canto, Krell, NAD and Rega. I don't like entry level Anthem, so the 225 is out. It would depend on your speakers, for starters, and whether you wanted a built in DAC.
I don't think you got the meaning of my first post. If you want good recommendations, you have to supply as much info as you can. At the very least, you need to list your speakers. Speakers and amps works almost as a pair. If you don't do a good job matching them, you'll have nothing but problems.
Also, list room size and the overall type of sound that you prefer.
An amplifiers primary purpose is to drive a pair a speakers. All other features like filters, type of volume knob etc are features and can be added or subtracted.
So as Zd asks - what speakers do you have? This should be the very first question that is asked when considering a new amp.
The other problem is that there are very many very good integrateds at your price point and you will get many recommendations.
If the built in crossover is important, your choices will be greatly reduced.
Agree with Zd. This is not a productive way to get meaningful recommendations and is largely a waste of everyone's time (including yours) until we know what speakers you're driving, how loud you play music and size of your room, and what aspects of sound reproduction are most important to you and/or that you're looking to improve upon. Right now all I know is you're looking for good value and good sound quality. A lot of the brands you list and that were recommended here represent both, but they also sound very different in most cases. So until we know more about what you like and need there's really no way to make a helpful and targeted recommendation specifically for you. We all want to help here so give us more and you'll get more -- probably a lot more.
Since 3/22 you have initiated 6 threads seeking help toward upgrading your current system. Based upon what I have gleamed from them I understand that you have purchased a Parasound ZDAC, are considering upgrading your speakers and Yamaha integrated amp to the tune of ~$1500 each. I also understand that your room in 15 ft. square. Am I correct on this?
Based on the other questions you have posed I believe it is in your best interest to purchase the latest addition (5th) of Robert Harleys The complete Guide to High-End Audio at a cost of $45. I believe it to be the best single reference for home audio. I think reading select topics therein would greatly help you formulate a more focused plan for your upgrade route.
Given that you currently have a system that you enjoy you can afford to take your time to get it right.
One additional thought: How much attention have you given to your room. It is a most important component and with proper tuning will elevate the value of any system regardless of budget.
I agree with Zd and Soix that you need to provide more information for us to better help you. The above mentioned reference will help you in provision of that information and the formulation of additional question for this and other forums.
Good luck in, and the enjoyment of, this endeavor.
"~☆MUSIC IS A SAFE KIND OF HIGH☆~
Labguy (Threads | Answers | This Thread)"
Maybe, but its more costly and addictive than drugs.
Anybody else want to take a shot?
The same place your last shot went.
Thanks Mesch. I'll get the book and read it. That's exactly the kind of resource info and knowledge that I am hoping for but haven't been able to learn, and didn't know how to get. And yes, your deductions about my max budget per item is accurate, and I did buy the parasound zdac from an Agon member so that I wasn't using the laptop 3.5mm headphone out to the rca inputs of my integrated (too much noise that way). I have no formal education in electronics or computers so a lot of the computer audio stuff is beyond my comprehension and it's all quite confusing and overwhelming.
Thanks to Running, Soix, Zd542, Jl35, and everyone else too!
Perhaps a visit to a knowledgeable dealer is in order. Yes, buying second hand here is cheaper, but if you don't have much experience with audio gear, the chance of making a costly 'mistake' is higher as well.
Or take the time to read up enough to make an informed decision. But be aware this stuff is indeed addictive :)
That said, the Rogue Sphinx has got to be the most amazing deal in integrates....
You are most welcome! Keep us posted.
You might start with the chapters on the nature of sound and room acoustics. You can then play around with system placement and room tuning using your current system.
I can assure you that a very satisfying system can be had at your budget.
How dedicated is your room to audio vs. other functions?
Wait, what are your speakers? This is the key detail, followed closely by your own listening preferences.
Got my book today. Complete guide to high end audio 5th edition . Holy crap! that thing is packed with info. Thanks for the suggestion Mesch. On another note, I played with switching polarity to check speaker phase, and some phase tests that I used sounded better with polarity reversed, and others didn't. This left me questioning the validity of the "in phase" / "out of phase" tones I was using vs. The acoustic reinforcement/cancellation of my room. The uncertainty & frustration with this obsession continues, but what a great hobby, and with time, knowledge and skill, I'm confident that more will be revealed.
Glad you enjoy the guide. Regarding phase, I just hook up my equipment such that proper phase is maintained from source to speakers and not worry about it. I have had preamps that reverse phase and therefore require one to reverse phase between amp and speakers for phase realignment. I never messed with phase tones. Not all music is recorded in the same phase anyway. Most important is that both channels are in the same phase.
Glad you enjoy the guide. Regarding phase, I just hook up my equipment such that proper phase is maintained from source to speakers and not worry about it. I have had preamps that reverse phase and therefore require one to reverse phase between amp and speakers for phase realignment. I never messed with phase tones. Not all music is recorded in the same phase anyway. Most important is that both channels are in the same phase."
Phase invert selectors are fairly common on high end products. You'll most likely have one on a source or preamp (or both).
True Zd, however I dont on my DAC or Pre. I should have mentioned this as a possibility. Thanks for doing so. Might be a nice feature to have. I think for my system best if it were on the DAC.