New Integrated Amp for MA GX300's - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 28 Old 08-13-2017, 07:22 AM - Thread Starter
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New Integrated Amp for MA GX300's

Having recently taken early retirement, I am now able to spend more time listening to music and am looking to finally improve my system (listed below), which is ok for movies etc but not really for hifi. So I am in the market for a new amplifier, but in order to maintain my marriage it will have to be an integrated one.

Living in Ireland, I don't have easy access to a great number of dealers, so the possible amps that I can get access to audition (within my budget of €3,000) are as follows -

  • Hegel Rost
  • Hegel H160
  • Marantz PM14S1 Special Edition
  • Rega Elicit-R
  • Roksan Caspian M2
  • Sony TA-A1ES
  • Yamaha A-S2100

I'm looking for recommendations as to which amp would best suit my speakers, I listen mainly to Jazz & orchestral Classical music.



Current setup is Pioneer SCLX86 with Monitor Audio GX300's, Monitor Audio GoldCP in-ceiling/wall, REL Storm. My main sources are SkyQ, Apple tv, Oppo BDP-95 & Bluesound Node2
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post #2 of 28 Old 08-14-2017, 01:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Headspun View Post
Having recently taken early retirement, I am now able to spend more time listening to music and am looking to finally improve my system (listed below), which is ok for movies etc but not really for hifi. So I am in the market for a new amplifier, but in order to maintain my marriage it will have to be an integrated one.

Living in Ireland, I don't have easy access to a great number of dealers, so the possible amps that I can get access to audition (within my budget of €3,000) are as follows -

  • Hegel Rost
  • Hegel H160
  • Marantz PM14S1 Special Edition
  • Rega Elicit-R
  • Roksan Caspian M2
  • Sony TA-A1ES
  • Yamaha A-S2100

I'm looking for recommendations as to which amp would best suit my speakers, I listen mainly to Jazz & orchestral Classical music.



Current setup is Pioneer SCLX86 with Monitor Audio GX300's, Monitor Audio GoldCP in-ceiling/wall, REL Storm. My main sources are SkyQ, Apple tv, Oppo BDP-95 & Bluesound Node2
I have a 95 as well, and I'd want to take advantage of Oppo's balanced connections. That would have me pointing toward the Hegel 160 and the Yamaha.

The best thing would be to find a dealer that would let you audition in home if possible.
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post #3 of 28 Old 08-14-2017, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by glangford View Post
I have a 95 as well, and I'd want to take advantage of Oppo's balanced connections. That would have me pointing toward the Hegel 160 and the Yamaha.

The best thing would be to find a dealer that would let you audition in home if possible.
Thanks very much, I'll start with the Hegel first
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post #4 of 28 Old 08-19-2017, 06:58 AM
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Prima Luna Dialogue Premium fits your budget, though it's only single ended (a sticking point for me as well). Prima Luna Dialogue Premium Preamp

However, the reviews I've looked at, including one from a UK online publication, are quite exceptional.

Best of luck in retirement and in your search for great sound!

Marantz 8801 Marantz 7055 Merrill Thor Monobolcks Oppo 95 SystemDek IIX turntable ATC SCM 19 V2's (L&R) B&W LCR6 (center and heights) B&W in ceiling surround speakers Velodyne SPL-10 Subs (2) Sony xbr65x850a
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post #5 of 28 Old 08-19-2017, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Headspun View Post
I'm looking for recommendations as to which amp would best suit my speakers, I listen mainly to Jazz & orchestral Classical music.



