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rfgriffin
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$4k Amp Suggestions

Hi. I have a budget of up to $4k on an amplifier. Looked at the McIntosh MA6300 integrated. Is that really the best unit for that price? Should I consider pre + power amp? How about tubes? I've heard you can't get a a decent tube for that price. Please chime in guys - it's confusing out there. What about used?

 

Here's my current gear:

Vandersteen 2CE Signature loudspeakers

Rega RP-1 TT

Kenwood VR-207 amp (to be replaced)

Thanks again!

jackfish
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I'm thinking $4000

for an amp with those other pieces is probably overkill.  Even an Anthem Integrated 225 at under $2000 would be a nice match for your other gear.  A Jungson JA99D integrated for $2900 could really sound good with that stuff.

soulful.terrain
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Cambridge Audio Azur 740A

 Cambridge Audio Azur 740A Integrated Amplifier 100w/ch @ 8ohms - $799.00 with full warranty and free shipping. Retails new for $1195.00

 

 

  http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?intatran&1316534526&/Cambridge-Audio-Azur-740A-Integrated-Amp

Soothsayerman
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I think I would get seperates

I think I would get seperates and this combo with give you a nice sweet sound.

Parasound Halo A21 Two-Channel Amplifier - The Absolute Sound "Best Solid-State Amplifier" 2008/2009
"Editors' Choice" Award, The Absolute Sound, 2007 - $2299 at audio advisor

Vincent Audio - SA31 MK Hybrid Stereo Preamplifier  - $1399 audio advisor

These two things will take the Vandersteens to a new level.

Just my .02 cents

 

 

jackfish
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Soothsayerman, Gotta get a phono stage with that set up also.

Graham Slee Reflex M? Now we are way above $4K with components downstream from that Rega RP1 which will reveal all its shortcomings.

Soothsayerman
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Another way to go would be

Another way to go would be the

Parasound Halo A21 Two-Channel Amplifier - The Absolute Sound "Best Solid-State Amplifier" 2008/2009
"Editors' Choice" Award, The Absolute Sound, 2007 - $2299 at audio advisor

Mated with the Rogue Audio Metis Magnum pre-amp that has a good phono stage in it. $1495

http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue39/rogue_audio.htm

 

I think I am personally going to give the Metis Magnum a try. Rogue has a good rep.

tom collins
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suggestion

look for a used simaudio I-7.  one of the best sounding solid state integrated amps i have heard.  beautiful to look at too, built like a tank.

i think one is on a-gon for $3500 now if not sold yet.

tom

rfgriffin
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A Phased Approach
jackfish wrote:

for an amp with those other pieces is probably overkill.  Even an Anthem Integrated 225 at under $2000 would be a nice match for your other gear.  A Jungson JA99D integrated for $2900 could really sound good with that stuff.

Guys, first of all, thanks again for your advice - love this forum. Yeah, I know Jackfish...$4k sounds like a lot, but here's my thinking. When I began this hi-fi journey I had $500 in my pocket to spend on speakers. After listening to the great possiblities out there I decided to sink that money into a turn table (RP-1) to satisfy my vinyl itch. Then my budget grew to $2k - $3k for speakers and I found these great Vandy 2CE signatures for $1k, with the idea that I would invest in an amp down the road. Well, that $2k I saved on speakers is going towards the amp budget and that's kind of how I arrived where I am today. Now I'm at the point where I would like to invest in an amp that is not going to make me want for more a couple years down the road. I'm looking for an amp that will do the job and make me happy for, oh, maybe 5 - 10 years. An amp I can build a system around. 

Thoughts?

jackfish
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I'm partial to Emotiva stuff due to its performance

way over its price point and five-year warranty.  An Emotiva USP-1 and a pair of XPA-1 monoblocks would be a dramatic union with the RP-1 and Vandersteens.  The USP-1 has a very good phono stage and the XPA-1s will fully control the Vandersteens for optimal output.  Throw in an ERC-2 for the occasional CD and you are good to go.

Emotiva USP-1 $450 delivered http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/preamplifiers/689-emotiva-usp-1-stereo-preamplifier.html?start=1

Emotiva XPA-1 $2000/pair delivered http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/power-amplifiers/520-a-secrets-power-amplifier-review.html

Emotiva ERC-2 $450 delivered http://news.cnet.com/8301-13645_3-20069763-47/can-a-bona-fide-high-end-cd-player-sell-for-$449/ http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/cd-players/703-emotiva-erc-1-cd-player.html http://www.avrev.com/home-theater-audio-sources/cd-players/emotiva-erc-1-cd-player.html

http://www.stereophile.com/axpona2010/affordable_emotiva/index.html

Even UPA-1s instead of the XPA-1s would be wonderful with the Vandersteens. http://www.tonepublications.com/review/the-emotiva-usp-1-preamplifier-and-upa-1-amplifiers/

rfgriffin
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I'm A little concerned I can't hear the Emo prior to buying it.

I've probably logged close to 500 miles checking out the different amps lately and hearing is the real test for me. I love the look of the Emotiva but I'm not sure I'm comfortable putting down all that cash before hearing it.  It's looks like they only sell online. I know they probably have a return policy but I hate the thought of potentially returning a beast like that.

I did however listen to a couple of amps recently. I first listened to the Rega Mira3 - not bad for the price. But then I listened to the Rogue Atlas and have to admit, it definitely sounded more musical than the Rega. Given the price difference, that was expected. With the Rogue, I would be adding the Metis pre, which would get me to about $3200 out the door. I am also giving serious consideration to the Mcintosh MA6300. I know dealers generally don't discount Macs but I found one willing to do 15% (yep - $3400). Please don't ask who because I promised I wouldn't tell. In reading my reviews, the MA6300 has been described as more of a "music lovers" amp as opposed to an audiophile's amp. Is the Rogue also considered a music lovers amp too? Are all entry-level hi-fi amps music lovers amps? 

Thoughts?

jackfish
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No problem, order them up and if you don't

like them just send them back before 30 days is up for a full purchase price refund.  This way you get to listen to them with your stuff in your room. Just consider the return shipping as your gas for driving around to listen to other stuff.

I would start with the USP-1, ERC-2 and a pair of UPA-1s and that just might be where it ends.

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