Best Integrated Amp (Solid state) under $2000 New - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 06-19-2007, 11:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Vote for your favourite solid state Integrated Amp under USD2000 (New) and let me know what you've compared it to:

Bryston B60 SST
Creek 5350SE
Densen B110
Flying Mole CA-S10
Naim Nait 5i
Primare I21
SimAudio Moon i3 RS
YBA Integre DT

I've listened to the Creek, Densen, Naim and YBA. These were all very close expecially between the Creek, Densen and Naim. The YBA was the best sounding but least powerful. I liked the Densen's clean look, and YBA had the best build. The Naim was very classy looking as well. The Creek was more conservative - sort of like an upscale Rotel product. I do like the separate power supply for each channel in the Bryston and YBA. With the Bryston you also get a 20 year warranty on the product (irrespective of how many owners it has had) and with the Densen there is a lifetime warranty. Choices galore. Let's here your thoughts.
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post #2 of 27 Old 06-20-2007, 09:17 AM
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Bryston makes a very solid-state sounding amp, which some people, myself included, really like. I think you might enjoy the Flying Mole or the SimAudio the most in addition to the Bryston, so check those three out. Also, Bryston's warranty is awesome but it's only for the first two owners (still much better than almost any other company).
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post #3 of 27 Old 06-20-2007, 12:27 PM
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Musical Fidelity A3.5 integrated would also be worth looking at in this price range.
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post #4 of 27 Old 06-21-2007, 04:51 PM
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Simaudio i3 SE

Bel Canto S300i

Creek 5350SE

YBA Design YA201
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post #5 of 27 Old 06-22-2007, 01:44 AM
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I'm also looking for an int amp little under your price range someone also suggust the bel canto S330i what are you pairing the IA with???
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post #6 of 27 Old 06-23-2007, 07:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chicomoralessxm View Post

I'm also looking for an int amp little under your price range someone also suggust the bel canto S330i what are you pairing the IA with???

Focal 1027be
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post #7 of 27 Old 06-27-2007, 08:11 PM
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I agree the 3.5 is a wonderful integrated
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post #8 of 27 Old 06-28-2007, 02:22 AM
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better than the flying mole???
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post #9 of 27 Old 08-03-2007, 05:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Damn, the price of the Simaudio i3RS is over $2600 in my neck of the woods. Better take that amp off the list for this thread.
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post #10 of 27 Old 08-03-2007, 08:15 PM
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Well the bryston is nice piece of equipment. You can actually get it for under 2k??? The MF 3.5 is a steal now since from what I was told it's discontinued. Are you located near chicago??? A Dealer has one for under $1400. I'm not sure if you can get the flying mole anymore from dealers in US directly. I was in contact with their oversales guy. Very helpful infact gentleman. It will cost you roughly 1650 with shipping to caribbean by dhl so it should cost you less to the US. The flying mole had some wonderful reviews and not so good as well. Its an acquired taste i guess, as it depends with the system its paired with. The belcanto is nice but will be over 2k for sure.
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post #11 of 27 Old 08-03-2007, 08:17 PM
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Opps try the Primare 121 I forgot it but was also serious looking at it but cant find a regional dealer who carries Primare stuff. what is it going for in the US???
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post #12 of 27 Old 08-04-2007, 12:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chicomoralessxm View Post

Well the bryston is nice piece of equipment. You can actually get it for under 2k??? The MF 3.5 is a steal now since from what I was told it's discontinued. Are you located near chicago??? A Dealer has one for under $1400. I'm not sure if you can get the flying mole anymore from dealers in US directly. I was in contact with their oversales guy. Very helpful infact gentleman. It will cost you roughly 1650 with shipping to caribbean by dhl so it should cost you less to the US. The flying mole had some wonderful reviews and not so good as well. Its an acquired taste i guess, as it depends with the system its paired with. The belcanto is nice but will be over 2k for sure.