Current setup is Pioneer SCLX86 with Monitor Audio GX300's, Monitor Audio GoldCP in-ceiling/wall, REL Storm. My main sources are SkyQ, Apple tv, Oppo BDP-95 & Bluesound Node2
Since your Pioneer SCLX86 is already a hi-fi component, spending more money on amplification won't give you better sound. If you want to improve the sound quality, improve the room acoustics and if you still have money left, spend it on upgrading the speakers.
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post #6 of 28 Old 08-19-2017, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by LFEer View Post
Since your Pioneer SCLX86 is already a hi-fi component, spending more money on amplification won't give you better sound. If you want to improve the sound quality, improve the room acoustics and if you still have money left, spend it on upgrading the speakers.
Since you suggest he should consider upgrading his pair of Monitor Audio GX300s, which cost a mere $5700 (U.S.), what speakers do you recommend and how much more money should he spend? What don't you like about the GX300's performance that could be improved by an upgrade?
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Music room: McIntosh MA6500 integrated amplifier, Audible Illusions (tube) preamp, Quad 99 preamp, Quad 909 amplifier, Acoustic Research AR9 loudspeakers, Sony SCD-C222ES and Melos (tube) CD players, Teac UD-503 DSD DAC, Phase Linear 8000II linear-tracking turntable.
Theater room: Panasonic TC-P65S60 plasma television; Yamaha Aventage RX-A2020 (preamp section); Adcom GFA-5503 and GFA-5400 amplifiers; Polk LSi25, LSiC, and LSiF/X loudspeaker system; Velodyne FSR-18 servo-subwoofer.
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post #7 of 28 Old 08-19-2017, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Headspun View Post
Having recently taken early retirement, I am now able to spend more time listening to music and am looking to finally improve my system (listed below), which is ok for movies etc but not really for hifi. So I am in the market for a new amplifier, but in order to maintain my marriage it will have to be an integrated one.

Living in Ireland, I don't have easy access to a great number of dealers, so the possible amps that I can get access to audition (within my budget of €3,000) are as follows -

  • Hegel Rost
  • Hegel H160
  • Marantz PM14S1 Special Edition
  • Rega Elicit-R
  • Roksan Caspian M2
  • Sony TA-A1ES
  • Yamaha A-S2100

I'm looking for recommendations as to which amp would best suit my speakers, I listen mainly to Jazz & orchestral Classical music.



Current setup is Pioneer SCLX86 with Monitor Audio GX300's, Monitor Audio GoldCP in-ceiling/wall, REL Storm. My main sources are SkyQ, Apple tv, Oppo BDP-95 & Bluesound Node2

Hegel.

It's a wonderful sounding integrated with not much in the way of flexibility. It drives a very difficult load for me, ESLs, but does get a little warm.
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post #8 of 28 Old 08-20-2017, 01:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by LFEer View Post
Since your Pioneer SCLX86 is already a hi-fi component, spending more money on amplification won't give you better sound. If you want to improve the sound quality, improve the room acoustics and if you still have money left, spend it on upgrading the speakers.
Thanks, but I would consider my GX300's to be much more "hi-fi" than the Pioneer AV Amp
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post #9 of 28 Old 08-20-2017, 01:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Scotth3886 View Post
Hegel.

It's a wonderful sounding integrated with not much in the way of flexibility. It drives a very difficult load for me, ESLs, but does get a little warm.
So, a dealer kindly lent me both the Hegel Rost and Rega Elicit-R for the weekend.

I spent yesterday listening to the Hegel (from Led Zeppelin through Yo-Yo Ma) and I was very very impressed. It's warmer than my Pioneer but still manages to create a clearer and wider soundstage, allowing me to hear individual instruments distinctly. One of the most revealing tracks was Diana Krall's "Sway", she wasn't just in the room with me, she was practically sitting on my knees!

Looking forward to testing the Rega later today.


By the way, another dealer has tempted me with a major discount on a demo Micromega M-One (just €500 more than the Hegel Rost). I'm almost afraid to ask for a loan of that unit in case I fall in love with it, then I'd start yearning for an NAD M32 and at that stage I would have sell one of the children to spend even more money on new speakers to match it
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post #10 of 28 Old 08-20-2017, 02:37 AM
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So, a dealer kindly lent me both the Hegel Rost and Rega Elicit-R for the weekend.

I spent yesterday listening to the Hegel (from Led Zeppelin through Yo-Yo Ma) and I was very very impressed. It's warmer than my Pioneer but still manages to create a clearer and wider soundstage, allowing me to hear individual instruments distinctly. One of the most revealing tracks was Diana Krall's "Sway", she wasn't just in the room with me, she was practically sitting on my knees!

Looking forward to testing the Rega later today.


