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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    New Int. Amp needed!

    I have enjoyed the Cambridge Audio A640 int. amp but it is now time for an upgrade. I still want to stay with an int. amp and have been thinking about the Creek Destiny. I like the idea of an int. amp with a passive preamp and power amp. I have also looked at the Portal int. amp which again is a passive preamp with power amp. Any other suggestions.

    I plan on upgrading speakers to NHT's Classic Three. I listened to these at an audio store in Minneapolis and I was very impressed.

    In a spasm of curiousity and boredom I ordered the Onkyo A 9555 because of all the buzz I had been reading about it. I have never used a class D amp before. I am going to compare it to the CA and whichever I like the most I will keep and sell the other. I like to keep a spare amp, cd player and speakers around so the winner will be a backup for the Creek or which ever one I choose. I had to send the old Rotel in for service one time and hated being without music. That will never happen again.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd SID mat, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
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    Monitor Audio RS6
    Cables
    AQ SPKR and AQ XLR and IC

  2. #2
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    I haven't heard one but take a look at the PS Audio amps that use the Gain Cell Technology. It's basically a power amp that is able to function like a integrated. And, please do give us report on the 9555, this is one that really has me curious as well.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    I haven't heard one but take a look at the PS Audio amps that use the Gain Cell Technology. It's basically a power amp that is able to function like a integrated. And, please do give us report on the 9555, this is one that really has me curious as well.



    Good suggestion on the PS Audio amp. I will check into it. The other day I bought a lottery ticket and won $500 so I thought what the hell try the 9555. I will let you know how it sounds. The reviews I have read are very positive.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd SID mat, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
    Speaker
    Monitor Audio RS6
    Cables
    AQ SPKR and AQ XLR and IC

  4. #4
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    upgrading your system eh?

    What's the actual budget? and do you mind buying used?

    keep them spinning,
    Bert.
    Life is music!

    Mcintosh MA6400 Integrated
    Double Advent speakers
    Thiel CS2.3's
    *DIY Lenco L75 TT
    * SME 3012 S2
    * Rega RB-301
    *Denon DL-103 in midas body
    *Denon DL-304
    *Graham slee elevator EXP & revelation
    *Lehmann audio black cube SE
    Marantz CD5001 OSE
    MIT AVt 2 IC's
    Sonic link Black earth IC's
    Siltech MXT New york IC's
    Kimber 4VS speakercable
    Furutech powercord and plugs.

    I'm a happy 20 year old...

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by basite
    upgrading your system eh?

    What's the actual budget? and do you mind buying used?

    keep them spinning,
    Bert.


    My budget for an int. amp is about $2500. I would like to buy new. I want good sound and build quality. Something I would be happy with for many years. My stereo is in the living room so looks and size are important. Dependability is very important. I was happy with my Rotel for 11 years but I am tiring of the CA 640 already. I want something that will continue to impress for the long haul.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd SID mat, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
    Speaker
    Monitor Audio RS6
    Cables
    AQ SPKR and AQ XLR and IC

  6. #6
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    if you could strech your buget a little (just a little), you could get a Mcintosh MA6300, enough power for the average speaker and extremely nice sound, and it will last for many many years. Even when you get tired of it (which I won't think to be the case) you could always sell it for a very good price.

    other than that, maybe an Accuphase (maybe), or other, let me think about some other things

    Keep them spinning,
    Bert.
    Life is music!

    Mcintosh MA6400 Integrated
    Double Advent speakers
    Thiel CS2.3's
    *DIY Lenco L75 TT
    * SME 3012 S2
    * Rega RB-301
    *Denon DL-103 in midas body
    *Denon DL-304
    *Graham slee elevator EXP & revelation
    *Lehmann audio black cube SE
    Marantz CD5001 OSE
    MIT AVt 2 IC's
    Sonic link Black earth IC's
    Siltech MXT New york IC's
    Kimber 4VS speakercable
    Furutech powercord and plugs.

    I'm a happy 20 year old...

  7. #7
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Earnest advice

    JM, if I were looking for an integrate, (or power amp for that matter), I'd want 100+watts per channel for the sake of flexibility to drive less than efficient speakers.

    Further in terms of flexibility I'd look for at least "preamp output" connectors, and preferably also "main input" too. The latter are somewhat rare for whatever reason, but very useful is you want to add, say, an equalizer or high-pass filter if you're using a sub.

    The McIntosh 6300 suggestion from basite is nice, although I guess they're north of three grand. New Accuphase would be more than that, I dare say. A valid option would be the Cambridge 840A. The Creek Destiny you mentioned definitely is too; although its power is marginal based on my criterion, it does have the pre-out/main-in connections I mentioned.

