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post #1 of 22 Old 10-13-2019, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
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I am moving my office to a different room in my home and I will also be looking to build my first two channel system there.

This will be completely for music with a Music Hall MMF-5 (Ortofon 2M Red) and a streamer for Amazon HD or Tidal.
This will be a slow burn project (I am patient), so my budget is flexible if warranted for the right equipment.

Phono is not mandatory as I am not opposed to purchasing a separate phono stage (I would welcome suggestions)

Sub out would be ideal, but also not a deal breaker

I have been reading and watching a lot of reviews on integrated amps for the past few weeks and have come up with the following tiers:

Lower End of Budget
Cambridge AXA15
NAD C316BEE V2 (Refurb)
Yamaha A-S301

Bang for Buck?
PS Audio Sprout 100
Cambridge CXA60

Stretch if Warranted
NAD C368 BlueOS (Refurb)
Peachtree Decco 125 Sky (Refurb)
Outlaw RR2160
Rega Brio

As of now, I am leaning towards the Sprout (well regarded) or the C368/Decco 125 (Both have streamer solutions built in)

Hopefully this is a good jumping off point, but I would appreciate critiques and additions to the list

LG OLED55B8PUA / Sony UBP-X700 / Apple TV 4K
Denon AVR-X4200W / Music Hall MMF-5 (Ortofon 2M Red)
Monitor Audio GS10 / Monitor Audio GSLCR / Monitor Audio Silver FX / (4) Monitor Audio Pro-IC65
JTR Captivator 1400 "Duchess of Boom"

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post #2 of 22 Old 10-13-2019, 03:47 PM
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You might take a look at the Marantz HD-AMP1

FWIW, I've owned the NAD C 316BEE for seven years and have never regretted buying it. Nothing special about it, just a good solid integrated amp.
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post #3 of 22 Old 10-13-2019, 03:58 PM
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The Brio-R, is a helluva small IA!

Have speakers picked out?

All The Music In The World > NAD C388
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post #4 of 22 Old 10-13-2019, 05:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDLehner View Post
The Brio-R, is a helluva small IA!

Have speakers picked out?
I am slowly building a list of what intrigues me.

All dealers are over an hour away from me, but I stopped at one recently and very briefly heard:
Monitor Audio Silver 100
KEF LS50 (Passive)

The MAs were very similar to the GS10s in my theater, and I was impressed by the KEFs, so I would like to spend some more time with them.

Here are a few:
KEF LS50
Klipsch RP-600M
Monitor Audio Gold 50 (Stretch)
Elac Debut Reference
Dynaudio Emit M20
Dynaudio Excite X14
Ascend Sierra 1
Ascend Sierra 2 (Stretch)

I need to research Focal because the Dynaudio dealer carries them as well.

LG OLED55B8PUA / Sony UBP-X700 / Apple TV 4K
Denon AVR-X4200W / Music Hall MMF-5 (Ortofon 2M Red)
Monitor Audio GS10 / Monitor Audio GSLCR / Monitor Audio Silver FX / (4) Monitor Audio Pro-IC65
JTR Captivator 1400 "Duchess of Boom"
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post #5 of 22 Old 10-13-2019, 05:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jagob View Post
You might take a look at the Marantz HD-AMP1

FWIW, I've owned the NAD C 316BEE for seven years and have never regretted buying it. Nothing special about it, just a good solid integrated amp.
Thanks, I will take a look at the Marantz.

I appreciate your thoughts on owning the NAD. I have read nothing but good comments about it, and the price is extremely reasonable....very tempting especially given my small room.

LG OLED55B8PUA / Sony UBP-X700 / Apple TV 4K
Denon AVR-X4200W / Music Hall MMF-5 (Ortofon 2M Red)
Monitor Audio GS10 / Monitor Audio GSLCR / Monitor Audio Silver FX / (4) Monitor Audio Pro-IC65
JTR Captivator 1400 "Duchess of Boom"
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post #6 of 22 Old 10-13-2019, 06:02 PM
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I agree, the NAD 316BEE is a great little IA. I had the v1 for a while and it was quite capable with any of the speakers I owned at the time. Obviously the v2 has the built-in phone preamp but I'm not sure of the quality.