By the way, another dealer has tempted me with a major discount on a demo Micromega M-One (just €500 more than the Hegel Rost). I'm almost afraid to ask for a loan of that unit in case I fall in love with it, then I'd start yearning for an NAD M32 and at that stage I would have sell one of the children to spend even more money on new speakers to match it

I've never heard of the Hegel Rost
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post #11 of 28 Old 08-20-2017, 09:45 AM
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Thanks, but I would consider my GX300's to be much more "hi-fi" than the Pioneer AV Amp
Actually it's the other way around. Speakers have much higher distortion than AVR, DACs, preamps, amps. Look at the frequency response shown on page 2 of this link. It's Gold 300 which uses same ribbon transducer tweeter and C-Cam mid driver as GX300. Look at the deviation of output at the upper half of audio frequency.

Now look at the frequency response of Pioneer receiver (VSX-94TXH in this case) below. See how consistent it is.



This is typical of AVR, DACs, preamps, amps produced by the mainstream consumer market companies. Seeing is believing.

You can look up the hi-fi level of speakers that are twice the quality of yours and they still won't match your AVR. The bottom line? Don't worry about your AVR.
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post #12 of 28 Old 08-20-2017, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by LFEer View Post
Actually it's the other way around. Speakers have much higher distortion than AVR, DACs, preamps, amps. Look at the frequency response shown on page 2 of this link. It's Gold 300 which uses same ribbon transducer tweeter and C-Cam mid driver as GX300. Look at the deviation of output at the upper half of audio frequency.

Now look at the frequency response of Pioneer receiver (VSX-94TXH in this case) below. See how consistent it is.

This is typical of AVR, DACs, preamps, amps produced by the mainstream consumer market companies. Seeing is believing.

You can look up the hi-fi level of speakers that are twice the quality of yours and they still won't match your AVR. The bottom line? Don't worry about your AVR.
This is so staggeringly misleading and false on so many levels that it is not even possible to begin to address it.
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Music room: McIntosh MA6500 integrated amplifier, Audible Illusions (tube) preamp, Quad 99 preamp, Quad 909 amplifier, Acoustic Research AR9 loudspeakers, Sony SCD-C222ES and Melos (tube) CD players, Teac UD-503 DSD DAC, Phase Linear 8000II linear-tracking turntable.
Theater room: Panasonic TC-P65S60 plasma television; Yamaha Aventage RX-A2020 (preamp section); Adcom GFA-5503 and GFA-5400 amplifiers; Polk LSi25, LSiC, and LSiF/X loudspeaker system; Velodyne FSR-18 servo-subwoofer.
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post #13 of 28 Old 08-20-2017, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Headspun View Post
Living in Ireland, I don't have easy access to a great number of dealers, so the possible amps that I can get access to audition (within my budget of €3,000) are as follows -Hegel Rost
  • Hegel H160
  • Marantz PM14S1 Special Edition
  • Rega Elicit-R
  • Roksan Caspian M2
  • Sony TA-A1ES
  • Yamaha A-S2100
I'm looking for recommendations as to which amp would best suit my speakers, I listen mainly to Jazz & orchestral Classical music.
This summer I have been auditioning in my music room numerous components (nine so far, including a Cary SL-100 preamp installed last night). One of them was a Yamaha A-S1100, which is the sister model of the A-S2100 on your list.

A Yamaha rep I have known for many years recommended I purchase the 1100 instead of the 2100 since I didn't need the latter's balanced inputs. He said the two units are sonically identical.

I liked the A-S1100. Its strengths are a very tight and solid bass, superb detail top to bottom, an airy and extended treble, and seemingly more power than rated. It never approached clipping even when pushed beyond my volume tolerance level. Tonally it was neutral to a bit warm, and never fatiguing. No upper midrange harshness, edge, or glare at all--lovely on brass and strings in classical recordings. Also, the build quality is sensational.

But the integrated amp had its weaknesses, too. In my room, soundstaging was tall, but narrow left to right and shallow (front to back). The soundfield never expanded beyond the sides of my loudspeakers. Smoothness was average, not silky as I am, again, accustomed. Finally, I had trouble trying to obtain the exact volume with the remote control. It was often slightly louder or softer than desired.

So I returned the Yamaha to the dealer. It is a fine amp, but my McIntosh integrated amp simply surpassed it overall.

