Which amp?

Here is the story, about 2 months ago I got a bug up my butt and decided to sell all of my crappy gear on Ebay and add a little extra scratch in and find better used stuff. I went in thinking "just replace the stuff with better names and I will be satisfied" WRONG! Now I am getting caught up and think that I could do alot better without breaking the bank. I bought a Adcom GFA 535 and a Marantz AV600 thinking they would sound better that the Sony integrated amp that I sold on Ebay, they did, but not good enough. So I am looking for a better budget oriented good sounding amp.

The two amps I have had my eye on are the Parasound HCA 1200 and the Acurus A-200. I don't want to make any more totally irrational decisions again, so please stop me if I am about to. If there are any other amps for around $350 that are comparable or better please let me know. I would love to go higher end, but I am already tying to explain to my wife why I need new gear anyway. Oh well, thanks in advance, Jason.

You'll need to provide a lot more information before anyone can make a rational recommedation. You need to provide a list of your other system components, including source components, amp/pre-amp and speakers. Tell us a little about the room it's in and a bit about the kind on music you prefer. I would also suggest you tell us if you use the system for music only, or does it do double duty as an HT system.

There are lots of great amps out there. However, some of them may not be compatible with the rest of your system. Pesonally, when it comes to budget amps, I'm partial to simple "gainclone" type amps. However, these are typically built by DIY'ers or as a sideline from an audio hobbiest. However, they offer huge bang for the buck. For $350 you could get a killer gainclone type amp built by someone like Tim Rawson (user name Rawsonte).


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First off I listen to just about everything besides, country, and rap. Right now My preamp is a Marantz A600 my speakers are Mordaunt Short 904's 2 ways, I had to get rid of the Bose 601's I have had for years and these sound way better. Right now the system is lacking in the low end, I don't know if that has to do with the amp, phono cartridge, preamp or a combination of them all. The room size is approx. 12'x 16', I am just looking for full sound not necessarily volume, and definitely not hollow like it is now. By the way I am using a Planar 2 with a Audio Technica CN5625AL, The cartridge is temporary, I will be replacing with a Denon DL103.
Not sure how sensitive your speakers are,but a Monarchy SM70 can be had in that price range. These are very sweet sounding pure class A amplifiers.
I agree with Gmoodl- The Monarchy SM-70 is potent, punchy, sweet, and harmonically rich, especially when used as monoblocks. A pair should cost you $500-700.
NAD. solid performers, great values. many great used models around. always a good start to hi end gear. sell the pre and get an int amp if you like. NAD offers many options for adding mono amps down the road and has a pretty good phono stage too. my 2 cents. $350 is just right for lotsa choices...even new!