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Help GUTB Get a Consumer Amp


GUTB
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Okay guys.

 

Help me get a consumer-grade integrated amp that can compete with high-end sound. All my preconceptions and biases are out the window. Class D. Vintage. Super cheap. All amps are welcome. There are no price limitation except that it must be in the general consumer product price range. No boutique gear. No gear that can only be heard in dealers and audio shows. Consumer brands only (NAD, Yamaha, Onkyo, etc and so on).

 

I will seriously evaluate the amp in my system, and directly compare it against my Linnenberg Allegros. 

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Probably the antithesis of what I guess you mean by "Consumer", but, by repute, if you are looking for maximum bang for minimum buck in an integrated, try the NVA AP amps:  £400-£900 in UK.

 

Orherwise, something from Rotel (A10?) or Denon maybe?

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10 hours ago, GUTB said:

Okay guys.

 

Help me get a consumer-grade integrated amp that can compete with high-end sound. All my preconceptions and biases are out the window. Class D. Vintage. Super cheap. All amps are welcome. There are no price limitation except that it must be in the general consumer product price range. No boutique gear. No gear that can only be heard in dealers and audio shows. Consumer brands only (NAD, Yamaha, Onkyo, etc and so on).

 

I will seriously evaluate the amp in my system, and directly compare it against my Linnenberg Allegros. 

 

Yamaha natural sound line looks interesting.  There are several models that range greatly in price.  This one looks to be near the middle.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-S1100SL-Channel-Integrated-Amplifier/dp/B0105JWDPU/ref=sr_1_4?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1516375276&sr=1-4&keywords=yamaha+integrated+amplifier

 

 

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As per @GUTB's other tendentious thread on this subject, it's not clear what the question or desired comparison actually is.

 

  1. Is the intent to compare a lower-end, sub-$500 stereo amplifier to $10,000-and-up separates?
  2. Or is it about comparing an integrated price in the $2000 range with $10k and up stuff?
  3. Or is it about comparing sub-$500 stuff to $2000-$5000ish gear?

 

If the notion is that a $200 Onkyo integrated won't be able to compete at the same level as 5-digit price-tag separates, then I don't see the point of even doing a comparison. 

 

The issue, as I see it, is that the sonic distinctions between lower and higher end gear generally are real, and in general there's no such thing as a free lunch - so usually a piece of gear that costs 10x or more is going to sound more refined or better in some way.

 

But at the same time, price is not correlated with quality in a fully linear or predictable way. So there are cheap integrateds that likely perform just as well as separates costing 2-5x as much; there is expensive and super-expensive gear that sounds very good but underperforms for the price; and there often are diminishing returns as you go farther and farther up the price ladder - although there might also be a sublime sonic pot of gold at the end, if you get lucky. And when comparing, say, a $9000 setup with say a $17000 one, the price difference is huge but it's not clear from that which one will be better, whereas when comparing a $300 and $2500 setup, it is far more likely that you can depend on the $2000 one sounding better.

 

My recommendation is to get a very inexpensive but well-regarded integrated like the Onkyo 9010 noted above, along with one or two integrateds or preamp-power amp pairings in the $1000-$4000 range. Compare them to each other, and to your $10000 or $25000 or whatever reference gear. The point of such a comparison IMHO should not be to come to broad, overarching conclusions - which would be silly given how few data points you'd have - but rather to try to understand and describe to others the sonic differences you hear: what they are, how major or minor they are, and so on.

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1 hour ago, wgscott said:

I always thought an interesting experiment would be to take some inexpensive but decent amp board (say a Class D Audio kit) and dress it up in a very fancy case and maybe even include some non-functioning tube circuits that glow when you turn it on, mis-lable it, and see if people really can hear its allegedly inferior hobbyist-grade class D internals.

Hi,

Yes - here is a class D kit that costs EURO-225 per channel (1 amplifier board with components, 1 SMPS power Supply), and will be the same as a high end amplifier. The design uses a specific induction toroid Micrometals T130-2 - which is reasonably difficult to obtain.

 

https://www.elektormagazine.com/labs/200w-class-d-audio-power-amplifier-150511

 

Amplifiers from a cheaper £1k to the costliest Bel Canto use the same N-Core Class D module.

 

Regards,

Shadders.

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4 hours ago, wgscott said:

I always thought an interesting experiment would be to take some inexpensive but decent amp board (say a Class D Audio kit) and dress it up in a very fancy case and maybe even include some non-functioning tube circuits that glow when you turn it on, mis-lable it, and see if people really can hear its allegedly inferior hobbyist-grade class D internals.

 

there is an example of this (maybe with a DAC) posted somewhere - with pics

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2 minutes ago, Ralf11 said:

 

there is an example of this (maybe with a DAC) posted somewhere - with pics

 

Here is something similar:

 

http://www.audioholics.com/blu-ray-and-dvd-player-reviews/lexicon-bd-30-blu-ray-oppo-clone/oppo-inside-lexicon-outside-1

Sometimes it's like someone took a knife, baby
Edgy and dull and cut a six inch valley
Through the middle of my skull

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31 minutes ago, kumakuma said:

Been awhile since I saw that.  Still too funny.  Or pathetic.  I am pretty sure some high end gear has more spent on the case than any other part, but this is taking the idea too far.  

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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16 hours ago, GUTB said:

Okay guys.

 

Help me get a consumer-grade integrated amp that can compete with high-end sound. All my preconceptions and biases are out the window. Class D. Vintage. Super cheap. All amps are welcome. There are no price limitation except that it must be in the general consumer product price range. No boutique gear. No gear that can only be heard in dealers and audio shows. Consumer brands only (NAD, Yamaha, Onkyo, etc and so on).

 

I will seriously evaluate the amp in my system, and directly compare it against my Linnenberg Allegros. 

 

You can see if you can find a second hand Pioneer A-858. I had one many years ago and was very unhappy years after I sold it. ?

 

625083936598804031830646-1791016-700_700.thumb.jpg.aeb0d48407dcdda1be64886b31ae7cd3.jpg

Auralic Aries Mini, Ariston RD40 & Mytek Brooklyn DAC system with Fostex TH900 & Gibson Les Paul 8 reference monitors.                           

I see my life in terms of music. Albert Einstein

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I have the Yamaha AS 2000.  It is built like a tank. No problems and it drives my Joseph Audio Perspectives and Salk Subs quite nicely.  

In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake ~ Sayre's Law

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Denon. My gut impression is that value for money in the sound stakes is as good as anything else out there - listen to the most expensive unit they do, then see if one of the lesser ones can still do the job well enough. Make sure all the switches for the most direct path are activated when testing, to evaluate the quality of the raw amplifying stages.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Congrats on undertaking this GUTB!

 

I will buy you a beer*

 

and if you do blind testing with matched SPLs etc. then a good beer.

 

 

 

* offer valid when in near geographic proximity; valid where prohibited by law

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