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dmloring
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Common question -- Next upgrade advice

I am a frequent reader of these forums, and while I know this question is asked often, I thought I would nonetheless seek everyone's expert advice.

My current system:

Integrated Amp -- NAD 320BEE
CD player -- Arcam CD72
Bookshelf speakers -- Wharfedale Pacific Evo 8
Speaker cables -- Audio Art SC-5 biwires
Interconnects -- Audio Art IC-3
Power supply -- PS Audio Duet

So....

(1) The Arcam CD72 is new and I love it
(2) The interconnects and speaker cables are great -- highly recommended

I'm looking to upgrade both my speakers and integrated amp (I want to stay integrated rather than seperate amp/pre-amp). I am not upgrading both at the same time, and I don't really care which one I upgrade first -- though I am inclined to upgrade my amp first, and from there start looking into speakers.

Budget: I would like to stay at or around the $1000 dollar price point for the intergrated amp.

With respect to speakers -- I would like to stay at or around $1500. I suppose I prefer bookshelves but I am not opposed to floorstanding. My room is currently rather large, but it is an apartment and I will likely be somewhere else in a couple of years.

Music -- I listen almost entirely to classic jazz (Peterson, Davis, Coltrane, Cannonball, Evans.. you get the idea)

My initial thoughts:

NAD C372
Monitor Audio Silvers

SUGGESTIONS APPRECIATED!

Monty
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Re: Common question -- Next upgrade advice

If my taste in music was primarily classic jazz, I would own nothing but tube amplifiers.

I've read some really good stuff about that particular Arcam player. It's nice to have a piece of gear that you are completely happy with. That makes upgrades soooo much easier.

dmloring
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Re: Common question -- Next upgrade advice

Why tube amplifiers -- are there tube "integrated" amplifiers? Also do tube amps fit within my price range?

Colnmary
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Re: Common question -- Next upgrade advice

The NAD C372 would be a great upgrade. I have a NAD C370 and have used it on Wharfedales Pacific Evo 30's and 40's. It would give you more headroom with your present evo 8's and offer more control at higher listening levels and headroom.

I have heard the Monitor Audio Silvers series of speakers and they are completely different sounding than the EVO series by Wharfedale. They have a metal dome against a fabric dome tweeter and the kevlar driver in the EVO sounds different. I found the Monitor Audio Silvers quite a lot "brighter" than the EVO's voicing. To my ears, the Monitor Audio Silvers could become a little fatiquing, and I personally found them over bright. They are extremely detailed and quick, and will give a different sound than the EVO8's you have. An audition is a must.

bifcake
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Re: Common question -- Next upgrade advice

I would suggest buying on the used market. You will get much better value for the money. My recommendations are based on the assumption that you'll be buying used.

Integrated:

Creek 5350SE
Musical Fidelity A300
Musical Fidelity A5
Rega Mira
Krell KAV 300i

Speakers:

Sonus Faber Concertino
Monitor Audio silver series
Revel F12 or F30
JM Lab Electra 926
Paradigm Studio 100 v2
Paradigm Studio 100 v3

Monty
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Re: Common question -- Next upgrade advice

You could certainly snag a tube integrated within your budget. If you've never heard your favorite music playing through tubes, you should consider a trip to a decent hi fi joint that sells tube gear.

Tubes and jazz compliment each other nicely. Tube gear has some advantages in the areas that make intimate settings sound very life like. It's like peanut butter and jelly...just made for each other.

bifcake
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Re: Common question -- Next upgrade advice

A good tube integrated is usually more than a grand even on the used market.

Monty
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Re: Common question -- Next upgrade advice
Elk
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Re: Common question -- Next upgrade advice

Nice find!

dmloring
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Re: Common question -- Next upgrade advice

Seems liking an interesting option -- I have never really thought about looking into a tube integrated. Out of curiosity -- how much space above a tube amp do you need? I know they emit a great deal of heat. It would have to be located under a glass open enclosure, with a glass ceiling about 2 inches above where the top of the integrated amp would rest.

Monty
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Re: Common question -- Next upgrade advice

I don't think that would be enough clearance. You would really need to provide better air circulation for that to work and biasing would be a bigger pain in the butt in that situation. I do think you would be fine with a hybrid tube/solid state design. In that scenario only the preamp section would be using tubes and they don't run as hot as output tubes. There are a few hybrids in your price range and they are very user friendly.

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