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Hi Guys,

I've recently sold my Klipsch 5.1 (RF7ii, RC64ii, RP250S, R115SW) and Yamaha Aventage 3060 setup as my tastes in sound have changed over the last year.

A big reason for this is the Kef LS50 Wireless speakers that I enjoyed listening to a lot of classical, Jazz, folk and rock on (big mix I know!).

Anyway, I've decided to build up a killer stereo system as most of my enjoyment comes from music first and then home theatre second.

Most of my music is streamed in MQA from Tidal or CD.

I've auditioned Focal 936, Arum Cantus v7f, Persona 3f Paradigm, etc... In the end I preferred the Arum Cantus in terms of sound and build quality. For the price it out-performs speaker many times more expensive.

However my next problem is to decide on an amp.

I'm leaning towards a one box solution (with possibly a second bluesound node 2i streamer). One thing that I'd like to be able to do is use the Stereo amp downstream as part of a HT home solution.

Options I've considered :

Cary Audio SI-300.2d : Powerful , nice warm sound and supports HT. Would definitely need the separate streaming audio and gets quite hot.

Peachtree nova 300/500 : Most powerful of the bunch , gets great reviews.... although I've seen some say that it's not as clean a sound as the hype would suggest. I don't have the ability to audition this locally so would necessitate buying and returning if I don't like.

Musical Fidelity m6si : Gets great reviews but is down on power compared to the other two. That being said you really couldn't tell very much.

NAD M32: This was one that Iwas leaning towards. Sound was super clean, build quality appears to be great but power is considerably down on the others. Having said that I've been advised by the dealer that NAD tend to be very conservative in their ratings. It also has the bluOS module for Tidal streaming which is good. Only thing that concerns me is that my local dealer says that NAD products are not built to the same standard as other vendors and the quality control issues in recent years have been a problem with lots of problematic units. Dealer bias?

NAD M12 and M22 combo: this is also a very interesting combo to me in terms of BluOS , connectivity and in the demo that I heard it definitely sounded like it had more power than the even the Cary Audio.

Does anybody have any experience of these amps or have a recommendation?

Thanks,

Tom.
 

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I've owned the M12/M22 combo to drive some Martin Logan Montis for a time. Can't say I was thrilled with the sound. It's a little clinical/sterile. They can drive a low impedance load well though if needed.

The M32 is built on different tech than the M12 is on the amp side (ie. not ncore modules). I haven't heard it but Stereophile review of it was decent.

I've heard the Peachtree as well. Again, Class D. It's worse than the NAD combo for sure. Darker and drier yet, just un-involving IMO.



Streaming and DAC technology is changing and improving all the time. I'd recommend you keep the digital section OUT of your integrated, but I understand the appeal of one box for sure.

One that you didn't mention that I've heard numerous positive things about is the Anthem STR D/A.

https://www.anthemav.com/products-current/model=str-integrated-amplifier/page=overview

That one looks very HT friendly, and even has ARC built in for bass eq. You would still need a separate streamer (I would recommend something like the SOTM SMS-200 and Roon).



My suggestion would be to keep the digital section completely out of your integrated, and instead buy a standalone DAC that includes a Roon ready streamer (Auralic Altair perhaps, depends on your budget).

Hope this helps!

AVOID CLASS D! :eek:
 

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What about the Parasound Halo 6? Could be something to check out and ticks all your boxes.


Living Room System:
Samsung PN60F5300 | Sony UBP-X700 | Denon AVR-1713 | EMP E55Ti | E56Ci | E5Bi | Outlaw Ultra-X12
 
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Discussion Starter #5
I like the Parasound Hint 6 alright and had taken a demonstration of it - it didn't sound quite as powerful as the Cary Audio but defintely had a beautiful sound.

I had not tried the Anthem STR but it looks to get rave reviews and I particularly like that you can tweak the amplifier for stereo with an equivalent of Dirac.

Power of both of these amps is down on the Cary.

I also see that the Nova 500 (huge power output - or claimed anyway) uses a new DAC ESS9020 pro vs the ESS9018 in the 300. They are claiming increased SnR and cleaner sound. So far I've not seen any reviews.

You do raise a good point about keeping the DAC out of the amp given the changing nature of formats etc... This was something that appealed with the NAD given their upgradeable modules. Having said that if the sound quality of the M12 and M22 combo isn't great Ishoudl probably discount it.