No, I live in Asia. Here the Simaudio gear is very expensive, but the Focal gear is much more reasonable. I can get the 1027be new for a lower price than you can get on a 9 rated pair in Audiogon. Flying mole - I saw one not so favourable comparison between it, the Sim 5.3 and the Krell 400xi. Recently, I saw a so-so review on the Primare i21 as well, but I have not heard this amp in person. The MF stuff looks good on paper but I've heard it's not as fast and responsive as the Creek or Naim gear. All I can say is the Creek and Naim sounded good to me. I have not heard the MF so do not have an opinion. I did get a chance to listen to a Bladelius IA - this is a Swedish company that gets little press, but the amp looked good and sounded good. It works much better with the Focal 1027be than NAD. Bass was fuller and sound was much just more there - but then again the Bladelius is twice the price as the NAD.
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post #13 of 27 Old 08-04-2007, 01:21 AM
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Well check out the flying mole.......i think some purests are into the sound of these ClassD amps. But the more amps you can audition the better
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post #14 of 27 Old 08-06-2007, 08:50 PM
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No to the Brystons, the Simaudio and Musical Fidelity pieces we've added blow it away. True, the little Sim is discontinued and the prices for Simaudio just received a 15% price increase in July.....Darn! This is where the Musical Fidelity comes in makes it extremely appealing. The A5 would be a stretch, but well worth the coin.

Also, look at the Parasound Halo separates P3/A23, this is a phenominal combo. I would take this combo over most all that has been mentioned thus far.

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Showplace Oklahoma - Showplace Theater & Sound
"We put the SHOW in your PLACE."
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post #15 of 27 Old 08-06-2007, 10:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I just picked up a dealer demo Sim i5.3. Looked all over the city and this was probably one of the few ones left. It seems many people bought the older non-RS versions before the price hike and now the dealers are only selling the RS versions at the higher price. Full warranty from the Sim distributor. Unit was near mint condition, used for 3 months, no marks on front panel, a few spots on the top that is easily wiped off, and clean connectors in back. All screw heads are pristine, so pretty sure no one has opened it up. So, all in all, I'm pretty happy.

Now I'm going to spend energy on finding the right speaks.
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post #16 of 27 Old 08-07-2007, 01:04 AM
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Could someone please compare the Plinius 9100 to the PS Audio GCC-100. How would the others mentioned like the SimAudio compare to the two I've mentioned?
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post #17 of 27 Old 08-07-2007, 08:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LocoMoco View Post

Could someone please compare the Plinius 9100 to the PS Audio GCC-100. How would the others mentioned like the SimAudio compare to the two I've mentioned?

I've compared the i5.3 BtB with the Plinius 9200 using Opera speakers. In terms of price, both were in the same league. The Plinius was a solid chunk of metal with an interesting look about them as the front corners curve gently back. The thing that stands out is the name is huge and etched on the front. The Sim was very aggressive looking by comparison. First impressions, the Sim was much more attractive to me.

The Plinius was played first followed by the Sim. The Plinius sounded fine until the Sim was turned on. The best way to describe it was like a veil being lifted. The Sim was much more clear and crisp, more exciting sound. I know the best amps should not add any colour to the sound but I must admit the Sim's sound was much more focussed. I don't know if it was because the Sim had ben played more thus more broken in or whatever. The transients also seemed much more urgent on the Sim. In terms of power, the Plinius had a lot more wattage so with less sensitive speakers, the extra wattage will play a more important role. But with the speakers used, the Sim was not stressed at all. One other thing that stood out was at turn on, the Plinius had some pops while the SIm was silent.

Let me say I had every intention of giving the Plinius a fair shake and I was very surprised that the difference in sound was so apparent. There must have been some issues with that particular machine because I really can't believe the difference was so much.

For me it was a no brainer as I bought the Sim.
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post #18 of 27 Old 08-07-2007, 10:04 PM
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Cary SLI-80. perfect with JM Lab.
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post #19 of 27 Old 08-12-2007, 09:38 PM
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Exposure 2010s integrated. I am biased since i own it but it is mind boggling how good it sounds. Almost hate to say this but it is imho underpriced.

http://stereophile.com/integratedamps/1105exposure/

The fact that stereophile rated it a class A product says alot considering most of their
class A stuff costs substantially more.
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post #20 of 27 Old 08-19-2007, 04:29 AM
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Here are a couple nice sounding options - Have only heard the Primare in the original list they are both on par with its performance, fit and finish.

Audio Analogue Puccini Settanta
Audio Refinement Complete (YBA design)
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post #21 of 27 Old 10-30-2007, 11:04 AM
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I'd vote for Densen B-110. This amp is spectacular!

Even better is the older brother, B-150 - but then it is way above the $2k limit.

