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VinnieG
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Help - Music Hall A15.2 vs. Cambridge Audio Topaz AM1

I am planning to purchase the Pro-ject Debut Carbon turntable and the Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 speakers (or maybe Paradigm Atom v5).  The final stumbling point: an integrated amp!

My budget for the amp is around $500, although if I could spend less that would be great.  The Music Hall seems to me to be best-in-class for that price range, although I've read good things about the Cambridge Audio Topaz AM1 as well.  Is the Music Hall worth the extra $150? 

Any other advice regarding good amps in that price range would also be appreciated.  I am leaning towards an integrated amp as opposed to a receiver, as I intend this to be a dedicated vinyl system and space is at a premium.  But I'd be interested in hearing if there are receivers in the $500 price range that will outperform the sound of the Music Hall or Cambridge Audio.

commsysman
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AMPLIFIER

I think the Music Hall A15.2 is one of the best integrated amplifiers you can get for under $1000. I recommend it most highly!

It is way way better in my opinion than any of the Cambridge amplifiers, until you get up around the $1000 figure. The Topaz is not very good at all IMO. As for receivers, nothing for under $1000 even comes close to sounding as good.

It is also a bit better-sounding, I think, than the NAD C326BEE, which sells for around $550 and has no phono input and half the power.

The Music Hall A15.2 is a huge bargain at $500; I think you will be very impressed.

I also think that the Diamond 10.1 is exceptionally good for its price of $349/pair; far better than any Paradigm unless you spend much more money.

I compares well with a number of good speakers that sell for around $500-600 from PSB and others; another great value.

One caveat with the Diamond 10.1 is that its sensitivity is rather low. This would make amplifiers with less than 50 watts per channel a poor choice to use with it.

I assume that you have read the Stereophile review of it; if not, you should give it your full attention.

 

VinnieG
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Great. Thanks for the

Great. Thanks for the advice.  Looks like I should be in pretty good shape with the Pro-ject Debut Carbon, the Music Hall A15.2, and a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 speakers.  Am I correct that I don't need anything else besides cables? 

Also, any reason to go with the Music Hall MMF2.2 turntable over the Pro-ject turntable?  The Music Hall is $50 more, and I'm already a bit over budget.

 

commsysman
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SYSTEM

Either one should be fine.

That should put you in good shape.

VinnieG
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T

Thanks for all the help. I really appreciate it. 

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