If you had ~$4K for a 2 Channel Amplifier... - Page 3 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #61 of 167 Old 03-21-2019, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by _tk View Post
Which speakers do you have? I have a few speakers in mind and the pricerange I'm looking at, but for now I'm going to see how the new amp plays with what I already have in that room. This amp will also be front and center when guests come in the door, hence is why I'd somewhat like a "show piece", so to speak.

I really need to clear some of my other "stock" of speakers that I have, so if you know of anyone locally looking for a nice starter system (amp, speakers, etc), send them my way. I hate dealing with craigslist. I'm not too far from New Albany...roughly the Pickerington area.



That Luxman though....really starting to move that up my list. Checks most/all of the boxes. I'm a sucker for real bass/treble/balance knobs.

"I hate dealing with craigslist."

I feel the same plus it's too much risk. Friends bug me to get rid of some of my stuff and use CL to do it. Folks looking for used speakers are going to want to hear them. I don't really want most of them in my house.
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post #62 of 167 Old 03-21-2019, 12:37 PM
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I'm not fond of integrated amps, I prefer to have a separate preamp and power amp especially for just two channel systems. If one thing goes down in an integrated, you are out of luck. Heat from the power amp section can put extra wear on the preamp section. With separates, you can have an inexpensive backup for both so you are never without a system. I have an NAD preamp and a Rolls RA-100 power amp for backups. Not a big investment and has come in handy many times for lots of different uses.


ATI makes great power amps and has both Class AB and Class D Hypex N-Core amps.
fill35U and Out-Of-Phase like this.
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post #63 of 167 Old 03-21-2019, 01:26 PM
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^^^^ An integrated (or two) was not my preference, but did two of them this time for monetary reasons. ^^^^

I've always had separates in the past, in fact since the day of my Marantz 2270 in the early 70s, and had separates before that. However, separates of what I want would be well in excess of a hundred thou, nearer two hundred thou, so can't do that right now. Money no object and it would VAC Statement 450iq. I don't know if ever could justify the VAC $80k phono stage though, no matter how much money I wish I had.
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post #64 of 167 Old 03-21-2019, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
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I really don't want separates in this location as it won't be my "primary" listening location in about 6 months. Integrated keeps it simple. But I will be spending a lot of time in this room, so I want nice stuff.

Same probably for ESL's as I don't want to be tied down to one specific chair in order to enjoy quality sound.

Not saying that any of this equipment will remain in the location that I'm putting it in, but for now...keeping it somewhat simple is a goal I'd like to stick to.
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post #65 of 167 Old 03-21-2019, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Scotth3886 View Post
"I hate dealing with craigslist."

I feel the same plus it's too much risk. Friends bug me to get rid of some of my stuff and use CL to do it. Folks looking for used speakers are going to want to hear them. I don't really want most of them in my house.
I was trying to sell my wife's old bookshelf stereo she had for $25. Guy wanted it, but when I told him I'd meet him in a convenient public location he was worried that he could not "put it through its paces", even though I did a quick video for him showing that it worked fine and looked fine.

I told him it was $25 and my time was worth more than wasting it for that amount of money and I'd just as soon donate it to goodwill (and I dislike goodwill) than put up with him.
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post #66 of 167 Old 03-21-2019, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by _tk View Post
I really don't want separates in this location as it won't be my "primary" listening location in about 6 months. Integrated keeps it simple. But I will be spending a lot of time in this room, so I want nice stuff.

Same probably for ESL's as I don't want to be tied down to one specific chair in order to enjoy quality sound.

Not saying that any of this equipment will remain in the location that I'm putting it in, but for now...keeping it somewhat simple is a goal I'd like to stick to.
Exactly what I'm talking about as in NOT TRUE. I have at least as wide a soundstage as any cones and domes monopoles that I've heard. No, I didn't say it's exactly easy to get there.
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post #67 of 167 Old 03-21-2019, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by _tk View Post
I was trying to sell my wife's old bookshelf stereo she had for $25. Guy wanted it, but when I told him I'd meet him in a convenient public location he was worried that he could not "put it through its paces", even though I did a quick video for him showing that it worked fine and looked fine.

I told him it was $25 and my time was worth more than wasting it for that amount of money and I'd just as soon donate it to goodwill (and I dislike goodwill) than put up with him.

After my parents' passed I tried to sell their old Buick over CL and met the buyer behind the Westerville police station. That was three hours wasted. CL at least in C-Bus is a massive waste of time. Plus, I think its dangerous.

