Which Integrated amps should I audition?

I need to downsize because we are moving to a small apartment. I enjoy all types of music except hip hop and rap. My current system consists of John Tucker modified Usher BE-10 Loudspeakers. Driven by Belles Power Modules M-01 monoblocks and driven by a Supratek Cabernet Dual preamp. The source is a John Tucker modified Oppo-95. I don't have the space for the 4piece amp and pre hence looking for an integrated amp. The new speakers will be small stand mounts. Open to suggestions on either tube or SS integrated. Don't know the dimensions of the new place yet.
Exposure, Naim, Rega and Cyrus are on my short-list any time anyone asks this question.
Price range would help???
Oops, price range $5000-$10,000.
Jadis, Pass Labs, Joule Electra, and Sim Audio
If you can go another $500 for a new unit, also consider the Gamut Di150. It is a fantastic integrated!
It would be wise to determine the new mini-monitors first then only the amp to match, whether you need high-current amps or low-powered amps which in turn depend on the impedance and sensitivity of the new speakers.
I concur with Ryder. Choosing the integrated amp first and speaker second is the wrong order to make this decision.
Depending on how much power you need, I would either go with the BMC Integrated or the Pass Labs 30 Watt Class A Integrated.
Jeff Rowland has designed some of the finest integrated amps ever and represent a tremendous value on the used market.
'I" would just wait. If music is at all important, and you do not even know what the new place looks like, wait!
You might find a way to keep your stuff.
I used to live in a tiny efficiency with big speakers and lots of separates. Prioroties.. and, you might find a perfect location for your stuff.
Once you are there, and then you can better decide what is a good option
I have been using integrated amps exclusively for 10 years. I don't think you compromise on quality at all, up to say $20000, even beyond. Instead you get more bang for your bucks. The days of the integrated as an afterthought in a manufacturers range, are long gone.

I agree with Elizabeth, get into your new place and audition in the new room, if possible, with the new speakers and I would say get the speakers first. The critical thing though is sensitivity and impedence of your new speakers. As a rule though, good standmounts tend to be harder to drive, with lower sensitivity. There are'nt that many 96db sensitive standmounts.
Yep, Jeff Rowland...up and down the line, any of his solid state products are super! The intergrated units are really top-class.

I know everyone will mention their favorite brands and I am no different. My recomendation would be a Symphonic Line, naim for solid state and Octave if you want a tube integrated amp.

But first you need to sort out some other things. Some small stand mount speakers like Totem Mani-2 sig are very demanding of the amp while speakers like WLM are a much easier load.

Tube amps IMHO tend to perform a lot better (even high power tube amps) with high efficiency speakers IMHO.

However there is something als to consider as well and IHMO this would be the best option. Keep the pre amp and buy some active speakers like the ADAM Tensor Delta or other simialr active speakers.
08-13-12: Ryder

It would be wise to determine the new mini-monitors first then only the amp to match,

AMEN .... perfect reply with an added caveat to also tailor/match the source
Leben CS-300.

BTW, I´m using a Exemplar Audio-Xindak DAC.


I also agree with the idea of picking speakers first.
But, to answer your question. I suggest putting both Marantz Reference Series and Luxman on your list.
Depending on your power needs, if this is quite low, I can make some suggestions. I have used a Viva Solista, Lavardin IT, Karan K180, Pathos Inpol2 and Ayon Spark over the years. I use the last 2 at the moment and both are the best I have used. The Spark is a tube SET putting out 20 watts, the Inpol 2, more expensive and a tube SS hybrid with 50 Class A watts. Both are veery good, if different, with my 96db sensitivity Daedalus speakers.
I would say both amps need north of 90DB to be comfortable long term. If that is possible, either would be great long term choices
I agree with the suggestions of Rowland... Coda is equally good
I second the CODA...I have the CSi unbalanced version...definitely pumps my 4 ohm Tyler Acoustic Woodmere II's with 600++ wpc...hard to find but well worth it if you do come across one...
Try to check out the Hegel h-200.
I've owned a number of nice integrated amps over the years (Ayre, Joule, Rogue....) and each had a number of nice attributes. In the end, my favorite was the Lyngdorf TDAI 2200, with or without room perfect room correction. I recently sold one of two I owned for a second system, and maybe you can find the reviews that I noted in google cache. Good luck!
What would you think of a manufacturer (BMC) and distributor (Aaudio Imports) who refuse to support their products when after identifying, notifying, and working with them to correct the sonic defect and then waiting 12 more months for the problem to be corrected receives the following email?

