I love my PrimaLuna Prologue One. Tone. Imaging. Lack of fuss. Yeah, it's given me trouble a couple times over the years. Tubes can fail and I occasionally must clean the pots. Another part, I can't remember what, failed as well. But all told it's essentially taken me out of the market. I'd rather spend the money on strings for my various musical instruments
I have an eight year old Marantz Reference PM-15S2b integrated and never realized the potential it had until I got a set of Darwin speaker cables. After getting the SCs, it was like listening to a newer integrated.
All the old reviews of it now seem off compared to what I'm hearing. It's so good, I've put off getting a new one. For the moment.
All the best
Melody I880, the last dozen years or so. KT88, tube rectifier, modified to add pre-out.
Before that was a POC Jungson Class A that was nothing but problems. Before that, Aronov LS960 a terrific, liquid, 3D, dynamic, with great bass and two volume knobs that were a pain to match. Great amp for about a dozen years until it started blowing fuses and died.
Before that were a couple separates, notably McCormack DNA 150, the nicest SS amp I ever heard. Frankly it was virtually as good as the Aronov, but required more $ in power cords and interconnect, etc, to get there, which is true to this day. That is why my next amp will again be an integrated. The Raven Blackhawk is in transit and expected next week.
I was quite happy with my vintage mono tube amps, but wanted to try something ’new’, that had it’s own remote volume for source > amp and pass thru for any source with it’s own volume control.
My choices were limited by needing 16 ohm taps. I researched, took a chance on Cayin A88T, (only it’s mk1 version has 16 ohm taps).
This article convinced me to try it, certainly glad I did, it is dead quiet except the beautiful music it amplifies. I wish it had external bias controls. mk2,3 have that.
Integrated: for me, remote volume, mute, and I wish it had remote balance from my listening spot. remote input is dumb IMO. I’d rather have a smaller remote fit my hand better. And, if no sound degradation, like my mother's new TV, radio frequency remote, so I didn't have to aim the infrared beam, that would allow more placement options.
I use the very underrated Coda CSIB integrated amp just bought
3 months ago with VH Audio Adam capacitors
in the preamp section.
for $7 k there is no Integrated out there that that offers so much
most integrated amps have a 750 va or smaller power transformer
the Coda 3,000 Va and it’s potted for lowest noise over
80k in capacitance a pure class A preamplifier section
40 matched Bipolar transistors on the output and mosfet,fet on the inputs, and a Zburr Brown 100 step electronic volume attenuator ,not a cheap Alps pot that really degrades the sonics but is still used by many mfg because they are low cost .
Coda made in U.S.A 10 year warranty , great current review in Stereo times and 2020 best of , 3 choices for power output
I have the lowest in power but highest in pure class A 18 wpc
150,300,600 wpc .
I bought a pair of Rockport Atria speakers thinking that my Krell 5 ch amplifier could drive it (newbie error) and so my search started. Initially I got the Octave V80 SE int amp with the super black box. The manufacturer told me that the Octaves could drive anything, especially with the SBBs. Not true - every-time I cranked the volume, the amp would shut off. Then I moved on to the Gryphon Diablo 300 and it pairs very well with the Atria’s. Extremely satisfied - probably one of the more powerful ss integrated amps available.
Anthem STR. Solid performer but by no means the be all end all. I like the room correction software and the phono stage is really good. Have both MM & MC inputs allowing for dual turntables with adjustable gain. Balanced inputs, all via remote. Unfortunately it comes with a very lightweight 2 prong power chord. Non-detachable. The sound is neutral.
Linear Tube Audio Ultralinear.
For my sensitive 95db Spatial Audio M3 Triode Master open baffle, they won’t need a lot of watts but the pairing is awesome. Compared to my previous Primaluna Dialogue Premium Integrated, the LTA sounds like it had a gigantic heavy curtain lifted off the sound. More and higher quality bass, textural midrange, and crystal clear and open treble. For smaller rooms, it’ll handle speakers down to 85 db sensitivity. The 20 watts it puts out are something else. Highly recommended to trial it at home.
Nobody has picked the best overall audiophile solution for streaming, Bluetooth AptX HD (both ways), vinyl (who uses such a noisy source anymore?), HDMI ARC input, balanced and optical input, PLUS two slots for future hardware upgrades! 200 watts (4 & 8 ohms, 2 ohm stable) Purifi Eigentact amplification with nearly immeasurable THD! Outstanding reviews and Stereophile amplification product of the year 2020. Yes, pick up the NAD M33 and all your wants will be happily satisfied! Nothing comes close…
Yes, pick up the NAD M33 and all your wants will be happily satisfied! Nothing comes close…
respectfully disagree -- the m33 sound pretty good, and is much improved over the prior gen nad m series amps, which were downright poor (grey, lean sound) but ALL of the integrateds on my list below are superior in sq to the m33, used within their power envelopes
m33 has tremendous features for sure, dirac, onboard dac etc etc... but the sq of its amplifier stage is inferior imo
(feel free to see my system page for speakers and associated gear)
The Kinki Studio EX-M1+ Integrated Amp that I reviewed for Dagogo.com has the unusual capacity to allow for rolling opamps. I have used various combinations of Sonic Imagery, Sparkos Lab, and Burson in it. I am reviewing a fourth brand now and have been contacted by a fifth brand to asses their product.
