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good integrated that is lively and dynamic?


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Hello to all, My first day here after reading post and threads for awhile.

 

Here's the deal. Just gave my daughter my Audioengine 5 speakers and Audioengine DAC and wanting to upgrade. (She really liked them and needed them.)

 

Biggest problem: I live in AL and there are NO options for live audition...none. Even ATL has limited options so I only have research online to guide me and will have to buy online.

 

I've decided on Kef LS50 after tons of reading.

 

I'm looking for a good integrated to match. Listen to mostly computer MOG, Pandora subscription, iTunes but also have a Thorens turntable and wanna get an OPPO Blue ray. $5000 to $6000 for entire setup is budget for speakers, integrated, OPPO and wires. Smallish room with hard wood floors.

 

Amps that look interesting:

NAD 3900 (good reviews, internal DAC)

Peachtree (same as above)

Bel Canto (like the looks and fact it's made in USA but does it have the power?)

Creek

 

Any other suggestions? remember I have to buy online and NO option for live audition. I know a lot allow free 30 day trail but want to limit number of times I have to go thru that hassle.

 

I want something lively, dynamic and involving. (I owned a pair of Vandersteen Model 3 and NAD amp and while it sounded good this combo never gave me goose bumps....hate to use this term but here goes....seemed boring. Could have been a number of issues so I'm not blaming Vandy's.)

 

Please suggest integrated that will provide a lively, dynamic sound. One that sounds good at even lower volumes and sounds good even when not seated in perfect postion.

 

Some music playlist from MOG:

Vivaldi, Alabama Shakes (amazing), Pink Martini, LaBoheme (complete), Frank (of course), Johnny Cash, Civil Wars, Miles, Nina Simone, Bruce (especially "Wrecking Ball" lately), Stravinsky, Beethoven (Late Quartettes), Duke Ellington. Does this help?

 

Please help. I'm so confused and new to computer audio and have no places to audition, a common proem these days.

 

THANKS, Paul

 

PS, I'm sure I forgot some tidbit of info so please forgive....I'm a newbie remember.

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Thanks for the reply. Being that it's my first question I was wondering if I'd get any responses. I really like this forum.

 

Leaning strongly toward the Nova 125. I was going to get the complete set with the D5 speakers and save some money until I read all the news on the Kefs.

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Hello to all, My first day here after reading post and threads for awhile.

 

Here's the deal. Just gave my daughter my Audioengine 5 speakers and Audioengine DAC and wanting to upgrade. (She really liked them and needed them.)

 

Biggest problem: I live in AL and there are NO options for live audition...none. Even ATL has limited options so I only have research online to guide me and will have to buy online.

 

I've decided on Kef LS50 after tons of reading.

 

I'm looking for a good integrated to match. Listen to mostly computer MOG, Pandora subscription, iTunes but also have a Thorens turntable and wanna get an OPPO Blue ray. $5000 to $6000 for entire setup is budget for speakers, integrated, OPPO and wires. Smallish room with hard wood floors.

 

Amps that look interesting:

NAD 3900 (good reviews, internal DAC)

Peachtree (same as above)

Bel Canto (like the looks and fact it's made in USA but does it have the power?)

Creek

 

Any other suggestions? remember I have to buy online and NO option for live audition. I know a lot allow free 30 day trail but want to limit number of times I have to go thru that hassle.

 

I want something lively, dynamic and involving. (I owned a pair of Vandersteen Model 3 and NAD amp and while it sounded good this combo never gave me goose bumps....hate to use this term but here goes....seemed boring. Could have been a number of issues so I'm not blaming Vandy's.)

 

Please suggest integrated that will provide a lively, dynamic sound. One that sounds good at even lower volumes and sounds good even when not seated in perfect postion.

 

Some music playlist from MOG:

Vivaldi, Alabama Shakes (amazing), Pink Martini, LaBoheme (complete), Frank (of course), Johnny Cash, Civil Wars, Miles, Nina Simone, Bruce (especially "Wrecking Ball" lately), Stravinsky, Beethoven (Late Quartettes), Duke Ellington. Does this help?

 

Please help. I'm so confused and new to computer audio and have no places to audition, a common proem these days.

 

THANKS, Paul

 

PS, I'm sure I forgot some tidbit of info so please forgive....I'm a newbie remember.

 

Naim Nait5i or NaitXS. Simply perfect for those.

David

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Very good choice on LS50 speakers (I think the brand new Revel Performa3 M105 or M106 monitors are the other speakers in this category that are intriguing and receiving some buzz). The LS50's are getting universal praise from all corners.

 

Personally, I would go with the Bel Canto C5i for your budget.

Speaker Room: Lampizator Golden Gate 2 | Viva Linea | Vinnie Rossi L2 Signature Monoblocks | FinkTeam Kim | Revel B112 subs  

Office Headphone System: Lampizator Big 7 updated to GG 2 specs | Viva Egoista | Hifiman HE-1000SE/Audeze LCD-4z

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I am extremely happy with my Exposure 3010S2 integrated.

 

Exposure - 3010S2

 

Exposure started as an amp company with John Farlowe, and Tom Brady from Onyx has successfully taken over some years ago.

 

A completely undervalued company doing great products, with no-nonsense, but well thought through and implemented designs.

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How certain are you about the Kefs or what draws you to them?

 

Monitors are not typically known to be loved for being lively & dynamic. Excellent imagining & neutral/reserved are typically their trade. There are of course exceptions but not sure if Kef is one of them.

Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not." — Nelson Pass

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Welcome to the forum; it's a really helpful place -- just don't expect us to agree... ;-) As you can see from the answers you have already gotten, there are lots of great alternatives. I won't add my own suggestions other than to suggest that you try to listen to your complete system before you buy it. Synergies between components do matter and we only hear what comes out of the speaker at the end.

Synology NAS>i7-6700/32GB/NVIDIA QUADRO P4000 Win10>Qobuz+Tidal>Roon>HQPlayer>DSD512> Fiber Switch>Ultrarendu (NAA)>Holo Audio May KTE DAC> Bryston SP3 pre>Levinson No. 432 amps>Magnepan (MG20.1x2, CCR and MMC2x6)

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Follow me on this. I'm thinking you're set on the KEF speakers. Rotel and KEF speakers go VERY well together (another forum that is all for Rotel gear has a bunch of people with Kef and love the combo). So anyways... I know you want to buy online, which is fine. But I'm thinking that you can still get Rotel if you're interested... I can probably help you out with that....

 

Anyways... here's where the train of thought is leading to. I've also heard Emotiva and it has a VERY similar characteristic to Rotel. I think it would match VERY well with your Kef speakers and also you could either get the integrated or even move to seperates if you wanted to as Emotivas prices are amazing for the quality you get.

 

Just an option as I think it'd give you what you're looking for.

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I've also heard Emotiva and it has a VERY similar characteristic to Rotel.

I think my Emotiva XPA-2 trounces everything Rotel has to offer and even compares favorably to McIntosh, but anyway... In case you hadn't already noticed, that Sherbourn amp I linked in my previous reply belongs to Emotiva's sister company.

If you had the memory of a goldfish, maybe it would work.
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SO glad I joined up and greatly appreciate the input. I have a little reading to do but certainly you all have added some great suggestions. I can't thank you enough. I like forums better than review websites and Magazines. You all tell it like it is and don't beat around the bush. I know everyone has differing opinions but that just adds to the lively discussion and shows your passion. Thanks again. P

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Hi Paulie, I live in Atlanta and found a really good Hi-fi store called Audio Alternative. They carry NAD, Peachtree Audio, Ayre, ARC, PSB, Vandersteen, Maggie, etc. You can audition several of the options you have mentioned and even pair them with Vandy 3's. :) They are in Lilburn just north of Atlanta. Alan is the owner and great to deal with.

Dave L

 

Main: CAPS 3 Carbon > Roon > HQ Player > ARC DAC 8 > ARC VSi60 > Vandersteen 3A Signatures

Cables: AQ Rocket 88 Bi Wired, AQ Columbia RCA, and AQ Diamond USB

Office: Macbook Pro > Roon > HQ Player > Burson Audio Conductor SL w/DAC Output > Adam F5 or HiFiman HE-500

Cables: AQ Carbon USB and Oyide RCA

Storage: Synology NAS 213+

Basement: in progress - Building a RPI 3 > Peachtree IDAC > Halide Bridge > amp? > Wharfdale 10.2's

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I'm not sure about availability in America, but you might also want to check out YBA. I have heard several of their smaller ints, and they have been brilliant. I borrowed and used for some time a now discontinued int with 50 W, and it beat much larger amplifiers, without breaking a sweat. Many of the new models have very good built-in DACs with async USB.

All best,

Jens

 

i5 Macbook Pro running Roon -> Uptone Etherregen -> custom-built Win10 PC serving as endpoint, with separate LPUs for mobo and a filtering digiboard (DIY) -> Audio Note DAC 5ish (a heavily modded 3.1X Bal) -> AN Kit One, heavily modded with silver wiring and Black Gates -> AN E-SPx Alnico on Townshend speaker bars. Vicoustic and GIK treatment.

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I think my Emotiva XPA-2 trounces everything Rotel has to offer and even compares favorably to McIntosh, but anyway... In case you hadn't already noticed, that Sherbourn amp I linked in my previous reply belongs to Emotiva's sister company.

 

While I would tend to agree with you in some aspects. I had the XPA-2 and two XPA-1s against my Rotel RB-1090. They all sounded almost identical. I mean to the point that it was almost impossible to tell any of them apart. The one thing I noticed is that the emotiva sound was more clinical and sterile. The Rotel just had a slight edge in being more musical and a slightly better and controlled in the low end. Again... if you didn't have them sitting side by side... you'd be able to swap them on someone and not be able to tell the difference.

 

Course I've modified the RB-1090 and now, against the XPA-2, it's a pretty noticeable difference. So it's amazing what creating a better/easier signal path can allow for.

 

I was just able to compare it to the Wells Audio Akasha ($4500) and except that the Akasha had an over-pronounced bottom end... the RB-1090 was just the same as it in ever aspect. I think that says a good deal, especially when it was in inpromptu type of a demo. Love people bringing their toys over to demo! :)

 

But don't get me wrong... Emotiva is a HECK of a deal. I'm interested in hearing/demoing XPR-1 (can you ever have enough power?!?) and the XPA-1L (Class A goodness for the first 35w -- NICE!). :)

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Naim Nait5i or NaitXS. Simply perfect for those.

 

Love my SuperNait. you can find a new-ish one for sale for $3000-$3500. Otherwise, a Naim streaming product would fit nicely in your budget (used or entry-level) and both the functionality and musicality of the products is wonderful - in my opinion, obviously. Their one-box offerings should not be construed as compromises.

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