  8. #8
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    Did you say what your budget was? I forgot to shamelessly mention I still have my Krell 500i I'd be willing to sell. If at all interested just email me.

  9. #9
    Can a crooner get a gig? dean_martin's Avatar
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    since you mentioned the Portal, I thought I'd throw this suggestion out there. The Exposure 2010S is something I'd like to at least audition. From what I've read, it's "different" in a good way like the Portal.

    http://store.acousticsounds.com/brow...Title_ID=40466

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dean_martin
    since you mentioned the Portal, I thought I'd throw this suggestion out there. The Exposure 2010S is something I'd like to at least audition. From what I've read, it's "different" in a good way like the Portal.

    http://store.acousticsounds.com/brow...Title_ID=40466


    Dean I have thought about that int. amp since I read Art's review in Stereophile. It sounded like something I would like and less expensive then the others I was considering. Living where I do it is tough to hear a wide variety of components. I am usually met with "What so you mean you do not want a home theater".
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd SID mat, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
    Speaker
    Monitor Audio RS6
    Cables
    AQ SPKR and AQ XLR and IC

  11. #11
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Need I say more...?

    Class A pre stage with high bias current amplifer. One sweet sounding amp for sure. Maybe you should call Hanson Audio in Dayton and see if they still have one in stock. This 70 watter will be more than plenty for most setup including Maggies. I still wonder how Classic One would sound in my setup. I'm pretty sure it would be much sweeter.

    Whatchu think?
    Last edited by jrhymeammo; 11-12-2007 at 07:20 PM.

  12. #12
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Too bad

    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo


    Need I say more...?

    Class A pre stage with high bias current amplifer. One sweet sounding amp for sure. Maybe you should call Hanson Audio in Dayton and see if they still have one in stock. This 70 watter will be more than plenty for most setup including Maggies. I still wonder how Classic One would sound in my setup. I'm pretty sure it would be much sweeter.

    Whatchu think?
    Too bad they're so ugly.

  13. #13
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    Too bad they're so ugly.
    Seriously?

  14. #14
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Ye-e-es

    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    Seriously?
    I hoped I'd seen the last of wood trim on clock radios, etc., come the '90s.

    Then again I'm a guy who thinks all components ought to look something like this
    ...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails New Int. Amp needed!-avl_ultra.jpg  
    Last edited by Feanor; 11-13-2007 at 06:00 AM.

  15. #15
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Bill, please be aware.....

    http://gallery.audioreview.com/showphoto.php?photo=1414&cat=500&ppuser=199052

    TRIM!!!!!!!!


    JM, if you agree with Feanor's taste then Unico will be out of question.
    You know that I'm going to suggest tube gears just to tame my curiousity. Can it be hybrid? $2500 in a used market will get you an exceptional gear for sure.

    JRA

  16. #16
    If you can't run-walk. Bernd's Avatar
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    Hey, JM congrats on the Lottery win. I have never won a thing in my life.
    Who said the Pathos is ugly? Oh yeah Bill. You must be in the minority on that one. The Classic one is one fine amp. I fully recommend it.
    Also a Unison Research Unico or the brand new Secondo model.
    And if an all tube amp is your choosen path, try the Puresound A30. A fantastic audio bargain, or a Manley Stingray.
    Another company to look at would be Copland and Primare.
    For pure musical bliss in class A solid state I think the Sugden A 21 is very hard to beat.
    None of those amps are for head banging, but real musical enjoyment.
    Well a nice list is developing here.

    Peace

    Last edited by Bernd; 11-13-2007 at 08:01 AM.
    "Let The Earth Bear Witness."

  17. #17
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Hey JM, good to have you around these parts. Now that you've been overloaded with quality suggestions...let me add a couple more It goes without saying that I'm going to second Bert's suggestion of a McIntosh. I love mine and the things are built like tanks. Depending on the model you kind find a new or delicately used one for your price.

    For some good, old American tube power with asthetics you might want to check out the Vave Amplification Company along with the others listed. VAC stuff may be more easily auditioned for you and they have a new fairly new integrated that has a street price, ahem, close to what you're looking at. (Don't believe the hype on the internet pricing)

    http://www.vac-amps.com/

    http://www.vac-amps.com/avatar.htm


    Peace
    Last edited by bobsticks; 11-13-2007 at 09:33 AM.

  18. #18
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    I would love to have one of the Classe' CAP-2100 integrated amps http://www.classeaudio.com/delta/detail-cap-2100.htm

    They are out of my budget though. Maybe you could swing it.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  19. #19
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the great suggestions. I have a lot of reading to do. I live in an area with great audio stores if you want home theater but two channel is largely ignored. I may not get a chance to audition before purchase and that is why your help is appreciated.