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post #68 of 167 Old 03-21-2019, 02:50 PM
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(I wish you hadna said this.) A $400 amplifier will sound just the same as a $4,000 amp almost always. Now, if you're looking for a lot of wattage, you might need to spend more than $400. Otherwise, no.


@fill35U is quite right, and this has been debated for, oh, seems like centuries now. But if you want a $4,000 amp for pride of ownership, or just for grins, fine. But otherwise, more money does not translate into better sound. These things do one thing, basically, and they mastered that trick long ago.
you aren't going to convince the OP otherwise... let him spend that 4k on a "great" amp. waste of keystrokes...

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post #69 of 167 Old 03-21-2019, 04:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Exactly what I'm talking about as in NOT TRUE. I have at least as wide a soundstage as any cones and domes monopoles that I've heard. No, I didn't say it's exactly easy to get there.
It's not a dedicated listening room though. I won't be able to pull the speakers 15 feet out into the room, unfortunately. If I move the amp into the new room (which may happen), I will definitely reconsider my speaker arrangement. That's why I'm still non-committal on speakers at this point.


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you aren't going to convince the OP otherwise... let him spend that 4k on a "great" amp. waste of keystrokes...
Yep. I'll enjoy my $4K amp and you can enjoy your $400 AVR. I mean, they sound exactly the same...right?
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post #70 of 167 Old 03-21-2019, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by _tk View Post
It's not a dedicated listening room though. I won't be able to pull the speakers 15 feet out into the room, unfortunately. If I move the amp into the new room (which may happen), I will definitely reconsider my speaker arrangement. That's why I'm still non-committal on speakers at this point.

Yep. I'll enjoy my $4K amp and you can enjoy your $400 AVR. I mean, they sound exactly the same...right?
I'm not 15' out into the room. Only about 6 1/2'. That's for enhanced soundstage and not necessarily to widen the sweet spot
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post #71 of 167 Old 03-22-2019, 01:34 PM
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Here's a good source for recommendations. Most are WAY out of your, and most people's price range .... but not all of them are.

https://www.stereophile.com/content/...amps-receivers

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post #72 of 167 Old 03-22-2019, 01:50 PM
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I'm partial to Rouge Audio. Either the Cronus Magnum III (all tube) Or the Pharaoh (tube input stage and SS output) are worth your consideration.

The lazy man finds the easiest way ... Ben Franklin

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post #73 of 167 Old 03-22-2019, 02:09 PM
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some say an amp like benchmark may be too low distortion/neutral making every recording but the very best recordings sound poor. others want that ability in their amp/system...I think I prefer a warmer/lusher/reverby/full sounding amp which I have yet to decide on.
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post #74 of 167 Old 03-22-2019, 02:34 PM
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some say an amp like benchmark may be too low distortion/neutral making every recording but the very best recordings sound poor. others want that ability in their amp/system...I think I prefer a warmer/lusher/reverby/full sounding amp which I have yet to decide on.
I heard that with MLs last year at AXPONA and didn't like it.
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post #75 of 167 Old 03-22-2019, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
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That's the problem...I can't hear a lot of these before I go to buy them. Really like that Luxman that MusicDirect has, but I look on ebay and I can get one shipped from Japan for like $1500 less! Obviously though, won't really be able to return that....but $1500 is $1500.

Still kicking around the Marantz KI Ruby, but from the reviews that I can find...it doesn't quite have the warm Marantz "house" sound that I know I like. At least online places don't seem to be gouging the price on it, though.
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post #76 of 167 Old 03-22-2019, 09:24 PM
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It's not a dedicated listening room though. I won't be able to pull the speakers 15 feet out into the room, unfortunately. If I move the amp into the new room (which may happen), I will definitely reconsider my speaker arrangement. That's why I'm still non-committal on speakers at this point.




Yep. I'll enjoy my $4K amp and you can enjoy your $400 AVR. I mean, they sound exactly the same...right?
I don't have an AVR. Right now I have an Integra amp and, otherwise, yeah, they'll sound the same.
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post #77 of 167 Old 03-23-2019, 03:14 PM
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That's the problem...I can't hear a lot of these before I go to buy them. Really like that Luxman that MusicDirect has, but I look on ebay and I can get one shipped from Japan for like $1500 less! Obviously though, won't really be able to return that....but $1500 is $1500.
Last night I was grinning with the thought that you order the Luxman direct from Japan after asking all the right questions, then the amp arrives and it is set up for Japanese 100V outlets and all the wording on the front and rear panels is in Japanese. (Being curious, I visited Luxman's Japanese website and the products intended for their home market are apparently in English. The L-505uXII on the Japanese website is linked below.)

http://www.luxman.co.jp/product/l-505ux2

On a serious note, it couldn't hurt to ask Music Direct if they can reduce the price or if they have a display model at a substantial discount.