Before choosing, suggest audition keeping in view the following:

(a) Does the speaker have a difficult impedance (4 ohms or lower) - Densen is an amazing amp for such difficult speakers..

(b) If it is not a low impedance speaker (say an 8 ohm speaker), then there are some other interesting choices - for example, Rega Mira 3. You would have to compare these with Densen B-110 and see what sound you like better.
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post #22 of 27 Old 10-30-2007, 11:23 AM
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If you are open to buying used the McIntosh MA6300 can be found for around 2k or less.

Thanks,

Ron
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post #23 of 27 Old 10-30-2007, 11:33 AM
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You should always hear the amp + speaker to see how they pair, and what works for one speaker might not work for the other.

For example, Primare I30 + Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor sounds much better than McIntosh (forgot which one, but its a stereo amp + preamp deck). The sound stage is wider and more transparent for musics.
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post #24 of 27 Old 10-31-2007, 06:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LocoMoco View Post

Could someone please compare the Plinius 9100 to the PS Audio GCC-100. How would the others mentioned like the SimAudio compare to the two I've mentioned?

i just did an extensive audition of the PS Audio GCC-100, and ended up buying its simpler, cheaper little brother, the Trio C-100 (more than $1000 cheaper, actually).

the C-100 only has three RCA inputs, but it has the same dual-mono 100 watt configuration, and to my ears sounds pretty much identical.

the top integrateds on my list (i was in the $1000-$1500 range) were the Rega Mira 3 (because i have Rega speakers), the Cambridge Audio 840A, a Prima Luna DiaLogue Two demo, the YBA Design YA-201 and the PS Audio i ended up buying.

the Prima Luna is a tube amp, and i almost ended up buying it. the sound was brilliant, with a massive soundstage.

but to my ears, the GCC-100 trounced everything. it was balanced from top to bottom, with no thickness in the midrange, no treble roll-off or edginess, and good, tight bass control. most of all, it was crystal clear and very "present." high-resolution without being cold.

unfortunately it was way out of my price range, so i got its baby brother, the C-100. i didn't need any of the bells n whistles the GCC has (HT bypass, phase reverse, dimmable display). and like i said, to my ears the C-100 sounds pretty much identical.

it's tiny, understated, and bizarrely powerful for its size. couldn't be happier.

music is the best.
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post #25 of 27 Old 10-31-2007, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeroEight View Post

I've compared the i5.3 BtB with the Plinius 9200 using Opera speakers. In terms of price, both were in the same league. The Plinius was a solid chunk of metal with an interesting look about them as the front corners curve gently back. The thing that stands out is the name is huge and etched on the front. The Sim was very aggressive looking by comparison. First impressions, the Sim was much more attractive to me.

The Plinius was played first followed by the Sim. The Plinius sounded fine until the Sim was turned on. The best way to describe it was like a veil being lifted. The Sim was much more clear and crisp, more exciting sound. I know the best amps should not add any colour to the sound but I must admit the Sim's sound was much more focussed. I don't know if it was because the Sim had ben played more thus more broken in or whatever. The transients also seemed much more urgent on the Sim. In terms of power, the Plinius had a lot more wattage so with less sensitive speakers, the extra wattage will play a more important role. But with the speakers used, the Sim was not stressed at all. One other thing that stood out was at turn on, the Plinius had some pops while the SIm was silent.

Let me say I had every intention of giving the Plinius a fair shake and I was very surprised that the difference in sound was so apparent. There must have been some issues with that particular machine because I really can't believe the difference was so much.

For me it was a no brainer as I bought the Sim.

Just wondering which opera speakers did you listen to?
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post #26 of 27 Old 11-01-2007, 02:32 PM
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You can get a Level 1 modded Shanling A-3000 from Underwood HiFi for $2000, that would be my choice.

I have tons of ICEpower stuff too, the GCC-100 would be a good choice - but it'll be a tough pairing with the Focal 1027be. That might be a touch too forward.

Any chance of considering Tube Integrateds? There are a ton of great tube options on the market now, something like a factory modded Jolida 502B would be killer with the Focal's.

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post #27 of 27 Old 11-07-2007, 07:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboFC3S View Post

Any chance of considering Tube Integrateds? There are a ton of great tube options on the market now, something like a factory modded Jolida 502B would be killer with the Focal's.

Yeah, there are many new chinese tubes nowadays that price/performance ratio is more on that side that was lets say 3 years ago.
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