I also owned the LS50s for a while and very much regret selling them. They're not perfect but they do a lot of things well especially for someone like me who mostly listens to music (bump in the upper midrange/low treble).

I would also consider the Music Fidelity M2si although it is a no frills analog only IA. You would need a phono stage as well as a streamer. It's on close-out right now.

2-channel: MA Silver 2 (5th Gen), Music Fidelity M2si, B&W ASW608, Rega RP1, Pro-Ject Phono Box, Marantz CD5004, Lenovo Ideapad, AQ DF Red
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post #7 of 22 Old 10-13-2019, 06:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by postrokfan View Post
I agree, the NAD 316BEE is a great little IA. I had the v1 for a while and it was quite capable with any of the speakers I owned at the time. Obviously the v2 has the built-in phone preamp but I'm not sure of the quality.

I also owned the LS50s for a while and very much regret selling them. They're not perfect but they do a lot of things well especially for someone like me who mostly listens to music (bump in the upper midrange/low treble).

I would also consider the Music Fidelity M2si although it is a no frills analog only IA. You would need a phono stage as well as a streamer. It's on close-out right now.

That M2si is a clean looking piece of gear and nice specs to boot....more reading to do!



Part of me wants to get a well regarded budget amp like the 316BEE and a Node 2i (both refurb) and still be at or under everything in my upper tier.


My wife and I really liked the LS50s even though it was a less than ideal room and low listening levels.
It just left me wanting to spend more time with them.
It was my first visit at this dealer and the KEFs were a bonus as I was there to hear the new silver series Monitor Audios.

He stated that he will have the MA Golds back in closer to the holidays, so I will add them to the listening session on my next visit.
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LG OLED55B8PUA / Sony UBP-X700 / Apple TV 4K
Denon AVR-X4200W / Music Hall MMF-5 (Ortofon 2M Red)
Monitor Audio GS10 / Monitor Audio GSLCR / Monitor Audio Silver FX / (4) Monitor Audio Pro-IC65
JTR Captivator 1400 "Duchess of Boom"
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post #8 of 22 Old 10-13-2019, 07:12 PM
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I can only speak to what I have experience with. I own the Rega Brio, connected to PC as a source wit h a Dragonfly Cobalt. It's an excellent choice, sounds/built superb. Before this, I used a Sony UDA-1 amp/DAC combo and before that, a Teac AI-501DA. The Rega/AQ combo sounds the best by far.

movies Sony 65A1E|Sonus faber Toy, Toy Center, Venere Wall|SVS SB2000|Sony ZA5000ES|UDP 205/UB820|ATV 4K
music Sonus faber Liuto|REL S/5|Sony A1ES|Wadia 321|Sony SCD-777ES|Sony PS-HX500|Sonos Connect|AQ Niagara 5000
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post #9 of 22 Old 10-13-2019, 10:25 PM
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My 2c.

NAD C368 BlueOS (Refurb) or Peachtree Decco 125 Sky (Refurb)
Ascend Sierra 2 or KEF LS50

Even the NAD gives more for the money Peachtree wins in aesthetics, especially in the office.

Considering this I will prefer to see Peachtree Decco 125 Sky with Ascend Sierra 2 in Piano Black and a sub added later. Classy system... you may add later phono stage if the one in Decco doesn't do for you.

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Wharfedale Diamond D220; Wharfedale Diamond D10 Sub; PSB G Design GB-1; Totem Mite; Tannoy Sub; Canton Sub; Canton Plus S; Canton Movie 70; Kenwood KD-2055; Pro-ject Debut III USB
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post #10 of 22 Old 10-14-2019, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jagob View Post
You might take a look at the Marantz HD-AMP1
I have this amp for my kitchen setup (wanted a cool running class D since it'll be behind glass cabinets). I wasn't going to run a TT there so the lack of phono didn't bother me, but obviously a phono preamp can always be added as there are plenty of inputs on the back.



