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High powered integrated amp recommendations

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On 12/7/2018 at 10:51 AM, Kimo said:

I settled upon an option.  Working on getting it to the house.  Not an integrated, per se, but a DAC/Preamp & Power Amp combo from the same maker.  150 into 8 ohms, 250 into 4 ohms, and fine with a 2 ohm load.  First 20 watts class A, with an enormous SNR.  Not a Benchmark combo.

 

Will review and update upon audition.  

Have you considered the Parasound Integrated? Recently upgraded, it has a John Curl designed power amplifier section. Sounds mighty good.


George

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39 minutes ago, gmgraves said:

Have you considered the Parasound Integrated? Recently upgraded, it has a John Curl designed power amplifier section. Sounds mighty good.

 

Thanks.  I am set with the Linnenberg equipment, likely for one of our lives, mine or the amp's.  It sits in the super amp territory, at least as far as my price points go.  Lateral mosfet with current.  High bandwidth.  Sort of like getting a hand made German version of the Swiss audio experience.  

 

Now I am actually starting to look a bit into audiophile cabling to go with it and the Innuos.  You know, don't want to choke the performance sort of thing.  

 

I wonder if there is any advantage to using a certain type of cabling with a high bandwidth design?  Probably not, but I will try Google anyway.

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17 hours ago, sfseay said:

That is the first time I have heard the 585 as sounding dark.  I guess you haven’t heard it or you wouldn’t say that.  I own a 585 and it is far from dark sounding.  Nobody would pay over $10,000.00 for a dark sounding integrated.  Very neutral sounding integrated.  

 

It sounds so good I’m selling my beloved Pass Labs INT-30A.

I used to own an INT 30A, but upgraded.  One of the few amps I actually miss.  It really had a wonderful sound that I haven't quite heard in the newer stuff.

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On 6/10/2018 at 10:45 PM, Kimo said:

I am considering auditioning some higher powered electronics with my Alta Audio Celesta FRM-2 monitors.  They are of a nominal 4 ohm load.  I am only interested in integrated amps.  So far I have come up with 2 candidates.

 

1. Pass Labs INT 250

2. Jeff Rowland Continuum S2

 

I have ruled out a few brands already for various reasons:  Accuphase, Ayre, Boulder, Chord, Devialet, and Musical Fidelity.

 

Looking for suggestions and at least 200 watts per channel into 8 ohms.  Market seems smaller than I had thought.  I am done with heavy separates and monoblocks, though obviously the Pass isn't very easy on the back.

Hi Kimo,

 

I’m wondering what you don’t like about Devialet gear.

 

My Devialet 200 is my favourite piece of equipment for both sound quality and features - internal DAC, Pre/Power Amps, active crossover with both frequency and time delay, upgradeable firmware, streamer, flexible inputs...

 

We all like what we like so not challenging your decision just interested in your reasoning.


LOUNGE: Mac Mini - Audirvana - Devialet 200 - ATOHM GT1 Speakers

OFFICE : Mac Mini - Audirvana - Benchmark DAC1HDR - ADAM A7 Active Monitors

TRAVEL : MacBook Air - Dragonfly V1.2 DAC - Sennheiser HD 650

BEACH : iPhone 6 - HRT iStreamer DAC - Akimate Micro + powered speakers

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1 hour ago, Ajax said:

Hi Kimo,

 

I’m wondering what you don’t like about Devialet gear.

 

My Devialet 200 is my favourite piece of equipment for both sound quality and features - internal DAC, Pre/Power Amps, active crossover with both frequency and time delay, upgradeable firmware, streamer, flexible inputs...

 

We all like what we like so not challenging your decision just interested in your reasoning.

I couldn't get an audition when I had the Pass gear, so I didn't even consider Devialet this time around.  I also didn't want an internal DAC with the integrated.  This led me down the path of just getting a DAC/Preamp combo and a power amp.

 

I don't believe too many integrateds would provide the same power/current/SNR as the amp I decided upon.

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7 hours ago, Kimo said:

 

Thanks.  I am set with the Linnenberg equipment, likely for one of our lives, mine or the amp's.  It sits in the super amp territory, at least as far as my price points go.  Lateral mosfet with current.  High bandwidth.  Sort of like getting a hand made German version of the Swiss audio experience.  

 

Now I am actually starting to look a bit into audiophile cabling to go with it and the Innuos.  You know, don't want to choke the performance sort of thing.  