Music room: McIntosh MA6500 integrated amplifier, Audible Illusions (tube) preamp, Quad 99 preamp, Quad 909 amplifier, Acoustic Research AR9 loudspeakers, Sony SCD-C222ES and Melos (tube) CD players, Teac UD-503 DSD DAC, Phase Linear 8000II linear-tracking turntable.
Theater room: Panasonic TC-P65S60 plasma television; Yamaha Aventage RX-A2020 (preamp section); Adcom GFA-5503 and GFA-5400 amplifiers; Polk LSi25, LSiC, and LSiF/X loudspeaker system; Velodyne FSR-18 servo-subwoofer.
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post #14 of 28 Old 08-20-2017, 03:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Actually it's the other way around. Speakers have much higher distortion than AVR, DACs, preamps, amps. Look at the frequency response shown on page 2 of this link. It's Gold 300 which uses same ribbon transducer tweeter and C-Cam mid driver as GX300. Look at the deviation of output at the upper half of audio frequency.

Now look at the frequency response of Pioneer receiver (VSX-94TXH in this case) below. See how consistent it is.



This is typical of AVR, DACs, preamps, amps produced by the mainstream consumer market companies. Seeing is believing.

You can look up the hi-fi level of speakers that are twice the quality of yours and they still won't match your AVR. The bottom line? Don't worry about your AVR.
Hmmmm the graphs are quite persuasive, but my experience this weekend doesn't match those curves.

Firstly, I preferred the Hegel to the Rega. It's purely personal, but for my ears listening in my environment, I was able to place instruments better with the former, particularly when listening to jazz trios.


But the graphs were annoying me, so I carried out a blind test on a pal of mine between the Hegel and my Pioneer. I played the AVR first and he loved it, but then he went into raptures when I hooked up the Hegel, explaining that it sounded much more like a live performance
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post #15 of 28 Old 08-20-2017, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
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This summer I have been auditioning in my music room numerous components (nine so far, including a Cary SL-100 preamp installed last night). One of them was a Yamaha A-S1100, which is the sister model of the A-S2100 on your list.

A Yamaha rep I have known for many years recommended I purchase the 1100 instead of the 2100 since I didn't need the latter's balanced inputs. He said the two units are sonically identical.

I liked the A-S1100. Its strengths are a very tight and solid bass, superb detail top to bottom, an airy and extended treble, and seemingly more power than rated. It never approached clipping even when pushed beyond my volume tolerance level. Tonally it was neutral to a bit warm, and never fatiguing. No upper midrange harshness, edge, or glare at all--lovely on brass and strings in classical recordings. Also, the build quality is sensational.

But the integrated amp had its weaknesses, too. In my room, soundstaging was tall, but narrow left to right and shallow (front to back). The soundfield never expanded beyond the sides of my loudspeakers. Smoothness was average, not silky as I am, again, accustomed. Finally, I had trouble trying to obtain the exact volume with the remote control. It was often slightly louder or softer than desired.

So I returned the Yamaha to the dealer. It is a fine amp, but my McIntosh integrated amp simply surpassed it overall.
Unfortunately McIntosh's are not distributed here and I'm not having much luck persuading a dealer to lend me a Yamaha to audition at home.

I'm getting close to buying the Hegel, but I'm going to try to persuade the Micromega dealer to lend me the M-One unit
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post #16 of 28 Old 08-20-2017, 04:28 PM
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Hmmmm the graphs are quite persuasive, but my experience this weekend doesn't match those curves.

Firstly, I preferred the Hegel to the Rega. It's purely personal, but for my ears listening in my environment, I was able to place instruments better with the former, particularly when listening to jazz trios.


But the graphs were annoying me, so I carried out a blind test on a pal of mine between the Hegel and my Pioneer. I played the AVR first and he loved it, but then he went into raptures when I hooked up the Hegel, explaining that it sounded much more like a live performance
The most likely (and common) reason for the difference perceived is the volume level difference. Amplification outputs don't all send out exact same voltage. There are variations between brands and models. If they are not matched precisely, the volume level played will vary. Even the same model will sound different when played at different volume level.
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post #17 of 28 Old 08-20-2017, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Headspun View Post
Hmmmm the graphs are quite persuasive, but my experience this weekend doesn't match those curves.

Firstly, I preferred the Hegel to the Rega. It's purely personal, but for my ears listening in my environment, I was able to place instruments better with the former, particularly when listening to jazz trios.


But the graphs were annoying me, so I carried out a blind test on a pal of mine between the Hegel and my Pioneer. I played the AVR first and he loved it, but then he went into raptures when I hooked up the Hegel, explaining that it sounded much more like a live performance

My advice is to not allow yourself to be trolled.