    Did anyone notice the one poster with 3 green chicklets displayed?
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd SID mat, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
    Speaker
    Monitor Audio RS6
    Cables
    AQ SPKR and AQ XLR and IC

  20. #20
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobsticks
    Hey JM, good to have you around these parts. Now that you've been overloaded with quality suggestions...let me add a couple more It goes without saying that I'm going to second Bert's suggestion of a McIntosh. I love mine and the things are built like tanks. Depending on the model you kind find a new or delicately used one for your price.

    For some good, old American tube power with asthetics you might want to check out the Vave Amplification Company along with the others listed. VAC stuff may be more easily auditioned for you and they have a new fairly new integrated that has a street price, ahem, close to what you're looking at. (Don't believe the hype on the internet pricing)

    http://www.vac-amps.com/

    http://www.vac-amps.com/avatar.htm


    Peace
    Actually I kind of like the look of the VACs. One thing in particular is they don't have the cliched tubes-on-top-of-box look.

  21. #21
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    What I really like

    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    Just kidding about the AVA look, above. What I really do like is Accuphase
    ...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails New Int. Amp needed!-accuphasec2810.jpg  

  22. #22
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMichael
    In a spasm of curiousity and boredom I ordered the Onkyo A 9555 because of all the buzz I had been reading about it. I have never used a class D amp before. I am going to compare it to the CA and whichever I like the most I will keep and sell the other. I like to keep a spare amp, cd player and speakers around so the winner will be a backup for the Creek or which ever one I choose.


    The Onkyo A 9555 will arrive tomorrow. Friday will be the first day I have time to do any serious listneing.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd SID mat, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
    Speaker
    Monitor Audio RS6
    Cables
    AQ SPKR and AQ XLR and IC

  23. #23
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    That's some timely delivery JM. Good for you and hopefully it will live up to your expectations and no further purchases will be necessary. I'm kinda excited to hear your impressions since we've all read so much about it.

  24. #24
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    Just kidding about the AVA look, above. What I really do like is Accuphase
    ...

    I actually like them too, both visual & soundwise...

    and I've actually 'auditioned' that preamp, in combination with the DP-800 transport, DC-801 DAC, A-45 power amp driving a pair of B&W Diamond Reference speakers. Cables were all Kimber Select...

    God I love my dealer
    now if I just won the lottery...


    Keep them spinning,
    Bert.
    Life is music!

    Mcintosh MA6400 Integrated
    Double Advent speakers
    Thiel CS2.3's
    *DIY Lenco L75 TT
    * SME 3012 S2
    * Rega RB-301
    *Denon DL-103 in midas body
    *Denon DL-304
    *Graham slee elevator EXP & revelation
    *Lehmann audio black cube SE
    Marantz CD5001 OSE
    MIT AVt 2 IC's
    Sonic link Black earth IC's
    Siltech MXT New york IC's
    Kimber 4VS speakercable
    Furutech powercord and plugs.

    I'm a happy 20 year old...

  25. #25
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobsticks
    That's some timely delivery JM. Good for you and hopefully it will live up to your expectations and no further purchases will be necessary. I'm kinda excited to hear your impressions since we've all read so much about it.



    Yes it was delivered today or should I say hijacked. It seems whenever I order something it is always delivered on a day I work my part-time job. I live in a security building so they will not deliver it without someone being home. Now I put a sign on the outsied of the building saying please deliver to rental office. On my way to work I see the UPS driver turn down a street a few blocks from my place so I make a quick left. I drive past him in the lot at the CVS. I throw the car in reverse and back my way down the street and back into the parking lot right in front of the UPS truck. Of course I startled a couple of grey haired ladies with my driving. They were leaving as I sped by them in reverse. Sure enough it was my truck and I received my amp.

    It is now home and in place. First impressions are it is big and heavy. I am use to Rotel and CA int. amps and the Onkyo is taller, deeper and might I say again heavy. The power cord is fairly thick and is not grounded. This pleased me since I found out how much noise was added when my int. amps were grounded. Feel of the controls is a step or two above CA. Finish of the unit is also nice.

    Very early impressions of the sound is cleaner sound, sweeter violins and better pace and timing. The sound is tidy and more musical. More natural sounding with less coloration than the CA 640. Silky on violin. Wider soundstage. Of course time will tell if I find the amp as wonderful after more break in. If it gets better, wow.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd SID mat, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
    Speaker
    Monitor Audio RS6
    Cables
    AQ SPKR and AQ XLR and IC

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