I have long wanted to hear a Luxman component but never had the opportunity. They have a reputation for having warmish, rich, and nonfatiguing sonics, perhaps derived from their tube history (past and present), like McIntosh.

One more thought: Back in 2006 I auditioned at home Cambridge Audio's then-flagship integrated amp, the 840A. I would have kept it but for its dark, thick-sounding midrange. From what I have read the current version (the 851A) solved that problem. The 851A is packed with features and is priced at $1500. Audio Advisor, Music Direct, and Crutchfield sell it. It is worth a look.

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post #78 of 167 Old 03-23-2019, 03:29 PM
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Nor could his wife and another golden ear friend.
Not to go too far off script, but Steve and his wife came through Colorado once, and I met them for dinner. And while I was firmly in the Tom Nousaine school and not Steve's, I owe it to his memory to say that Steve was a very nice guy and a good sport about the whole thing (though there had been much heat generated by the whole affair online). So I was quite sad when he passed. And if this post adds some nuance to his reputation, so much the better. He was not a doctrinaire, anti-DBT guy. And he was a good man.
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post #80 of 167 Old 03-23-2019, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Last night I was grinning with the thought that you order the Luxman direct from Japan after asking all the right questions, then the amp arrives and it is set up for Japanese 100V outlets and all the wording on the front and rear panels is in Japanese. (Being curious, I visited Luxman's Japanese website and the products intended for their home market are apparently in English. The L-505uXII on the Japanese website is linked below.)

http://www.luxman.co.jp/product/l-505ux2

On a serious note, it couldn't hurt to ask Music Direct if they can reduce the price or if they have a display model at a substantial discount.

I have long wanted to hear a Luxman component but never had the opportunity. They have a reputation for having warmish, rich, and nonfatiguing sonics, perhaps derived from their tube history (past and present), like McIntosh.

One more thought: Back in 2006 I auditioned at home Cambridge Audio's then-flagship integrated amp, the 840A. I would have kept it but for its dark, thick-sounding midrange. From what I have read the current version (the 851A) solved that problem. The 851A is packed with features and is priced at $1500. Audio Advisor, Music Direct, and Crutchfield sell it. It is worth a look.

Oh, I'm definitely going to point that out to Music Direct if I choose the Luxman. That's way too large of a price difference not to. And there are multiple Japanese sellers who have them.

If I could buy a modern amp that sounds like my vintage Marantz receivers, I'd do it in a heartbeat. I think the Luxman is one of the closest to that, from what I've been able to read/research.
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post #81 of 167 Old 03-23-2019, 07:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Alex F. View Post
Last night I was grinning with the thought that you order the Luxman direct from Japan after asking all the right questions, then the amp arrives and it is set up for Japanese 100V outlets and all the wording on the front and rear panels is in Japanese. (Being curious, I visited Luxman's Japanese website and the products intended for their home market are apparently in English. The L-505uXII on the Japanese website is linked below.)

http://www.luxman.co.jp/product/l-505ux2

On a serious note, it couldn't hurt to ask Music Direct if they can reduce the price or if they have a display model at a substantial discount.

I have long wanted to hear a Luxman component but never had the opportunity. They have a reputation for having warmish, rich, and nonfatiguing sonics, perhaps derived from their tube history (past and present), like McIntosh.

One more thought: Back in 2006 I auditioned at home Cambridge Audio's then-flagship integrated amp, the 840A. I would have kept it but for its dark, thick-sounding midrange. From what I have read the current version (the 851A) solved that problem. The 851A is packed with features and is priced at $1500. Audio Advisor, Music Direct, and Crutchfield sell it. It is worth a look.

Oh, I'm definitely going to point that out to Music Direct if I choose the Luxman. That's way too large of a price difference not to. And there are multiple Japanese sellers who have them.