 

I wonder if there is any advantage to using a certain type of cabling with a high bandwidth design?  Probably not, but I will try Google anyway.

Your speakers might require a certain type of cable to sound their best, and then again they might not. Ask the speaker’s manufacturer. They have the best chance of knowing whether the speakers require a certain brand or model of speaker cable or whether they’re happy with 14 gauge zip cord. Chances are, you’ll not find it on your own. There are too many brands for you to stumble on the right one accidentally.

 

On the other hand, all coaxial cable interconnects have several orders of magnitude more bandwidth than audio requires, so don’t worry about that. As for different brands of interconnects sounding different, there is no scientific evidence that there is any reason for different coaxial interconnects to have any sound of their own. Many here will tell you that all interconnects sound different, and under certain listening conditions they can “sound different”, but laws of physics, as they apply to conductors, which is what interconnects are, say that such differences are impossible. My experience with wire as well as my engineering background, tell me that when people say that they hear a difference with different interconnects, it only exists in their imagination, and is the result of expectational and outcome-based bias. They expect that an expensive cable must sound better than a cheap one and their imagination makes sure that it does!

If a cable actually does sound different than another make or model, it is because one cable or both have been engineered to attenuate some portion of the audio spectrum to purposely be different from the competition. Cable is passive. It can only subtract information from the signal it’s passing, it has no active circuitry so, by definition, it cannot add anything! Ideal ones do not alter the signal they’re passing AT ALL. What you want is a cable that’s honestly, completely neutral. If it isn’t, in my opinion, (and by definition) it’s subtracting something from the signal that it’s supposed to be passing, unchanged and that’s not it’s purpose. Again, buying expensive, so called “boutique” interconnects is a waste of money. Again, I council you to buy well made cables made with quality coax such as RG-59 and forget the expensive spread! In the long run you’ll be happier for it.

Many here will tell you that I am wrong and that interconnects between components are crucial. Well, that’s their opinion, and they are certainly entitled to it. I have science on my side and a master’s degree in electronics engineering; plus I worked in the cable specifying, testing and measuring division of a large aerospace corporation for years, and I know what I’m talking about. Compare this to others here. Guys and gals who are mostly really nice and helpful people, but who are naive audiophiles whose opinions are formed solely from what they think they hear.

Above all, make up your own mind, just be mindful of both sides of the issue.


George

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17 hours ago, Kimo said:

I couldn't get an audition when I had the Pass gear, so I didn't even consider Devialet this time around.  I also didn't want an internal DAC with the integrated.  This led me down the path of just getting a DAC/Preamp combo and a power amp.

 

I don't believe too many integrateds would provide the same power/current/SNR as the amp I decided upon.

Hi Kimo,

 

I get that.

 

In my humble opinion the best bang for your buck for playing digital audio is a very high quality front end (Pre / DAC) such that Benchmark Media produce combined with either active speakers or a power amp + passive speakers.

 

I have such systems in my office and my son’s home recording studio.

 

The Devialet is in my living room and I chose it because it sounds incredibly good, is WAF friendly and the active crossover allows me to easily blend in 2 x stereo subs with my ATC SCM 19 speakers.


LOUNGE: Mac Mini - Audirvana - Devialet 200 - ATOHM GT1 Speakers

OFFICE : Mac Mini - Audirvana - Benchmark DAC1HDR - ADAM A7 Active Monitors

TRAVEL : MacBook Air - Dragonfly V1.2 DAC - Sennheiser HD 650

BEACH : iPhone 6 - HRT iStreamer DAC - Akimate Micro + powered speakers

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16 hours ago, gmgraves said:

Your speakers might require a certain type of cable to sound their best, and then again they might not. Ask the speaker’s manufacturer. They have the best chance of knowing whether the speakers require a certain brand or model of speaker cable or whether they’re happy with 14 gauge zip cord. Chances are, you’ll not find it on your own. There are too many brands for you to stumble on the right one accidentally.

 

On the other hand, all coaxial cable interconnects have several orders of magnitude more bandwidth than audio requires, so don’t worry about that. As for different brands of interconnects sounding different, there is no scientific evidence that there is any reason for different coaxial interconnects to have any sound of their own. Many here will tell you that all interconnects sound different, and under certain listening conditions they can “sound different”, but laws of physics, as they apply to conductors, which is what interconnects are, say that such differences are impossible. My experience with wire as well as my engineering background, tell me that when people say that they hear a difference with different interconnects, it only exists in their imagination, and is the result of expectational and outcome-based bias. They expect that an expensive cable must sound better than a cheap one and their imagination makes sure that it does!

If a cable actually does sound different than another make or model, it is because one cable or both have been engineered to attenuate some portion of the audio spectrum to purposely be different from the competition. Cable is passive. It can only subtract information from the signal it’s passing, it has no active circuitry so, by definition, it cannot add anything! Ideal ones do not alter the signal they’re passing AT ALL. What you want is a cable that’s honestly, completely neutral. If it isn’t, in my opinion, (and by definition) it’s subtracting something from the signal that it’s supposed to be passing, unchanged and that’s not it’s purpose. Again, buying expensive, so called “boutique” interconnects is a waste of money. Again, I council you to buy well made cables made with quality coax such as RG-59 and forget the expensive spread! In the long run you’ll be happier for it.

Many here will tell you that I am wrong and that interconnects between components are crucial. Well, that’s their opinion, and they are certainly entitled to it. I have science on my side and a master’s degree in electronics engineering; plus I worked in the cable specifying, testing and measuring division of a large aerospace corporation for years, and I know what I’m talking about. Compare this to others here. Guys and gals who are mostly really nice and helpful people, but who are naive audiophiles whose opinions are formed solely from what they think they hear.

Above all, make up your own mind, just be mindful of both sides of the issue.

Thank you for the insights.

 

I currently use Apogee, Mogami, and Pass Labs cable in the system, along with a Belkin Gold USB cable,.  I have had many pass through over the years; Audience, Auditorium 23, Mapleshade, Cardas, Audioquest, Kimber, etc.  

 

I was more concerned about issues with the wide bandwidth amplifier and ultrasonic noise.  I looked around the web and found a little discussion and some warnings regarding extra shielding, etc.  

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parasound just showed some new items - may not be ultimate SQ, but his stuff is always well worth a look...


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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2 hours ago, Ralf11 said:

parasound just showed some new items - may not be ultimate SQ, but his stuff is always well worth a look...

It has been my experience that any audio component that John Curl designs is, pretty much, by definition, S.O.T.A.! This is especially true for the latest revision of the Parasound INT-6, their integrated amp. For the first time since I got it, The sonic quality of the Parasound has me thinking about replacing my Harman-Kardon HK-990! They are very similar units in that both have similar power, phono preamps for both MM and MC phono, built-in 24-bit DACs, and separate, controllable subwoofer outputs (I don’t use the built-in DAC in my H-K, and wouldn’t use the DAC in the Parasound either. I think that the DAC is one piece of equipment that shouldn’t be integrated into an integrated. There are so many different flavors of DAC available (and they all sound so different) that I believe that this device should be left to the choice of the individual audiophile,). The amp on the Parasound sounds a bit better to my ears than the amp in the H-K. However, the H-K has something built-in that the Parasound lacks... DSP room correction. It makes my subwoofers blend seamlessly with my Martin-Logans, a feature that I fear I would miss were I to trade the H-K for the Parasound.


George

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Agreed, but IIRC this is a budget line


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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On 4/12/2019 at 2:14 PM, Ajax said:

Hi Kimo,

 

I’m wondering what you don’t like about Devialet gear.

 

My Devialet 200 is my favourite piece of equipment for both sound quality and features - internal DAC, Pre/Power Amps, active crossover with both frequency and time delay, upgradeable firmware, streamer, flexible inputs...

 

We all like what we like so not challenging your decision just interested in your reasoning.

 

 

There has been a recent slash in pricing across Devialet line. Fore example, a brand new factory sealed 440 Expert Pro CI was sold for $10500cad by a dealer in British Columbia. As a result, people stay away from the brand. Imagine buying it and tomorrow the MSRP is only 50% of what it was until yesterday.

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On 4/11/2019 at 7:51 PM, sfseay said:

That is the first time I have heard the 585 as sounding dark.  I guess you haven’t heard it or you wouldn’t say that.  I own a 585 and it is far from dark sounding.  Nobody would pay over $10,000.00 for a dark sounding integrated.  Very neutral sounding integrated.  

 

It sounds so good I’m selling my beloved Pass Labs INT-30A.