It’s special when you know you can tailor the integrated to any speaker genre/model you wish by rolling opamps. Combine that with power cord options and the permutations are very powerful as a tool to optimize systems.
I currently have the rare King Sound King Tower omnidirectional speakers playing. When I first acquired them years ago, they sounded OK, but not spectacular. Now, with improved models of opamps in the EE Minimax Tube DAC Supreme and the EX-M1+, the King Tower speakers sound superb. I am very happy I kept them.
To date the EX-M1+ is the only integrated I know that allows for such discrete opamp rolling. I consider discrete opamp rolling to be a higher order of tuning than tube rolling.
Also, though it does not allow for opamp rolling, the Red Gum Audio Articulata Integrated Amplifier is a wonder with less efficient speakers. It is an unusual design, but has unusual capacity to drive loads better than most of the stereo and mono amps I have reviewed. It would be worth a close look by those having 2 Ohm speakers, who thought no integrated could handle them. I am quite impressed by how it drives the King Sound King III electrostatic speakers.
not sure what specifically your question ’which is better?’ is referring to...
but when i had the m33, iirc, the chain was
wtl amadeus --> dyna xx2 --> ayre p5xe --> INTEGRATED A v B v C ---> three speakers
1. proac d30rs
2. spatial m3 sapphire
3. harbeth shl5+ (briefly)
compared m33 (no dirac, straight int amp mode) against hegel h390, devialet (with sam on the harbeths), primare i30, sony ta 1es
also used digital streaming front end - blue node 2i dig out to denafrips pontus or audio mirror tubador
i use the rogue sphinx v3. i tested out a couple others and it was the one i preferred with my speakers. i dig its power, its simplicity, and i think it looks cool. my only regret with it is i wish i bought the black one instead. also have a NAD bee in the upstairs system and same deal - simple, not a lot of bells and whistles, very affordable, and does exactly what i need it to
jjss49- so let me get this right, you’re saying you used separate DACs from what came on the integrateds? The correct test would be speaker wires directly from the integrateds to the speakers without anything else in the chain. Oh, but wait, those integrateds didn’t have built in DACS? Well sure if you want to spend much more money you could get marginally better results, I should have stipulated a one box solution, my bad. Good luck getting better for $5k.
hey - whatever lets you sleep well at night bob!
you posted the hard-sell, outlandish claim ’none comes close’ - to that, i say, simply not true, many come close (the op’s hint6 for example), and a number in fact exceed, in sound quality (a devialet, for one -- integrated one box solution with dac, AND phono stage, AND SAM, and configurability, or a hegel h190/390/590)
in my original reply to you, i stated clearly the nad is full of features, good on that, and it sounds pretty good -- for 5 grand it should, but for those who prioritize sound quality foremost, it can absolutely be bettered
you can then say, well the nad has dirac, it solves room issues (if done right) -- indeed, if room problems plague a system that cannot otherwise be solved by setup and room treatments, i might agree - but for me, i have no use for dirac, my room works, so i exited the m33 after 6 weeks, kept other integrateds that make music sound better to my ears
I’m using the Anthem STR integrated. I think it is a great piece. Lots of functionality and over all very good Amp. I use it with PS audio DS Dac and Focal Sopra 3s. Also the built in room correction has helped me integrate my new Rel carbon limited subs seamlessly.
@imnop, I am using the STR with QED power cable. Don’t know how your Amp has a fixed power cord. Please recheck at your end, I’m sure it is detachable.
jjss49- sure if you like clinical presentation that lacks warmth and rhythm go with the Devialet Pro 140 Expert, and by the way, the NAD M33 HAS a phono stage with both mm/mc, HAS configurability with two slots for new hardware AND is much easier to upgrade via Wi-Fi. SAM may work well for some speakers, but it is not a substitute for Dirac Live as most people’s room can do with various levels of correction AND personal customization. Did you really have an M33, seems to me you should have known about these features?
Primaluna Evo 400
The dam thing seems to make everything sound good. I trust it. Well made. Good quality. I don't have any upgrade-itis about it so I can concentrate on other things.
(I see there's some other primaluna recommendations in this thread. I would have bought a lower power model but needed it for magnepans at the time. Driving IMF RSPM Mark IV currently.)
Mcintosh MHA100, oddly I haven't used the headphone out not once. This Mc mini amazes me every time I listen to it. Recently saw a youtube video stating they couldn't pick it out in blind testing against an EVO 400 int. I was floored to hear that but shouldn't be cuz this baby int never makes me miss tubes or class A. This ones a keeper.
Millercarbon....congrats on the Blackhawk. You've been espousing it for quite some time and I'm sure you'll let everyone know how that works out. Best of luck with it.
danger: The SE84UFO is on my bucket list and I will own one at some point. With Decware's lead-time I should just order one now and hope I don't die before it comes lol. Has anyone compared this to the newer SE84UFO25?