Originally Posted by kwtoxman
Parasound Halo gear is very good. I'm not big on integrated amps for music. The best sound I have gotten so far from my veritas mains is from a tube preamp with a SS amp. I haven't tried a tube amp yet, and probably won't for a long time. I use a SimAudio W-5 amp.
I am part of an audiophile group that hosts members monthly in personal systems. I have heard a lot of gear now, and some very nice and very expensive systems. It has been interesting to see that system synergy is very important.
It is also very interesting being able to do this. Each system on its own obviously tends to sound quite good, but the experience of carefully listening to multiple systems with different gear (with the same music for comparison) has really opened my eyes (ears
) up to the differences in sound quality.
FWIW I recently heard a very expensive system with Bel Canto e.One Reference 1000 Mono's. It was an all digital SS system using a very expensive Wadia cdp with volume control so no preamp. I did not find the overall sound to my preferences as well as many others. It was typical of my system when I was all SS gear. It played music well, but it was too analytical, straying to harshness and sibilance. If the cd was reference quality it was very nice, but if not (and most CD's aren't) it revealed the deficiencies in the recording very notably, resulting in the descriptions above. And the system seemed to be a little cold to me, not overly emotive with flesh to the music. I liken it to sounding like a recording, while a great system can make it sound live.
I have found a good tube preamp can alleviate the above issues, as well as increase the soundstage and improve imaging. Most people in our group use tube preamps in their systems. Some of those even switched from SS to tube pre's after listening to tube preamps in our group .
I'm not saying the Bel Canto's are bad or anything like that, but my experience demontrated to me (yet again) that many systems with all solid state (SS) gear are not optimal. And I wouldn't doubt that Class D gear can magnify the SS sound. This is going to be very speaker dependent, but many speakers will fall under this generalization. Certainly the Energy speakers do. For me the jury is still out on Class D amplification for audiophile music systems. I'll wait for the technology to improve.
Although in the minority, my friend who owns the bel canto system loves it, so obviously there is personal preference.
His System -
Hales Design Group - Concept Five Speakers
Wadia 581 CD Player
Bel Canto e.One Reference 1000 Mono Blocks
Transparent Music Link Balanced
X-Symphony Pure Silver Hybrid
Cardas Golden Power Cords
The veritas are very highly regarded by most people. If your looking for more info Soundstage has a good review on the 2.4i's. Consider them like the 2.2i but with better bass response. I also wrote a more detailed review of the sound of the veritas on audioreview.com. It is under the veritas 2.4i's.
Why do you want an integrated? I recommend separate preamp and amplifier. I have found that a preamp makes a huge difference to the sound of a system, more so than amplifier changes (at least in my system). I have found a preamp is very useful to tweak the sound of a system, a change can make a good system better, or the opposite.