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  1. #1
    Forum Regular bjdalton1's Avatar
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    Intergrated amp question

    I have a room, 12' x 21', B&W CDM 1NT speakers. Need an integrated amp. I want to spend about $4-600 used or new, 6-80 WPC. What say ye?

  2. #2
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    Cambridge Audio 640A v2 on sale now for $369 at Spearit Sound website.

  3. #3
    Forum Regular bjdalton1's Avatar
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    02Audionoob,
    Thanks. What would you think of a NAD 80WPC?

  4. #4
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjdalton1
    02Audionoob,
    Thanks. What would you think of a NAD 80WPC?
    I assume you mean the C355BEE. I think it's a solid option, but I couldn't find a NAD that met your power range and your budget. The C326BEE is 50 watts and is $499. Not a bad way to go.

  5. #5
    Forum Regular bjdalton1's Avatar
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    Yeah. The C355BEE. I have gotten this guy down to $500 incl. del. from Audiogon. I want to get all of you guys input. Is this about the best i can get at say $500-$600. If so I'll get it.

  6. #6
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjdalton1
    Is this about the best i can get at say $500-$600. If so I'll get it.
    I hope you can wait long enough to get the input you're looking for. If this thread hangs around at the top, you'll probably get some other members to reply. Personal opinion...The best used equipment at this price range is probably Adcom....like a GFA-545II and a GFP-555. Depends on personal preferences, though. New integrateds...NAD, Cambridge Audio and Music Hall each have attractive options.

  7. #7
    Forum Regular bjdalton1's Avatar
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    I want to thank you very much help. I will look at the other options as well.

  8. #8
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    Just thought I'd throw the following out there. Emotiva has the XPA2 on sale at the moment for $699. It is $100 above your budget, however, it is brand new and rather well reviewed. See the site for specifics and check the forums on the site for reviews.
    http://emotiva.com/xpa2.shtm

    Rudy

  9. #9
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rudy Gireyev
    Just thought I'd throw the following out there. Emotiva has the XPA2 on sale at the moment for $699. It is $100 above your budget, however, it is brand new and rather well reviewed. See the site for specifics and check the forums on the site for reviews.
    http://emotiva.com/xpa2.shtm

    Rudy
    Several people around here have bought Emotiva products and, so far, are well pleased with them.

    However note that the Emotiva XPA 2 is a power amp, not an integrated, hence a preamp or processor front-end would be necessary which would bring our poster well above his budget.

  10. #10
    Rob_a rob_a's Avatar
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    If your going two channel, how about Tube??? there are some good low cost integrated tube amps that have good sound. I am personally putting together a economy two channel setup. NAD CD player, Yaqin CL10 tube int. amp (which I have found for $350 shipped,) and some book self speaker, haven't figured out what kind??? maybe Paradigm??? I know this is not a super high end set up but for the price, you canít beat it.So thats an option you may consider.

  11. #11
    RGA
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    I agree with Rob - I would look into tubes - you might also want to look at the tube units from Grant Fidelity out of Canada. They're going to be over your budget but in the long run I suspect you'll be happier with the sound - tube amps do require a bit more of a learning curve but that also is worth it in the long run.

    The Grant Fidelity stuff is built like a tank - the A-348 is a whopping 55lbs and I have only heard it briefly but I have reviewed one of their amps. The stuff is quite a lot better than the SS amps from Cambrdige Audio, Arcam, NAD, or pretty much any SS amp in the sub $1k price range that all sounds a lot more like a receiver at a big box chain than real high quality amplification. And I have owned Cambridge Audio and Nad and Arcam - and i don't own Grant Fidelity!! http://grantfidelity.com/site/catalo...ube_amplifiers

  12. #12
    Rob_a rob_a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    I agree with Rob - I would look into tubes - you might also want to look at the tube units from Grant Fidelity out of Canada. They're going to be over your budget but in the long run I suspect you'll be happier with the sound - tube amps do require a bit more of a learning curve but that also is worth it in the long run.

    The Grant Fidelity stuff is built like a tank - the A-348 is a whopping 55lbs and I have only heard it briefly but I have reviewed one of their amps. The stuff is quite a lot better than the SS amps from Cambrdige Audio, Arcam, NAD, or pretty much any SS amp in the sub $1k price range that all sounds a lot more like a receiver at a big box chain than real high quality amplification. And I have owned Cambridge Audio and Nad and Arcam - and i don't own Grant Fidelity!! http://grantfidelity.com/site/catalo...ube_amplifiers
    I have seen Grant's stuff and it look real nice. They have a tube buffer going for $150, if someone is looking to get into tube, that might be the easiest way without spending big$$$$bucks

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    Several people around here have bought Emotiva products and, so far, are well pleased with them.

    However note that the Emotiva XPA 2 is a power amp, not an integrated, hence a preamp or processor front-end would be necessary which would bring our poster well above his budget.
    Doh!

    Thank you Bill, for the correction and the classy approach to it. I must have spaced out there for a moment.

    Rudy

  14. #14
    RGA
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    Hey Rob

    Yeah I'm less convinced by after the fact sonic alteration - just go tubes or go solid state. I recently reviewed a Trends Audio Headphone amp that is quite nice for the $225 it goes for and the added bonus is that it doubles as a preamplifier. I have not heard it as a preamplifier because I don't have a power amp handy (I reviewed it strictly as a headphone amp) but this is certainly a nice sounding tube hybrid headphone amp on the cheap - not a giant killer but cheap entry into tubes.