On Jan 7, 2013, at 10:47 AM, Brian Ackerman wrote:

Dear John,

I tried to reach out to you many times and you ignored me.

Also both Carlos and I felt that you were over-driving the amplifier.

If we find out that you are spreading rumors about BMC or Aaudio imports I can assure you that we will take legal action against you..

You received special pricing on the C1 amplifier, which is now discontinued and has been replaced with the CS2 amplifier.

I suggest you sell your C1 and buy something else that you think will be a better match for your speakers.

Talking trash about us won’t get you anywhere but in trouble.

Regards, Brian

From: Brian Ackerman [mailto:brian@aaudioimports.com]
Sent: Monday, December 26, 2011 12:24 AM
To: John
Subject: RE: snippet 3

Hi John,

I guess that I am asking you to wait for the upgrade since this should not also solve your problem, but also improve the sound of your amp.

- Brian
What about the LSA integrated? John Tucker designed it and it is stellar....
Anyone upgrade (or change) from a Cronus Magnum with KT90's to KT120's? Wondering your impressions.
My far the Vitus R100 is the most refined integrated amplifier out there
Especially if you consider for round $11 k. It beats up on seperates
That go for $8k or more each and very powerful. And hand built in Denmark
300wpc 520ino 4 ohms

LSA stuff sounds decent but, th main unit built in China then modified
Remember VK design group? Not bad for the money. Th new Coda integrated can be ordered with pure class A bias up past 10 watts
And over 330 wpc over600 into 4 ohms, for in $6k range unbeatable and built like a tank 10 Year warranty,5 year transferrable.
I traded in TRL separates due to my 18 mo. I now have the Neodio SR600 which is very good. Another one to add to the list is Norma....
I second the Coda Technologies mention. I have the CSi with unbalanced RCA connects...this unit is mind blowing in every way and truly is a mate with my Tyler Woodmere II's..
you can still get good separates in a small package, if that is what you desire. Chord makes some really nice small stuff.


for small speaker, paradigm sig 1's or gallos
McIntosh, Marantz, Rogers, Rogue. Happy hunting.
Glue hifi, are you still running a MA6600?
As a condo dweller myself, I concur with Elizabeth. Get a good sense of your "New" environment first. This includes determining how well your walls are insulated, and the quality of your internal wiring and circuit panel.

You said you were moving into an "apartment" and so I will presume that you are unable to boost your inner-wall soundproofing or install dedicated 20amp wiring.

In terms of speakers, they don't necessarily have to be small if they are front-ported or designed to be "wall huggers." For example, Linn Majik Isobariks (which are not small) when placed on top of marble bases can work very nicely in a condo environment; Magnapan 3.6s, not so much...

Otherwise, plan on budgeting for surge & line conditioners (given typical apartment wiring) and wait until you have a sense of what kind of room(s) you'll be working with.

In my own condo environment, I'm running an Ayre Ax7e integrated with B&W 805Ds in the Media Room; Linn Akurate separates into Harbeth Compact 7es-3s in the Main Room; and a Naim UnitiQute into Linn Majik 109s in the Bedroom. I'm running Transparent Cable conditioners throughout, and it's no accident that all of my speakers are front-ported and 5" to 18" from their respective back walls. YMMV.
.. INT-150 (class AB) and INT-30A (class A) depending on your speakers and personal tastes. I'd also include the Rogue Cronus Magnum if I were considering tubes...