If I could buy a modern amp that sounds like my vintage Marantz receivers, I'd do it in a heartbeat. I think the Luxman is one of the closest to that, from what I've been able to read/research.
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post #82 of 167 Old 03-24-2019, 12:35 AM
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This is my opinion, I would go separate, get a good power amp, they don't change and they will not be obsoleted in 10 years. Get a preamp that have all the inputs. There are things on the preamp that can be obsolete. I know you don't care about the DAC and other digital stuffs, but chance are higher the preamp part will be obsoleted in a few years. YOu have a power amp, that's the foundation, then you build on it.


As for power amps, high rated power is NOT everything. And NO, all amps don't sound the same if they are not clipped, particular if the speaker is 4ohm and known to be hard to drive. According to Scott3886, Martin Logan ESL speakers are one of the hard to drive, I can tell you my JM LAB Spectral 913.1 is another that is very picky on amplifiers. I general speaking, I'd look for amps that have big EXTERNAL heatsink. As for brands, go listen to it. Borrow one home and listen for a day or two, they do loan out amps.


To me, it's more important for the amp to be able to drive 2ohm load than having 200W+ power. Unless you like wall shaking loud, don't need to get high power amp. There is trade off of max power and performance at low power. eg. I don't listen loud, I only use a [email protected] amp , but is high bias class AB so in normal listening level, it's a class A amp. So louder is not better.

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Quote:
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...what would you recommend?

It doesn't need a DAC, it doesn't need anymore than 2 channels, etc. Just great (would prefer warm) sound, a few RCA inputs, great phono, etc. It will be running two tower speakers (that are somewhat demanding), probably no subwoofer.

Music will be most genres, but a good system shouldn't have problems playing anything.

I want to make sure that I'm not missing anything that I should be checking out. I specifically didn't want to narrow anything down (just yet). Not a lot of places to check this stuff out locally for me so this is more than likely going to be an internet purchase.

Thoughts, ideas, etc? Again, I have a list that I've narrowed, but I'm sure I'm not considering something that I should be.

If $4,000 is a real number, I would run... NOT WALK... to Nelson pass for his new SIT-3 stereo amp while the few that are left are still available. Just get a separate phono stage for <$500 from say, someone like Shannon Parks and his Puffin dsp based phono pre.

You'd be right in the mix of a world class system (depending on your speaker choice)
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post #84 of 167 Old 03-24-2019, 01:54 PM
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Different speakers are coming later, DAC and turntable I already have. Right now I want to focus on amplification. This is why I didn't put specifics, but I should have known that someone would attempt to read between the lines. Likely those speakers won't be Klipsch or anything with a horn, so I want to get an amp that can handle 4 ohm loads, if I go that route.

And you cannot buy any amp that sounds what I'd call "great" for around $1K. That's just laughable. You can get "good" for that price, but I already have a lot of "good".
Until you have your speakers selected, it is impossible to know what you need in amplification. If, for example, you came across a pair of used (since they are not made anymore) 1 ohm Apogee Scintilla speakers and loved them, you might have to get rid of that newly purchased amplifier and get something else, since most amplifiers are not going to be suitable for driving them.

In short, there is no way I would spend $4k on an amplifier when I knew I was going to soon be buying different speakers that were not yet selected. Without knowing what speakers you will use, you cannot know what you need in an amplifier.

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post #85 of 167 Old 03-24-2019, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
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This is my opinion, I would go separate, get a good power amp, they don't change and they will not be obsoleted in 10 years. Get a preamp that have all the inputs. There are things on the preamp that can be obsolete. I know you don't care about the DAC and other digital stuffs, but chance are higher the preamp part will be obsoleted in a few years. YOu have a power amp, that's the foundation, then you build on it.
I use a Marantz receiver from 1977 in this room currently, so I'm not worried about a good integrated being obsoleted. That's why I didn't care if it had a DAC, because I'm using a separate one of those anyways.


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As for power amps, high rated power is NOT everything. And NO, all amps don't sound the same if they are not clipped, particular if the speaker is 4ohm and known to be hard to drive. According to Scott3886, Martin Logan ESL speakers are one of the hard to drive, I can tell you my JM LAB Spectral 913.1 is another that is very picky on amplifiers. I general speaking, I'd look for amps that have big EXTERNAL heatsink. As for brands, go listen to it. Borrow one home and listen for a day or two, they do loan out amps.
I'm well aware that a 80 watt Yamaha is different than 80 watts that you'd find in a modern Marantz or McIntosh or something.

There is a somewhat local place that carries a few of the brands that I've been looking at, so I can at least put my ear on a couple different models.