Quote:
As of now, I am leaning towards the Sprout (well regarded)
I thought about the Sprout but never really read any "great" reviews about it. I also did not like that it lacked tone controls. It seemed more like a "lifestyle" device than a serious amp.
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post #11 of 22 Old 10-14-2019, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by j3cwill View Post
KEF LS50
Klipsch RP-600M
Monitor Audio Gold 50 (Stretch)
Elac Debut Reference
Dynaudio Emit M20
Dynaudio Excite X14
Ascend Sierra 1
Ascend Sierra 2 (Stretch)

I'd go passive LS50. Wide FR response, point source to have imaging in check, bass adjustable via foam port plugs, nice finish and overal bang for buck. I like Dynaudio monitors a lot, but from way above LS50.
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post #12 of 22 Old 10-15-2019, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by j3cwill View Post
Here are a few:
KEF LS50
Klipsch RP-600M
Monitor Audio Gold 50 (Stretch)
Elac Debut Reference
Dynaudio Emit M20
Dynaudio Excite X14
Ascend Sierra 1
Ascend Sierra 2 (Stretch)

I need to research Focal because the Dynaudio dealer carries them as well.
I'd add the Ascend Sierra 2EX. New model with improvements
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...EX/srm2ex.html
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post #13 of 22 Old 10-15-2019, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by cocrh View Post
I'd add the Ascend Sierra 2EX. New model with improvements
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...EX/srm2ex.html

Raal ribbon, hmm, interesting.
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post #14 of 22 Old 10-15-2019, 04:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RAART View Post
My 2c.

NAD C368 BlueOS (Refurb) or Peachtree Decco 125 Sky (Refurb)
Ascend Sierra 2 or KEF LS50

Even the NAD gives more for the money Peachtree wins in aesthetics, especially in the office.

Considering this I will prefer to see Peachtree Decco 125 Sky with Ascend Sierra 2 in Piano Black and a sub added later. Classy system... you may add later phono stage if the one in Decco doesn't do for you.

I like these combinations and from what I have read, I would get some serious performance for my coin.


I agree that the Peachtree is very nice looking and has plenty of power to drive anything I throw at it.
The only pause I have with the Peachtree is there were limited reviews that I could find, so not a lot of discussion about the streaming solution.


BlueOS seems to be a more mature/polished product and I know Bluesound has developed a decent fanbase for their streamers.

LG OLED55B8PUA / Sony UBP-X700 / Apple TV 4K
Denon AVR-X4200W / Music Hall MMF-5 (Ortofon 2M Red)
Monitor Audio GS10 / Monitor Audio GSLCR / Monitor Audio Silver FX / (4) Monitor Audio Pro-IC65
JTR Captivator 1400 "Duchess of Boom"
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post #15 of 22 Old 10-15-2019, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by j3cwill View Post
I like these combinations and from what I have read, I would get some serious performance for my coin.


I agree that the Peachtree is very nice looking and has plenty of power to drive anything I throw at it.
The only pause I have with the Peachtree is there were limited reviews that I could find, so not a lot of discussion about the streaming solution.


BlueOS seems to be a more mature/polished product and I know Bluesound has developed a decent fanbase for their streamers.
Do not underestimate NAD... It is an excellent D class amp as well as Peachtree Decco. Peachtree has more power and uses ICE module made by Bang and Olufsen. I do not know what NAD uses but the BlueOS is really good. I heard Peachtree amps but not specifically the Decco 125 Sky with Muze player and they are good...

The combo RAAL tweeter with Seas driver in Sierra 2 is something that I lean towards and I prefer that speaker to KEF LS50. Still, Kef LS50 is an excellent speaker.

I auditioned the Sierra 2 and it is amazing but also expensive in Canada and that is the main reason I still did not get it but long term plan is to get Sierra 2's. I also was considering to get used ones but they do not come often on the market.

For speakers, hands down Ascend Acoustics Sierra 2...