Have you any experience with the Cary SI-300.2d?

Finally with the influx of relatively cheap (price wise) Chinese hi-fi components are there any huge bang for the buck solid state chinese amps that may be worth the listen. I heard a Xindak tube amp and was very impressed in both build and sound quality - it gave up nothing to the big names and came in at significantly less cost.

I appreciate all the help and feedback guys - please keep the suggestions /feedback coming!

Tom.
 

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simaudio moon neo ace or hegel
 

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I like the Parasound Hint 6 alright and had taken a demonstration of it - it didn't sound quite as powerful as the Cary Audio but defintely had a beautiful sound.

I had not tried the Anthem STR but it looks to get rave reviews and I particularly like that you can tweak the amplifier for stereo with an equivalent of Dirac.

Power of both of these amps is down on the Cary.

I also see that the Nova 500 (huge power output - or claimed anyway) uses a new DAC ESS9020 pro vs the ESS9018 in the 300. They are claiming increased SnR and cleaner sound. So far I've not seen any reviews.

You do raise a good point about keeping the DAC out of the amp given the changing nature of formats etc... This was something that appealed with the NAD given their upgradeable modules. Having said that if the sound quality of the M12 and M22 combo isn't great Ishoudl probably discount it.

Have you any experience with the Cary SI-300.2d?

Finally with the influx of relatively cheap (price wise) Chinese hi-fi components are there any huge bang for the buck solid state chinese amps that may be worth the listen. I heard a Xindak tube amp and was very impressed in both build and sound quality - it gave up nothing to the big names and came in at significantly less cost.

I appreciate all the help and feedback guys - please keep the suggestions /feedback coming!

Tom.
No experience with Cary stuff.

As far as Chi-Fi goes, I have heard some Vincent gear and it was pretty decent, one of their integrated amps that has the tube pre. It wasn’t too bad for the money. There were some annoyances with the volume control but overall it was a music maker without the clinical sound. Perhaps one of their amps driven by a different Dac/Pre would be an option.
 

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I like the Parasound Hint 6 alright and had taken a demonstration of it - it didn't sound quite as powerful as the Cary Audio but defintely had a beautiful sound.



I had not tried the Anthem STR but it looks to get rave reviews and I particularly like that you can tweak the amplifier for stereo with an equivalent of Dirac.



Power of both of these amps is down on the Cary.



I also see that the Nova 500 (huge power output - or claimed anyway) uses a new DAC ESS9020 pro vs the ESS9018 in the 300. They are claiming increased SnR and cleaner sound. So far I've not seen any reviews.



You do raise a good point about keeping the DAC out of the amp given the changing nature of formats etc... This was something that appealed with the NAD given their upgradeable modules. Having said that if the sound quality of the M12 and M22 combo isn't great Ishoudl probably discount it.



Have you any experience with the Cary SI-300.2d?



Finally with the influx of relatively cheap (price wise) Chinese hi-fi components are there any huge bang for the buck solid state chinese amps that may be worth the listen. I heard a Xindak tube amp and was very impressed in both build and sound quality - it gave up nothing to the big names and came in at significantly less cost.



I appreciate all the help and feedback guys - please keep the suggestions /feedback coming!



Tom.


Just for reference, the power of all these is quite comparable. They are all capable of driving a low impedance load easily and will all reach comparable volumes. It takes twice the power to gain 3dB of output, so a 150 watt/ch amp and a 300 watt/ch amp have very similar outputs.

I would focus on sound quality and features and not worry too much about power ratings. A lot of companies are conservative anyway and you are unlikely to ever need that wattage for more than a moment during dynamic peaks.


Living Room System:
Samsung PN60F5300 | Sony UBP-X700 | Denon AVR-1713 | EMP E55Ti | E56Ci | E5Bi | Outlaw Ultra-X12
 

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I didn't see any mention of the Naim Uniti line, they're pretty pricey but well regarded and have an optional HDMI ARC input which is nice for flexibility.
 

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Last year I gave my HT equipment to my son and started over with a new stereo setup, including the Cary SI-300.2d, Salk Veracity ST speakers, and SGC SonicTranporter/ultrarendu for streaming Tidal. I have been very satisfied with the setup, and I find the amp to be transparent, not particularly coloring the sound. Some have said that Cary tried to emulate the 'tube sound,' but I never listened to tube amps, so I have no basis for comparison.
 
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