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Forte I Receiver Recommendations - Modern or Vintage


DougM
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Austin Home Systems let me take home a Rega Brio to audition. It sounded really, really good, and is probably my best option yet. My one problem with it is superficial: I don't like the look. I like the look of the Elex-R better, but I'd need to go second-hand there

 

With either Rega amp I'd loose digital connectivity, but maybe having a great phono stage AND digital inputs is too much to ask in the $1k price range. Started thinking about a Cambridge CXA81 + Solo Preamp but that's getting me to $1.5k (and still no tone controls). 

 

I'd be inclined to try more of these vintage recs but the prices I'm seeing are too high. I'm also starting to enjoy the cleaner sound of modern gear. That said, I've had a rather tough time replacing my SX-727!

 

May rankings so far with the Forte's:

 

1) Rega Brio

2/3) Harman/Kardon 430 / Pioneer SX-727

4) Marantz PM6007 

5) Denon PMA-600NE

6) Outlaw RR2160MKII 

7/8) Harman/Kardon 730 (seller refurbished) / Luxman R-115 

 

Other options:

Used Elex-R 

CXA81 + Solo Phono Stage (expensive) 

NAD C 368 - Austin Home Systems 2nd rec after Brio/offering take home trial

Rotel A12 - Crutchfield rec

Audiolab 6000a - ABTV rec (restocking fee)

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Doug M, the Rega Elex-R is a noticable step up from the Brio from my inquiry. I'm driving my Forte I with a Rega Mira3 amp and it's an amazing combination of synergy and PRaT. I've read from users that the Marantz PM8006 is a fantastic combo w/ the Fortes. For me I'm looking at and would have a hard time choosing between the Elex-R and PM8006. Having never had a modern Marantz I'm interest in all the talk about the Forte/PM8006, but dang, that British Rega PRat and warm sound is also tugging at me.

 

As far as loosing DAC connectability, my Schiit Audio Modi3 DAC is a great one at $99 and pairs well w/ Rega.

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On 1/20/2022 at 8:12 PM, mjcmt said:

Doug M, the Rega Elex-R is a noticable step up from the Brio from my inquiry. I'm driving my Forte I with a Rega Mira3 amp and it's an amazing combination of synergy and PRaT. I've read from users that the Marantz PM8006 is a fantastic combo w/ the Fortes. For me I'm looking at and would have a hard time choosing between the Elex-R and PM8006. Having never had a modern Marantz I'm interest in all the talk about the Forte/PM8006, but dang, that British Rega PRat and warm sound is also tugging at me.

 

As far as loosing DAC connectability, my Schiit Audio Modi3 DAC is a great one at $99 and pairs well w/ Rega.

 

I think the Elex-R may end up being a bit too lean/bright with the Fortes. The What Hifi? review of the new Brio compliments it on being more forgiving than its predicessor the Brio-R... which I think shares DNA with the Elex-R. Their review of the Elex-R also cautions against pairing it with bright speakers.

 

I think the current Brio may be the move, though I did find a refurbished Marantz PM-8006 and a refurbished Cambridge CXA-81 that are still in my price range.  I have the Marantz now. So far the phono stage is very, very good, but I don't have that "everything just sounds right" aspect that I had with the Brio when flipping through the CD collection. 

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17 hours ago, DougM said:

 

I think the Elex-R may end up being a bit too lean/bright with the Fortes. The What Hifi? review of the new Brio compliments it on being more forgiving than its predicessor the Brio-R... which I think shares DNA with the Elex-R. Their review of the Elex-R also cautions against pairing it with bright speakers.

 

I think the current Brio may be the move, though I did find a refurbished Marantz PM-8006 and a refurbished Cambridge CXA-81 that are still in my price range.  I have the Marantz now. So far the phono stage is very, very good, but I don't have that "everything just sounds right" aspect that I had with the Brio when flipping through the CD collection. 

Rega is moving towards more detailed amps, though I don't find my Mira3 lacking in any with a warm analogue presentation. It's not as airy and clear as my modern tube amp but with better PRaT. It's a big step up from my modern AVR in sound quality with more detail and bigger soundstage. This is all I have to compare to and it sounds wonderful w/ my Forte I. I've read time and time again about the pairing of Marantz and Klipsch if that means anything. BTW, Mira3 can be had for a nice price and is a good match w/ my Klipsch.

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