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I recently purchased a pair of Ascend Acoustics Sierra-1 speakers which are arriving tomorrow and I am considering several options for an integrated amp.


I ordered the HK 3490 as the Ascend forums say that it pairs well with the speakers and is a lot of bang for the buck for $366.


However, it is taking forever to ship from Vanns and an amplifier I had strongly considered, the Yamaha A-S500, is now available from Buy.com for $277. It got a glowing review from What Hifi? but weirdly, no reviews elsewhere.


Further research into the HK has shown a mixed bag so I am revisiting my decision-- considering the Yamaha, and also some used NAD or Cambridge Audio Kit.


What would you do if you were me?


My primary goal is to have a good music set up in 2 or 2.1. Secondary is feeding my TV output through thte system.


NB I posted this first in the "Amps" section but felt like this forum was a better fit.
 

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As an owner of HK 3490, I am pleased with it. I found it powerful to drive my Polk Monitor 60 speakers. At night, I switch to using headphones and have no complaints. The additional benefit of having digital inputs (1 coaxial and 1 optical) was a big plus for me.


Am not familiar with the other choices that you mentioned but prolly just as good or better, depending on what you are looking for.
 

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I don't know much about the Yamaha, but I have the HK3490 and it is terrific. My only complaint is it has no bass management, so you will have to use the subwoofer's internal crossover and find the best crossover point with your own ears. The speakers will get the full range of frequencies and so will the subwoofer.
 

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Quote:
I ordered the HK 3490 as the Ascend forums say that it pairs well with the speakers and is a lot of bang for the buck for $366.


However, it is taking forever to ship from Vanns and an amplifier I had strongly considered, the Yamaha A-S500, is now available from Buy.com for $277. It got a glowing review from What Hifi? but weirdly, no reviews elsewhere.

I actually just went through this entire process and ended up going with the HK 3490. If you can, cancel your order at VANNS and purchase it at Newegg. They currently have a sale on it, got it for 299.99 with free shipping.


I decided against the Yamaha As500 solely based on the fact it had one review even though glowing there was no other information to be had. Consider many other integrateds but after seeing the two reviews on the HK 3490 in hometheatrereview and audioholics it was hard not to pick. Not to mention it has optical inputs.


Anyways I'll be hooking it up on Sunday and will let you know what I think of it on Monday or Tuesday I hear it requires a bit of a break-in period.
 
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