As for the amps, your choice... my choice will be totally different as I like to have always separates, like NAD C658 pre-amp + C275BEE amp. This would be my choice in terms of streaming capabilities paired with power. Also I like that I can add MDC module later if needed in NAD pre-amp. The power amp can be also some another model if the power is not needed but the pre-amp C658 is really good.

Also in terms of speakers consider Harbeth P3ESR with some nice closed sub.

To sum up: Ascend Acoustics Sierra 2 with NAD C 658 pre and if you have some power amp you can use that or buy some cheap one until you save some money and get nice power amp. This is the way I would go!

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post #16 of 22 Old 10-16-2019, 09:45 AM
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The combo RAAL tweeter with Seas driver in Sierra 2 is something that I lean towards and I prefer that speaker to KEF LS50. Still, Kef LS50 is an excellent speaker.

I auditioned the Sierra 2 and it is amazing but also expensive in Canada and that is the main reason I still did not get it but long term plan is to get Sierra 2's. I also was considering to get used ones but they do not come often on the market.

For speakers, hands down Ascend Acoustics Sierra 2...
The new Sierra 2EX is an improved version so would focus on that model. Sierra 2 also awesome but why not go with new and improved
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...EX/srm2ex.html
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post #17 of 22 Old 10-16-2019, 02:12 PM
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Do not underestimate NAD... It is an excellent D class amp

I have nothing against class D, but i.e. NuForce STA-200 is class AB and can be (was available some two months back) bought new for $500. But the best part is that it's a rebranded JOB 225 (Goldmund). Terrific bang for buck to take into consideration I think.
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post #18 of 22 Old 10-16-2019, 09:54 PM
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The new Sierra 2EX is an improved version so would focus on that model. Sierra 2 also awesome but why not go with new and improved
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...EX/srm2ex.html
Sure, if you would buy new however the OP has a limited budget and mention in original post that it would be a stretch to get refurbished Sierra 2 and I do not know if it will be even bigger streeeetch to get new one...

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Wharfedale Diamond D220; Wharfedale Diamond D10 Sub; PSB G Design GB-1; Totem Mite; Tannoy Sub; Canton Sub; Canton Plus S; Canton Movie 70; Kenwood KD-2055; Pro-ject Debut III USB
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post #19 of 22 Old 10-16-2019, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Grohl View Post
I have nothing against class D, but i.e. NuForce STA-200 is class AB and can be (was available some two months back) bought new for $500. But the best part is that it's a rebranded JOB 225 (Goldmund). Terrific bang for buck to take into consideration I think.
Nice power amp for sure but the original poster was talking about integrated amp... Me personally would go for pre/power combo for sure. as I mention earlier here.

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Wharfedale Diamond D220; Wharfedale Diamond D10 Sub; PSB G Design GB-1; Totem Mite; Tannoy Sub; Canton Sub; Canton Plus S; Canton Movie 70; Kenwood KD-2055; Pro-ject Debut III USB
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post #20 of 22 Old 10-17-2019, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by RAART View Post
Nice power amp for sure but the original poster was talking about integrated amp... Me personally would go for pre/power combo for sure. as I mention earlier here.

Ah, my bad then, sorry!
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post #21 of 22 Old 10-17-2019, 07:29 AM
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Sure, if you would buy new however the OP has a limited budget and mention in original post that it would be a stretch to get refurbished Sierra 2 and I do not know if it will be even bigger streeeetch to get new one...
He had it on the list as a stretch but no mention of refurbished so it would be the same price between the Sierra 2 and Sierra 2EX.

Ascend Sierra 2 (Stretch)
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post #22 of 22 Old 10-17-2019, 08:26 PM - Thread Starter
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I appreciate all of the great discussion and suggestions.

I have a lot to think about, but much better direction now

LG OLED55B8PUA / Sony UBP-X700 / Apple TV 4K
Denon AVR-X4200W / Music Hall MMF-5 (Ortofon 2M Red)
Monitor Audio GS10 / Monitor Audio GSLCR / Monitor Audio Silver FX / (4) Monitor Audio Pro-IC65
JTR Captivator 1400 "Duchess of Boom"
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