 

Nobody wants to pay more than $4700 for it on used markets now that 585.5 hit the market

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Regarding Accuphase, I stumbled upon http://www.japanhifi.com

Pretty good pricing and they are legit. Seeing those prices of Accuphase, e.g. E-480 in $7000s, E-470 in $6000s, E-650 in $8000s etc, does that change any perception on the discussion so far? In terms of bang for the back, of course. The main reason for exclusion of Accuphase was the problem with NA pricing, approx. 2 time the price of JapanHIFI. The only thing is that they provide step-down transformer for 110v/100v (free of charge), but that is not a big deal in the grand scheme of things

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On 11/24/2018 at 9:03 PM, Kimo said:

I dismissed them due to their high cost in the US market.  US retail on the 470 is 12K.  Buy new with step down transformer from Japan for 6K.  That is an expensive warranty.  

 

Can you elaborate on warranty if buying from Japan for $6k?

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On 3/26/2019 at 9:49 PM, Kimo said:

I have the Linnenberg Wydor in the house and am running it with LInnenberg Telemann DAC/Preamp.  This accounts for my "integrated" solution.  

 

Not sure how much break in is needed, but I would characterize the sound this way.  Much like a clearer, more extended version of Pass Labs Class A offerings, the combo offers amazing depth compared with most other amps that I have had in the listening room.  The high SNR results in more subtle ques being more obvious, but not thrown out of proportion. 

 

Bass is a strong suit as well.  I never noticed this much texture on "Dreams."  Cymbals are extended, but so far never really harsh.  This of course may be due to the sound of the RAAL tweeter, at least in part.

 

The Linnenberg sound can be summed up as detailed, clean, deep, and colorful, with strong bass and extended highs.  

 

Well worth the wait.

 

Have you considered T+A 3100HV ? Many say it beats everything out there

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12 minutes ago, navrsale said:

 

Can you elaborate on warranty if buying from Japan for $6k?

I don't think that you get one.  Need to buy from an authorized dealer, which is the benefit of a USA purchase for sure.  I still won't pay that sort of bump to import.  

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12 minutes ago, navrsale said:

 

Have you considered T+A 3100HV ? Many say it beats everything out there

I did.  I read some reviews and some extra stuff on the net.  Sounds like good stuff, but an in home audition was not part of the package, so no buy.

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3 hours ago, Kimo said:

I don't think that you get one.  Need to buy from an authorized dealer, which is the benefit of a USA purchase for sure.  I still won't pay that sort of bump to import.  

 

What would be the approx. cost of importing this $6k unit from Japan?

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well put!

 

I meant that this John Curl design is a less expensive line for Parasound.


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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On 4/14/2019 at 11:14 AM, navrsale said:

 

Nobody wants to pay more than $4700 for it on used markets now that 585.5 hit the market

That makes no sense.  The phono preamp in the 585.5 isn’t worth $4000.00.  I don’t play vinyl so it isn’t worth anything to me.


Main System
Mark Levinson 585 Integrated Amplifier, PS Audio Directstream DAC, PS Audio Directstream Memory Player, Auralic Altair Music Streamer, PS Audio P3 Power Plant, Focal Sopra 1 Speakers, Definitive Technology PF15TL Subwoofer, Audioquest CV-8 Speaker Cables, Morrow Audio XLR Interconnects, PS Audio Statement Power Cords
 
Office System
Edge i3 Integrated Amplifier, Job 225 Amplifier, Sony HAPZ1ES Digital Audio Player, Auralic Aires Mini Music Streamer w/ 1TB SSD, Auralic Vega DAC, McIntosh MR7803 Tuner, KEF LS50 Speakers, Audioquest, CV-8 Speaker Cables

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On 4/12/2019 at 1:25 PM, Kimo said:

I used to own an INT 30A, but upgraded.  One of the few amps I actually miss.  It really had a wonderful sound that I haven't quite heard in the newer stuff.

 Probably it was not sufficiently resolving? Last few years, whether it is electronics or speakers, the trend is in the resolution. Because the musicality and liquidity must not suffer, the prices shoot up and up

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On 4/14/2019 at 11:40 AM, Kimo said:

I did.  I read some reviews and some extra stuff on the net.  Sounds like good stuff, but an in home audition was not part of the package, so no buy.

 

What about Soulution 330 and 530? Have you considered?

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On 5/6/2019 at 8:13 AM, navrsale said:

 

What about Soulution 330 and 530? Have you considered?

 

Wydor and Telemann retail for same the amount as the 330.   Upgrade path for Satie is an easy one.

 

530 is too pricey for me.  

 

 

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