    Antique Sound Labs may have something less expensive than the Grant Fidelity stuff and Antique Sound Labs comes with a 5 year warranty which is better than virtually everyone in the ~$1k category.

  15. #15
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob_a
    I have seen Grant's stuff and it look real nice. They have a tube buffer going for $150, if someone is looking to get into tube, that might be the easiest way without spending big$$$$bucks
    I'd certainly like to try a good tube amp. However I will need a 50-60 watts at least to drive the Magneplanars, even at the low volumes at which I typically listen.

    One tube amp fitting my criteria that also has an excellent reputation is the AES (Audio Electric Supply) Six Pac. I'd have to find a used pair on Audiogon or wherever to consider them however.

    An intriguing option and considerably cheaper is a Bob Latino VAT120, (based on the Dynaco ST70, heavily ungraded). Or maybe a pair of Dynaco Mk III plus some upgrades.

  16. #16
    Deathcore for life Freewillisdead112's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    I'd certainly like to try a good tube amp. However I will need a 50-60 watts at least to drive the Magneplanars, even at the low volumes at which I typically listen.

    One tube amp fitting my criteria that also has an excellent reputation is the AES (Audio Electric Supply) Six Pac. I'd have to find a used pair on Audiogon or wherever to consider them however.

    An intriguing option and considerably cheaper is a Bob Latino VAT120, (based on the Dynaco ST70, heavily ungraded). Or maybe a pair of Dynaco Mk III plus some upgrades.
    how much do you think it would cost to do these upgrades?

  17. #17
    RGA
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    Feanor

    What is the minimum impedance of you Magnepans? The Quad 2905 was and is easily powered by the Audio Note OTO at 10 watts. So long as the impedance is relatively even without wild swings and depending on the "quality" of the power supply not the "quantity" of watts you may be very very surprised that the the lower power higher quality amplifiers (transformers) will more than capably drive panels. The exceptions are panels that dip to stupid 1 ohm ratings (which serves no purpose except to force you to buy ear bleeding overpriced Krell amps). But most panels that I've seen are pretty stable and have pretty even impedance characteristics. No you won't get huge volume levels but most panels are seriously limited in that regard anyway.

    30 watts should be more than enough for a 1.6 if it's a robust amplifier. But if you really are numbers worried then here's a couple. They even include remote control - not too shabby:

    http://www.divertech.com/asl1001dt.html
    http://www.divertech.com/asl1003dt.html

    Find a used Rita 880 - it will drive virtually any loudspeaker http://grantfidelity.com/site/RITA-8...Tube-Amplifier - that is if anyone will give it up.

    And Audio Note Kits has entered the EL 34 Push Pull amplifier market with a 35 watt power amp and a 70watt beastie on the way. They will build the kits for you for a couple hundred bucks but where's the fun in that. http://www.audionotekits.com/l4el34pp.html Of course you'd need a preamp stage so ...

    In fact Audio Note is giving the manual of the L4 there for free - you could in theory buy all the parts (or cheaper parts) yourself and while it won't be as good - you could build a cheaper version and get the same power required.

  18. #18
    Forum Regular bjdalton1's Avatar
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    Boyz,
    You all forgotten about the wulf. He has just purchased the NAD C355BEE 80 WPC for $500. Now he needs a CD player. I have an old 10 + year old Sony. Will I be able to actually hear the difference in sound quality with a new player? After that, thinking turntable. Let the opinions fly!
    The Wulf

  19. #19
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freewillisdead112
    how much do you think it would cost to do these upgrades?
    Off hand I don't know. If you were to simply replace the tubes and the power capacitors it could be as low as a couple of hundred bucks. If you replace the transformers and do a few other things as well, the cost would be several times that.

    If you like, do some research at Dynaco Doctor which specializes in Dynaco upgrades and upgrade parts.

  20. #20
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    Feanor

    What is the minimum impedance of you Magnepans? The Quad 2905 was and is easily powered by the Audio Note OTO at 10 watts. So long as the impedance is relatively even without wild swings and depending on the "quality" of the power supply not the "quantity" of watts you may be very very surprised that the the lower power higher quality amplifiers (transformers) will more than capably drive panels. ....
    RGA, the Magneplanars are a pretty stable load. They are nominally 4 ohms but do dip close to 3 ohms at one point. Nothing lower, and definitely no 1 ohm stuff. I would be more comfortable with 50 watts though I might be able to limp along with 35.

    I have built kits before and am not particularly intimidated by that. But once you get into the Audio Note L4 range I'd be looking from some used AES Six Pacs.

    Meanwhile I'm not at all discontented with my Monarchy SM-70 Pros.

  21. #21
    RGA
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    I thought so - 3 ohms dip on a 4 ohm tap is nothing.

    Every time I read someone saying "you need a bigger more powerful amp to get them to sound good" I cringe because bigger and more powerful means more negative feedback (yes with the exception of Nelson Pass amps - before E-Stat comes in) which just means more irritating sound (maybe a bit different but no solution in the long run. Or the speaker just has issues.

    An example - the best sound I have ever heard from a B&W N801 (and the only time it was good enough to come close to warranting the price IMO) was with an 11 watt SET amp (Wyatech). Here is a speaker that consistently has that " you need more power BS attached to it.

    The AES is I believe run by Cary and were quite affordable monoblocks and robust. Kind of Cary's answer to YBA's Audio Refinement. I have only compared one AN to one Cary and the Cary to me has more of the valve like stereotype presentation while the AN counterpart was more "powerful" controlled and dynamic. I could live with both and clearly Cary is a posh sounding product. If the AES retains that then they're certainly worth exploring.

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