I have owned 3 pairs of Dynaudio speakers and they only sound their best when you run them with high-end electronics. Dynaudio speakers are very critical of good amplification. It's not a good Idea to buy speakers that cost 10k or more unless you have quality electronics to drive them. I am not trying to give you a hard time. But I feel the need to be honest with you.
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They like power and current to sound their best. Receivers and integrated amp are challenged to do that in general and still have low noise and distortion due to close proximity of circuits to power transformers. But I have heard recent integrated amps do it quite well. I have bel canto c5i that would do nicely unless you listen very loud. It has everything in one small box and is amazingly quiet and low distortion. Rogue Pharoah would be my ideal integrated for speakers like those but that would stretch your budget even used most likely. Class D audio power amp and preamp of your choice is another I would consider were it me. The more power and current you can squeeze in your budget the better.
OK let me get this straight. You bought a pair of Dynaudio Sapphires and you only want to spend $1500 on a amp to drive them? GOOD LUCK my friend. The Dynaudios need major power to open up and NOT tube power either, these babies require Solid State Power! This site has some one selling a McIntosh MC352 $3300, this would be the kind of amplifier that would allow you to really see what the Dyns are capable of. Great speaker choice :-) now get the amp right and you wont be sorry.
I have had Dynaudio Focus 140, Contour 1.4se, and Confidence C1. The comments regarding ss power and current is right on. With my Confidence C1's I found beautiful synergy with Simaudio I-7 integrated. Apparently you are not thinking of preamp, power amp separates. No problem, but with all due respect, give up the notion of a receiver.
I see there is an I-7 currently for sale here on Audiogon, (I have no knowledge of the seller). If I had a pair of Sapphires I would run straight to conclude a deal to buy it. Be ready to take a selfie when you power it up with the Dyns. Your initial smile will be memorable.
While I agree Dyn's love lots of good clean current I had no problems driving my C1's and later C1 sigs with a 70W @4ohm Octave tube integrated. I started with a Bryston B100 sst but found the Octave to have much better 'control' of the music and much less 'dry' sounding. Later I upgraded to the 110W Octave and gained a hair more control. A friend had Sapphires and later C4's sig's also drove them with a [email protected] Octave integrated. Another fried drove his C4 sig's with a Naim Supernait2. They sounded great IMO.
That said you really need to go listen to different amps to hear what sound signature you prefer. I personally preferred a 'warmer' sounding amp with Dyn's. My local dealer sold Sim Audio when I purchased the original C1's and I personally didn't care for that combo. Why - because I found myself listening to and analyzing individual instruments and vocals without hearing the music. Again that's just me.
So I will say don't just buy an amp just for gobs of power.
I am running C-1's with a 100 watt tube amp and it is plenty of power. I have used solid state amps in the past and I find the tubes give a warmer presentation with the Dyn's.
I think Xti-16 gave you good advice when he said to listen to different amps and see what you like. Everyone has their own taste so you have to find what makes you happy.
Well, the C1a are certainly not the Saphires so Id take that comparison or any talk concerning them with your situation with a grain of salt.Actually more like the Contour 5 series or a sibling to the C2s.Solid state power and lots of it is the only way to go,forget tubes.You need quick,speed,authority and nothing in tubes at your buget will work well IMO
missioncoonery, you are spot on! And I will add, it dose not matter, Contour series or Confidence you cant drive these speakers with tube amplification (or I would be). My contours are rated at 200w and to hear them really open up and swing demands double that power from a very clean, fast, high power amplifier. Heck! I love tubes, that's why I have them in the preamp and phono sections.
I have the C1's currently set up in my living room with a complete tube setup and there is no problem filling the room up with sound with low distortion.
I am not that familiar with the Sapphires so I don't know if a tube amp will power them or not. I have also owned the contours and ran them on the same setup I am running with the C-1's and did not have a problem.