If you want a new / different amp, have at it. I sure have many many times in my very long life
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post #18 of 28 Old 08-20-2017, 05:32 PM
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I'm not having much luck persuading a dealer to lend me a Yamaha to audition at home.

I'm getting close to buying the Hegel, but I'm going to try to persuade the Micromega dealer to lend me the M-One unit
Below is an interesting YouTube video showing two Yamaha engineers changing the sonic characteristics of the A-S1100 for their European market. I do not know which sonic version is supplied to U.S. customers.


Music room: McIntosh MA6500 integrated amplifier, Audible Illusions (tube) preamp, Quad 99 preamp, Quad 909 amplifier, Acoustic Research AR9 loudspeakers, Sony SCD-C222ES and Melos (tube) CD players, Teac UD-503 DSD DAC, Phase Linear 8000II linear-tracking turntable.
Theater room: Panasonic TC-P65S60 plasma television; Yamaha Aventage RX-A2020 (preamp section); Adcom GFA-5503 and GFA-5400 amplifiers; Polk LSi25, LSiC, and LSiF/X loudspeaker system; Velodyne FSR-18 servo-subwoofer.
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post #19 of 28 Old 08-20-2017, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Alex F. View Post
This summer I have been auditioning in my music room numerous components (nine so far, including a Cary SL-100 preamp installed last night). One of them was a Yamaha A-S1100, which is the sister model of the A-S2100 on your list.

A Yamaha rep I have known for many years recommended I purchase the 1100 instead of the 2100 since I didn't need the latter's balanced inputs. He said the two units are sonically identical.

I liked the A-S1100. Its strengths are a very tight and solid bass, superb detail top to bottom, an airy and extended treble, and seemingly more power than rated. It never approached clipping even when pushed beyond my volume tolerance level. Tonally it was neutral to a bit warm, and never fatiguing. No upper midrange harshness, edge, or glare at all--lovely on brass and strings in classical recordings. Also, the build quality is sensational.

But the integrated amp had its weaknesses, too. In my room, soundstaging was tall, but narrow left to right and shallow (front to back). The soundfield never expanded beyond the sides of my loudspeakers. Smoothness was average, not silky as I am, again, accustomed. Finally, I had trouble trying to obtain the exact volume with the remote control. It was often slightly louder or softer than desired.

So I returned the Yamaha to the dealer. It is a fine amp, but my McIntosh integrated amp simply surpassed it overall.

"The soundfield never expanded beyond the sides of my loudspeakers"


Yep, this is also one of things I noticed when I tried the Yamaha on the ESLs. Sound stage stopped at the outside edge of the speakers whereas the Hegel was all the way to the walls without bloating anything. Specificity within that soundstage was better focused when appropriate and scale was more lifelike.
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post #20 of 28 Old 08-20-2017, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Headspun View Post
Hmmmm the graphs are quite persuasive, but my experience this weekend doesn't match those curves.

Firstly, I preferred the Hegel to the Rega. It's purely personal, but for my ears listening in my environment, I was able to place instruments better with the former, particularly when listening to jazz trios.


But the graphs were annoying me, so I carried out a blind test on a pal of mine between the Hegel and my Pioneer. I played the AVR first and he loved it, but then he went into raptures when I hooked up the Hegel, explaining that it sounded much more like a live performance
Yeah, if spending money makes you happy, then go for it. But if you are expecting sonic improvement after spending more money on amp, you will be disappointed after the "honeymoon" phase.
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post #21 of 28 Old 08-20-2017, 11:40 PM
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"The soundfield never expanded beyond the sides of my loudspeakers"

Yep, this is also one of things I noticed when I tried the Yamaha on the ESLs. Sound stage stopped at the outside edge of the speakers whereas the Hegel was all the way to the walls without bloating anything. Specificity within that soundstage was better focused when appropriate and scale was more lifelike.
After reading your posts, and magazine reviews as well, I wanted to try a Hegel integrated amp or preamp. I sometimes find I need to use a balance control, but Hegel's products do not include one (I checked several user manuals). If you are aware of a current Hegel integrated amp or preamp that has a balance control, please let me know.