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To me, it's more important for the amp to be able to drive 2ohm load than having 200W+ power. Unless you like wall shaking loud, don't need to get high power amp. There is trade off of max power and performance at low power. eg. I don't listen loud, I only use a [email protected] amp , but is high bias class AB so in normal listening level, it's a class A amp. So louder is not better.
Most all good modern amps can safely handle 4 ohm loads, so I'm not too worried that my choice will have issues with this. I don't listen loud either, but I do want the overhead on hand. I'm not concerned with 300WPC, but I do want one that's at least 100WPC.
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post #86 of 167 Old 03-24-2019, 07:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post
Let me preface my remarks by stating that I definitely believe in double-blind testing.

I'm an ex-recording engineer and for years I believed the same thing - that well designed power amps would be indistinguishable. For 2-channel listening, I've been using the same Crown power amp for decades. Recently, I bought the Dynaco ST-70 Series 3 tube power amp, which is a modern version of the original Dynaco ST-70. I expected to hook it up, hear no difference (or have it sound worse than my Crown), take it down, put it back in the box and put it up for sale.

As soon as I turned it on, even before I adjusted the bias, and played some music through it, the difference between the Crown and the Dynaco was astonishing. This wasn't a subtle difference, so I didn't need a blind A-B test (which I didn't have an easy way of hooking up anyway). The Dynaco sounds so damned good and so much better than my Crown, that it makes me want to listen to every single LP and CD I own all over again, which is exactly what I've been doing. It seems far more powerful than my Crown even though they're the same 35 watts per channel. What's interesting is that it also sounds far more powerful (and far better fidelity) than my 100 watts per channel Pioneer A/V receiver, which feeds the same front L-R speakers via an amp switch.
You should've known better than try to experience equipment yourself. Everyone knows everything sounds the same on paper. Why'd you have to go against the grain?
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post #87 of 167 Old 03-24-2019, 07:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Schubeedoobee View Post
If $4,000 is a real number, I would run... NOT WALK... to Nelson pass for his new SIT-3 stereo amp while the few that are left are still available. Just get a separate phono stage for <$500 from say, someone like Shannon Parks and his Puffin dsp based phono pre.

You'd be right in the mix of a world class system (depending on your speaker choice)

That's an amp that I'd 100% have to hear before I purchased it. Since that's not likely the case, I never gave it serious contention.
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post #88 of 167 Old 03-24-2019, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by _tk View Post
I use a Marantz receiver from 1977 in this room currently, so I'm not worried about a good integrated being obsoleted. That's why I didn't care if it had a DAC, because I'm using a separate one of those anyways.




I'm well aware that a 80 watt Yamaha is different than 80 watts that you'd find in a modern Marantz or McIntosh or something.

There is a somewhat local place that carries a few of the brands that I've been looking at, so I can at least put my ear on a couple different models.




Most all good modern amps can safely handle 4 ohm loads, so I'm not too worried that my choice will have issues with this. I don't listen loud either, but I do want the overhead on hand. I'm not concerned with 300WPC, but I do want one that's at least 100WPC.

"There is a somewhat local place that carries a few of the brands that I've been looking at"

Who? I'm sure not aware of much around here unless you consider Hansen's in Dayton 'somewhat local'
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post #89 of 167 Old 03-24-2019, 08:33 PM - Thread Starter
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"There is a somewhat local place that carries a few of the brands that I've been looking at"

Who? I'm sure not aware of much around here unless you consider Hansen's in Dayton 'somewhat local'
Sound & Vision in Lewis Center carries Musical Fidelity, Marantz, McIntosh, Cambridge, etc. At least that's what the guy on the phone said...he seemed pretty knowledgeable.

I'm trying to get to Axpona as I have relatives I can stay with, but the kids have something I'm not sure I can miss that weekend. Was going to see if you could find a Luxman room for me.
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post #90 of 167 Old 03-24-2019, 08:44 PM
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Sound & Vision in Lewis Center carries Musical Fidelity, Marantz, McIntosh, Cambridge, etc. At least that's what the guy on the phone said...he seemed pretty knowledgeable.

I'm trying to get to Axpona as I have relatives I can stay with, but the kids have something I'm not sure I can miss that weekend. Was going to see if you could find a Luxman room for me.
"Musical Fidelity"

Yep, forgot about that. They do carry it.

At AXPONA, Luxman is in 580 and 582

http://www.axpona.com/exhibitors.asp

http://www.axpona.com/exhibitors.asp?list=brand

I think it's well worth it if you can go.
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