Results 1 to 3 of 3
  1. #1
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    integrated amps vs separates

    They say that the lest amount of connections the signal has to go through, the better. If that is true, then are integrated amps better than a separate amp and pre-amp? Will there be a noticible difference. There is a price difference. I am thinking of using a Primare a Krell or a Musical Fidelity integrated. Any suggestion? Speakers will be Monitor Audio S6.

  2. #2
    RGA is offline
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Yes and no - first you can't generalize - separating it is argued can reduce some noise - but you're correct the signal path is longer and you then require interconnects and you can actually add noise going separates.

    Separates are generally required to increase power and headroom for speakers. But then why anyone would want to own speakers that need that kind of power the real question.

    Don't get the idea one is better than the other - Audio Note mkaes an $89,000.00 Integrated amp(Ongaku) many people consider it to be the best amplification device going - but at 27 watts per channel it isn't going to drive the B&W Model Nautilus - and if that's the speaker you own this amp won't work. Then again they make separates that dwarf that price.

    Adding a separate power amp to a receiver works well - I suspect it has more to do with simply unpacking the unit and not so much which power amp you use - things open up a lot soundwise.

    It depends also who's making what. I prefer the sound of the 9watt OTO integrated over Separates from Bryston - but the OTO is limited with what speakers you can drive - the Bryston is not limited to anything - but if you own speakers the OTO likes then the Bryston isn't in the same league.

    Which is why system synergy - the dirty little secret no one likes to talk about - is so important. You need to hear a truly great system - you'll know when you hear it because you will actually bother to write the gear down and try and buy every piece in the chain - if you're trying to buy power amps and preamps or integrated's out of a magzine to match with your speakers or vice versa - you won't likely get anywhere except another upgrade.

    The design doesn' matter - the sound does.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    St. Louis, MO, USA
    The brands you are looking at make good integrated amps. I don't think you would benefit by buying separates in the same price range. In my opinion you'd have to spend quite a bit more than $2,500.00 to beat the Krell you are looking at. Some criticize Krell for being cold and sterile sounding but they are hard to beat in power and dynamics. I personally don't think you can have too much detail and don't find them cold at all. They just aren't warm and fuzzy like some people like their music. You don't go to a live show and hear warm and fuzzy. Primare to me has a smaller more intimate sound stage. Not quite the brute force of the Krell but still should drive most any speaker you have. And I just don't have any experience with MF.

    Like RGA was saying it's not so much how you get there so much as the end result. I am a firm believer in synergy as well. Which leads to one more note about Krell, I found that they are more critical of other electronics. They sometimes don't play well with others. When I bought my first Krell integrated (300i) I owned an Arcam Alpha 9 cd player. This is a great cd player but something just didn't seem right. I tried a Krell 250cd and then things fell into place. Although the Arcam may have had an edge on detail, the 250cd synergized the system and the sound gave the instruments more weight and realism. Try to do in home auditions if possible. I think where the two clashed was the Krell had a very dark sound to the background and Arcam was a more transparent sound stage and seemed to float the sound stage where Krell seemed more grounded. I know this probably sounds like describing color to a blind man but consider your other components when choosing your amp and be sure they will have synergy together.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Jolida or other Tube amps for Martin Logans?
    By Peter_Klim in forum Amps/Preamps
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 05-01-2011, 04:22 PM
  2. Integrated vs. pre/power amps
    By amitsood in forum Amps/Preamps
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 03-22-2010, 11:07 AM
  3. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-12-2004, 07:43 PM
  4. Pre-Amp, Integrated Amp
    By RobertKruz in forum Amps/Preamps
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 06-11-2004, 06:08 PM
  5. Question about using external power amps in 5.1
    By kexodusc in forum General Audio
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-22-2004, 08:25 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts