Recommendations For Integrated Amp Around $800

Discussion in 'Power Amps' started by recarcar, Jan 14, 2016.

  1. recarcar

    recarcar Friend

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    I've been looking for a new amp for some time and wanted to see if anyone here is willing to share some of their experiences and give some advise on the topic. I just have an old Pioneer integrated amp (not working great) hooked up to some JBL Studio 530s, so I'm looking for an amp upgrade. I don't have much experience with this so any help would be great!

    I am using them on my desk in my fairly small living room. I don't need an integrated DAC, Bluetooth, etc. Just need something simple 40WPC and above. New or used is fine, but I am looking to stay under $800, and any budget recommendations are welcome.

    Just looking for something decently neutral/balanced that doesn't have a lot of timbral funkiness.
     

  2. thegunner100

    thegunner100 Hentai Master Chief

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    Can you wait? Schiit is probably going to release an integrated amp or power amp later this year. Emotiva is an option, but not many of us here have tried their products. You could also try finding some cheap pro power amps. Check this thread for some ideas.
     
  3. recarcar

    recarcar Friend

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    I can definitely wait. I'll snoop around the threads some more and see if I can find a cheap solution for the time being. I didn't know Schitt might be coming out with an integrated amp. Good to know that it could be an option. Thanks!
     
  4. Dr4Bob

    Dr4Bob Rando

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    I am really happy with Virtue Audio- I find mine (old Two.2) very neutral, with all the ss detail and punch, solidly built and it is quite compact. It drives the Role Sampans (like a lot of power) easily. The disadvantage of this amp, imo, is the noise/hiss which is only noticeable on very efficient speakers (noticeable on my Omegas, not on the Roles) but is said to be a result of the switching power supply and can be eliminated by going with battery power. The new Virtue One.3 is in your price range; Virtue amps rarely come up for sale on he used market- but if you are a thrill of the hunt kind of guy...
     
  5. deniall83

    deniall83 Rando

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    How do you know that about Schiit? I really hope it's true as I'm in the market for a new integrated and the Ragnarok is out of my price range at $3k in Australia. I'd happily pay US prices for one though.
     
  6. sashafuckinggrey

    sashafuckinggrey Acquaintance

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    read their latest story on head fi
     
  7. JoshMorr

    JoshMorr Friend

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    What are you using for a source?

    Unfortunately integrated amps at the $800 price range will all have trade offs. Alot will have a cheap dac or bluetooth built in these days. Shiit will probably make their amps a down and dirty clean power without too many input options, looks like a great recommendation for your setup, but you will have to wait an unknown amount of time.

    I've heard good things about NAD integrated's and the C 365BEE is a fairly common recommendation in price range.

    I personally really like Rotel and they make a RA-12 that could fit the bill, but it offers a couple of features you weren't interested in. I also don't know about availability in your area or exact price.
     
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  8. deniall83

    deniall83 Rando

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    Link? Even a title will do. The latest thing I can see is about the Bimby and it's like 130 pages.
     
  9. sashafuckinggrey

    sashafuckinggrey Acquaintance

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  10. 3X0

    3X0 Friend

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    Interested in the same topic. Seems most of the products in the price bracket have needless built-in functionality (e.g. crappy built-in DAC as mentioned) and are Class D.

    I've been using a Peachtree iNova. It's actually been a pretty great DAC but I'm pretty sure I can do better for a standalone integrated amp.
     
  11. uncola

    uncola Friend

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    for 1k I think you can get odyssey audio cyclops amp with built in volume control
     
  12. SAFETYpin

    SAFETYpin Rando

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  13. Rex Aeterna

    Rex Aeterna Friend

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    nad makes pretty good stuff.despite some hate for them, they actually make some really nice sounding stuff. i have nad 1000s preamp(uk/euro/london version of 1000) i use for my amps cause it has balanced outputs and does it job cleanly and sounds nice. i know lot newer nad stuff uses balanced connectors as well, which can be useful sometimes. i don't have much experience with newer stuff except pro audio stuff and that's it really. i always use seperate power amps and pres/mixers so i never went with integrated route in long, long time.

    don't knock class d stuff. yea, the cheaper chip amps i would stay away from even though they seem very tempting but, not all of it is bad. there is some nice stuff out there that uses discrete components and not chips for analog amplifications(yea...class d does not mean digital...it's still complete analog device but, there is some true digital devices out there but, very expensive.. class d is just different output design)...

    i like yamaha stuff too but, haven't used anything from them since the 80's m series stuff but, i liked them a good amount. just never had the headroom i needed though for very heavy reactive loads and would cause the amps to catch on fire(that's why i switched to crown, even driving 1ohm loads i never had issues)...

    just look around and audition stuff if you can and see what you like. you'll ind something eventually. it just takes a bit of patience. that's all. 800 bucks is great budget for an amp and will get you a really wonderful amplifier that will last and sound great for decades.
     