Music room: McIntosh MA6500 integrated amplifier, Audible Illusions (tube) preamp, Quad 99 preamp, Quad 909 amplifier, Acoustic Research AR9 loudspeakers, Sony SCD-C222ES and Melos (tube) CD players, Teac UD-503 DSD DAC, Phase Linear 8000II linear-tracking turntable.
Theater room: Panasonic TC-P65S60 plasma television; Yamaha Aventage RX-A2020 (preamp section); Adcom GFA-5503 and GFA-5400 amplifiers; Polk LSi25, LSiC, and LSiF/X loudspeaker system; Velodyne FSR-18 servo-subwoofer.
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post #22 of 28 Old 08-21-2017, 04:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Alex F. View Post
After reading your posts, and magazine reviews as well, I wanted to try a Hegel integrated amp or preamp. I sometimes find I need to use a balance control, but Hegel's products do not include one (I checked several user manuals). If you are aware of a current Hegel integrated amp or preamp that has a balance control, please let me know.

That's why I said earlier in the thread "It's a wonderful sounding integrated with not much in the way of flexibility" It's certainly a minimalist design, but one I'm not certain I would get again because of the above, lack of bass management, etc.
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post #23 of 28 Old 08-25-2017, 01:52 PM
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I have paired Parasound Hint, Peachtree Grand Integrated x1, Bryston B135 sst2 and Audia Flight Three S with GX300. The best match with GX300 was definitely Audia Flight Three S. The sound was just amazing. If you could borrow a Audia Flight Three S for home listening, I think you would like the sound too.
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post #24 of 28 Old 08-25-2017, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by samye83 View Post
I have paired Parasound Hint, Peachtree Grand Integrated x1, Bryston B135 sst2 and Audia Flight Three S with GX300. The best match with GX300 was definitely Audia Flight Three S. The sound was just amazing. If you could borrow a Audia Flight Three S for home listening, I think you would like the sound too.
I have an Audia Flight Two paired with PMC fact.8s in a bedroom system and it's a great integrated. It's not well-known here in the US due to poor distribution, but the OP should be able to find a Three S in his price range in Europe.
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post #25 of 28 Old 08-25-2017, 06:40 PM
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I have my GX300s paired with a Marantz AVR and Parasound Halo amp. I definitely noticed an improvement with the amp.

I also recently purchased a NAD 368 Int to pair with my Technics bookshelfs. It sounds pretty good, although I was eyeing the mid to higher end Yamahas for a while, and also considering a used Parasound HINT.

I have not paired the NAD with the MA's but would like to at some point just to see if I can hear a difference. Obviously the C series is cheaper and wouldn't compare to an M32, so that probably isn't much help to you.


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post #26 of 28 Old 09-07-2017, 05:55 AM - Thread Starter
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I've been away for a while and now that I'm back, I'm looking forward to trying out the Micromega M-One for the weekend. Unfortunately there are no Audia Flight dealers in Ireland
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post #27 of 28 Old 09-08-2017, 01:12 AM
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Maybe some dealers in Ireland will open their eyes for Audia Flight amps. The Three S really surprised me. I want to demo the Audia Flight FLS 10 with Twenty5 24 speakers. Maybe the combo would be a match made in heaven too.

You may want to take a look at Peachtree Nova 150 amp, or the Nova 300. The Peachtree Grand Integrated did a good joob with the GX300s. And the Nova 300 is even better than Grand Integrated.

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post #28 of 28 Old 09-08-2017, 07:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samye83 View Post
Maybe some dealers in Ireland will open their eyes for Audia Flight amps. The Three S really surprised me. I want to demo the Audia Flight FLS 10 with Twenty5 24 speakers. Maybe the combo would be a match made in heaven too.

You may want to take a look at Peachtree Nova 150 amp, or the Nova 300. The Peachtree Grand Integrated did a good joob with the GX300s. And the Nova 300 is even better than Grand Integrated.
Audia Flight and PMC definitely pair well together so, if you can get your hands on an FLS 10, I would be interested in hearing your impressions. I also had their phono in my system for a while. It's too bad that their US distributor doesn't provide better sales and support for them. The same distributor also handles Neat Accoustics in the US - another underrated product that doesn't get the exposure they deserve here.

Back to the OP's question, I also have a Parasound HINT (actually, my son is using it in his room) and, while it is a nice jack of all trades, of the options available to the OP, I think that the Hegel H-160 and Rega beat it (but without as much flexibility, as has been mentioned).
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