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  1. #1
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Jan 2003

    Integrated Amp Recomendation under $650

    I would want to buy an integrated amplifier for under $650. My musical tastes are varied, i like to listen to a lot of rock/pop, jazz, classical and electronica music. I also like a lot of avant-garde and experimental music. I would want an amp that would really bring a lot of detail to the music but also with some bass for the electronica music. I've tried the Cambridge Azur 540a , although i thought it was superb by bringing the detail it was lacking bass comparing it to other amps.
    I rounded out my choices to a Jolida 1301 hybrid or a Rotel RA-01. I would want the best amp i can find at 650 that will sound as good as the cambridge did with the texture of the music but with a bit more bass response.
    My speakers are the PSB image 2b which are rated at 6ohms.
    Can someone please suggest other amps you think I might be interested in (not looking for used equip) and maybe your thoughts on these particular models from jolida and rotel? Btw, don't mention NAD i crossed them out of my list , but for anything else feel free!!

  2. #2
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Morristown, NJ
    That's a strange budget. Strange because you are not going to find something any better at that price point than you would around $400-500. You would have to go up to $800-1000 to get a significant improvement.

    With that in mind, you may want to look at the Creek A50i. You can find it for around $700 new, I'm sure.

  3. #3
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Dallas, Texas
    The following integrated amplifiers have great performance and value within your price range:
    -Arcam A65 Plus, A80*, A90*
    -Creek A50i
    -Rega Brio, Mira*
    -Rotel RA-01, RA-02, RA-1062, RA-1070*
    -Jolida 102B, 202A, 302B*
    -Music Hall Mambo*
    -NAD C320BEE, C352, C372* (I know that you don't like them, but many people do.)

    * Indicates a model that is slightly above your listed price range but may be worth further consideration.

    I also recommend the following DIY amplifier companies as respectable and high quality alternatives:
    -Diy HiFi Supply (The Ella is an excellent choice.)
    -Hagerman Technology LLC (I don't think they make an integrated amplifier, but they make pre amplifiers and power amplifiers.)
    -World Audio Design (This company makes several great kits within your price range.)

  4. #4
    Suspended topspeed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    In addition to the other suggestions, ASL has two integrateds around your price point; this MG-SI15DT and this AQ 1003DT if you need a bit more power. The TAD/Cayin TA-30 got a glowing review in TAS not too long ago, but I checked their website and it appears it's out of production now that a 60wpc integrated w/ remote control is due in May. Check audiogon. I'd also check into Audio Refinement's Complete integrated.

    I use a 540a for my office and if you want more bottom end combined with the CA's resolution, your best bet in this price range is the C320bee, even though you don't like NAD. The Rotel is nice, but not better, IMO. Tubes are a whole 'nother ball game. If you don't mind fussing with them, they could be the way to go. That Jolida you mention is very interesting. For my app, I didn't want to screw with them.

  5. #5
    Forum Regular psonic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Jolida 1501RC - You may want to call Underwood HiFi, they are really reasonable and they discount Jolida amps and sell them way under MSRP, new with warranty. I called with interest in the 1501RC 100w tube hybrid that is supossed to be damn good - $750 msrp, they sell it for $590 direct shipped from Jolida with warranty (plus s/h), that is the remote controlled version. A tube hybrid is an integrated with a tube preamp stage and a solid state amplifier section. FWIW, they probably offer the Tube amps at good prices too if you are interested.

    I actually just ordered one off to test with my power hungry speakers. The Complete is great at moderate levels, but gets a bit stressed if played loud. I think I may like the warmth of the tube preamp, plus it has some power. On this site many reviewers compare it to more expensive gear like Classe, etc.
    Dynaudio Audience 60
    Audio Refinement Complete Integrated
    Audioquest Viper Interconnect
    14AWG OFC Speaker cable

    "hey dreaming it up accounts for half the fun - and time"

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