  14. 3X0

    3X0 Friend

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    The challenge with research into 2-channel amplifiers is that the wealth of anecdotal information out there is loaded with variables. The probability of gathering comparative data that is even remotely applicable to one's setup is tiny once you consider all the permutations of speaker/amp/source and (show)rooms opinions out there are based on. Then there's differences in tastes and frames of reference -- the UK "HiFi" crowd seems to be big in this hobby and I'm not yet convinced about the "British sound." I really can't wait for SBAF to develop into a meaningful resource for 2-channel enjoyment that I can actually relate to.

    I went with a used Cambridge Audio Azur 851A. I'll see how it compares against the iNova (with which I have no real qualms, except for some midrange thinness that I suspect is more from my speakers). But 2-channel is really a minefield and a safer bet might have been going with something like a Crown pro amp until Schiit releases their stuff. Oh well.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2016
  15. Rex Aeterna

    Rex Aeterna Friend

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    i agree. i don't get the whole ''british sound'' thing either. i also don't get the crap with ''west cost'' or ''east cost'' sound either...i mean give me a break lol.

    also of course there will be opinions and vast of endless information of equipment. there always will be like that. that what makes it interesting and fun. learning new things all the time. can be very great thing. even though i pretty much end game now, i am truly never gonna be done due to endless curiosity as i get going and get older. there is always something ''interesting''. not better, not worst, just interesting.

    i say you did very good and if you're happy with your choice and it satisfies you then, you made a very good and right decision on your part. i use crown because i like them and never found them lacking in fidelity while meeting with my criteria/need(big power for big heavy speakers and heavy paralleling loads). is there there better? yup,defiantly but, it doesn't bother me. i spent lot on my money on both my xls 2502 and xti 4002. do i regret it? nope. they been serving me very well for my needs and have features i take advantage of everyday. i could of bought a very hi-end home audiophile amp for the price i paid but, being around tons of amps my life and based on my needs/wants it wasn't much of a sacrifice i thought. i also been dying to try new things. i also wanted to give ''class d'' a try and i was not going the chip route to try it so i went with a trusted company i had experience with in the past(i had their big class a/b amps with linear hefty psu's) and so far been impressed and very happy with it.

    it's just all a risk. i just use my intuition all the time, that's all. it's part of the fun.
     
  16. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    You have to consider the total body experience. If you're in any kind of setting where you need to move gear around all the time, even if your ears disagree with class d, your back will love them.
     
  17. Rex Aeterna

    Rex Aeterna Friend

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    I wouldn't be surprised if there is 50lb class d design haha, especially for home audio out there...

    I will admit while I don't mind moving stuff, the crown xls amps are very nice weight and makes big difference moving stuff. Better than lifting around 70lb+ macro-techs around. The xti amps are pretty light too since they use switch mode power supplies which is nice on weight..I can't imagine the size of an iron core transformer needed for 3kw@4ohms...
     
  18. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    Yeah some of those kilowatt class D amps are pushing into backbreaker territory.

    I picked up a used Peavey IPR 1600 a couple weeks ago for $150. I don't care that the build quality feels iffy or that the case kinda rattles. I don't care that the sound is just "ok". This thing weighs 7 pounds!! That's less than the portable rack I mounted it in.
     
  19. Rex Aeterna

    Rex Aeterna Friend

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    That's only if using linear power supplies they would be but, even some if,using switching supplies has be decent enough size to be able handle high current bursts and handle the rms output/heat... I don't see class d/I amps getting any heavier than 25-35lbs in most cases.. the itech 12000 is only I think bout close to 30lbs and has over 10kw of output capabilities...

    My xls 2502 is only 10lbs which is nice . My xti only weighs bit more it being class a/b design and having 32 t-03 outputs it needs bit extra metal and stiffer power supply to handle the mount of power/heat it can produce.

    I was just picking on some home stuff when I mentioned 50lb class d cause some home/audiophile companies like to add in extra unnecessary metal to the chassis to make it feel heavier(and end result more expensive)..

    That is great deal on the peavey I think. Never had experience with them though.
     
  20. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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