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snooka3000

Help with Integrated Amp under $1,000

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Hello! 

 

It's time for me to upgrade from my hand me down Adcom gear (GFP-400 & GFA-5400).  The amp has gotten "noisy" so I'm looking to upgrade.

 

I have a hard ceiling of $1,000.  Under $800 would be awesome. 

 

This is a 2.1 system.  Speakers are Klipsch Chorus II with Crites tweeters and refreshed crossovers.  I'll be connecting my PC for streaming, Marantz cd player, Pro-Ject turntable and a M&K MX-105 subwoofer.  My goal is the best sounding set up I can get for the money.  I'm not necessarily concerned with wifi or app control but both are fine.  Convenience is secondary - I have another 2.2 setup for casual music. 

 

I've been to two local hifi shops.  One carries NAD + others and the other Parasound.  I'm ok with internet purchases and ebay.

 

I've considered:

NAD C368

PeachTree Audio Nov220SE (would be used and need separate phono stage)

Schiit Saga and Vidar (would need to add phono stage)

Rotel A12

Cambridge Audio CXA60 and CXA80 (would need separate phono stage)

Nuprime IDA-8 (would need separate phono stage) (appear to be above budget)

Vintage and Serviced Marantz (2240)/ Harman Kardon (730 or 930) from ebay.

 

Can anyone make a recommendation?  

 

Thank you!

 

Kelly

 

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11 minutes ago, snooka3000 said:

Cambridge Audio CXA60

This one.

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 I own the previous model to the Rotel A12, the Rotel RA-12.I have zero complaints about it and think it offers a great deal for the buck. A built in excellent quality DAC, plus multiple input options, RCA, Optical, Coaxial, a phono stage and a USB input on the front for hooking up your Ipad or phone. Plus you can bridge it to a power amp if you feel the need for more power. (Which I have done and now dispensed with). Look at the used market for either and you can probably save yourself enough money to buy a Rotel power amp as well. Something to consider. I own multiple Rotel amps and 3 of their CDPs and think they offer excellent quality for money spent. Certainley worth looking into, good luck with whatever you buy.

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I would avoid any integrated that doesn't have at least a balance control.  You mention the Peachtree.  ..I had a Nova a while back and liked how it looked and felt to operate.  However, when I turned the volume wayyy down when listening early am, one channel would attenuate more quickly than the other.  Without a balance control there was no way to adjust this. I sent it back for adjustment and it was improved only slightly   I consider that to be an egineering "fail".  

 

I've had Rotel and NAD gear and loved both.  Have never owned but I know Yamaha and Onkyo have great offerings as well.  As for vintage..  while I do love the look of vintage gear, I can't help but worry about having an old appliance plugged in all the time.  

 

You might find you get more for your money if you go with either an A/V receiver or even an AM/FM receiver.  ..Even if you don't need multi-channel or AM/FM

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My Chorus II's have sounded best on the following integrateds, all of which can be found under $1k.  

  • Yamaha AS-1000 - Great phono section, plenty of power, really nice build quality
  • Rogue Sphinx - Plenty of power, excellent bass slam and high freq detail, good phono section
  • Musical Fidelity A5 - Overkill power, great bass, smooth mids and highs, may be tough to find under $1k, but I bought and sold mine well under that
  • Scott 222 (restored) - Excellent dynamics, great phono stage, one of my favorites
  • Scott LK-72 (restored) - Good dynamics, exceptionally smooth mid range, good bass, great phono

All in all, I prefer tubes on my Chorus II's.  The Scott amps, once restored, are just stunning.  

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6 hours ago, MATT0404 said:

My Chorus II's have sounded best on the following integrateds, all of which can be found under $1k.  

  • Yamaha AS-1000 - Great phono section, plenty of power, really nice build quality

I second this suggestion.  Every speaker I drove with it sounded fantastic.

 

Bill

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I’ve never heard a Yammerhammer that I’ve liked - but I would love to hear that particular unit. 

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I am using the Cambridge Audio CXA60 I bought last week. I absolutely love it. Plenty of power and rock solid construction. Nothing fancy just:

 

Tidal HIFI + CXA60 + Chorus ii’s couldn’t be happier for not a lot of dough!

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23 hours ago, ODS123 said:

You might find you get more for your money if you go with either an A/V receiver or even an AM/FM receiver.  ..Even if you don't need multi-channel or AM/FM

 

This is terrible advice for a 2-channel solution. 

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On 11/30/2018 at 5:24 PM, Benjie said:

I am using the Cambridge Audio CXA60 I bought last week. I absolutely love it. Plenty of power and rock solid construction. Nothing fancy just:

 

Tidal HIFI + CXA60 + Chorus ii’s couldn’t be happier for not a lot of dough!

Actually, it is fancy - but since you’re willing to live with 60 watts, you didn’t have to spend a lot to get it.

 

I bought the other one he sold. It’s still in the box! I won’t have time to play until Sunday.  

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20 hours ago, MATT0404 said:

My Chorus II's have sounded best on the following integrateds, all of which can be found under $1k.  

  • Yamaha AS-1000 - Great phono section, plenty of power, really nice build quality
  • Rogue Sphinx - Plenty of power, excellent bass slam and high freq detail, good phono section
  • Musical Fidelity A5 - Overkill power, great bass, smooth mids and highs, may be tough to find under $1k, but I bought and sold mine well under that
  • Scott 222 (rebuilt) - Excellent dynamics, great phono stage, one of my favorites
  • Scott LK-72 (restored) - Good dynamics, exceptionally smooth mid range, good bass, great phono

All in all, I prefer tubes on my Chorus II's.  The Scott amps, once restored, are just stunning.  

Even though it was bass shy compared to my Scott 208 Power amp I do miss my Scott LK-48. Attack, decay, instumental realism and wide soundstage.

 

The first time I heard The Band sing The Weight on the LK-48 with my Chorus IIs was the beginning of the end of my interest in Home Theater.

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26 minutes ago, Deang said:

 

This is terrible advice for a 2-channel solution. 

I am cursed to be affected by the jitter fatigue and edgy highs of any preamp with DACs in it.

 

Cymbals and piano just sound horrible.

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30 minutes ago, Deang said:

 

I am going to being trying out a better DAC, run inline with a preamp since I need a Crossover in addition. Perhaps if you cant run a DAC straight to your amps, this may also be a solution for you? 

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Still ...

 

I’ve never played with DACs - but the Benchmark stuff has always intrigued me. 

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I was using a benchmark DAC3 straight into crown macro amps and it was Def one of the better setups I've ever had.  I would say IMO the unit could be unforgiving with the wrong recordings.   Foolishly sold it and the crowns to "downgrade".   Oh well, life goes on. 

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Stay away from pro stuff unless you’re pro end to end. Pro and consumer stuff doesn’t play well together. And besides ...

 

QSC PLX rules. 

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I would have to disagree with you there.   I have done several consumer to pro pairings.   Are you concerned about the  levels not working well?   I wouldn't recommend blind pairing and would suggest one understand the differences in audio level.   That being said, they work well together with a little thought.  Yes QSC PLX amps are nice.  I decided not to tinker and modify my plx gear since I would be running it bridged mono. Instead I will use two crown macro references which have zero audible fan noise under normal conditions.   I still think these are my favorite amps I have owned.   Time to find another.   

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