What does it all mean Mr. Natural?

Ok, so I used to read "Zap" comics. anyway, I'm trying to make sense of all the technical jargon, to fit it into a system that will make it more "user friendly". I currently have a HK 500 reciever, powering BW Nautilus 804's and 602's. Not enough power right? so am looking at getting "good" amp. Whats the difference between a class A, and B amp? and then theres the "A-B" stuff? One is not necessarily "better" than another it appears, judging the costs seem to go either way. What is an "integrated" amp? Is that the same as "solid state"? If I use the receiver as a pre-amp, is it compatible with any amp? I want to work up to a good separate system and have a HT as well, but want to build it right from the start? lets say I had 2k to plunk down, any suggestions?
if you're a robert crumb fan, you might try one of his recordings. his latest is "les primitifs du futur; world musette." it's on harmonia mundi.

to your questions:

(1) there are some excellent descriptions of the classes of amps on a recent thread labeled "class a?" i won't repeat the responses. you can find it with "search headlines."

(2) an "integrated amp" combines an amp and preamp. a receiver adds a tuner to the mix. both integrateds and receivers can be solid state, tubed, or a combination of both.

(3) not all receivers can be used as preamps, tho most can. your receiver needs to have analog out connections that will mate with your amp (or you will need adapters on your interconnects).

(4) as for best system at the 2k pricepoint, i'll leave that for others. you might search on other threads on this question or visit the "virtual systems" section of this site for some pointers.

good hunting. -kelly
Plenty of quality amps to choose from, tubes are real nice but the care and feeding of tube amps can add up quickly enough. Solid state designs vary, I prefer my sound a little more laid back, so warmer sounding amps do it for me. If you're interested, I have a Classe amp for sale that would work well with your speakers and leave you with some coin for a decent preamp. ATB, Jeff
Since you're looking in the $2k range...I would suggest you check out Odyssey Designs. Their Stratos amp is one of the best amps I've ever had in my system, and it only costs about $1K. Don't let the price fool you it betters amp costing 3-4X as much. They also make the Tempest preamp that costs around $900. So, for about $2K, you could have a base set of electronics that would serve you well for years.

You can check them out at http://odysseyaudio.com or give Klaus a call (317)299-5578, he can help you make some decisions.